Whether it is used recreationally, medicinally, or for occupational purposes; the cannabis industry is on the rise! One could even say that it has caught fire! Since 2014, the US legal cannabis market growth has been rapidly climbing at a remarkable and steady rate throughout every year to date- eclipsing 13.6 billion dollars in 2019 (a 32% increase over 2018 total figures [10.6 billion].)
With its tremendous growth in recent years, it’s important to keep up with competitors in industry to not fall by the wayside by using outdated methods & processes - documentation being the #1 offender. From all stages including cultivating and processing to point of sale and patient consumption, electronic records are utilized in many different forms throughout the cannabis industry. Everyone from doctors, business owners and police officers can benefit from the usage of electronic records. Let’s look a little further into how to utilize some of the benefits.
Legitimizing the Cannabis Industry
It is pretty clear that cannabis is here to stay, but if it is going to stay for a long time it has to be legitimate. Roughly 11 million pounds of cannabis that was produced in California left the state to places where marijuana is most likely illegal. That is a lot of cannabis leaving the state and as a result California is losing money in taxation.
California is also bringing to the surface the problem of not being able to track the supply chain among the growers, processors, retailers and consumers. Owners are using resources to help identify and track a certain growers strain/product with a barcode that could be used in all retailers nationwide- putting the right money into the right hands. Providing source information enables CEO’s to gain proof of product sources without the weight of possible tampering. In many cases, licensed cannabis dispensaries and retailers across the country run out of supply because of failing to keep pace with market demand.
Being unable to keep up with demand allows unlicensed retailers to emerge from the cracks and steal some of the market share creating some of its own legal problems as well. Integrating electronic records from the beginning stages of the cannabis industry to the end product can help avoid dilemmas such as these and create a positive and safe environment.
Electronic Records Partnered with the Medical Field and Law Enforcement
More and more the healthcare industry is using cannabis as a treatment or supplement. This of course requires more regulation and tracing of the cannabis to be instilled into place. Implementing electronic medical records (EMR’s) have been incredibly arduous without the means of a blockchain system.
Having the capability of a system such as StatePass creates avenues for CEOs to insert processes in place that streamline the EMR process between cannabis physicians and patients.
Utah is blazing a trail in search of a multimillion-dollar software that will act as the vertebrae for their medical cannabis program. Serving as the archive for sensitive patient information as well as logging the movement of each individual marijuana plant.
Glitchy systems can cause a whole mess of problems like technical difficulties, delays and security issues that could even halt marijuana sales in other cannabis states. Utah is looking to dodge all these might be issues and continue to focus on establishing a user friendly, safe and efficient platform portal between patients and medical providers.
Having an efficient portal between patient and doctor is important because it guarantees that the correct medication and dosing of medication is prescribed precisely to patients. Cannabis tracking technology can act as a safeguard from its diversion into the black market. Law enforcement for the first time will be directly interfaced with this new system. Utilizing the same platform portal that allows patients and doctors to connect will be used the same way by local law enforcement agencies.
Police officers will have access to the portal to verify someone's status as a medical cannabis patient. Although police will not be able to know what medical conditions a patient might have, they will simply have an idea of who is a patient and who is not.
Allowing police to distinguish the legal and illegal markets constructs a more safe way of going about business. Electronic means of storing records and documents is merely a catalyst of providing efficient cannabis care in all stages from beginning to end.
Security is an extreme necessity
Taking the good with the bad is all part of trying to find balance in life. Unfortunately, if electronic records can help relieve a headache it is surely likely that it will provide one as well. Among other things, private and personal information attacks are increasing within the dark web every day and thus brings an unfortunate downside to having electronic records. Innocent bystanders coming in the form of everyday hardworking citizens are at risk and might not even realize that they might be giving up their own information. Something as faultless as shopping online on a public wifi connection plays right into the hands of eager, lurking hackers on the dark web.
The dark web is essentially the black market of the internet. Just like any other market in the world, items on the dark web are sold for money. Unlike any other market though, the dark web sells everything everywhere across the globe. This could range from illegal drugs to exotic animals all unbeknownst to local or federal authorities.
Nonetheless, just as a business owner might keep important documents in a safe or lockbox; it is just as important if not more to back-up and encrypt all files in an electronic document management system. This is extremely crucial in the sense that some of the irreparable damage caused by having data sold on the dark web in terms of further financial/legal costs, brand reputation and customer loss can result in absolute annihilation of the business.
This was the case for Sunniva Inc’s Natural Health Services Ltd. subsidiary where there was a data breach of an electronic medical record system containing the personal health information of about 34,000 medical marijuana patients in Vancouver, Canada. Fortunately medical marijuana companies don’t collect information such as financial, credit card or social insurance. However, diagnostic results, healthcare numbers and personal information are still susceptible, as it was in the case of Natural Health Services (NHS Ltd.).
In relation to cannabis companies of all kinds, making sure all files both employer/employee and customer are encrypted and backed up with the utmost due diligence. Besides the malicious acts of dark web hackers. Backing up files works great in the untimely event of a natural disaster, fire, or theft of the physical nature and also bodes well for a simple good night’s sleep.
Regardless if you are just trying to create a profitable way of selling seeds or providing doctors and law enforcement with the tools to administer secure ways of tracking, regulating and prescribing cannabis- electronic records are here to make your life easier. Getting to the top of the mountain in the modern cannabis industry is aided by modern technology. Digitizing your processes will guide those to the summit of business prosperity for all of those that seek it.