Vermont’s agricultural regulatory body, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) recently inked a deal with a local blockchain-based cannabis company, Trace, to use blockchain technology to track all stages of hemp production. The collaboration will ensure transparency in the cannabis sector.
Tracing Cannabis With Blockchain Technology
According to an official announcement on VAAFM’s website on Monday, February 10, 2020, the agency will employ Trace’s blockchain platform to track hemp in a bid to maintain Vermont’s status as a producer of quality cannabis.
With the use of Trace’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) system which runs on the ethereum network, farmers, processors, and licensed laboratories can register online during the 2020 Hemp Program Registration season.
Commenting on the recent partnership, Cary Giguere, the agency’s Director of Public Health and Agriculture Resource Management, said:
“The Agency is excited to partner with Trace, in developing blockchain technology to administer the Hemp Program’s registration, and crop and product tracking needs to help ensure consumer protection and quality control in Vermont’s growing hemp industry.”
Giguere added that the collaboration between the government and Trace will provide transparency for the cannabis sector, which will prove beneficial for producers and consumers.
The Vermont agricultural regulator further revealed that the state was the first state in the U.S. to have a robust registration and tracking system that uses blockchain technology along with the hemp industry.
Josh Decatur, the CEO of Trace, also expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, saying:
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the State of Vermont in this endeavor. Our company was born in Vermont so we’ve been able to see firsthand the value Trace can bring to Vermonters growing, cultivating, testing and selling hemp.”
Furthermore, the Trace CEO stated that VAAMF was one of the first state regulatory bodies to employ the ethereum mainnet.
The Growing Relationship Between Blockchain Technology and Cannabis
Following the legalization of hemp across all the states in the U.S. with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, there has been a steady and rapid growth in registrations between 2018 and 2019.
Anson Tebbetts, the regulator’s Secretary, said that the rise in registrations from hemp growers caused the agency to seek new innovations such as blockchain technology that would ensure that farmers produce premium hemp to the satisfaction of consumers.
The use of blockchain technology in the growing cannabis industry has been on the rise. Back in September 2019, a cannabis firm based in Uruguay partnered with Aeternity blockchain network to track cannabis from seed to shelf. Also, a Canadian retail pharmacy company, Shoppers Drug Mart, completed the first phase of a blockchain pilot that would track medical cannabis for transparency purposes.