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The future of cannabis patents lies in blockchain technology - The Electrum Report
Although patents are available for cannabis-based products, processes and techniques, growers can’t file a federal patent when they invent a new strain of cannabis since there is no federal legal basis to do so. Without a patent or a way to protect intellectual property, growers can’t prove ownership for a specific strain, and without a trusted record of the strain’s history, there is no way for consumers to verify what they are buying. “Blockchain is the prevailing technology that will provide protection of rights to growers and transparency to consumers.” BLOCKStrain is in the process of developing a blockchain-based platform that will house a database of cannabis strains. Using blockchain, this database will be able to immutably attribute a given strain to a specific grower as part of their intellectual property. But suppose the licensed producer develops its own strain not long after and stops paying the licensing fee, all the while claiming its new strain is different from the initial strain produced by the craft grower. Open and agnostic blockchain platforms that can record potentially billions of data points across the supply chain allow growers to protect and license their products. The current patent landscape While patent applications are a complex and time-consuming process, companies at various stages of the cannabis life-cycle have been left with no alternative when it comes to protecting their intellectual property. With a surge of patent filings in anticipation of legalization, blockchain technology can stand to serve both craft growers and licensed producers well. As such, blockchain can act as a comprehensive database of strains and cannabis products, providing insight to licensed producers, consumers and regulators. Since cannabis is still mostly illegal, issues exist that have yet to be solved.