A Vancouver company, BlockStrain, is using a trending technology solution to tackle some of the cannabis industry’s biggest issues. They want to show consumers what weed is really made of.
Robert Galarza, BlockStrain’s CEO and director, believes it is this type of digitized filing system that could set a new standard for transparency and accountability in an industry struggling to develop strong roots.
He and his business partner, Tommy Stephenson, co-founder and CTO of BlockStrain, have over two decades of experience working in technology development. Both grew up in South California, giving them a front row seat to the unfurling of one of the first State-wide legalization models. California began to make headway with medical cannabis reform in 1996, fully legalizing recreational-use early last year. After the two moved to Canada in 2015, it was the country’s push to federalize legally that inspired the new company.
“One thing we saw [with cannabis] in California was this consistent push to evolve…but the problem was that there was really zero accountability or integrity behind the infrastructure, technology, industry systems, and even the products,” says Galarza to the Georgia Straight.
“The difficulty is there are some unrealistic expectations about the industry because of the excitement surrounding legalization.”
That frenzied push for expansion has only been fuelled by Canada’s latest federal shifts—taking the global weed economy to unparalleled heights, but also exposing a number of infrastructural weaknesses.
The trouble with pulling an entire industry out of the shadows, and scaling it to meet the rapidly increasing consumer demand, is that some major systems still need to be put in place in order for it to function sustainably. In the meantime, product quality has dropped, consumer education is limited, and licensed producers (LP) are outsourcing to unregulated cultivators to meet provincial supply agreements.
“What it boiled down to was figuring out how we could use our enterprise background to build systems that can make certain parts of the industry more efficient,” Galarza says…