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Can You Track Cannabis With Molecular Barcodes?

Something to think about with the emerging global industry.

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This story originally appeared on Cannabis & Tech Today

The cannabis plant has been shipped all over the planet for many decades, albeit in an illegal fashion.

It is no secret that unregulated cannabis has been cultivated in many places around the globe and then smuggled into countries where it can be sold for a tremendous profit.

That unregulated cannabis was shipped in whatever manner was required, often hidden in secret compartments of vehicles, boats, and aircrafts.

With the rise of the legal global cannabis industry, packing and shipping cannabis has evolved a great deal.

RELATED: How Interstate Commerce Could Upend the Marijuana Industry

Legal cannabis exports are a new phenomena that has arisen out of the emerging global cannabis industry.

Companies in countries like Canada can now enter into agreements with companies in other countries to import and export medical cannabis products, including raw flower.

For a time Germany held the distinction as being the country that imported the most medical cannabis, however, that title was recently taken over by Israel.

More and more countries are ramping up their efforts to legalize medical cannabis imports and exports, with a heavy focus on exports.

Countries such as Jamaica can cultivate cannabis that is better and cheaper than most other countries, and a booming export sector is likely on the horizon there.

Tracking international cannabis

As more and more countries like Jamaica get into legal international cannabis sales cannabis harvests and products derived from them will get shipped farther away.

Tracking those shipments will be vital to a company’s success, as cannabis is a popular target for theft. Tracking raw flower is particularly difficult.

One technology may hold the key to successful international cannabis tracking. Molecular barcodes are used in many products for tracking purposes, including cotton and microchips.

Inert DNA is inserted into various products and that inert DNA can be used to identify all kinds of things. Many are exploring the idea of incorporating the technology into cannabis harvests.

It’s a technology that is common in many industries, however, cannabis is different. After all, people don’t smoke cotton or microchips.

A tremendous amount of research will be required to ensure that molecular barcodes in cannabis are safe for human consumption. It’s definitely an interesting concept that is worth exploring.