- Blockchain platform StrainSecure tracks intellectual property in the cannabis industry
- Has medical cannabis pilot program with pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart
- Working with more than 10 major producers on the path to meaningful technology adoption
What TruTrace Technologies does:
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, counterfeiting should be quite the compliment. But in the cannabis industry, counterfeiting damages a licensed producer’s bottom line, hurts their intellectual property, and poses a risk to medical cannabis users.
Fortunately for the legitimate cannabis industry, help is at hand. TruTrace Technologies Inc (CSE:TTT) (OTCMKTS:BKKSF) has developed the first blockchain-secured platform to track intellectual property for cannabis.
The company’s StrainSecure track and trace platform provides mandatory testing, DNA-based product validation, and helps with intellectual property protection and product guarantees for patients and customers.
The Vancouver-based firm channels the power of blockchain to fix the grim realities of corrupted supply chains in the medical cannabis industry. It combines the power of big data with the security of blockchain to provide strain identification, registration and verification for cannabis at scale.
The firm’s immutable, cryptographically secure technology is the brainchild of co-founder and chief technology officer Tommy Stephenson, who developed enterprise software platforms over two decades for companies such as Microsoft and Mercedes Benz. The company’s Seattle development center has “a Disney feel” to it with the engineers exuding an “if we can dream it, we can build it” philosophy.
The Seattle team’s goal has been to build a framework to help licensed cannabis producers and micro-cultivators easily and inexpensively move their products through the mandatory testing process. TruTrace places that test data on the blockchain for its own protection and that of the company’s intellectual property.
In this way, the StrainSecure platform establishes an accurate, single source, validated, and permanent account for cannabis strains from seed source to market. A cannabis strain’s genetics are stored into an immutable ledger and information is added during each processing stage. TruTrace’s seed-to-sale tracking platform tackles two pain points in the cannabis industry: it modernizes the inventory tracking system and provides customers with details about a product’s lab test results and cultivar.
In 2020, the company launched a new real-world implementation of its StrainSecure platform with Canada’s largest pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart with which it had signed a partnership in June 2019.
How is it doing:
TruTrace has been making good progress so far in 2021. In January, the company revealed that it was teaming up with Applied DNA Sciences Inc to deliver a complete cannabis product validation and authentication platform. It said both companies plan to approach the cannabis industry with their integrated solution comprised of Applied DNA’s CertainT platform and TruTrace’s StrainSecure platform, which will be underpinned by linking together the power of proprietary SaaS platforms, blockchain, and molecular tagging technology to create a secure ecosystem that provides end-to-end traceability and full transparency.
The companies have entered into a Strategic Alliance, Referral, and Technology Integration Agreement that allows each one to introduce the other into existing accounts, prospects, as well as cultivate new joint opportunities. The agreement also calls for the integration of the companies’ respective platforms through APIs to exchange data elements as part of the complete chain of custody solution from source materials to product on the shelf. There is a mutual payment structure in place as engagements are brought online.
Then at the start of March, TruTrace said it had signed a letter of intent with Georgia-based PharmaCentra LLC to support a clinical trial ecosystem built on standardized protocols and testing of cannabis products for use in the medical industry.
PharmaCentra is a specialty contact provider with specific industry domain expertise in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and cannabis sectors. The group specializes in pharmaceutical marketing and sales strategies, strategic patient, pharmacy, and physician outreach.
The agreement with Vancouver-based TruTrace was signed through PharmaCentra’s subsidiary CannabisBPO, a specialty provider of contact centre services for the cannabis industry specializing in sales, customer care, lead generation, patient and customer journey and win back initiatives.
On the financing front, on February 15, TruTrace closed an over-subscribed non-brokered private placement of 30 million units of the company at a price of 5 cents per unit for gross proceeds of $1.5 million. The company said proceeds from the placement would be used to advance its long-term international strategy of providing blockchain secured and standardized process for managing testing and quality data of medical products, as well as general working capital.
The group noted that strong interest from new sophisticated investors, both local and international, the uptake by many of the existing shareholders and by Trutrace management meant that the non-brokered placement was oversubscribed. The company said it is now well-financed to advance its core initiatives and implement a revenue-focused strategy.
And in the boardroom, in January, TruTrace announced the appointment of Allan O'Dette as a director and chairman of its board and Pradeep Sood as a director. The company noted that O'Dette has over 30 years of experience in the public, private, not-for-profit and volunteer sectors driving organizational change. He is currently the CEO of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).
The company pointed out that new director Sood has over 40 years of operations and management experience in Asia, Africa and North America, which has led to his deep knowledge and commitment to diversity and multiculturalism. He is currently the president of the Board of Commonwealth Games Foundation of Canada, a member of the board of Governors of George Brown College and a director on the board of Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation.
In addition, the company in June appointed Robert Lelovic as its new chief financial officer. He has had a distinguished career as a seasoned chartered professional accountant with experience in the retail, technology, and energy sectors. Having served for over a decade in a leadership role with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Lelovic also has extensive experience in management, risk mitigation and controls, integration, due diligence, and financial reporting.
TruTrace's last set of results, posted in October due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, revealed that in the 12 months ended April 30, 2020, the company brought in revenue of C$402,679, a major increase year-over-year from C$10,000 in fiscal 2019. Its comprehensive loss over the same period was C$4.6 million, down significantly from C$14.8 million in fiscal 2019.
- More news on complete cannabis product validation and authentication platform partnership with Applied DNA Sciences
- Closure of PharmaCentra partnership to support clinical trial ecosystem
- Up to date financial results
What the boss says:
In March's statement announcing the letter of intent with PharmaCentra, TruTrace CEO Robert Galarza said: “As cannabis gains acceptance as a useful component of therapies to treat serious medical conditions, it is critical to ensure that all products used for patient care are safe and consistent."
He added: “This partnership is an important step toward making that a reality because there will be repeatable, verifiable processes for measuring the efficacy of cannabis-derived compounds that the entire biopharma industry can use to improve the quality of the therapies that are available to people who need them.”
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