Canada’s TruTrace Blockchain Technologies Joins the Flowr Project for Validation of Medical Cannabis at Shoppers Drug Mart

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Canadian Blockchain company TruTrace Technologies has teamed up with The Flowr Corporation and joined the Shoppers Drug Mart medical cannabis verification pilot program which was announced last month at the World Cannabis Congress. The Pilot Program is intended to increase transparency, interoperability and product identification within the medical cannabis industry. Under the StrainSecure program, the TruTrace team collects plant testing data and performs genomic verification in plant batches which are then registered in a blockchain-enabled database for intellectual property protection and strain validation. 

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“We are very pleased to see Flowr join the Pilot Program and affirm its commitment to achieving the highest standards of transparency and accountability,” said TruTrace Technologies CEO Robert Galarza. “It is more important than ever to provide assurance to patients about the origins and quality of their cannabis.”

The Pilot Program uses TruTrace’s StrainSecure technology as a central hub for identity management, asset tracking, validation, and product authentication. StrainSecure™ will also serve as a master registry for standardized testing, product verification, and quality assurance.

All information gathered from the plants, including their molecular and chemical makeup, can be tracked via the program.

“Our medical cannabis products in Canada are available through Shoppers as we believe the pharmacy model offers significant benefits to patients. We fully support the objectives of this Pilot Program and look forward to working with our partners to ensure patients have access to medicinal cannabis they can trust,” said Dr. Lyle Oberg, Flowr’s Chief Medical and Policy Officer. “Medical cannabis patients expect that their medication is safe, standardized and of high quality, and we believe this formal traceability program can play an important part in the overall process of building that trust.”

Flowr has a supply agreement with Shoppers to supply its FlowrRx brand of medical cannabis products. Patients can visit Shoppers’ ecommerce site, shoppersdrugmart.ca/cannabis, to learn more.

Flowr, through its subsidiaries, holds cannabis production and sales licenses granted by Health Canada. With a head office in Toronto and a production facility in Kelowna, BC, Flowr builds and operates large-scale, GMP-designed cultivation facilities utilizing its own growing systems. Flowr expects to provide premium-quality cannabis to the adult-use recreational market and the medicinal market.

Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With almost 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec), and provides cosmetic dermatology services at two standalone locations, the Beauty Clinic. As well, the company owns and operates 43 corporate Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart stores and an ecommerce site Wellwise.ca, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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