The legal cannabis industry relies on a variety of software and technology tools to verify the provenance, integrity and safety of products, as well as meet numerous regulatory compliance requirements.
Molecular tagging, which is akin to small DNA fragments that can be used as a “molecular barcode,” is helping advance tracking and tracing in cannabis supply chain.
New York-based Applied DNA Sciences’ molecular tags (brand name SigNature) can be applied to cannabis plants, oils, lotions, edibles, and even packaging. The molecular tag is invisible to the naked eye and completely safe to ingest, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“If it’s [molecular tag] being applied to flower, a fogging method is used to fog a designated room or drying room. If it’s being applied to oils or isolates by a processor, it is mixed into the batches at the later stage of the process,” according to a company spokesperson.
The company’s technology platform, CertainT, allows supply chain stakeholders to verify provenance and chain-of-custody from origin to retailer.
“All tagging, testing and tracking data is easily captured in the secure portal and can also be connected to other industry platforms, such as seed-to-sale systems, ERPs, QMS and a host of others through APIs,” noted the company. “Creating an ecosystem that complements one another benefits all cannabis companies, global government entities, and especially the end consumers who will now have true transparency from the brands they support and a sense of safety and trust in the products they consume.”
According to Applied DNA Sciences, molecular tagging provides multiple benefits, including:
- Brand protection
- Raw material traceability
- Consumer transparency
- Risk mitigation
- Regulatory compliance
- Customer safety
- Brand differentiation
- Import/Export validation and compliance
- Forensic evidence in case of legal actions
- Incoming/outgoing product sourcing validation between buyers and sellers