Shoppers Drug Mart Successfully Completes Phase 1 of its Medical Cannabis Verification Pilot Program

Published: August 15, 2019

Shoppers Drug Mart Successfully Completes Phase 1 of its Medical Cannabis Verification Pilot Program

Shoppers Drug Mart announced the successful completion of Phase 1 of its blockchain-secured pilot program with software partner TruTrace Technologies Inc. The Pilot Program is specifically designed to increase transparency, interoperability and product identification within the medical cannabis industry. Shoppers has now engaged TruTrace and Deloitte Canada LLP (“Deloitte”) to execute Phase 2 of the Pilot Program, with full production and implementation of TruTrace’s StrainSecure platform targeted for late November 2019.

Phase 2 of the Pilot Program, using Deloitte’s project management and advisory capacity and TruTrace’s StrainSecure™ system, will be focused on developing a unified approach to medical cannabis standards, onboarding licenced producers and other partners to track and trace all product history—from genome to distribution. The program is expected to help researchers and clinicians to match therapeutic outcomes to specific genetic and chemical profiles, and provide physicians, pharmacists, and patients with greater confidence in the products they prescribe or consume.

Under their StrainSecure™ system, 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. All information gathered from the plants, including their molecular and chemical makeup, can be tracked via the technology.

“We have been encouraged by the response to this traceability initiative. There is a clear consensus within the cannabis industry that the source and quality of medical cannabis must be transparent and identifiable in order to meet the expectations of patients and health care practitioners,” said Ken Weisbrod, Vice President of Business Development, Shoppers Drug Mart. “It is more important than ever to be able to assure all stakeholders, from regulators to health care practitioners, that the medical cannabis industry is taking the necessary steps to establish the infrastructure required to deliver standardized, consistent medication to our patients. Shoppers has turned to two trusted leaders, TruTrace and Deloitte Canada LLP, to assist us in the second phase of the project.”

“As the cannabis sector continues to rapidly evolve in Canada, the industry needs to increase transparency to all stakeholders by demonstrating adherence to rigorous procedures to maintain the overall integrity of the supply chain,” said David Stewart, Partner within Deloitte’s Forensics practice. “Strengthening traceability and verification of cannabis products will bring benefits to the industry as a whole, and most importantly, build confidence and accountability into the cannabis medical value chain. We are proud to be part of such an important initiative given Deloitte Canada’s leadership in the cannabis space.”

First announced in early June at the second annual World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick, the Pilot Program is being developed and implemented by TruTrace utilizing their proprietary StrainSecure™ platform. StrainSecure serves as the central hub for identity management, asset tracking, validation and product authentication, as well as a master registry for standardized testing, product verification, and quality assurance.