Recent dramatic shifts in drugs policies in California and Canada, plus a high-profile medical case in the UK have accelerated the issue of effective regulation of legal cannabis to the forefront of public debate. Forecast Technology looks at how its tracer product can complement existing seed-to-sale tracking technology to create a safe and accountable legal cannabis industry.

Cannabis growth and supply is now legal in several countries. In some of these, cannabis is legal for recreational purposes, but often with restriction; in others it is legal only for medical or scientific purposes and there is a variance in the legality of edible cannabis-infused products
Legalising cannabis is attractive to governments for a variety of reasons:

  • It allows them to collect tax revenue: the estimated value of the North American cannabis market in 2016 was $7.1bn
  • It improves the quality and safety of the product by regulating the production, distribution and sale.
  • It should reduce the need for policing the production, sale and use of cannabis as illegal growers are squeezed out of the market.

Packaging, labelling and supply chain management are just a few of the major issues that regulators must tackle if they are to successfully eradicate the black market. Forecast Technology Limited (FTL) have identified a way to meet these challenges effectively and efficiently, helping to better identify genuine, approved cannabis products and provide end-to-end traceability throughout the supply chain.


In Canada, the cannabis industry has strict seed-to-sale tracking requirements that allow state regulators to monitor legalised marijuana through every step in the supply chain. Supporting these software systems, Forecast Technology (FTL) and their sister company, TraceTag International, propose to use DNA molecules as a highly sensitive tracer to mark the cannabis product, providing a clear and traceable trail reporting where it was planted, harvested, processed, and ultimately sold.

DNA is a very stable and non-reactive molecule that is found in all cells, including broccoli and beef, and makes an excellent and safe marker that, unlike conventional RFID tags, would stay on the bud and help identify the plant, when required.

The result is every product would be accompanied by a fully transparent audit trail, with requisite tracking and reporting requirements that guaranteed compliance and accountability.

The FTL tracer is also able to be sprayed onto packaging or included in the ink on packaging designed for its security by drug companies looking to prevent fraudulent reproduction.

Together, the system allows full traceability of the product from the point of harvesting through to packaging, delivery and all the way to the end customer.

To enhance this track and trace system, FTL are in the final stages of developing a tag and flag system that will enable in-field authentication of legal cannabis.

For further information or discussion on any aspect of the science, design and qualities of this pioneering technology, please contact Dudley Chapman, Stuart Hall or Robert Armstrong directly on +44 (0) 1869 337558 or by email:

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Article by: Forecast Technology