Most major CBD brands are now providing QR codes on their product packaging for third-party lab report access, but few of them are taking advantage of the blockchain-based, anti-counterfeit system created by CannVerify.
For the first time since we’ve been a publication, we recently found a CBD product from Cornbread Hemp containing a seal with a scratch-off area that directed us to the lab report.
The scratch-off revealed a four-digit code that we later realized was linked to a blockchain verification system.
Our interest was piqued, to say the least, especially if this really was a blockchain-based QR code, so we knew we had to talk to CannVerify to learn more about how exactly they protect CBD brands and consumers with this technology.
Sure enough, we weren’t disappointed—here’s everything we learned in our illuminating conversation with Shant from CannVerify.
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Founded from Experience
Referencing California Proposition 215, the legislation package enacted in 1996 (and later expanded) that effectively legalized medical cannabis in the state, Shant explained to us that he and his brother have been medical cannabis patients since 2005.
Their personal experiences as consumers gave them an inside perspective on how brands were operating during this time, as well as standards held by consumers.
Unfortunately, there were plenty of “seedy” operators in the space who would “buy $150-200 packs of seeds, swap out the seeds, and resell them,” Shant told us.
It was the prevalence of shifty practices like the seed-swapping grift that incentivized the founders to create CannVerify, which is primarily committed to ending counterfeit in the hemp and cannabis consumer goods market.
Thus, CannVerify was established in 2017, and got their start by working with approximately 30 seed-breeders to test and refine their systems.
Today, CannVerify protects more than 8 million cannabis and hemp products with an expanding suite of services.
The CannVerify Offering
While they uphold their anti-counterfeiting process as their primary focus, CannVerify has also leveraged their well-above-average tech to help CBD businesses run promotions and glean more consumer data, like who buys which products in which regions.
Here’s how all of this works.
If it has a CannVerify seal … the product in the container is certified to be the product from the original manufacturer.
After a partnering CBD or cannabis brand is authenticated by CannVerify, they can create a fully customized, tamper-proof seal to place on each product, even integrating their logo and other design features into the seal if desired.
Every seal (even those authenticating the same product) is completely unique, meaning it has its own serial number and QR code.
Using the CannVerify platform, the brand is then able to activate these serial numbers on the back end of the app and add product information (e.g., the third-party lab reports) to be viewed by consumers after scanning.
The customer scans the seal, enters the scratch-off code, and views the information one time; it can never be viewed again.
Without CannVerify, CBD scammers and resellers can simply hide behind the unsecured QR code on product packaging (some of which can even be sourced from wholesalers), regardless of what’s actually in that package.
If it has a CannVerify seal, however, the product in the container is certified to be the product from the original manufacturer.
Information Delivery Platform and More
When we asked Shant about any potential benefits that the CannVerify seal provides CBD manufacturers and customers outside the anti-counterfeit function, he provided several insights about how brands have used this tech.
“The cool part about our labels is that it’s all live,” he explained. “[Manufacturers] can always update the information on those labels, and all the future scans will show the updated information. If there are any recalls, for example, they can always go in and add that information to update it in real-time.”
This provides CBD brands and customers a real-time communication channel that was not nearly as accessible before.
To that end, manufacturers can track their seals by region, which provides them with hyper-accurate data streams showing which products are selling well (and vice versa) in which regions.
Finally, brands can run “golden ticket” promotions, in which one (or however many) seal(s) are linked to a prize, which works perfectly since every CannVerify seal is already unique.
Outside of these crafty uses of the CannVerify system, the possibilities go on and on, since brands can put whatever they want on the other side of that QR code.
How CannVerify Is Optimizing the CBD Industry
CannVerify can shore up the industry from the inside, ensuring that legitimate brands rise to the top while the scams are finally exposed.
Even today, it doesn’t take more than fifteen seconds of wading through search engine results (or just seeing re-targeted ads) for CBD and cannabis products to come across some questionable offers.
It seems like a new popular figure is popping up every week to urge online shoppers against falling victim to CBD scams using their name and likeness.
Throw in the FDA’s foot-dragging, a hefty scoop of politically partisan misinformation spreading, and well-meaning testimonial writers giving CBD and cannabis products far too much credit, and you’ve painted a rough picture of the poorly regulated and confusing environment we find ourselves in.
While CannVerify can’t fix all of these problems, they can shore up the industry from the inside, ensuring that legitimate brands rise to the top while the scams are finally exposed.
We applaud CannVerify for the actions they’ve taken in pursuit of transparent conduct in the CBD and cannabis industries, and will continue to call out other actors working to elevate the status quo.