2017 is looking to be quite the year for blockchain, Bitcoin and legal marijuana in America, whether in medical-only states or recreationally legal ones. The State of Washington has recently made news with lawmakers proposing a bill that would, in essence, ban marijuana dispensaries from accepting or using Bitcoin for any transactions. Colorado has a company, Medicinal Genomics, that has been working to sequence the DNA of marijuana and hemp strains and list them into the Bitcoin blockchain. As of writing, they have over 200 strains listed on their website, Kannapedia.net, and state that by adding the strains into the blockchain, they can help protect growers from patent issues if somebody else tries to patent a strain with the United States patent office. First Bitcoin Capital has developed a point-of-sale Bitcoin solution for Oregon and California's legal marijuana markets, as reported by William Suberg here: https://goo.gl/I5XtTs
on October 28, 2016. Alaska's legal marijuana program is a cash-only business, and banks up there won't work with marijuana distributors for fear of the federal government stepping in. Bitcoin is a potential alternative to cash in the marijuana industry, allowing lower transaction fees, as well as eliminating that huge pile of cash they would otherwise be holding regularly, but it isn't without its caveats as a medium of exchange. The most promising aspect for the legalized marijuana industry related to Bitcoin, at least, to me, is the possibility of using the blockchain, or even a distributed sidechain, to track the product from seed to store. This can include noting everything from watering amount and times to types of pest control used. Even whether there were any pest, mold or any other issues with the plant along it's journey to the end user, as well as the genetic makeup and consistency of strains to be easily verifiable by anyone who wants to look. I see a lot of promise in Bitcoin and blockchain technologies for legal marijuana in 2017. What do you think?