man surrounded by cloud of smoke (Realstock/

Hawaii puts cannabis tracking in FedRAMP cloud

The Hawaii Department of Health has deployed a live seed-to-sale cannabis tracking system in a cloud  environment authorized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. 

The state is using BioTrackTHC's State Traceability System in Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud for its state medical marijuana program. While FedRAMP is a federal program, the authorization gives Hawaii's cannabis regulators the highest level of data security available and is also expected to increase the speed of the state's Traceability System, company officials said.

The BioTrackTHC State Traceability System lets state and local government agencies track the production, transportation, destruction and sales of legal cannabis. Regulators can view every gram of legal cannabis throughout the production life cycle and ensure compliance with industry standards and state laws. The company currently has contracts with Washington, New Mexico, Illinois, Hawaii and New York.

"We're pleased to know that our state's seed-to-sale Traceability System is now housed in the most secure cloud server available," said Keith Ridley, chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance. "This ensures safety and comfort for our licensees, business operators and our patients, who can all be confident in knowing their business data and protected patient information is being stored in the most secure Traceability System in the world."

Cannabis activity tracking systems house highly sensitive information such as patient data, plant and inventory data, and financial data; making security and redundancies critically important.  Any downtime or outage could put states and businesses at risk of non-compliance.

A similar service, Kind Financial’s Agrisoft Seed to Sale, is hosted on Microsoft's Azure Government platform. That cloud-based service can "track and trace" cannabis through the entire growth, distribution and sales process.

Such an environment may be just what states are looking for. In February, Ohio issued a request for proposals for integrated cloud-based systems and processes for the six state agencies involved in cannabis regulation.

About the Author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.

Miller has a BA and MA from West Chester University and did Ph.D. work in English at the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at or @sjaymiller.

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