It’s not often that a company disrupts the community trust in a way that the aftershock ripples through other organizations. Unfortunately, with the recent communication surrounding Phylos Bioscience, the Open Cannabis Project has shut its doors.
This is a setback to trust and transparency for the cannabis industry. Growers across the nation now struggle with whom to trust, in an industry already facing major hurdles stacked against business owners. This is a loss no one can afford.
Without an organization advocating to protect the IP of growers and breeders from patent trolls and enterprising monopolists, our industry becomes less transparent. Our heartfelt support goes out to Beth Schechter and everyone else involved in the cause championed by the Open Cannabis Project. We’ve got the back of any trustworthy organization in the future that stands up to fill this space.
In the wake of this unfortunate incident, we want to make clear our relationship with Phylos, the Open Cannabis Project, and to clarify our intentions in the cannabis industry.
Our relationship with Phylos
We have never had and do not currently have a business agreement or any working relationship with Phylos. Phylos has never paid us for anything, and we have never paid Phylos for anything. We have never exchanged data unless it was publicly available or consistent with our confidentiality commitments to our clients.
We met Phylos four years ago, and our teams developed a cordial personal relationship given our shared presence in the Oregon cannabis industry. We were both sponsors (along with several other companies) of the 2018 Cultivation Classic, but we did not participate in the data analysis part of the competition. We did not provide laboratory data to the competition, nor did we receive genetics data from Phylos for the competition.
Our relationship with the Open Cannabis Project
The OCP and Confident Cannabis share similar values of openness, transparency, and protecting the cultivators who have been growing their cannabis for years from big money newcomers. Last year, the Open Cannabis Project approached us to help producers contribute their laboratory test results to the project to help protect participating growers from patent trolls and limit the likelihood new, overly-broad patents are granted.
To help the OCP, we built a feature in our Lab Testing platform to allow our clients to export their lab data in a file format they can upload to the OCP’s website. The OCP announced the feature in November 2018. Importantly, cultivators must opt-in to share data with the OCP by intentionally exporting their data from Confident Cannabis and uploading their data to the OCP. Although the OCP is shutting down at the end of the month, we will keep the export feature so users can have full access to their data.
Our Efforts Moving Forward
We will continue to support and advocate for any organization, company, publisher, or individual championing this same cause as well, provided that our client’s confidentiality and data privacy rights are upheld. Whether providing an opt-in open source repository to protect from patent trolls or visibility of chemotype data for operators trying to buy and sell confidently, we will always side with honest and ethical business practices.
Responsibility with data is a critical part of the ecosystem of any industry, and the cannabis industry is no different. Due to disappointing recent events in our industry, we were reminded of the importance of communicating clearly, honestly, and openly with our clients and the world. To that end, we took the opportunity to reflect on our values and data privacy policies, and reaffirm our beliefs and business practices in this post.
We believe sunlight is the best disinfectant. We believe that the best version of the future includes a world where everyone has access to information and people operate with openness and integrity. We can’t guarantee that the good guys always win, but fairness and transparency make it harder for bad guys to do well.
For this reason, our vision is to foster a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem in which every ethical cannabis business thrives.
We do this by informing cannabis operators and simplifying wholesale testing and trade to create trust and transparency in the cannabis industry.
We happen to work on this mission by providing lab testing and wholesale software platforms for the cannabis industry.
Want to speak with us directly about this topic?
Contact us here.