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Meet Shant and Vicken Jabourian of CannVerify. Together, these California brothers have navigated the California cannabis landscape -- first, as medical patients and now as co-founders of CannVerify, which provides "brand protection and customer connection for the cannabis and hemp industry" via "a unique serial number linked to our blockchain based product verification system."
We caught up with the Jabourians to learn more about their story and where they see the industry going.
1. What’s the story behind CannVerify? What was the impetus? Any cool backstory?
It all started with a pack of seeds Shant got back in 2017. They were a rare pack so it was fairly pricey, but after getting the seeds, he learned that the seller wasn’t very reputable, which made him question the authenticity of the pack. After contacting the breeder directly and providing close-up photos of the seeds, they were still unable to confirm whether the seeds were real or not.
That experience made us realize there needs to be an easy way for a patient to verify that the product they purchase is real. At that time, the medical marijuana community in California had matured and you started to see more and more brands pop up. We noticed that some of those bigger, more established brands, started to face counterfeiting issues and we knew it would only get worse as recreational cannabis came to California.
2. What is your mission with CannVerify?
We basically want to bring transparency and peace of mind to the consumer. We were both California prop 215 med patients since 2005 and we’ve seen the evolution since the pre-ICO medical days to full on legalization today, and we want to keep it growing, honest, and thriving for years to come.
Unfortunately, with industry growth, and the focus on the financial side of it, we’re seeing a lot more bad players, mainly counterfeiters, come in to exploit brands’ reputations and consumers. These bad players cast a dark cloud over these brands and only hurt them from growing further. We can see this clearly with the recent vape crisis. Many honest, state licensed vape companies are now hurting because of all the fear and doubt caused from bad press about the damage counterfeit vape products are doing.
We want to restore peoples’ confidence in the products they buy and help these businesses grow and succeed. If consumers know they have access to authentic products, and the brands are able to curb the reputational and financial damage of counterfeiters, it’s a win-win for everyone.
3. Who might be most interested in using CannVerify? What’s the biggest challenge in the space right now, and how can you help with that?
We think those who would be most interested in using CannVerify right now would be those more established, recognized brands that are currently facing counterfeiting. Vape companies would especially be interested in light of the recent vape crisis.
But really, it comes down to any brand that cares about protecting their reputation AND their customers, whether you’re being counterfeit or not. Not all of our partners face counterfeiting issues, but the one thing they all have in common is the genuine desire to be transparent with their customers and to protect the brands they’ve worked hard to build.
We think one of the biggest challenges in this space is regulation, including the high taxes, fees and strict packaging requirements for companies to operate. Slim profit margins and regulation uncertainty make many companies hesitant to adopt new products or technology, even if it would benefit them or the industry greatly as a whole. One of our goals right now is to create a solution to help reduce the amount of cost and time involved in the packaging process for these companies, while still being compliant.
4. Any big achievements? What have you found most rewarding?
We currently have over 90 brands using our system, and this past October, we hit over 1,000,000 products protected by CannVerify in the market. We recently implemented live lab results. The COA’s are directly pulled from the labs’ servers so they cannot be altered or tampered with. This adds another layer of verification. We also began integration with seed to sale software for a complete closed loop system.
One of the most rewarding things has been the fact that we, two brothers who grew up in LA as medical patients, are now on the other side of things, helping shape the industry standard. The fact that we’ve had an impact in the fight against counterfeiting, in such a short amount of time, is still a bit surreal. We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished so far and of what we have coming up.
5. Where do you see yourselves in five years?
We see ourselves as an industry standard, leading the mission for keeping integrity and transparency in the evolving space. We see ourselves as an open book that will continue to look for ways to develop new and innovative tools to combat counterfeiting and build consumer connection.