Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would explore “marijuana tracking technology” that can be added to the plant itself to allow law enforcement to trace a plant back to its grower. The bill would require a local cannabis research school to develop this marijuana-tracking technology, using either chemical agents, isotopes, nanotechnology, or other biological identifiers.

It could even implement a distributed ledger or blockchain to encrypt it. “The applied agent must contain identifiers that are traceable using distributed ledger technology to store records that can distinguish whether the marijuana is legal medical or retail marijuana or industrial hemp,” the bill reads.

The idea sounds straight out of a pothead conspiracy theorist manifesto—“The government wants to spray chemicals on our weed, man”—and not surprisingly, this proposed legislation has raised a few eyebrows. Some dispensary owners have called the bill, SB 18-029, “fucking crazy” while others have more eloquently expressed safety concerns over chemical agents added to herbs that are often smoked or ingested.

The Big Business of Making a Sativa Surveillance State The bill is ostensibly aimed at helping law enforcement identify weed cultivated from legitimate agriculturists, versus weed grown outside the system in the so-called “gray market, produced by unlicensed growers, which is often shipped outside the state. So far, the bill is vague on details—after all, the school, the Institute of Cannabis Research at Colorado State University-Pueblo, still needs to develop the technology.

But it would potentially address the state’s black market marijuana industry, which some believe is problematic. “We have a whole system, it works pretty darn well, it should be a model for the other states,” Lambert said, despite his personal opposition to legal marijuana. Read more from…

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