Accela has partnered with cloudPWR, an agile software development company, for managing cannabis patient data and ensuring HIPAA-compliance when toggling between recreational and medicinal cannabis users’ records. The program is designed to help states that have approved medical cannabis use. Through the partnership, Accela’s platform now includes cannabis licensing to enforcement to patient registry.
Governments and businesses alike face major legal and regulatory hurdles in navigating the shifting nascent cannabis landscape. Managing sensitive patient data for medicinal cannabis and maintaining compliance is one of the top concerns, especially in the age of massive data breaches that can endanger user privacy and hold states liable for mishaps. As recreational and medicinal cannabis legalization unfold side-by-side in many states, more complexities have inherently emerged for government departments and agencies in keeping patient data private while keeping up with unprecedented citizen access and demand.
Many comparable cannabis solutions that include licensing as well as track and trade systems have been plagued by security issues such as data leaks and non-compliant mixing of patient and non-patient data. CloudPWR was responsible for setting up the system for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board when the state legalized recreational use. CloudPWR also won a competitive process to make the medicinal application in Washington mirror that of what individuals use for recreational use. Since 2016, CloudPWR has been working with state officials in Washington and elsewhere through the Airlift technology platform to ensure that tracking, tracing and patient records are all kept in a secure and confidential environment.
“We had a system in place with a proven track record, which made us a fit for what Accela wanted to do,” explains Shad White, CEO of CloudPWR in an interview with CivSource. “Cannabis is a rapidly growing area for states and it’s important for them to be able to maintain the confidentiality of patient records, which can be challenging because Cannabis is both recreational and medicinal.”
As CivSource previously reported, Accela launched standalone administrative modules for cannabis on its government services platform in March of last year. Those modules provide support for licensing and permitting and grew out of the company’s work with Denver and California. By partnering with CloudPWR, Accela can now provide support for states that have approved medicinal use and need to maintain HIPPA compliance.
Through Airlift, licensed healthcare professionals and other authorized users are provided secure access for generating medical marijuana identification cards that are verified using Federal Drug Enforcement Agency and State health provider databases to confirm their required credentials for authorizing the use of controlled substances. It may also be accessed by other state agencies to support various aspects of business licensing traceability enforcement and policy regulation by state agencies.
“Our goal is to be a key part of the cannabis ecosystem,” says Greg Felix, Accela’s VP of Strategic Solutions. “Our platform is already in use by a significant number of state and local government agencies and offices. It only makes sense for us to expand our platform to include new sources of government revenue.”
Felix says that working with strategic partners that are focused on security is critical to Accela’s platform success. Many local governments have been targeted by cyber adversaries in recent months and it’s important to avoid opening up new avenues for attack. HIPPA compliance, specifically, requires an additional layer of security specialization. “What we’ve been able to do with our strategic partners is bring in expertise without sacrificing security compliance or technological flexibility and that’s very important for us.”
The new partnership is up and running with HIPPA compliant modules open to general availability on the Accela platform.