Digital Coins and Marijuana Industry Are A Match Made in Heaven
A Growing Marijuana Industry Amidst A Digital Age
Since it was first introduced in 2009, the Bitcoin or cryptocurrency has become an accepted mode of payment in the digital world. While its potential to supplant traditional banks is arguable, one thing that has always made it popular to its online users is the anonymity it provides. Unlike banking transactions where the user is required to input personal information, the digital trace of the alternative coin is tied to the blockchain, which brings us to the marijuana industry.
A Growing Marijuana Industry
As more and more people have loosened their negative perception regarding marijuana, the industry has grown leaps and bounds as a result. By the year 2027, people will be spending $57 billion a year on legal weed. You would think that level of demand would be towards medical use but the percentages are tilted toward recreational use, which accounts for 67% of the spending.
The United States will comprise of the majority of the sales of recreational marijuana unlike most countries around the globe which haven’t relaxed their laws outside medical marijuana use. Washington D.C. and nine other states have already approved local laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for people over the age of 21.
Meanwhile, 29 other states have legislation allowing the use of marijuana as long as the patient has a doctor’s prescription.
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Exploiting the Power of BitCoin
While marijuana dispensaries and cannabis clubs are licensed to sell pot in selected states in the US, there’s still a stigma involving in the use of marijuana and the storage of revenues derived from its sale. Unfortunately, users are strereotyped into a rather offensive term of a “pothead,” which is synonymous with a lazy and irresponsible individual.
This is where the anonymity offered by cryptocurrency will prove beneficial. Buyers get to protect their identities when buying cannabis at a dispensaries. While some cannabis clubs already offer cryptocurrency as a payment option, the use is not as widespread in the industry as one would like.
There’s also the issue of banks not wanting to be associated with the medical marijuana industry since the Controlled Substances Act still list marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, which means it has no accepted medical use and it’s highly addictive. Unless marijuana is delisted, banks will technically be violating the law in states where weed is illegal.
As a result, buyers will have to pay for their products with cash, which is quite inconvenient as they have to visit the dispensary in order to do so.
In fact, there are already digital currencies that are specifically designed to address the needs of the marijuana industry. They were built by a community effort of weed enthusiasts who want to protect their identity while pursuing their indulgence.
These cryptocurrencies are being put out on initial coin offerings to drive up demand and increase the value. For instance, you have Gana—which is based on the Ethereum platform—with around 2.4 billion coins in circulation. Ganja Token is another digital coin geared toward addressing the gap in the marijuana industry. Around 1 billion coins will be up for grabs. Other Potcoins include Pavo, GreenMed, Nezly, Herby, Nuvus, and SativaCoin, among others.
The good news for the marijuana industry is that the technology is there. Companies just need to play catch up to adopt cryptocurrency in the supply and delivery chain so that it will be fully integrated from seed-to-sale.
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