How Cryptocurrencies Will Expand the Cannabis Market
Whether or not you believe in cryptocurrency, the technology behind it is here to stay. Blockchain technology, you’ve almost certainly heard of it, will transform the way businesses operate over the next few years. And while it offers solutions to all businesses, the cannabis industry seems like a particularly good fit for applications of the technology.
What are Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain is the ledger-based system that fuels cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, and others. It allows for a decentralized system to maintain the authenticity and confidentiality of transaction records, using private keys. There are over 2,000 cryptocurrencies available, and the total price of all coins is $111 Billion at the time of this article. Bitcoin is the most popular and represents 53 percent of the entire market cap – the other big players on the crypto scene are Ripple and Ethereum.
These are the Most Popular Cannabis Cryptocurrencies
HempCoin is decentralized payment platform that supports the trillion-dollar agriculture industry worldwide with a special focus on Marijuana and Hemp. It specializes in the exchange between marijuana farmers and dispensaries. HempCoin aims to address the challenges of currency conversion and monetary transactions.
PotCoin is one of the most popular cannabis cryptocurrencies and was created in 2014 to address the financial limits placed on cannabis dispensaries. It is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency with the aim of becoming the standard form of payment for the legalized cannabis industry. PotCoin is available in over 800 crypto ATMs around the world.
CannabisCoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency which connects registered dispensaries and enables them to sell marijuana in States where it is legal. It is a Cannabis cryptocurrency to be used for medical marijuana points-of-sale. The idea behind CannabisCoin is to offer a simplified solution for dispensaries to record medical sales in order to comply with the regulations in the U.S.
ParagonCoin offers a banking alternative to cannabis businesses. The project uses Paragon Coin to facilitate payments and fund transfers within the network. The platform offers a seed-to-sale solution so businesses can track the source of the final product sold to customers. Each stage in the supply chain is recorded by responsible parties like growers, manufacturers, transporters, and scientists testing the product in labs.
How Can Cryptocurrency Specifically Help the Cannabis industry?
There are obvious difficulties of managing a complicated supply cash-only chain. There are a series of transactions among suppliers, cannabis businesses, growers, retailers and transporters. On top of buying everything in cash, they also have to license, lab test, and track goods. This requires adhering to complex city and state-specific regulations. All those obstacles could be facilitated with cannabis cryptocurrency. For example, the blockchain framework can function as a record of any series of supply chain transactions. It allows for “smart contracts” which helps move goods between vendors while a ledger stores information about a product in each stage of its journey. This would be especially useful for adhering to compliance and regulatory standards.
Additionally, a decentralized digital currency would solve the legality issues that dispensaries run into around payments. Since blockchain is not ‘owned’ by a bank that could be accused of money laundering for accepting cannabis money, it can process cannabis transactions in cryptocurrency. An advancement that would open up online transactions as well.
What Does this mean for the Cannabis Job Market?
Generally, more business means more jobs. If electronic payments were accepted for cannabis products, it will lead to more revenue and industry expansion. Everyone from budtenders to directors will be needed.
Specifically, these are the jobs that would likely be in demand:
- IT and Developer Positions – people who can integrate the technology with the businesses using them
- Transportation and Logistics Positions – Blockchain technology will help with supply chain management, but oversight will still be needed
- Compliance and Regulatory Positions – New compliance protocols will need to be established by those familiar with the technology
If you currently have expertise in these areas, you are set up well for the future of the cannabis industry.