Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?

Gowling WLG | Shaela W. Rae | October 17 2018

coins being watered - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?Black market. Dark web. Illicit. Underground market. Illegitimate. Illegal. Organized crime. All words used to describe the illegal cannabis industry, until October 17, 2018 that is. Once it is legal to buy, possess or use cannabis for recreational purposes the discussion around the use of cannabis and how to procure it changes from hushed words in a corner to an open conversation in public. But is the public ready to embrace a substance that has been seen as illegitimate and "bad" for so long? If the experience in the US can be relied upon, the answer is "yes".

According to investment bank Cowen & Co., the cannabis industry is expected to reach sales of approximately US$75-billion by 2030, up from US$6-billion in 2016, as the drug is more socially accepted. In the US today cannabis is illegal on a federal level as it is classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic, but cannabis is legal in 30 states for medicinal purposes, and in 9 states and Washington, DC, for recreational use for adults over the age of 21.

See:  Canabis Company True Leaf Raises $14 Million in Cross Border US – Canada Crowdfunding Offer

Some Canadians' views on cannabis seem to be similar to the views on alcohol during the prohibition era in the United States. For example, in the prohibition era people used slang terminology to describe alcohol, similarly how the terms, "weed", "pot" and "dope" have been used to describe cannabis. Alcohol was attributed as a cause of moral decay and criminal activity. Academics have debated whether alcohol caused an increased criminal activity during that era, as well as whether there actually was an increase in crime or rather just a perception of an increase in crime. Some cannabis anti-legalization protestors believe that the cannabis industry is surrounded by crime since they view cannabis as a gateway drug that will lead to illegal drug use and illegal activities.

The question is, how can the cannabis industry gain more transparency and legitimacy? While legislation and regulation is turning an illegal industry into a legitimate one, blockchain technology may be able to help. Health Canada's tracking system is designed to track the plant from where it is grown to where it is sold to prevent legal cannabis from being diverted to the illegal market. While the tracking system is not based on blockchain technology, blockchain may be one technology that could help cannabis companies comply with the legislative reporting requirements.

Like cannabis, the blockchain industry has also suffered from a stigma, often arising from a fundamental misunderstanding of how the technology works, paired with a conflation of concepts and terminology such as blockchain, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies and anonymous buyers are often found in the same sentence as dark-web markets and illicit activity. Given this narrative, the natural inclination is to assume that partnerships between the cannabis and crypto worlds are a recipe for bad news in a domain that requires more transparency, not less. But there is a major flaw in this line of thinking, and here it is in simple terms: crypto ≠ blockchain ≠ Bitcoin. Just because some bad guys use cryptocurrency to do bad things, doesn't mean it is inherently evil. If that were case, we would have to conclude that money in general is inherently evil.

See:  U.S. pot industry: High tech, high finance, and high times

Blockchain, a general term for the distributed ledger technology upon which cryptocurrencies such as the popular Bitcoin (one type of cryptocurrency out of hundreds) are built, is completely legal, completely legitimate, and in fact, may be considered one of the most important technological innovations of the past decade. Blockchain offers a new way to store and record data in such a way that its accuracy is constantly confirmed by all stakeholders, and transactions are able to take place automatically and instantly. In theory, what makes blockchain so valuable is that its inherent design structure makes it an immutable, accurate record of transactions that is virtually tamper-proof.

What does this mean for the cannabis sector? Despite the legalization of recreational-use marijuana on the horizon in Canada, many major financial institutions still won't touch the cannabis industry, leaving players in that world to rely mostly on untraceable cash transactions. What better way to introduce security and transparency into the cannabis sector than by integrating payment platforms based on blockchain technology?

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match? The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Latest news - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?FF Logo 400 v3 - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?community social impact - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?

PATIO TIME! Join the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada, Spaces, Gowling WLG, LoanConnect, United Craft, Highlander Brew, partners and Canada's leading Fintech & Funding community in the heart of trendy Queen West for a celebratory night and prime networking mixer. Interested in disrupting the finance industry, raising capital or participating in Canada’s growing alternative investing and fintech sectors? Here's a perfect opportunity to connect with emerging fintech, blockchain, crypto, AI, stealth and marketplace startups and experts, strategize with partners, pitch investors and mingle with Toronto’s burgeoning fintech ecosystem. ANNUAL SUMMER KICKOFF EVENT Date:  THURSDAY, JULY 11, 2019 When:  Registration opens 5:30PM to 9PM+ Venue:  SPACES, 7th Floor Loft & Rooftop Patio Where:  180 John Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1X5 TICKETS - GET'M BEFORE THEY'RE GONE! $25 Early; $35 Standard; $50 Late All tickets include entrance to private event, drinks, food, lots of fun and prime networking Taxes and fees extra. No refunds after Jul 4. Ticket transfers ok. If it rains, we're covered literally inside. Checkout photos from last year's Summer networking event here and the year prior here This event is for all innovative companies raising capital AND the Fintech, Blockchain, AI and Alternative Investing Community Innovators ...
Read More
NCFA Summer Kickoff Event Jul 11 v2 1000 - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
Globe and Mail | Sean Silcoff | June 11, 2019 Toronto accounting software firm Wave Financial Inc. has been purchased by tax services giant H&R Block, Inc. for US$405-million. It’s the latest in a string of “exits” – takeovers or initial public offerings – of venture-backed Canadian firms this year that have commanded relatively large valuations by historic standards, a sign that Canada’s surging early-stage tech sector is maturing. “Exits [valuing firms] at $50-million to $100-million were the norm in Canada in the early 2000s and $100-million to $200-million earlier this decade,” said Peter Misek, a member of the Wave board. “For the successful companies now in Canada, $500 million-plus is what entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are shooting for.” The Wave takeover is one of three deals this year to rank among the seven largest exits since the dot-com crash, according to data compiled by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). Montreal-based retail software provider Lightspeed POS Inc., went public in March at a valuation exceeding $1-billion, while Intelex Technologies Inc., a seller of environmental, health, quality and safety auditing software, agreed last week to a takeover by Pittsburgh’s Industrial Scientific Corp. for US$570-million See:  To Support Disruptive Technologies, Take ...
Read More
Wave CEO and Co founder Kirk Simpson - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
3iQ | Fred Pye | June 12, 2019 We sincerely thank the Canadian digital asset industry for their support at our public hearing last week with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The hearing room was at fu LLP, for their continuous support and tremendous performance through the entire hearing process. Since 2016, 3iQ Corp. (3iQ) has been working to bring a public bitcoin fund to market for Canadian retail investors. 3iQ chose to proceed “through the front door” with the OSC to ensure that The Bitcoin Fund addressed all of the regulatory concerns raised by OSC Staff. At the hearing, 3iQ submitted compelling evidence to prove that the custody, pricing and audit of The Bitcoin Fund could be performed in compliance with National Instrument 81-102 and other applicable securities law governing retail investment funds in Ontario. OSC Staff arguments relating to the Bitcoin Fund “not being in the public interest” of Canadians were addressed and 3iQ believes we presented a strong case that the time for this product and structure is now. 3iQ entered into evidence that a cryptoasset custodian which is regulated as a trust company by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) affirmed that it ...
Read More
3iQ bitcoin fund - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
CBC Sports | Devin Heroux | June 14, 2019 Led by the stoic Kawhi Leonard, team sheds years of disappointment with 1st NBA championship There's no more wondering what might have been. No more talking about missed shots or missed opportunities. No more heartbreak. Not this time. Not this team. The Toronto Raptors are on top of the basketball world, 24 years in the making. For the first time in the team's history, the Toronto Raptors are NBA champions. Led by the King of the North, Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors 114-110 and silenced the hostile Oracle Arena crowd to take the basketball crown away from the back-to-back defending champions. It was Toronto's 106th playoff game in team history. It was Toronto's 106th game of the season. They won the Finals in six games. Now the Larry O'Brien championship trophy is heading to "The 6ix." "I can't really think right now, this is crazy. This is awesome man," said Toronto guard Kyle Lowry. "Toronto! Canada! We brought it home baby! We brought it home!" Leonard became just the third player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP with two different teams – joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and ...
Read More
raptors 2019 nba champions - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
CSA | June 13, 2019 Montreal – The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) today released two publications: the CSA Business Plan 2016-2019 Achievement Highlights and the CSA Business Plan 2019-2022. Both documents demonstrate the CSA’s commitment to investor protection, fostering fair and efficient capital markets, reducing risks to market integrity, streamlining regulation and effective enforcement. The CSA Business Plan 2019-2022 sets out the priorities of its members over the course of the next three-year period. This new plan re-affirms the CSA’s commitment to responsive and harmonized regulation at the national level and alignment with international standards, where appropriate. The CSA members have highlighted forty initiatives that continue to address industry participants’ needs and promote market integrity and investor confidence in Canada’s capital markets. The new business plan includes projects such as the elimination of undue regulatory burden and the streamlining of regulatory requirements without reducing investor protection or impeding the efficient functioning of capital markets. It also includes projects to better manage the impact of new and emerging technologies and communication tools on Canadian capital markets. “The initiatives outlined in the 2016-2019 Achievement Highlights demonstrate the collaborative efforts of CSA members to successfully deliver on our objectives. Many of these initiatives, both completed ...
Read More
CSA business plans and priorities regulation - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
Betakit | Isabelle Kirkwood | June 13, 2019 Montreal-based SmartHalo, a smart biking device developer, has successfully crowdfunded $1 million for the second generation of its product on Kickstarter. “It made sense to return to Kickstarter after the success of the first SmartHalo campaign,” the company wrote on its Kickstarter page. “It’s a great platform for us to share our vision and receive the support needed to bring it to life. Crowdfunding allows us to give back to our community by giving our fans the opportunity to get the new SmartHalo first and at a discounted price. It’s a winning solution for everyone.” SmartHalo2 is a connective device that allows riders to track cycling metrics, sync that data with fitness apps, and find new routes with navigation signals. It is water-resistant and comes fitted with an anti-theft alarm and a front light. Arguably its most recognizable new feature is PeekDisplay, which complements the product’s Halo display to provide more visible information to the rider. “We see a huge opportunity in cycling. Not necessarily for sports, but for mobility,” said Xavier Peich, CEO and co-founder of SmartHalo. “Cities are investing in better infrastructure, while increasingly limiting car access and parking to ...
Read More
smart halo 300x198 - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
FrontFundr | Peter-Paul Van Hoeken | June 12, 2019 Traditionally, only a small group of investors, angel investors and other venture capitalists, have had access to investment opportunities in startups and growth companies. The public has been locked out from investing in startups. Investments in early-stage companies are typically high-risk. That is why early-stage investors typically invest in a portfolio of at least 10-20 companies.  Those companies that are successful will realize exponential - ‘hockeystick’- growth and deliver huge returns for investors. The success of these companies can usually be attributed to the general public buying products and services from these companies. The same public that has had no access to investing in these companies and share in their success. The public has been locked out from investing in startups. Digital technology has been a significant enabler in creating online market places, such as Amazon and Shopify. These market places have dramatically increased access to products and services for every consumer and aggregated demand and supply supporting efficient price discovery that benefits all market participants. See:  [Report] A New North Star: Canadian Competitiveness in an Intangibles Economy Why not apply the same digital technologies to connect private companies with the ...
Read More
public seat at table 300x172 - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
Net Imperative | June 12, 2019 Blockchain and video games are the most lucrative industries for crowdfunding projects, getting million of pounds in funding for popular projects, according to new research in Europe. A new study by SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk uncovers the sectors and countries where the introduction of the alternative finance marketplace is being felt the most, and the current value of the industry. Key Findings: • Blockchain and Video Games Named The Most Lucrative Industries For Crowdfunding – 31 Blockchain crowdfunding projects averaged funding of over $177 million, whilst the Video Game sector that has seen the most projects to exceed $1 million, with 38 in total. • 3D Printing, Wearable Tech, and Software – All make the top 10 most successful crowdfunded industries and have a combined total funding of $17.1 million • The UK Is Paving The Way – $20 billion of alternative finance funds has been raised, this is over double the volume of all other countries combined. See:  Architecting a New World: Investment Crowdfunding and Digital Assets In recent years, Alternative Finance funding channels that exist outside of the traditional finance system have revolutionised how small and medium enterprises are able to operate. The rapid growth ...
Read More
lending landscape - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
BlockX Labs | Laura Marissa Cullell | June 11, 2019 Can technology progress human rights? Provide humanitarian aid? Help combat Climate Change? Address issues of identity, trafficking, and provide access to food? The answer to these questions is potentially yes! Blockchain is a fantastic space to explore these issues right now. For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on my thesis on Blockchain, Human Rights and International Law for the U.N. Mandated University for Peace. I have had the chance to learn about a plethora of innovative projects, pilots, and ideas that human rights activists are currently working on to make the world a better place. Is it lucrative? Not always. But it does help make a tangible difference. For those that are unfamiliar, in 2015, all 193 members of the United Nations unanimously passed a resolution implementing a 15-year plan of achieving 17 Sustainable Development, global goals by 2030 (SDGs). Each of these goals has targets to achieve, totalling 169 different targets. The SDGs cover a broad range of social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water, sanitation, energy, environment, and social justice. See:  UNICEF Australia’s ‘The Hopepage’ Uses Crypto Mining ...
Read More
UN SDGs - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?
Forbes | John Koetsier | June 4, 2019 It's obvious that artificial intelligence is already impacting the way we live. Every time we ask Siri to do basic math or Alexa to turn up the heat, we're using AI. But it's unclear how AI is going to disrupt the way we work. One thing we  do know: it will cost jobs. Estimates range from 40 percent of all jobs that exist today to a perhaps less credible 99 percent of all jobs as we currently know them. But even as AI, with automation and robotics, destroys jobs, it should create new ones as well. That might be scant comfort for the tens of millions of workers whose jobs are likely to be eliminated, but it  does give us hope that as a society, we'll survive the massive change that is coming. Some white collar workers feel safe. See:  Technology is the ‘most profound force bearing down’ on big banks, ex-Barclays boss says After all, they don't drive a truck that could go self-driving. They don't operate a machine that could be a smart robot in five to ten years. But white collar workers are no less at risk of disruption than blue-collar ...
Read More
AI and jobs - Cannabis & blockchain: Bad romance or a perfect match?