Since the introduction of state-wide legal cannabis in the U.S., there has been a battle over legislation from the national government to the state level. Given that cannabis is considered a Schedule I narcotic by the federal government, it is extremely difficult for many marijuana businesses that operate legally within their state borders, to have access to regular services.
There are currently a large number of restrictions on the world of cannabis banking due to the aforementioned policy. Companies that reside in the U.S. in the cannabis industry have for some time now, been unable to have access to services such as banking and money transfer due to the fact that it is not nationally legalized. This means that businesses in the industry have had to deal solely in cash, going around normal business practices to ensure they stay open. Some have viewed this as a large opportunity due to the fact that it creates a large barrier to entry, but others are simply waiting for the legislation to change which many expect will occur soon.
The issue that comes into play is that when companies in the U.S. marijuana industry become large, they often are not able to sustain this type of business model. Many of these companies have had to work on finding alternative methods of running their businesses because cash can sometimes get out of hand when companies become large enough.
One of the companies that have been changing the space on cannabis is known as SinglePoint Inc (OTCQB:SING). The company states that it is a “technology and investment company with a focus on acquiring companies that will benefit from the injection of growth capital and technology integration.” Based out of Arizona, they are “aggressively seeking opportunities in the cannabis market,” according to their website. They have also recently announced that they “integrated bitcoin as a payment option. Customers can now use their credit or debit card at the counter instead of through a web-based app.” Often times, because this is a cash industry thus far, companies have to find a way around the legislation, usually resorting to third-party companies for payments. The integration by SING will hopefully help to open up the space in cannabis to those who do not wish to only pay with cash.
Next on the list is a company known as MassRoots Inc (OTCQB:MSRT). MassRoots provides a “service to help customers judge the efficacy of cannabis strains and products, thereby demonstrating its ability to provide technological solutions to the needs of the sector.” The company has also been working with blockchain technology to “explore how blockchain technology can be implemented in the cannabis industry.” For those who don’t know, blockchain is the decentralized ledger system that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies run on that allows for anonymous, secure transfer of money. MassRoots is also beginning to ‘“provide financial services for cannabis suppliers and their consumers.”
Last but not least is a company known as Glance Technologies Inc (OTCQB: GLNNF). Glance is another company that is working to change the space using blockchain technology as a way to pay for the product. The Vancouver based company stated that they are “another alternative approach to payment through its smartphone-based payment system.” Using smartphones as a way to pay is becoming the future, thus the interest and success of companies like Glance.
The marijuana industry is still very much in its infant stages, which means that there is a large amount of room to grow. The hopes are high that the future of cannabis will see the market continue to mature.
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