US cryptocurrency developer First Bitcoin Capital (FBC) has partnered with a merchant processor to enable bitcoin payments for medicinal cannabis at point-of-sale.
‘Completely Sanctioned’ Cannabis Sales For Cali and Oregon
The scheme, finalized for California and Oregon with further states to follow, is “the first completely sanctioned credit card solution for the Marijuana Industry,” the company states in a press release issued on October 27.
The identity of the merchant processor is unknown at press time, but operates as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and “unlike most merchants… accepts and fully acknowledges. . .engagement with State licensed legal [Marijuana] Dispensaries,” FBC explains.
With the de facto legalization of many forms of cannabis in several US states in 2016, revenues from sales have topped $5 billion, a figure FBC suggests is likely only to grow next year.
“These changes are helping the medical cannabis industry to prosper now that federal policies allow dispensaries to sell, grow, or possess cannabis while compliant with state laws,” the release continues.
Further expansion to other states will depend on “legal opinions” given by the merchant processor.
“[FBC] will only provide these services where federal policies allow our business model to proceed for dispensaries that are fully compliant with state and country laws, rules and regulations,” it adds.
California’s Blockchain and Green Legislation
The increasingly relaxed environment in the US surrounding cannabis has gone hand in hand with the advantages offered by blockchain technology. Earlier this month, a dozen medicinal growers announced a scheme with Medicinal Genomics to track plant strains on the blockchain to monitor the quality of the market product.
US election day, meanwhile, could mark a further turning point for marijuana — particularly in California. November 8 will see a vote on legalizing recreational use of the drug beyond prescribed medical use, and is widely forecast to be successful.
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) would allow anyone over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce and cultivate up to six plants at home.
“If we’re successful, it’s the beginning of the end of the war on marijuana,” lieutenant governor of California Gavin Newsom commented to the New York Times this week.
“If California moves, it will put more pressure on Mexico and Latin America writ large to reignite a debate on legalization there.”
Meanwhile, the FBC has a long-term goal of providing a complete package for the fledgling industry using standards compliant with all relevant state laws.
“[The] company can now provide financial services not typically available from conventional banks,” it adds.
What do you think about the current state of the cannabis industry in California and Oregon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, First Bitcoin Capital.
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