Digital asset market data firm Brave New Coin may soon be helping Nevada residents buy marijuana using crypto.
According to Brave New Coin, blockchain firm Multichain Ventures will be using the company’s data and pricing infrastructure to fulfill regulatory requirements for cannabis businesses in the U.S. state of Nevada. Recreational and medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada since 2016, but a bill introduced to the state’s legislature two years ago seeks for registered cannabis businesses to have a cashless payment system.
The bill says this measure is intended for regulators to "monitor and facilitate the financial transactions of marijuana establishments, medical marijuana establishments, consumers and holders of registry identification cards." In addition, a cashless system would "reduce the risk to the safety and welfare of the public," according to the bill.
Though the legislation does not specify payments must be in crypto, it does require the Nevada State Treasurer's Office to establish a pilot program for "closed-loop payment processing systems" for such businesses. Brave New Coin said that customers buying cannabis would soon be able to convert their cash into tokenized credits to make their purchases.
"Most business operators take traditional banking for granted, but the cannabis industry is cut off from most financial services in the U.S.," said Brave New Coin founder and CEO Fran Strajnar. "Operators have had to be particularly innovative when it comes to managing their cash."
In the U.S., medicinal and recreational cannabis is still illegal in many areas, as individual states often mandate laws independently of the federal government. "Green" sales across the country likely exceeded $20 billion in 2020, with Nevada's cannabis dispensaries reporting roughly $600 million in sales through the end of September 2020.
However, the plant is no stranger to blockchain technology. Firms across the world have been testing and deploying blockchain-based cannabis trackers to allow users to trace the supply chain from seed to store.