Yes, this is a sensationalist headline, but we figured we would pre-empt the “Bitcoin-drug dealers” narrative here before someone else ran with it.
On Reddit today, the founders of Cannabit Seeds announced the launch of their online store. The site — owned by a Canadian company but registered as a .co.uk domain until the .com can be purchased in crypto-currency — sells cannabis seeds online, ships worldwide, and intends to become a 100% crypto-currency operator.
“We have decided to try and run without any fiat input,” /u/cannabitseeds wrote. “I have four Radeon 7950s that have been mining for the past eight months beneath my desk, and they are our budget. We bought our hosting, we bought our domain, we bought our SSL certificate all with bitcoins mined beneath our desk (well, we mine on a multipool and convert to BTC).
“Now, our advertising budget is what we have left from mining/what we will mine. We have also managed to convince our biggest distributor to accept Bitcoin, so our payments stay as crypto. We did not use BitPay or Coinbase or any other site which immediately converts to crypto.”
The company currently accepts Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Such a business compels scrutiny, and the shop’s owner was game to address some of those in the thread.
On going “full crypto”:
We already got our biggest distributor on board. A guy in their warehouse was pretty heavily into it and talked them into it.
On the legality of such an operation:
It is indeed above board; we already run two other non-crypto businesses in Canada. We are registered with CRA [Canada Revenue Agency] for tax purposes … . [W]e have a mailing address, we pay taxes, and we stick to all local laws.
A Little Context
Of course, one of the first sites that sold cannabis online, Silk Road, allowed users to buy the fully grown plant variety with Bitcoin and have it shipped protecting the customer by using pseudonyms. That ended poorly for many involved, allegedly or otherwise.
In the spirit of this past weekend’s anti-marijuana prohibitions 4/20 celebrations, though, it should be noted that many Canadians appear to increasingly favor the idea of decriminalized recreational marijuana consumption (Cannabit Seeds bills itself as a supplier of medical marijuana, but there is obviously no way to know buyer intent).
Vox.com also reported over the weekend a similar trend in Canada’s neighbor to the south.