The cannabis community faces unique challenges in its “business” activities. Although the majority of states in the United States have legalized or decriminalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, it still remains illegal at the federal level, creating a number of problems for the industry.
The legal problem of marijuana
Marijuana dispensaries and retailers do not have access to banking services. They cannot provide a payment terminal; they cannot make a bank transfer to wholesalers. And that creates a lot of problems, first of all, related to security. Eight out of ten dispensaries have had at least one attempted robbery because everyone knows very well that there is cash on site. Federal courts are not competent to solve issues for the cannabis industry because, at the federal level, it is still an illegal matter to trade such things. If you send money to a supplier and they do not deliver your goods, you cannot sue them.
Similarly, the cannabis industry faces online advertising problems: it cannot do business with online traffic providers like Facebook and Google, and therefore the purchase of targeted traffic is a significant problem. Moreover, the cannabis industry does not have access to loyalty programs, which is a very important marketing tool in North America.
The online community favours the blockchain solution
Four years ago, the Toronto-based CannaSOS started to find a solution in order to triumph over some of these issues, and its website has turned out to be a clearinghouse for the cannabis industry. The platform they have developed already has almost 1,000 professional pages; more than 315,000 registered cannabis buyers; a 4,800+ marijuana strain database; 200+ social groups; 8,500+ user strain reviews; over 3,200,000 strain page views; 2380 posted advice Q/A; 3700+ posted articles; and much more.
Wanting to set up a form of cryptocurrency, the company launched a first ICO in presale from November 25, 2017. The cryptocurrency, Perkscoin Token (PCT), will serve numerous functions.
CTO and blockchain developer of CannaSOS, Andrey Shevtsov, gave more details about the reasoning behind the project:
“When we designed a system for the cannabis industry, we recognized that the majority of people in this industry are either far from using cryptocurrencies at all, or are unfamiliar with them and don’t consider them to be a convenient means of payment. Price volatility is also a problem: imagine that all day you’ve been accepting payments in bitcoin at a high exchange rate, by evening it’s fallen, and you need to make some purchases. Such a big spread creates a problem, and we solve it by creating a payment interface with a fixed token price tied to the dollar.”
According to the project’s white paper, CannaSOS is “employing decentralized blockchain technology to design and implement a transaction platform operating on an autonomous utility token, the PerksCoin Token (PCT), as a primary transaction medium. PCT tokens holders will be able to buy and sell PerksCoin tokens, use PCT tokens to buy and sell products/services within participating business network using the PCT-based transaction platform.”