The following is an excerpt from LEIGH CUEN | July 15, 2017 | ibtimes.com |
The cannabis industry is booming in more than two dozen states with medical marijuana laws and a handful that also legalized recreational use, including Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Nevada’s newly approved cannabis industry already has a weed shortage after just two weeks of operation. Demand quickly outpaced supply.
Peter Klamka, CEO of Bitcoin Direct LLC in Nevada, told International Business Times cannabis entrepreneurs are flocking to his door with questions about how to incorporate bitcoin into their businesses, from edibles manufacturing to growers and dispensaries. “I could spend all day talking to marijuana guys,” Klamka said. “It [bitcoin] would solve a lot of their cash problems.”
Cryptocurrency could help heavily regulated weed markets bypass the old school banks still making business decisions based on social stigmas.
Although some reports estimate the legal cannabis industry is worth up to $10 billion, raking in $2 billion in California alone in 2016, banks and fintech platforms like Paypal routinely discriminate against cannabis and hemp businesses. The Associated Press reported even low-level cannabis industry employees in Oregon have been denied loans when trying to buy cars. So sellers are often forced to operate mostly in cash, which creates issues with security, accounting and storage, just to name a few.
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