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Due to harsh federal regulations, traditional banking institutions and credit card processing companies have been for years been unable to serve legal marijuana businesses, leaving cash as the only viable option.
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Thanks to the recent growth and developments in the cryptocurrency space, cannabis-related companies are beginning to have another option, allowing them to accept credit and debit cards just like any other retail business. This can increase the cannabis companies' sales, and increase patient accessibility.
Using coins like Ethereum to help the $5 billion cannabis industry accept mainstream electronic payments, there is a nascent opportunity for the alternative payment method providers to capture market-share while banks stay seated. The current market size aside, the legal marijuana industry in the United States is expected to hit $17 billion by 2021, which would be an over 300% increase in market value since 2016.
Related: Ethereum-Based Payment Processor Coming to Cannabis
In mid-August we covered a platform enabling cannabis consumers to pay for legal marijuana with credit and debit cards. Apart from allowing card payment at dispensaries, the platform also allows users to pre-purchase for quick pick-up over its app. This platform uses a new Ethereum-backed token, called GreenMed ("GRMD").
The GRMD pre-ICO sale began on September 4th, and there is officially one merchant to announce that they will be utilizing this for payments. Merchant acceptance of a cryptocurrency essentially determines its true value. While there are always speculators getting involved with the cryptocurrency space, but real merchant use is what gives them real value. ILoveGrowingMarijuana.com, the world's largest seed distributor, now says they will use GreenMed to process all of their orders.
Related: Blockchain is Coming to Assist the Cannabis Industry
The good thing for merchants is that if they're worried about GRMD conversion rate volatility, they will "have the option of automatic conversion to US dollars on receipt from the client."
Related: Cryptocurrency in Focus - What is HempCoin?
This ERC-20 Ethereum token-backed platform which allows users to purchase legal marijuana using their credit or debit cards is going to be a game-changer. Be sure to subscribe to one or more of our free e-mail newsletters so you never miss an important marijuana update. Also, don't forget to connect with The Daily Marijuana Observer on social media via Facebook, Twitter, StockTwits, and Instagram.