The newly launched cannabis industry token, The CanCoin, is developing an entire ecosystem around the token in a bid to revolutionise the European cannabis market.
The legal European cannabis market is estimated to reach $70bn by 2025, but the emerging industry still faces barriers that are hindering its full potential, such as financial institutions’ reluctance to serve domestic companies, traceability, privacy and costly operations. To add to the problem, despite changing legislation at national levels, there remains a lack of a harmonised regulatory framework across the continent.
Launched by leading DeFi advisory group Technicorum Holdings, specialising in digital assets, European crowdfunding expert Daniel Daboczy, as well as David Bonnier and Amaury de Poret, co-founders and investment managers of Enexis AB, The CanCoin sets itself apart as an innovative solution with high potential for this nascent industry.
A FinTech solution
The CanCoin’s white paper details how it aims to penetrate the market by offering tools to companies across the cannabis value chain, including track and trace solutions, a decentralised payment network, crowdfunding capabilities, secure patient data, NFTs, and a rapid coin adoption strategy.
CEO Daniel Daboczy said: “The coin itself is one product and then we also aim to solve certain issues in the industry. We want a lot of people in the industry to use the coin. So, right now – the pound, the euro, the dollar, the yuan, they are vertical coins – one purpose fits all and some people benefit a lot, for instance, financial institutions and banks, and some private citizens do not benefit at all by using a certain currency over the other. What a lot of people think is that the currency system, which is from the 1600s, is a bit obsolete at this point. There are a lot of people in vertical coins – real estate coins for the real estate industry, influencer coins for the influencer industry, cannabis coins for the cannabis industry. So, that is what we are aiming towards, but, it is not only people in the cannabis business that can use it, it could be used by anybody, as any cryptocurrency can be. So, it can be used for purchasing, traceability, or speculation, for example.
“If you look at the US, Amazon gift cards are the preferred currency right now in a lot of purchases, which is absurd. Then, you cannot transport money between states in the US, you cannot bank the cash. Those are major, major issues for the industry. Why go through all the hassle when you can pay through a cryptocurrency. Right now you could use Bitcoin in theory, or whichever cryptocurrency you can use already, but there are some problems with that.
“We want to create an industry token, and then eventually a blockchain, which also adds traceability and trust to the system, thus, eventually, leading to legislation. Legislation can only happen if governmental bodies and the legislative bodies feel that they can trust this. They will never approve some kind of a grey-zone, libertarian type of thing, but a proper FinTech solution is welcomed by many people.”
Alongside the coin, the blockchain that will be developed will allow for transparent and trustworthy documentation of any item, smart contracts, and will enable the replacement of paper trails. Customers will also be able to check information on their products such as origin, third-party testing and expiration date, for example.
Backed by experts
The CanCoin is supported by leading experts in DeFi, cannabis, finance and funding. Singapore-based Technicorum Holdings is one of the world’s leading crypto advisors, and Daboczy has a strong background in the FinTech industry, having co-founded the international crowdfunding platform FundedByMe. Additionally, team members David Bonnier and Amaury de Poret are the co-founders and investment managers of Enexis AB, one of the first cannabis investment companies in Europe. It also has a group of “secret” advisors who offer their expertise in blockchain and pharma.
“Our secret advisors are people who are giving us advice, especially on the blockchain bill, and we have advisors who are from the pharmacy industry in the EU,” said Daboczy. “These people are already giving us advice on how the pharmacy industry is working, and we have some people who understand the cannabis industry is growing, and they also understand that the crypto industry is growing. But, they can’t put the names there because their employer might frown or, because not everybody understands that you don’t have to be a cannabis smoker to do FinTech for the industry.”
Tech, media and Pharma expert Scott de Maercado was recently appointed to The CanCoin Advisory Board, which includes crypto expert and advisor Malcolm Tan, and cannabis industry expert, Jonas Saeed. The CanCoin is also collaborating with Massfluencer, a data-driven marketing company, Cryptologicals, crypto and financial marketing and content specialists, and Transform Group, a globally leading blockchain communications company.
“Our team has got several successful startups, and my platform helped over 650 companies successfully get fundraising. We have learned what works and doesn’t work, and having a clean and clear path is important,” added Daboczy.
“We understand how to build a company, how to work with the political parties and the legislative bodies, and how to build good tech and make sure that you have a user base, those three elements are very important for these products.”
Creating an ecosystem
As well as crowdfunding capabilities, payment solutions, DNA storage and patient data, The CanCoin will be creating Augmented Reality NFT’s, allowing users to grow their own cannabis plants and earn CanCoin.
Daboczy said: “The NFT industry truly exploded earlier this year, and it has mainly been artists, musicians and filmmakers who realised that Corona hit them really hard. My background is also in the art scene, I was curator for many years and I’ve done many successful exhibitions. NFT’s are basically an emancipator for the creative industry to do several things – to bypass gatekeepers, and to create different packaging solutions, for example.
“Right now, an artist has to sell a finished product, or a finished song or a finished art piece, decided by somebody else who can sell it. I would want to package an idea. So, our NFTs will serve several purposes – to engage people to see other values than just a coin and the other, which is very important, is gamification. Users will be able to work for our purposes – we give you certain tasks to fulfill, and we pay you coins once you reach them. It becomes almost like a simple app game, but with a purpose to engage. We want to add the gamified element to the art element.”
Revolutionising the industry
Daboczy says The CanCoin aims to become a central bank for the European Cannabis industry, and believes that the project has the scalability to succeed.
“We want to get to a point where the banks are allowing cash deposits or transactions in this field, which is currently a minefield. As soon as you change banks or you go from a major city to a smaller city – if you are working country by country or in a cross-border transaction, it is almost impossible to bank in this industry. Not everybody has good fortune with their banking system.
“So, we want to use the banking system, as much as possible. At the end of the day, if we do this correctly and if we succeed according to our ambitions and plans, we will become a central bank for this industry. We will have the tools, we will have the currency, we will have the technology, and we will have the establishment – that is our aim.
“The blockchain is one of the best inventions of the last decade. A blockchain has a purpose to show traceability. The first simplest traceability is patient traceability. The legislative bodies cannot legalise something that is not traceable. We believe that adding certain elements of traceability will add to the usage. Do I believe that the blockchain will solve any and every issue of the cannabis industry, most likely not. Will everybody be on this blockchain, most likely not. Not in the next years, but eventually, everybody’s got to be on it – I’m comparing crypto to the internet in 1996. Not everybody could grasp what it could become, or what it would become in 25 years.
“This is the same issue that we have here. Eventually, industry will catch up and eventually the tools established or demanded by the government bodies will be used. I think somebody has to do it right and I think we have the right background to do a proper and solid attempt. It’s all about doing it differently, better and a lot more scalable. A lot of the medical industry is digitalised or partially digitalised. The blockchain is even more advanced than the solutions we have in Sweden or the UK at this point.
“The blockchain industry is growing extremely fast and over the next 10 years is going to be atomic. It is the same with the legal cannabis industry and also the entire cannabis industry globally in the next seven years, major leaps will happen.”
The CanCoin is currently in the presale period with 22 August expected as the minting date. It is expected to list on a number of decentralised exchanges, starting with KingSwap, and will potentially list on at least one centralised exchange at the end of October.
Daboczy says The CanCoin may eventually be tethered to the Euro or the US dollar, as not everybody in the industry will want to use a volatile currency. The CanCoin will be making offerings and holding gamified events until the coin is listed, which Daboczy says will be at around 17 cent per coin.
Cannabis investment company to see UK and Europe growth
US cannabis investment company Thought Leaders has acquired UK CBD brand mellow.
US cannabis investment company Thought Leaders has acquired UK CBD brand mellow which will see the company accelerate its growth across the UK, Europe and Asia markets.
The $13.25m acquisition of mellow by Thought Leaders will also see the launch of the mellow brand into the US and will include mellow.store, the end-to-end e-commerce services Grow by mellow, along with 50 per cent of the recently announced mellow Asia.
mellow co-founders, Neil Tunbridge and James Storie-Pugh will remain at mellow as company heads looking at new investment opportunities for the group.
Pugh, commented: “We are excited to make today’s announcement and proud of our new partnership with Thought Leaders in the US.
“It’s such an exhilarating time for CBD and these developments put mellow in the pole position to steer success for our e-tail platform and our end-to-end e-Commerce services as well as mellow Asia. As a result, mellow as a company will be at the forefront of rapid market growth globally.”
Tunbridge added: “The cannabis industry is here to stay and more and more people are starting to embrace what is likely to be the single biggest driver of the health and wellness market over the next few years.
“The World Health Organization has recognised that CBD may have the potential to help with health issues such as sleep, insomnia to anxiety and pain.
“A paper published in the Journal of Cannabis Research, outlined the key reasons why people are turning to CBD. Anxiety, sleep problems, stress, pain and health and wellbeing came out as the most common reasons. Even the sporting world can see the advantages of CBD. The world Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances in 2017, and the Tokyo Olympics allowed athletes to use CBD during the competition. Sports stars and athletes are often drawn to CBD for anxiety, pain relief and healing.”
CEO of Thought Leaders, Mark Singleton, said: “mellow is a key component of Thought Leaders global growth strategy. It’s well curated assortment of industry leading CBD brands and products, consumer focused education and industry leading technology are an exciting addition to our portfolio.
“The anticipated launch of the mellow US marketplace will bring a world class CBD assortment to US consumers, providing variety and quality with accelerated revenues. James and Neil’s experience and leadership in CBD and direct-to-consumer strategies are a welcome and valuable addition to the growing Thought Leaders team.”
How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market
Canxchange looks at how COVID-19 has impacted the cannabis market.
The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world and all its markets. The cannabis market has also experienced rapid changes, some of which are going to last.
The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated some economic sectors. On the other hand, some industries have experienced growth. The cannabis industry is decidedly one of the latter.
There are now many well-documented changes within the cannabis market. However, it’s important to distinguish which changes are temporary and which are expected to be longer-lasting. So, let’s start with the most immediate effects.
From the moment lockdowns were announced in the US, the cannabis industry has taken off. Cannabis companies were declared essential services in most states. Sales increased, and alleged hoarding resulted in a huge increase in demand.
In 2020, when Massachusetts ordered that dispensaries closed, 1,300 medical marijuana patients were registered. There, and in other states like Colorado, attempts to close dispensaries resulted in erratic increases in sales. In fact, Denver’s mayor reversed a decision to close dispensaries over the health risks of the long lines that inevitably formed.
The immediate effects of COVID-19 on the cannabis market can be defined by the erratic behaviour the market experienced. This, of course, was due at least in part to the chaos of regulatory responses to the emerging pandemic. However, wherever threats to cannabis supply emerged, we witnessed fast spikes in demand, through the rapid increase in sales.
Cannabis ingestible: increased demand
In addition to changes in overall demand, the immediate effects of the pandemic saw changes in the cannabis products that people bought.
One of the more pronounced changes was an increase in cannabis ingestible. For the first while, vaped cannabis products, smoked flowers, and concentrates saw a demand reduction. In some locations, sales of non-ingestible cannabis products either flattened or fell. However, sales of ingestible products increased across the board.
This increase in demand for ingestible cannabis products is believed to be the result of fears over the clear respiratory effects of catching COVID-19. In addition, as family members and roommates were forced to shelter together, many avoided smoking or vaping.
Many consumers in the cannabis industry are health-conscious. The focus on maintaining good health and having a strong immune system is more pronounced amid the pandemic. This is driving all kinds of consumers to health products. CBD is the cannabis market product that is benefiting from this trend.
Overall, the health effects of most cannabis products aren’t yet fully understood. The recent legalisation of the market in the US and several other countries has opened them to far more research. But these developments are relatively recent.
Within the cannabis industry, CBD is uniquely suited to meeting consumer demands for health products. There are many promising studies on the potential health benefits of CBD consumption. It has been particularly well-studied for its part in reducing seizures, anxiety, and pain, and fighting some inflammatory conditions. Amid these discoveries, cannabis businesses have successfully marketed CBD separately, and as a health product.
The result of these developments is greatly increased online orders of CBD products. CBD has made its way into health food businesses and pharmacies across the US. This trend will likely continue.
Of course, some of the above changes are temporary in nature. Life during the era of COVID-19 lockdowns naturally pushes people, including cannabis product customers, to changed behaviours and subsequent consumer choices.
Many of the effects of COVID-19 on the cannabis market were temporary and will perhaps revert over time. However, some trends have taken place and are likely to last.
Value-based consumer choices
Health considerations will naturally change as everyone emerges from the pandemic and its effects. However, the economic impact of the pandemic will be longer-lasting. Some businesses simply cannot make it through, and the broader economic impact is clear. This is primarily due to economic uncertainty and high unemployment.
During the pandemic, cannabis businesses providing the highest-priced products of all types experienced reduced sales and high inventory. Competition between top-priced brands rose to a level some experts viewed as unsustainable. Consumers, meanwhile, have demonstrated higher regard for high-value purchases.
As we move forward and economic uncertainty and unemployment remain concerns, demand for low- and mid-priced cannabis products can be expected to remain high. It’s possible that even in the face of a better-than-expected recovery, consumers will remain more price-conscious than in the past.
Online sales and delivery
The boom surrounding online shopping and delivery was set in motion well before the pandemic started. Now that it’s been shot into overdrive, demand for cannabis products bought online and delivered to your door has increased further. Where cannabis delivery is legal (under state regulatory conditions), this increased demand is likely to stick.
Some cannabis businesses won’t recover (or won’t come back)
Cannabis businesses, while legal on the state level, are still illegal on the federal level. This renders them ineligible for federal recovery loan programs, including being barred from the Paycheck Protection Program. Without this assistance, cannabis companies are far more reliant on consumers for their survival. Naturally, those businesses that are starved for cash are unlikely to weather the pandemic and its longer-lasting effects.
Some cannabis businesses will excel
The pandemic and its economic consequences can be described as a massive economic disturbance. And while every such disturbance will destroy some businesses, they also open up new opportunities in the market.
Cannabis businesses with the cash savings to make it through these challenges are in a better position going forward. Of course, reacting properly to the changes in consumer demands is also key. Many of those changes in consumer demands were temporary, but some will stick for a long time. Reacting well to the dynamism of the situation will help some segments of this industry excel.
CBD products manufacturer acquired by Yooma Wellness
Yooma Wellness has acquired CBD wellness product manufacturer N8 Essentials.
Based in the US, N8 Essentials’ products incorporate CBD, cannabinoids and functional ingredients. The acquisition was completed through Yooma‘s wholly-owned subsidiary, Socati Corp. and is expected to be synergistic to Socati by adding downstream manufacturing capability to Yooma’s US-based CBD and wellness products business.
Lorne Abony, Chairman of Yooma, commented: “The acquisition of N8 serves to further Yooma’s mission to build a global CBD and wellness platform.
“This acquisition satisfies our objectives of increasing Yooma’s United States presence as well as achieving vertical integration by adding downstream manufacturing capabilities to Socati.”
The acquisition adds N8’s 14,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Kansas to Socati’s existing 22,000 square foot facility in Montana, and will reduce reliance on third-party co-manufacturing agreements, creating cost savings and improvements to production quality and consistency. Yooma says the acquisition also provides opportunities for future expansion.
“We are very pleased to be adding N8 to our global platform,” added Yooma CEO, Jordan Greenberg.
“Their expertise in manufacturing CBD products will have immediate strategic and accretive value to Socati’s existing business, and will increase our ability to satisfy the growing demand for high-quality wellness products in the United States and abroad.”
- European Medicines Agency gives cannabinoid medicine positive opinion
- Cannabis regulation changes across Switzerland and Luxembourg
- Cannabis investment company to see UK and Europe growth
- How COVID has and will continue to change the cannabis market
- Christina DiArcangelo: dedicated to revolutionising patient care