Paragon Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtNovember 16, 2018
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5min13660

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it has reached settlements with two companies that sold digital tokens in initial coin offerings or ICO’s. Cannabis-related company Paragon Coin was one of the businesses investigated by the SEC.

The SEC said that Paragon raised approximately $12 million worth of digital assets to develop and implement its business plan to add blockchain technology to the cannabis industry and work toward legalization of cannabis. The SEC statement wrote that Paragon did not register its ICO pursuant to the federal securities laws, nor did it qualify for an exemption to the registration requirements.

“We have made it clear that companies that issue securities through ICOs are required to comply with existing statutes and rules governing the registration of securities,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.  “These cases tell those who are considering taking similar actions that we continue to be on the lookout for violations of the federal securities laws with respect to digital assets.”

Paragon faces a $250,000 penalty and must compensate the investors. They must register the tokens as securities and file periodic reports with the SEC. “By providing investors who purchased securities in these ICOs with the opportunity to be reimbursed and having the issuers register their tokens with the SEC, these orders provide a model for companies that have issued tokens in ICOs and seek to comply with the federal securities laws,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

Paragon’s CEO Jessica Ver Steeg would not comment on the settlement. However, it was well known that the money raised from the ICO was used to acquire a building in order to create a co-working space for cannabis startups in Los Angeles, called Paragon Space.

Paragon faced a lawsuit not long after the ICO. The lawsuit stated that approximately between August 15, 2017, through October 16, 2017, the defendants raised at least $70 million in digital cryptocurrencies by offering and selling unregistered securities in direct violation of the Securities Act. It also stated that on November 2, 2017,  Paragon ICO investors received an email updating them that during the Paragon ICO “crowd sale” they had collected 533 BTC and 8,092 ETH— worth approximately $7.3 million and $10.2 million, respectively, as of January 12, 2018. Unfortunately, these amounts did not include any of the cryptocurrencies they collected during the Paragon ICO “presale.”

At the time Ver Steeg said, “Paragon is dedicated to staying compliant with all applicable laws, and endeavored to do so throughout the entire ICO process. As U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton recently stated, “there are cryptocurrencies that do not appear to be securities,” and whether an initial coin offering implicates the securities laws “depends on the facts.” We are confident that the ParagonCoin token is not a security and can prove so in a court of law.” Apparently, the SEC disagreed.

In order to reimburse the investors, it will need to somehow retrieve the tokens from the market, make the investors whole and then reregister the tokens as securities. A daunting task to be sure.

Paragon’s case follows the SEC’s first non-fraud ICO registration case, Munchee, Inc.  The Commission did not impose a penalty or include undertakings from Munchee, which stopped its offering before delivering any tokens and promptly returned proceeds to investors.

Blockchain

Paragon is moving forward with its ParagonChain, based on smart-contract interaction with the Ethereum blockchain. The company said it would begin to roll out user interfaces for different aspects of the supply chain, for both cannabis businesses and consumers. Paragon said it has entered into agreements with several major cannabis companies who are expected to start using ParagonChain for their day-to-day operations as early as December, including Dreamfields, Fundanna, Flux, Oakland Distribution, Pearl Pharma, Mammoth Labs, and THC Design (TBD).

 

 

 

 

 


StaffStaffNovember 16, 2018
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11min18810

Resolution gives the PRG token and other ICOs a path to full compliance with U.S. securities laws

Los Angeles, CA, November 16, 2018 /AxisWire/ “Paragon is making history! We’re excited to announce an important settlement we’ve been working on for over a year — a very positive agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that will effectively put an end to the uncertainties of the legal status of our PRG tokens,” said Jessica VerSteeg, CEO of Paragon.  “Working shoulder to shoulder with an amazing team of lawyers from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, as well as an extremely knowledgeable team at the SEC, we have been able to reach this trailblazing deal that we expect will serve as the model for compliance for ICOs going forward.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Paragon will be given the opportunity to pursue registration of the PRG tokens as a class of securities under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by filing a Form 10, and will also be issuing a claims form allowing certain eligible ICO purchasers to elect to obtain a payment for purchases of PRG tokens before and including October 15, 2017.  The settlement also provides for the payment of a monetary penalty to the SEC.

“This resolution with the SEC gives Paragon the path forward to full compliance with the U.S. securities laws and clears the way for Paragon to pursue its vision of bringing transparency and accountability to the cannabis industry through blockchain technology.  Paragon is proud that the PRG token is included in today’s action by the SEC and are thereby being granted the opportunity to avail itself of this groundbreaking path forward while continuing to pioneer efforts and to participate in the ever evolving ICO marketplace,” said Ms. VerSteeg, CEO of Paragon.  “We believe many purchasers of PRG tokens share our vision of revolutionizing the cannabis industry through blockchain technology, and this action today is an important step in solidifying our compliance and furthering developments of our state-of-the-art cannabis seed-to-sale technology platform and co-working space.”

2018 has been an exciting year for Paragon: we’ve purchased, rebuilt, and launched ParagonSpace—a first-of-its-kind co-working space for cannabis startups in Los Angeles, California, the world’s capital of the “Green Rush.” In the heart of Hollywood, industry leaders are meeting, working, and hosting events to educate, support, and strengthen the community. Over the last few months a variety of companies have become tenants at ParagonSpace, and the energy and excitement generated in this innovation incubator is helping fuel the continuing growth and acceptance of the cannabis industry.

Paragon has also made significant advances in our software solution development. The core elements of ParagonChain are ready, based on smart-contract interaction with the Ethereum blockchain. Soon we’ll begin to roll out user interfaces for different aspects of the supply chain, for both cannabis businesses and consumers. Paragon has entered into agreements with several major cannabis companies who are expected to start using ParagonChain for their day-to-day operations as early as December, including: Dreamfields, Fundanna, Flux, Oakland Distribution, Pearl Pharma, and Mammoth Labs. As for the mobile app, Paragon has launched Phase 1, with the first functionalities including the official PRG wallet and ParagonSpace member portal. As one of the first beta partners to implement Civic Technology’s secure login solutions, you can expect to see official ID verification online by the end of Q4.

Likewise, ParagonAccelerator is picking up speed: it is on the verge of announcing the first “startup” developed through its comprehensive business acceleration program.

 

This emerging company has joined the co-working space and has been utilizing Paragon’s vast network and internal / external resources, anticipating to officially launch next year. Paragon has been building out a partner network full of platforms, services, media, influencers, brands and products to help members grow and connect across the industry. Additionally, our offering includes marketing and PR support, and helping companies connect with legal and finance teams to navigate through the complications of the cannabis industry. Soon we’ll be announcing how we’re collaborating with other cannabis co-working spaces in the nation to bring members the utmost value by joining our community.

Paragon has been a topic of conversation across the cannabis industry, landing features in some of the top national publications. Q1 brought much anticipation for ParagonSpace with High Times announcing “In the City of Angels, the moment cannabis entrepreneurs have been waiting for is finally here.” The news quickly spread across DOPE, Leafly, and The Hollywood Reporter to name a few. Leading up to the official launch and opening, Paragon was also featured in Inc, Forbes, Bitcoin Magazine and Nasdaq, highlighting the innovation behind our technology developments. Since the official opening of ParagonSpace, and the live NBC airing of the launch event, the company has continued to make waves across both the media and cannabis industry alike. Over the past 6 months, we’ve proudly worked with some of today’s top brands, including MedMen, Daily High Club, Eaze, CannaRegs, CCTV, Merry Jane, DOPE, PROHBTD, Stone Road, Levo Oil, Greenbox Robotics, Lowell Herb Co, Atlas Ediles, Green Helix, and Kiskanu, to name a few. Before the end of Q4, you can expect to see more updates and announcements surrounding Paragon’s partnerships, blockchain seed-to-sale technology, co-working space developments, and overall business expansion.

About Paragon

Paragon seeks to pull the cannabis community from marginalized to mainstream by building blockchain into every step of the cannabis industry and working toward full legalization.  Our strength lies in the unique blockchain/cannabis connection that uses smart contracts. We believe in blockchain, and we believe in the benefits of cannabis. More uses of cannabis are coming to light, and we want to accelerate that process.  We believe cannabis is good for individuals and good for countries. We are passionate about moving forward in an ethical, morally responsible, and legal way. To learn more about Paragon, visit https://paragoncoin.com/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/paragoncoin.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements of the Company that involve substantial risks and uncertainties.  All statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements.  Forward looking statements can be identified by the use of the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” and similar expressions.  The forward-looking statements in this press release represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while it may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it has no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law.  You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

 


StaffStaffNovember 16, 2018
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3min5430

Cannabis office space connects industry leaders while providing resources to grow businesses and further the legal industry.

LOS ANGELES, CA – November 16th, 2018 /AxisWire/Paragon, the leading blockchain technology platform focused on bringing transparency to the cannabis industry, has experienced a warm LA welcome since launching California’s first cannabis co-working space two months ago. With multiple companies working out of ParagonSpace as well as a full event schedule, the team has been busy working to help unite and educate the cannabis community.

The first event at ParagonSpace was the “Eat Yo Veggies” comedy night hosted by Abby Roberge. The sold–out show featured The Lucas Brothers, Morgan Jay, Ashley Barnhill, and Jamar Neighbors. Guests were treated to goodies provided by Green Helix and Fero. Shortly after, ParagonSpace hosted Daily High Club’s charitable Halloween event benefiting Dana Farmer Cancer Institute. The event attracted over 200 attendees including influencers Koala Puffs, MacDizzle, Queen Cyn, and SilencedHippie.

Southern California Cannabis Banking Investment Group has held recurring events at ParagonSpace that include investor brunches and presentations focused on tech, cannabis and investment. Additionally, Blunt Talks hosted their Ted Talk inspired presentations with speakers including Sherbinskis, Sam Zartoshty, Camie Cutter, Raj Chauhan and Paragon CEO Jessica VerSteeg. Blunt Talks featured local brands including Lizzy Tish Cookies, Soko, Rove, Wild Roots, Sonoma Pacific, Lit Club, Grow Studios and VapeXhale. This educational series has proven to be a valuable resource for the community.

Aligned with the opening of ParagonSpace is the phase 1 launch of the Paragon mobile App. Within the app users can access their PRG wallet to send and receive funds, and manage their ParagonSpace memberships. Whether you’re looking to book an office, conference room, or check out upcoming events, anyone is welcome to sign-up and become a Paragonian. Stay tuned for our upcoming developments, including the secure ID verification in partnership with Civic Technologies and updates surrounding the blockchain solution for seed-to-sale tracking.

The Paragon team has welcomed new hires Alice Moon, Brit June, Cami Cutter, and Richard Elena to accommodate the fast growth the company has experienced. Visit the Paragon website to learn more about the team.

Press Contact: Alice Moon // 818-877-5988 // alice@paragoncoin.com



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