Cannabis software provider WebJoint is partnering with digital payment platform company Alt Thirty Six (Alt 36) to provide digital currency options to cannabis consumers. Alt 36 Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Ken Ramirez said, “It is the first digital payment platform that uses blockchain to help the cannabis industry go cashless.”
Bitcoin was the first digital currency and is probably the best known, but the adoption of bitcoin as a currency has been slow due to some of the problems associated with using it. In particular, the amount of time that a bitcoin transaction can sometimes take. A bitcoin purchase can take several minutes or even days to process.
“When you buy cannabis coins, there’s nowhere else to spend them but in the cannabis industry,” said Ramirez. “They lose value outside of the cannabis world. Our method allows consumers the ability to use this currency outside the dispensary.”
Ramirez said that Alt 36 built a platform that makes the digital currency transactions simple and fast. It combines digital cash from DASH with blockchain technology. DASH is number 12 in the world by market capital for cryptocurrency at $3.8-$4 billion.
Alt 36 has partnered with WebJoint in order to provide a solution for cannabis consumers and the businesses that try to serve them. Dispensaries struggle to create payment options for their customers who are used to using a debit or credit card for almost all of their transactions. Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA) are refusing to work with cannabis operations, so dispensaries have gotten creative in the processing of purchases. Customers may not be aware of the headaches that card processing is causing these businesses.
The program will roll out in the next 30-60 days with the beta location in Arizona. Customers will see a box that they can use to purchase the digital currency and then use that money to make their cannabis purchases. It will eventually be made available in over 200 dispensaries that work with WebJoint. Following Arizona, Alt 36 will move on to California and then the rest of the legal states.
“These machines are beautiful,” said Ramirez. “I think people will want to use them just because of how cool they are.”
Alt 36 has funded its operation through a combination of seed money and digital currency funded projects by DASH. The company also said that it expects to make more announcement in the near future with regards to additional capital raises.