Bitcoin-accepting Trees, a former medical cannabis dispensary that made headlines with its vision to deliver dank buds via drone, has pivoted towards becoming a marketplace in conjunction with building a payment processor. Its emphasis is on allowing cannabis businesses to become their own banks through blockchain technology.
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Trees: Alternative Medicine and Alternative Currency
Trees, located in San Francisco, offered a luxurious cannabis kit that included vaporizers, dabs and other, newer cannabis products until pivoting towards the cannabis payments market towards the beginning of 2016. The firm previously made headlines when it announced it’d like to deliver marijuana by drones.
Trees has made a name for itself in the Bitcoin community, with Founder Marshall Hayner attending conferences to discuss his belief that Bitcoin is exactly what the cannabis industry needs in order to get around a hostile banking industry.
“There is going to be a change in the banking industry,” Hayner told Bitcoin.com. “It’s hard for banks and consumer behavior to change overnight. And, cannabis is still a gray market without banking partners and processing partners. So, the technology to solve this problem is quietly growing in the background. You won’t need to have a bank account. You can be your own bank, and you can hedge crypto-currencies through the US dollar or Chinese Yen.”
The startup is part of the Gateway Incubator in Oakland, which focuses on making cannabis entrepreneurs ready to succeed in mainstream markets. In order to take part in the program, a startup moves to Oakland for four months.
Here, You can see Hayner in a counseling session at Gateway, which he posted on his Facebook:
Hayner gives more reasons why the legally ambiguous cannabis industry might like Bitcoin: “You can have an entire bank account balance instantly available and always liquid, no worry of seizures or shutdowns.”
With Bitcoin becoming a more prevalent part of the legal cannabis industry, there’s no telling what Hayner and his peers will come up with. Trees may be just the start.
What do you think about Trees? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Green Rush, Marshall Hayner via Facebook.