CBDWire Editorial Coverage: As legalization spreads, the cannabis industry is achieving a new level of maturity, with a wide range of products and support services. Global Payout, Inc. (OTC: GOHE) (GOHE Profile) is providing payment and consulting services for cannabis companies facing the unique challenges of their sector. Terra Tech Corp. (OTC: TRTC) has developed sustainable farming methods that lead to better yields and lower costs. Surna, Inc. (OTCQB: SRNA) specializes in providing components for growing facilities and advice on how to set them up. Meanwhile, Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA) and GB Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: GBLX) are both deploying new techniques to create innovative products for an ever more diverse market.
A Maturing Industry
The legal cannabis industry continues to be one of the fastest growing areas of North America’s economy. The legalization of medical cannabis in Canada and many American states has fostered a thriving medical cannabis industry over the past decade, consisting of everything from pharmaceutical companies to retail specialists. With recreational use now legal in several states and coming to Canada this summer, the industry is set to blossom further. Some estimates state that the Canadian cannabis sector alone could be worth over $20 billion within a few years.
With time and growth, the industry is maturing into something complex and varied. Companies are researching and marketing new goods, from vaporizing oils to soft drinks to community magazines. Other companies are specializing in providing support services to the industry. Whether it’s in finance, marketing, logistics or any of the other services a business needs, cannabis companies face their own unique challenges. A more mature sector is finding ways to adapt these to its specialist needs.
Cash and Cannabis
Global Payout, Inc. (OTC: GOHE) is helping to provide cannabis companies with support in one of the most challenging areas — payment.
Access to financial services has always been difficult for cannabis companies. Though the use and sale of the drug is legal in many states, federal legislation remains the same as when cannabis was targeted as part of the war on drugs. This created a fear of prosecution for banks if they provided financial services to cannabis companies.
From the start, cannabis merchants have found themselves working in a cash economy. This has created inefficiencies and greater than normal risks of fraud, theft and accounting errors. From 2013 to 2017, the Department of Justice’s Operation Chokepoint made this even more difficult, as the government investigated banks that dealt with high-risk sectors for fraud or money laundering.
As a result, cannabis companies have been left in need of alternative payment methods. Global Payout and its partner, MoneyTrac technology, are moving to provide that service.
Global Payout is a provider of financial services solutions with experience in more mainstream industries. Its Global Reserve Platform (GRP) provides an all-in-one system for companies to make payments and money transfers in an international market. The system connects all aspects of a business’s financial operations, from FOREX to prepaid debit cards. Customizable to the needs of different businesses, it provides a complete and flexible end-to-end finance system.
Given the unique circumstances of the cannabis industry, simply adopting this banking-in-a-box system wasn’t going to provide the solution. Therefore, it’s a new product, created by a Global Payout partner, that is allowing the company to apply its expertise to the sector.
New Technology for a New Problem
Global Payout’s solution for the cannabis sector comes from its former subsidiary, MoneyTrac Technology. A technology and business development company whose motto is “Key to Cashless™,” MoneyTrac is focused on providing alternative options for banking and electronic finance.
In its quest to offer payment solutions to the cannabis industry, MoneyTrac has turned to blockchain technology. Blockchain is a distributed ledger system — a form of data keeping where responsibility for the record is shared across a network rather than kept in one place. It’s the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Through cryptocurrencies, blockchain has become the leading way of transferring value outside of the mainstream banking sector.
Blockchain payments offer cannabis companies several advantages. Such systems can be accessed by any customer, regardless of whether they themselves have a bank account. The money transfers happen away from the banks, which are wary about involvement in cannabis. Payments are nearly instantaneous, and because records are kept over a distributed network, there are no controllers creating bottlenecks or the risk of a single point of failure.
Launched in early April, MoneyTrac’s MTRAC payment system is powered by GreenBox blockchain technology (http://cnw.fm/GVSh6) and provides a payment system through which cannabis companies can take electronic payments, distancing themselves from the risks and inefficiencies of working with cash. Any customer can use a MoneyTrac kiosk to load up a card or digital wallet, which they can then use to pay for goods and services. Though currently focused on the cannabis market, this option may benefit other companies in high-risk sectors or that want to benefit from the potential of blockchain.
Support Services for a Growing Industry
In addition to financial solutions, MoneyTrac provides a range of support services for cannabis businesses.
Many cannabis retailers are new businesses looking to expand their scope and expertise. The MoneyTrac team have years of knowledge and experience in business development, allowing them to provide advice and support. They can guide clients through the challenges that come with starting and running profitable businesses.
Effective sales and marketing is a challenge for any business, but it can be even more difficult when that business is in a heavily regulated sector such as cannabis. MoneyTrac provides expertise in this area.
Regulatory compliance is a specialist area of knowledge in its own right. Working within the cannabis industry, MoneyTrac professionals have deep knowledge of this area, developed through strategic partnerships across the financial sector. The MoneyTrac team is therefore able to help clients ensure that they meet the legal requirements of their businesses.
Though such support services are already available for most businesses, they all come with their own unique twists where cannabis is concerned. It’s a sign of the growing maturity of the sector — and of its need for specialist expertise — that it can support a company supplying these services. And as the sector grows, so will the businesses providing these vital services.
A Variety of Products and Services
The need for specialist cannabis products has led to the emergence of a number of companies providing ancillary goods and services, as well as specialist products from within cannabis companies.
Terra Tech Corp. (OTC: TRTC) has been developing superior, sustainable farming methods for cannabis. Its moving table hydroponic system increases harvest yields by up to 30% and reduces operational costs by up to 50%. By developing and supplying advanced horticultural equipment, the company is bringing forward the techniques and technology of cannabis cultivation. Thanks to its energy efficient systems and waste water recycling, Terra Tech is ensuring that cannabis growing meets the green credentials many customers look for. Together, these achievements led to record revenues for the company in 2017 (http://cnw.fm/OtFT9).
Surna, Inc. (OTCQB: SRNA) also works to provide better cannabis cultivation. The company manufactures components for cultivation facilities, including climate control, lighting and biosecurity. It also provides the support services needed to make the most of these products. Surna specialists have engineering and installation skills to help clients get their facilities smoothly up and running. Company consultants review floor plans and facility designs, as well as offer guidance on industry standards and best practices. It’s the sort of vital, practical advice that may help get growers off the ground.
The first publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA) is a leader in medical cannabis sales across the Americas. Selling to countries including the United States, Mexico and Brazil, it is showing the potential for international growth. The company’s expertise lies in research as well as sales, with the development of proprietary techniques (http://cnw.fm/4ueX9) to extra cannabinoid molecules. These techniques are being used to develop a range of products, including hemp-based protein shakes and pet products. Such techniques and products are helping the cannabis industry reach new markets and customers, increasing profits along the way.
GB Sciences, Inc. (OTCQB: GBLX) is also focused on the medical potential of cannabis, while making the most of the opportunities in newly legal recreational markets. The company has developed some of the best cannabis strains in Nevada, identified as such because of their active ingredients. GB Sciences has also obtained an exclusive worldwide license to use a time-released cannabinoid formulation from the University of Seville, bringing a previously unused approach into the American market.
With companies developing new strains and techniques for using cannabis, the cannabis industry has an increasingly diverse range of products. This is supported by a growing range of support services, with companies providing everything from payment solutions to engineering advice, all geared toward cannabis. It’s a reflection of how fast the industry has matured that all this is happening even as the battle for legalization continues around the world.
For more information on Global Payout, Inc., please visit: Global Payout, Inc. (GOHE).
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