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‘Cannabis industry at tipping point, waiting for regulations’

The world is waking up to the blooming cannabis market and it’s time to elevate it, says Eric Benz, a contributor to CannaDAO, which is creating a blockchain-based platform for the cannabis industry.

February 24, 2022 / 04:55 PM IST
(Representational image)

(Representational image)

What happens when cannabis and blockchain come together? Some countries have started to legalise cannabis as a recreational drug, in addition to its use in medicine. India still prohibits the consumption of intoxicating drugs injurious to health, except for medicinal purposes.

Blockchain is a decentralised digital technology that records peer-to-peer transactions and can help to regulate the cannabis industry, where most sales still take place illegally.

Eric Benz is a contributor to CannaDAO, a project that is creating an ecosystem of opportunity for the cannabis industry via tokenisation and a permission-less, decentralised, on-chain platform governed by members. He told Moneycontrol in an interview that legalisation of the cannabis industry will open up immense opportunities to individuals and businesses in the global markets and pave the way for other plant medicines and treatments to come. Edited excerpts:

Why have most countries banned the production and sale of cannabis, except for medical uses?

A: Cannabis has been misrepresented in the media and across the industry for more than a century and as a result, the perception and understanding have been completely misguided. The industry has gone through an incredible maturation process and the world is beginning to wake up to all the wonderful benefits this plant provides. In addition to saving lives, cannabis is also cleaning pollution in the air, replacing concrete, and transforming the way we harness plant medicine overall. Countries that have banned cannabis have done so for reasons which have no merit and are based on antiquated beliefs and societal stereotypes which are no longer fit for purpose. The world is waking up to the blooming cannabis market and it’s time to elevate this industry.


Do you think lifting bans on cannabis would increase cases of addiction?

A: What is addiction at the end of the day? Cannabis is a natural plant used to cure pain and also help with anxiety and depression. The industry is at a tipping point and it is bursting at the seams, waiting for regulation to open up to take full advantage. Once more bans are lifted, it will begin putting cannabis in a new light and showcase the benefits and opportunities whilst redefining how cannabis is represented in media and by governments.

How can the cannabis industry be regulated?

A: The current industry is extremely regulated and now we need to adapt that regulatory framework to a Web3 world we now live in. This will allow technology and the community to empower the advancement of the cannabis industry.

What could be the potential benefits of legalising cannabis for consumers and businesses?

A: Legalisation of the cannabis industry will open up immense opportunities to individuals and businesses in global markets and in turn pave the way for other plant medicines and treatments to come. There will be new innovative ways for the cannabis sector to truly deliver industry-changing and life-saving treatments, which will truly set the tone for the advancement of plant medicine.

Can blockchain technology be leveraged to regulate the cannabis industry, making governments more inclined towards legalising the sector?

A: The great thing about blockchain is that it provides true auditability and accountability, acting as an immutable source of truth and an irrevocable database of information, which is there forever and for always. We still have a way to go before getting governments on board with cannabis, but by leveraging technology we can redefine how this industry is represented and how we can provide access to anyone in the world. You don’t necessarily need to touch it or smoke it to be educated and incentivised from it.

Tell us about CannaDAO. How does it elevate the playing field for the industry?

A: The biggest problem we have within the cannabis industry is access to capital. Growers across the world simply can’t get financing from any bank or financial institution and this is due in large part to the misguided regulatory frameworks, which have been in place for decades now. With the industry growing at such an unprecedented level, it’s time to solve the problem whilst leveraging technology and community. The CannaDAO is a decentralised investment vehicle run by the community to disrupt a trillion-dollar industry. It is time we highlight both the financial components and benefits cannabis provides to see cannabis becoming more mainstream in the years to come.

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Murtuza Merchant is a senior journalist and an avid follower of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
first published: Feb 24, 2022 04:55 pm
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