Bitcoin helps marijuana growers sidestep banking issue

With financial institutions shunning the marijuana industry, cannabis growers are turning to the world’s most popular digital currency bitcoin to offload piles of green bills.

Pot businesses in the US have to operate using large amounts of cash as they have no ability to access bank accounts, accept credit cards, or write checks. That’s a logistical headache and constant security threat, they complain.

Marijuana is legal for both recreational and medical use in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Alaska and the District of Columbia. The sale of pot is also approved in 20 additional states for medical purposes only.

Thomson Reuters to Power Blockchain Contracts with Experimental Service

Media giant Thomson Reuters is opening up its data to smart contract authors building on private versions of the ethereum blockchain and R3's Corda distributed ledger platform.

Released in beta today, a 'smart oracle' called BlockOne IQ (B1IQ) is designed to power smart contracts with the kind of reliable financial information required to let counterparties transact without a middleman. B1IQ allows blockchain participants to leverage the media giant's reputation for providing accurate data about share prices, exchange rates, financial benchmarks and more.

The firm devised what initial data should be offered to blockchain developers based on requests from existing customers. The data being made available is useful for actions including the payment of dividends, stock splits "and anything where the company’s equity is impacted by some sort of action," according to Sam Chadwick, director of Thomson Reuters financial and risk management division.

A California Plan To Save Millions On Cannabis Regulation Is Getting Props Worldwide

In his new gig heading the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has kicked up plenty of dust over cannabis, from erroneously aligning the plant with heroin to threatening to reignite our deadly drug war, which Sir Richard Branson called "a trillion-dollar failure."

But while Sessions was making headlines with ill-considered claims for the past few months, entrepreneurs and lawmakers in Los Angeles were putting the finishing touches on a plan they've developed over decades to finally bring order and stability to the legal cannabis industry's biggest market--and cities around the world, if not the A.G., are paying close attention.

User Interface - The Missing Link to Mainstream Adoption of Blockchain

Any given technology can only be said to have achieved mainstream adoption when it becomes employable by the regular public without any specialized skill or expertise.

The decentralized nature of the Blockchain is applauded for its openness and availability to anyone who wishes to participate in the ecosystem. However, as is currently obtainable in most cases, only individuals with certain abilities, especially those capable of reading and interpreting computer codes, are really capable of maximizing the potential of most Blockchain resources.

Dubai Plans Digital Passports Using Blockchain Tech

The Dubai government has partnered with UK startup ObjectTech to bring blockchain-based security to the emirate's airport.

ObjectTech said this week that it is working with the Dubai Immigration and Visas Department to develop digital passports that can potentially eliminate manual checks at Dubai International airport.

DOJ’s Mysterious Marijuana Subcommittee

Led by an outspoken legalization opponent, Jeff Sessions' Justice Department is reviewing federal marijuana policy, with significant changes possible soon. Almost nothing about the review process is publicly known and key players in the policy debate have not been contacted.

The outcome of the review could devastate a multibillion-dollar industry and countermand the will of voters in eight states if the Obama administration's permissive stance on non-medical sales is reversed.

What is known: The review is being conducted by a subcommittee of a larger crime-reduction task force that will issue recommendations by July 27. The subcommittee was announced in April alongside other subcommittees reviewing charging and sentencing.

THE FIRST EVER COMPLETE CANNABIS DIRECTORY APP TO GO LIVE IN AUGUST 2017

Weedmenu has announced that they have made all the preparations for the launch of their new app in August 2017. Weedmenu is the first ever complete cannabis directory app and an online marketing application that allows businesses to market directly to the app users. The Weedmenu app is all set to launch in August 2017 and according to the company’s spokesperson, all the necessary preparations have been made for this major launch of this first of its kind app for August 5th, 2017.

Ethereum hits another record high, marking a more than 2,800% rally this year

Ethereum, an alternative cryptocurrency to bitcoin, hit a fresh record high on Sunday, amid continued interest in the digital asset space and increased trade from Asia.

On Sunday, ethereum traded at an all-time high of $250.41, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. This is up 2,839 percent from the $8.52 handle it had on January 1. Ethereum was trading at around $246.62 on Monday morning, slightly off its record high.

Ether is the name of the cryptocurrency which runs on the ethereum blockchain, which is the technology that underpins the digital coin. But ethereum is often used as shorthand for the digital currency as well.

Here's why regulators need to get serious about bitcoin

As bitcoin's price skyrockets and popular demand increases, some of the world's largest wealth managers have started giving their clients the opportunity to invest in the digital asset.

Last week, Boston-based Fidelity facilitated investor access to the asset, and on Thursday, UK-based Hargreaves Lansdown followed suit.

Hargreaves Lansdown now gives clients the option to invest in an exchange traded note (ETN) that tracks the price of bitcoin. An ETN is an investment instrument typically listed on a major stock exchange that can be bought and sold similarly to a stock. As more well-known wealth firms give their clients access to bitcoin investment, interest in the asset by mainstream investors will undoubtedly rise. However, these firms also risk exposing consumers to the dangers associated with unresolved regulatory issues around bitcoin.

Many places give minorities a leg up in marijuana industry

Andre Shavers was sentenced to five years on felony probation after authorities burst into the house where he was living in one of Oakland’s most heavily policed neighborhoods and found a quarter ounce of marijuana.

After the 2007 raid, Shavers couldn’t leave the state without permission. He was subject to police searches at any time. He walked to the corner store one night for maple syrup and came back in a police car. Officers wanted to search his home again.

All the while, cannabis storefronts flourished elsewhere in a state where medical marijuana was authorized in 1996.

Now Oakland and other cities and states with legal pot are trying to make up for the toll marijuana enforcement took on minorities by giving them a better shot at joining the growing marijuana industry. African-Americans made up 83 percent of cannabis arrests in Oakland in the year Shavers was arrested.

How Cannabis Is Fueling a New Fitness Movement

Recreational marijuana use has now been legal in California for six months and counting. On the surface, you’d never know that anything has changed. Since the passing of Prop. 64 in November, there have not been red-eyed, burnout bohemians strewn across the lawns of Griffith Park, nor masses of wasted youth in irreversible states of hysteria. Instead, on a hot Saturday afternoon in May, a group of lithe twenty-somethings clad in the kind of spandex that doesn’t leave much room for snacking gathered on a rooftop in the shadow of the Hollywood hills to practice yoga, and get high.

“Let’s all take a puff,” said Equinox yoga instructor Derek Beres to the students at the beginning of class. In unison, they inhaled from vape pens by Bloom Farms, a San Francisco–based medical marijuana company that also sells pre-rolled joints, and settled into mountain pose.

Older women and medical marijuana: a new growth industry

Jeanine Moss never expected to get into the cannabis industry. But that was before her hip-replacement surgery.

Moss, 62, of Marina Del Ray, California, had quit her job as a marketing consultant before she had her hip done in 2014. As she left the hospital, her doctors handed her a “shopping bag filled with opiates,” she said. The drugs made her disoriented and woozy.

So she switched to medical marijuana, which is legal in California and was familiar to her, having grown up in the nearby Venice section of Los Angeles. Within a week, she had tossed away her pharmaceuticals.

As it turned out, Moss was in good company: Many of her friends were also using cannabis to manage their ailments. Slightly embarrassed about carrying around a drug associated with naughty high school students, the older women would lament that they had nowhere to stash their drugs.

Legal Marijuana Sales Surpass Viagra, Tequila and Girl Scout Cookies

U.S. consumers will spend somewhere between $5 billion and $6 billion on legal marijuana in 2017, according to a new report released this month. By 2021, that number could reach a staggering $17 billion.

The numbers come courtesy of the Marijuana Business Factbook 2017, issued in May by editorial and research staff at Marijuana Business Daily. The report is based on an online survey of more than 800 people working in the cannabis business and, if anything, is shaded toward the conservative side.

Marijuana could be salvation for American blue collar workers

While President Trump continues to lean on traditional industry to bring jobs back to the United States — vowing to create somewhere in the vicinity of 25 million new jobs within the next 10 years — he has failed to consider how a nationwide cannabis industry could help accomplish his objective and bring some much need financial recovery back to a wounded blue collar workers.

But before the cannabis trade has the power to catapult the U.S. worker into a dynamic realm of prosperity, Congress, along with President Trump, will first have to legalize it at the federal level, allowing all things cannabis to be taxed and regulated in all 50 states in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco. Only then will this new agricultural division have the potential to create millions of new jobs and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity.

In Colorado, somewhere around 18,000 new jobs have been created since the state legalized recreational marijuana. Not minimum wage positions either — well above average paying jobs in the neighborhood of $15-20 per hour. Some of the more skilled labor force, like grow masters and store managers, can see earnings in upwards of $75,000 to $100,000 per year.

Marijuana equipment start-ups flourish as large rivals avoid legal pitfalls

Marijuana’s uncertain legal status across the country has unleashed a network of innovators and entrepreneurs into a space that would ordinarily be filled with name-brand manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and federally funded research universities.These small “cannabusinesses” are rushing to fill niches and make money in a field where the drug's illegal status at the federal level has made many start-up basics — from getting a new machine to accessing credit — far more challenging. Colorado, for instance, boasts a cottage industry of innovation because it was one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis sales to adults, and also has a highly educated, youthful workforce.

Daimler's battery gigafactory begins Europe challenge to Tesla

erman Chancellor Angela Merkel will break ground at a 500 million euro ($543 million) plant near Berlin on Monday that will assemble lithium ion energy-storage units for Daimler.The factory marks the arrival of battery-making gigafactories in Europe that will challenge Tesla, which is building at a plant in Nevada, and opens the way for a quicker shift toward green power for both cars and utilities.

Adelanto wants to be the 'Silicon Valley of medical marijuana'

In a plot of desert surrounded by Joshua trees and aging factories, developer James Previti — in a suit coat and Louis Vuitton shades — watches as construction workers build the roof of a concrete building that from afar looks like a future Costco.

Previti has spent years developing homes around the Inland Empire. But this is something new for him: a 30-acre industrial park in Adelanto divided into 21 units that will be sold to marijuana cultivators for $7.5 million each.

“We’ve always tried to be opportunistic, and we saw a place where we could fill a need,” Previti said.

As California moves toward issuing permits for large-scale medical marijuana cultivation next year, a number of struggling desert cities, such as Adelanto and Desert Hot Springs, have sought to establish themselves as destinations for growers.

Senators from both parties try to ease banking for marijuana businesses

Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday renewed their drive to make banking easier for marijuana-based businesses in those U.S. states where the drug is legal, undeterred by signals from the Trump administration about maintaining tough marijuana restrictions nationally.The eight senators, who spanned the political spectrum from libertarian-leaning Republican Rand Paul to liberal Democrat Cory Booker, introduced the bill to block federal banking regulators from somehow pushing a financial institution to stop serving a state-sanctioned marijuana business or the businesses' landlords or lawyers.

New potential for marijuana: Treating drug addiction

Harm reduction is a strategy for treating addiction that begins with acceptance. A friendlier, less disciplined sister of abstinence, this philosophy aims to reduce the overall level of drug use among people who are unable or simply unwilling to stop. What should naturally follow is a decrease in the many negative consequences of drug use. In other words: progress, not perfection, as advocates of Alcoholics Anonymous often say. Most European countries and Canada have embraced the idea of harm reduction, designing policies that help people with drug problems to live better, healthier lives rather than to punish them.