The ongoing blockchain revolution promises to transform many markets across the world. One prime example is the nascent cannabis industry, which was illegal in much of the world until somewhat recently. As new crypto-projects continue to spring up globally, the cannabis industry is brimming with new ICO’s and companies seeking to take the fledgling market to the next level.
One of those is Tokes Platform, a project which strives to provide blockchain powered solutions to the complex regulatory framework that many companies in the Cannabis industry have to deal with. With some companies struggling to find banking solutions in light of these regulations, the market is ripe for an alternative.
Michael Wagner, the founder of the Tokes Platform, initially began his career in conventional finance, working for several years in the wealth management industry mastering asset valuation before acquiring his CFA designation. Then there’s co-founder Gabriel Allred, who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences and Data Analysis. Their respective skill sets, coupled with their passion for the cannabis industry and an interest in blockchain technologies are the perfect backdrop for what would become the Tokes Platform.
The Basic Premise
According to their website, “the Tokes Platform was founded to solve the legal cannabis industry’s banking problem via cryptocurrency payments, however, we now provide several software solutions for both payment processing and supply chain management.”
To achieve the first part of their goal, the company is developing a mobile application that serves as a portable wallet, cannabis strain database, dispensary locator, and as a compendium of other cannabis-related information. Behind this technology is their unique cryptocurrency, the “TKS” tokens, which will help facilitate legal transactions for customers and cannabis companies in the industry. Currently, individuals are limited to fiat payments when purchasing from retail stores or dispensaries, but with the tokes coin, transactions will be done securely on the blockchain instead.
Additionally, the Tokes Platform provides other enterprise-level services to businesses including a merchant gateway to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for cannabis supply chain management. Both solutions are designed with compliance in mind and ensure that legal standards are satisfied regardless of the jurisdictions their clients operate under.
One feature of the cannabis-focused platform is that it utilizes WAVES platform solutions to storing and securing cryptocurrencies. Although early on in their development, the tokes team sees many desirable features for their project, including their POS and LPOS transaction approval models along with a remarkably fast transaction time (as low as 1 second block times).
Current Reception and the Path Forward
So far, the Toke’s team has enjoyed a positive reception to their project. Many cannabis leaders have already formed strategic partnerships with the blockchain company, including Herbologytours, TheraCann International, and Pisos Dispensary.
As for the path forward, each of Tokes separate business model has its own timeline and isolated goals to achieve. When it comes to their cash onramp mechanism for transactions, any business is free to adopt it immediately, but the mobile-application and point-of-sale systems still have a ways to go before final launch. An iOS version of the mobile app will be coming first, followed by a native android app. While end-users can use a Waves wallet to store their tokens, the team feels that having a unique mobile wallet and interference is crucial for both brand awareness and end-user adoption. Other features, such as anonymous transactions and asset pegging, are scheduled to come online within 12-18 months.
The team has expressed an interest in operating a fully-fledged cultivation/production facility as well as their own dispensaries. While land acquisition, team expansion, and other operational facets will take some time to get off the ground, Wagner believes that all this can be accomplished within 2019 once they acquire recreational licenses for cannabis in the state of Nevada.
At the same time, plans are underway to develop a non-profit aspect of the tokes project. Both co-founders are committed to increasing awareness and acceptance of cryptocurrencies while removing the stigma that underlies the cannabis market as a whole.
Wagner and Gabriel remain optimistic about the future of this industry and the role blockchain technology will play in transforming the future business landscape. Residents and cannabis-enthusiasts of Nevada, the United States, and potentially North America have much to look forward to in the coming years.