Local Start-Up Pitches Blockchain for Unbanked Marijuana Businesses

Michael Calhoun
January 14, 2019 - 6:03 am

ID 110893756 © Stefan Malloch | Dreamstime.com

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Banks are keeping marijuana companies' dollars out -- even those who don't deal directly with the plant.

So, one St. Louis start-up says: why not forget about dollars altogether?

"We've seen companies that don't even touch the plant, they just service the industry, face problems and that's exactly what we're facing here," says Jay Lindberg, founder of The Cangea Project.

His platform creates a way for the marijuana industry to trade without dollars. It uses blockchain, the same technology behind Bitcoin.

The platform, he says, even could instantly send taxes to the state.

"So, instead of these businesses driving duffel bags of cash across the state to go pay sales tax, our platform, using the blockchain, would allow the government to collect their sales tax in real-time, each time someone made a purchase at a dispensary," he explained.

He says his company, even though it just makes software, was kicked out by its bank in St. Charles County for being in the still-federally illegal industry.

Missouri just legalized medicinal marijuana. Illinois is poised to legalize it recreationally.

Lindberg, though, sees Canada emerging as center of the industry.