Berkeley City Council member Ben Bartlett and Emeryville City Council member Dianne Martinez purchased marijuana from a dispensary using cryptocurrency. They did so to demonstrate how the technology reduces transaction fees and reduces financial transparency. The technology is called stablecoin which is a digital currency that has sale and tax proceeds that are consistent with cash. Blockchain Advocacy Coalition, which supports stablecoin, is seeking legislation that would enable local jurisdictions in California to have licensee’s pay their cannabis license tax by stablecoin.
A cash-free method of cannabis collections would reduce costs as well as safety risks for cities and businesses. It will help bring the cannabis industry into new light. At the dispensary, Bartlett was seen holding VetCBD which is a low-THC and high-CBD tincture used to treat conditions in pets. It is unsure as to what Martinez purchased. This event had perfect timing as banks have generally not wanted to service such companies. This mean that a lot of businesses were operating on a cash-only basis. This has been an issue for federal regulators and lawmakers.
In California, legislation that allowed credit unions to accept cannabis businesses as clients, was recently pulled. There are plans to reintroduce it next year, but this would not help solve any current problems. Cryptocurrency offers a variety of solutions including a significant cost reduction for consumers and merchants. It also enables highly productive tax collection, transparency, and predictability for city and state governments.