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The cannabis industry has been severely crippled since day one with the major obstacle of payment processing. Most banks, payment processors, credit card companies and the like will not work directly with cannabis companies — even in states where both medical and recreational purchases are legal — so long as federal restrictions remain in place. While there are some workarounds, they often add an element of risk. And conducting transactions with cash only is a poor choice, leaving a business open to theft, safety concerns, plus a limited ability to upsell customers.

Many in our industry have suggested that cryptocurrencies are the future. With all digital payments, made securely and anonymously on the blockchain, what’s not to like? Yet this has been easier said than done: the lack of a standard industry-wide cryptocurrency, and the difficulty of putting crypto technology into dispensaries and other locations, has weighed against much movement in this direction.

London-based startup Quannabu believes it has the answer. The company has launched a decentralized payment network for cannabis-related transactions on the blockchain, and plans to distribute $30 million in QBU Tokens to facilitate all transactions, based on the Ethereum platform.

Quannabu is playing its cards on the development of an integrated ecosystem that links and monitors all activities from seed through sale. The first part of their platform will be Quannabu Trust, an open supply chain management system that uses blockchain technology to assure traceability, transparency and efficiency. Participants will have full view of supply chain data either upstream or downstream, eliminating fraud and assuring product safety.

Payments will then be handled by Quannabu Pay, where consumers can quickly and easily transfer verified funds. Purchases can clear in seconds, rather than the all-too-frequent 30 or 60-day waiting period found today when funds are transferred. This allows retailers to place larger orders without incurring capital losses when funds are being held for long periods.

In addition, the company is putting its own resources behind its blockchain technologies with two additional platform divisions. Quannabu Labs is being created to develop advanced pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing and testing facilities — with proof of production, sale, and testing data all accessible on the blockchain. And Quannabu Grow will be putting hemp farming on the blockchain with the mission of using transparent data to assure consistently fair prices for premium hemp. An initial round of token sales via crowdfunding took place in July.