The cannabis industry, especially in the United States, has had a long-time problem of how to facilitate legal transactions while marijuana remains illegal on a federal level. Understandably, this has led to issues regarding payment processors, with many companies looking for alternative solutions.
Cryptocurrencies have long been considered one of these options. Many dispensaries let their customers pay for weed in bitcoin and other crypto, but there have long been talks about creating a cannabis-specific token to make payments easier.
That was exactly what happened on recently. Billionaire Alkiviades David announced that his Swiss-based company has launched The Swissx Bank of Cannabis. This institution operates a token known as the SWX Coin, a cryptocurrency that is pegged directly to the median global price of premium hemp.
Currently, the token is backed by around $750 million worth of hemp strain seeds alongside an additional $250 million in Swiss Francs.
At the same time, there will also be a Swissx Global Hemp Exchange where investors and traders can buy or sell cannabis-based futures, alongside investment research on the industry. Initially, the bank will operate in Gstaad, Switzerland, but will eventually open up a Caribbean headquarters soon.
Swissx as a company is one of the most diverse cannabis companies out there, operating a number of cultivation, production, and research divisions. They have a number of cooperative farming operations across the world in California and Puerto Rico, with over 5,000 extra acres under contract in the Caribbean.
Additionally, Swissx Genetics has developed some of the strongest, CBD-only strains of hemp available in the world thanks to genetic modifications and other advanced techniques.
“First we changed the game for CBD products, then we created tremendous opportunity for farmers and their regional economies throughout the Caribbean,” said Alki David, CEO and Founder of Swissx, in a press release. “Now we’ve used Swiss financial know-how to create the first bank and cryptocurrency entirely optimized for the legal cannabis industry. The Swissx Global Exchange will be an authoritative resource for the entire industry, better than Nielsen, bigger than Nasdaq. Together, the Bank and Currency and Exchange don’t just insure Swissx’s international operations run perfectly, it will become the engine for the fastest growing business sector in the world.”
David, who is the heir to the Coca-Cola fortune, was arrested in the Caribbean island of St Kitts in May after being found to have $1.3 million worth of cannabis.
Authorities found over 5,000 plants in addition to seeds and other products and was charged with the intent to supply and distribute drugs. The billionaire fervently denies the charge, claiming instead that his plants were a different variety of cannabis that didn’t contain THC, which is not illegal in St Kitts.
David’s fortune comes from his family business, the Levantis-David group, which owns the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling plants.
Time will tell whether this ‘bank of cannabis’ will take off, but regardless of its success, it’s undeniable that there is a genuine demand for a central banking institution for cannabis companies under the current federal laws. Using a dedicated token such as this one certainly seems like the best way to simplify the legalities of financing for the cannabis sector globally.