A sign that cannabis is entering the world’s most booming trend just revealed itself…
More than any other industry in the world, cannabis is going to be closely connected to all kinds of powerful, high-tech, and highly profitable market trends.
That’s because cannabis tends to understand what others often pay a steep price for forgetting: in the world of high-tech, the best time for a company to rest on its laurels is never.
There is always an innovator out there looking to disrupt the market – and even industry leaders can be knocked off their throne if they don’t keep up with the times.
Just look at Eastman Kodak Company, which believed that its brand was so synonymous with photography that it didn’t need the digital camera. That attitude eventually led to Kodak declaring bankruptcy in 2012 and, as of this writing, its stock is trading for less than one-fifth of what it was worth in January 2014 while the rest of the market is up by more than 80% since then.
But cannabis is different. Federal cannabis prohibition has pushed it to be a tenacious industry that is constantly finding new ways through unique challenges, oftentimes by creating high-tech workarounds for those problems.
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And a local Colorado dispensary, Strawberry Fields, is taking full advantage of this innovation with automated vending machines from a company called Anna, which provide cannabis products to customers without them ever having to interact with an employee.
With its innovative machines, Anna is not only taking the lead in introducing the power of automation to the cannabis industry, but it’s also opening up the tremendous potential of digital pre-payment with a built-in digital pre-payment app.
The digital payments market is a massive one that’s expected to reach $86.76 billion by 2023 – and with Anna’s help, Strawberry Fields is getting in on the ground floor.
It’s an early sign of something that I think will be even bigger: integration with some of the most standout digital payments leaders in financial technology, or “fintech.”
Which brings me to Square Inc., which has been an outstanding trailblazer with the exact kind of in-app payments that these automated cannabis machines are allowing.
Cannabis Gets Ready to Embrace Digital Payments
Square already took a small but promising step into the cannabis market when it started accepting payments for CBD businesses last year.
And its forward-thinking attitude – something I’ve praised the company for in the past with respect to cryptocurrency – gives me confidence that it will go even further with cannabis in the future.
It’s true that while cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, the risk to a nationwide financial company like Square for getting involved could be massive. But that could be changing sooner than you might think.
And once that artificial barrier is lifted, I expect these innovative forces to collide almost immediately, with Square’s entrance into the CBD industry having already played out in a remarkably similar way.
If you remember, the fintech leader wasted no time after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and helped launch cannabis’s non-intoxicating product, CBD, into what could soon be a $22 billion industry of its own.
Should this synergistic relationship between digital payments and cannabis pan out as I expect, the potential profit potential for investors, both at Square’s higher level and on the ground floor of growing and breakout cannabis firms, promises to be massive.
Cheers and good investing,
Michael A. Robinson
Director of Venture Capital and Technology Research, Money Morning
2 responses to “Cannabis Is About to Cross Paths With One of the Biggest New Trends in Tech”
September 08 2020