As legalized weeds became a mass business, small-scale cannabis growers in California were left in the dust by vertically integrated brands and national conglomerates. Now, in a move that resembles the strategic leveling of the craft beer movement a decade ago, these independent farmers are banding together to save their craft.
The solution is the Web3 platform, which aims to connect manufacturers directly with consumers through a crypto-exclusive POS ecosystem. Is called The Emerald Roadand the market is the brainchild of inherited farmer Justin Calvino. Part of a brand store and part of a consumer brand interface platform, the dream is to allow customers to interact directly with their favorite farm, take a tour, talk to manufacturers and buy products that are delivered through Organic lookwho has signed up as a delivery partner for the platform.
“Large verticals affect small producers by reducing production costs, which allows them to sell their own products at a much better price,” Calvino told ZDNet. “The bigger problem is not necessarily value competition, but a lack of education for consumers about what makes quality cannabis.”
Calvino added that “the small batch of cannabis produced by inherited farmers is much higher quality than the large-scale overproduced, homogenized cannabis offered by corporations.”
This is an interesting story from the first lines of the pot business, but it is also a good illustration of how cryptocurrency is breaking into consumer-oriented markets. Weed seems to be finding something like a special niche with the emerging blockchain technology. Delivery company Greenlyght has just made an initial coin offeringand cannabis company Higher Life CBD recently launched a dispensary of the metaverse of Cryptovoxels, a virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain.
Calvino, an entrepreneur in the so-called Emerald Triangle in Northern California, believes the technology could help save small cannabis growers and artisans in the region using blockchain technology. It does this by creating a digital version of a sustainable local economy – one that is supported by a wider range of consumers than is usually available to local producers.
“With heavy cannabis regulations and finances, everyone in the industry is ready for change,” Calvino said. “The Emerald Road will allow manufacturers to control their own currency and build their own community around that currency. As for members (consumers), they will be encouraged to buy directly from brands in the blockchain through unique, exclusive offers – discounted prices, member-only products / promotions, promotional items, access to special events and access to educational materials, produced by brands. We believe this can only be done through a blockchain Web3 solution in a decentralized environment. “
A number of local brands have joined the effort, including Emerald Spirit Botanicals, Family Surgery and Sunroots Farm.
“The small craft producers we are targeting are ready for a solution,” Calvino explained. “The current market situation is quite difficult for small producers in California. Although the blockchain is relatively new, these farmers are really excited about participating in the platform because of all the features that will allow them to market and build community.
He added: “At the moment, we don’t want anything from the brands except for them to provide us with content. We also make sure that they are a licensed trademark and can be distributed in California. “
In a sense, the concept takes a page from the book of craft brewing. Local tasting rooms have emerged as bastions of local music, art and culture over the past few decades. Similarly, Emerald Road seeks to use Web3, blockchain and cryptocurrency to create a digital bazaar that allows users to engage with brands, artists, creators, teachers and practitioners. All this is done through web / mobile devices and live events, while creating a market for small producers that works with emerging currencies, including NFT.