It’s high time in the metaverse. Here’s one company’s vision for the virtual future of cannabis.
The cannabis industry in the United States has exploded in recent years; it is expected to reach a valuation of around $40 billion by 2030, according to Grand View Research. But the booming business is fraught with pitfalls. Cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which means it has no officially recognized medical benefits and has high potential. abuse (despite a growing body of evidence to the contrary on both counts). As a result, cannabis dispensaries in states where the plant has been legalized still face a litany of serious challenges. They are not allowed to advertise on social media, for example, or make deposits with most federally insured banks.
Web3 could potentially solve many of these problems, ushering in a new era for the US cannabis industry.
Web3 could solve some of the marketing and financial challenges that cannabis dispensaries are currently facing. (Credit: Adobe Stock)
At least that’s the theory behind Cannaverse Technologies, a company that describes itself as “the pioneering cannabis metaverse platform that helps businesses enter the new web3 and the metaverse.” In May, Cannaverse announced the launch of “Cannaland,” a virtual cannabis marketplace where customers can buy and learn about cannabis, and where brands can experiment with new marketing strategies and expand their customer base.
This is the long term vision. Cannaland, like the metaverse itself in which it will be based, is still in the development phase. But Matthew Morgan, a longtime cannabis entrepreneur and co-founder of Cannaverse, is confident that vision will come to fruition, with the help of a suite of emerging technologies – including VR and AR – that are at the heart the evolution and adoption of the web3. “The immersive shopping experience of web3… [is] you will feel like you are in the dispensary, as if you were in cultivation. You will be able to pick up objects, look at them and rotate them. And hopefully we can scan the buds to be very close to real life… [will give] consumer confidence in what they are getting, what is going to be sent to their doorstep. »
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Time for a virtual education
Morgan – who was born into “a very conservative family” and taught from an early age “that people who smoke pot are criminals” – also sees Cannaland as an educational resource. “Many of the problems we face today are due to lack of education,” he says. “If people understood the plant on a deeper level, we wouldn’t have much of the hysteria and mass confusion that we face today.” Visitors to Cannaland, he says, will eventually be able to learn everything from growing and baking cannabis-infused brownies to what types of products are best for optimizing sleep.
What about entertainment, you ask? Don’t worry — Morgan Photos is possibly hosting virtual concerts in Cannaland, featuring stoner culture icons like Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg.
The anonymity of the metaverse, Morgan says, will also allow brands to attract new customers — the types of “high-level professionals” who wouldn’t normally want to be seen shopping at a brick-and-mortar dispensary. “Think of an eminent brain surgeon [walking into a dispensary] — it’s not pretty, because of what the government has done to this factory. It always has negative connotations… But if they can have a great shopping experience from their own home and no one knows about it, that’s a beautiful thing.
Crypto accepted here
Crypto is also envisioned as playing a central role in Cannaland. Morgan plans to create a virtual token called Canna that can be used inside virtual space, which he says will “work the same way MANA works inside Decentraland.” He hopes Canna will also eventually be accepted into brick-and-mortar dispensaries — “almost like Apple Pay inside the dispensary” — which he says would “solve all the banking problems” that these businesses currently face.
While aiming big for Cannaland, Morgan acknowledges the unpredictable nature of the metaverse, which remains mostly a theoretical concept. “My crystal ball is no better than anyone else’s,” he says. Uncertainties aside, he envisions the metaverse eventually becoming a marketing game-changer for cannabis brands: “Branding cannabis is fun, marketing cannabis is a nightmare,” he says. “I had 100 different social media pages deleted and shut down. You can’t use Google AdWords, you can’t advertise in most magazines… It’s a disaster. Basically, they handcuff you at every turn. In Cannaland you can market this however you want…there really are no handcuffs here. Let your imagination run wild.”
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