Since its inception, the Cannabis Industry has been an amalgamation of a shaky repute, transient market value, and criticism from a confused audience including investors, politicians, activists and lawyers. In the US, a total of 30 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, despite being tabooed in some parts of the world. Countries that have legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes include Australia, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Germany, Italy, Peru, United Kingdom, Poland, the Netherlands and Israel. The notion that foresees the Cannabis industry to grow by a significant percentage is, in fact, an understatement. The legal cannabis market experienced 31 percent growth in 2017, reaching $8.5 billion. ArcView Group predicts the capital to be spent on marijuana for the U.S. sector at $23.4 billion in 2022.
However, the use of Cannabis as a benefactor still remains one of the most controversial issues in medical history. The biggest problem that remains with the industry is the absence of verification and regulation in both identity and supply chain. On a business level, the US government has especially taken measures to ensure penalization for the distribution of the flower. Medically, cannabis is one of the most effective strategies to be issued for treating some hazardous diseases. However, it remains illicit and out of the reach for some; people are being denied of a cure. For the legal businesses that can provide it, cases of quality degradation and unverified distribution have been at large.
Fortunately, these issues may be wiped out from the face of the industry, thanks to blockchain technology.
Paragon is a blockchain incorporated platform that pledges to provide solutions for the legitimization, verification and global widespread of the legal cannabis industry. Paragon’s mission statement includes support for vital causes, support for the blockchain community, open source platform, transparency, power to team members and support for the cannabis industry. It was founded by Miss Iowa and model, Jessica VerSteeg, who is former CEO of Au Box, a cannabis supplying company. She spoke in an interview on the motivations behind the startup:
When I was running Au Box, a monthly subscription service that provides members with a curated box of cannabis products, I came across a huge issue. A parent called me asking about the lab results for one of the products in the box because they wanted to give it to their child with epilepsy. I ended up calling the lab and noticed the results didn’t match what the supplier was claiming, which made me realize how many companies could be providing false lab results — offering flower that tested positive for mold and being sold as ‘god weed,’ or flower that had been sprayed with pesticides and is being sold as ‘organic.
I did not feel right supplying clients with any products that weren’t clean and top quality, so I started tracking everything on the blockchain for Au Box, and later I realized I was creating something that the entire industry could benefit from, so I built Paragon.
Paragon Token (PRG) and ParagonChain
The company has its own digital token called the Paragon Token (PRG). Based on Ethereum, Tokens are created with an ERC20 token smart contract. The integrity of the system is built on the self-interest of token owners who eventually may have more say in the Paragon community and logistics. The desktop wallet offered by Paragon can be used for transferring the token in and out of the space, whereas a wallet app in their unreleased mobile app will offer similar incentives. The initial token crowdsale took place between September 15, 2017 and October 16, 2017, with proceeds nearing a $100 million.
The use of blockchain has exclusively been implemented for smart contracts. Each blockchain has its own immutable digital ledger of transactions and ParagonChain, in similar fashion, will also maintain a ledger with all data being uploaded to it effectively. Smart contracts will also be used to offer payments through PRG for work done in the industry.
Further uses of smart contracts include patient privacy, storing all product life-cycle events forever in an easy-to-retrieve system and global peer to peer transactions. To make things less crude, blockchain technology will do wonders for the industry that is too translucent and unstable. One practical approach for the tech is to use it as a platform for doctors to be verified by the government and be paid in PRG. For another, the supply chain could be kept in check by tracking activity logs, expiry of medications, transfers etc.
Paragon has wished to secure high-tech, fully equipped “centers” in spots all over the globe, where a network of businesses and startups endorsing the cannabis industry are to be set, managed, and preserved. On an individual level, the centers will provide co-working spaces with facilities like counselling on businesses, legal advice, mentor-ship, and information regarding the industry. Their website explains the platform as a “community where entrepreneurs and businesses can collaborate, network and build.”
Paragon Announces Partnership with CivicKey
Despite their mobile app still being developed and tested, Paragon shows no signs of slowing down. The company announced a kinship with Civic Technologies inc, a digital firm that provides identity verification services, to further their plans to implement identity verification, enabling transparency across the cannabis industry.
— Paragon (@ParagonCoin) August 16, 2018
The integration is capable of identification of ages as well as official licences. Jessica VerSteeg said:
By using ID verification, we’re holding users accountable, which brings an added level of transparency and trust to the industry. The ability to easily identify yourself through Civic provides easy access to our users in situations such as age verification at a dispensary
Even though the industry may soon undergo a dramatic shift in global politics and healthcare, it will take time before legalized cannabis can be regulated, verified and used on a global scale. With the help of blockchain tech, Paragon is in full swing to speed up the process.