Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, most of the finance industry refuses to work with firms that work directly with the plant. According to a CNBC report, many actors in the industry are responding by seeking a workaround through cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are often exchanged outside of the traditional financial system. The most famous of these is bitcoin, and many services are turning to it as an alternative. Bitcoin is particularly useful because it allows for transparency and record-keeping on individual transactions. It also makes the business safer, as the cash-heavy nature of dispensaries and other operations makes them vulnerable to robberies. Being able to conduct some business electronically reduces this liability.
The two are developing a closely tied relationship. The cannabis industry uses bitcoin in order to ease financial services, transactions, and the raising of capital. However, it's also the first legal industry to engage in such widespread adoption of cryptocurrency. That shows no signs of slowing down so long as the industry remains in limbo federally. As a result, one promising field is the creation of transaction services for firms using things like bitcoin. In addition, as alternative financial services develop, one of the main growth constraints on the industry will begin to disappear.