Driven by Millennial Trading, Cannabis and Blockchain Sectors Finding Common Ground

Two of the newest and hottest sectors in 2017 were the cannabis industry, and the advent of blockchain possibilities, beyond just Bitcoin—But it’s in 2018, that investors will start to see true opportunities for a marriage between the two.

Recently, TD Ameritrade gave credit to both sectors in helping to drive a late January trading surge.

Now several companies are buzzing around the potential for arranging the marriage between blockchain/cryptocurrency and cannabis, including Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (TSX.V: EMH) (OTC: EMHTF), Future Farm Technologies Inc. (CSE: FFT) (OTC: FFRMF), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), MassRoots, Inc. (OTC: MSRT), and Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (CSE: ATT) (OTC: ATTBF).

There are several aspects to the appeal of combining two seemingly unrelated sectors together.

First off, they both appeal greatly to the market’s newest generation of traders, the millennials—a generation that’s finally coming of age, and is investing in the sectors that interest them the most.

But perhaps more importantly, blockchain can offer security to a sector that concerns lawmakers across several jurisdictions—from managing and tracking the large number of legal cannabis transactions, to supply management, to secure financing options for licensed producers and retailers.

The latest entry to make headlines is that of Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (CSE: ATT) (OTC: ATTBF), which acquired a significant stake in private firm CannaNUMUS Blockchain Inc.—CannaNUMUS is developing a cryptocurrency (dubbed, the “Coin”), under which tokens represent the performance of a suite of portfolio cannabis companies.

The acquisition by Abattis is in line with the company’s string of strategic steps to corner several aspects of cannabis sector, beyond just the growing stage—including beverages, lab testing, extraction, and marketing.

But in the newly emerging blockchain/cannabis category, Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (CSE: ATT) (OTC: ATTBF) is either joined—or soon will be joined by—companies large and small, including Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (TSX.V: EMH) (OTC: EMHTF), Future Farm Technologies Inc. (CSE: FFT) (OTC: FFRMF), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and MassRoots, Inc. (OTC: MSRT).

TRADING SURGE DRIVEN BY MILLENNIALS

Less than five years ago, the market would’ve smirked at the possibility that the Millennial generation would be making a major impact on the markets.

But here we are in 2018, and since 2016 Millennials represent the largest demographic in the economy, marching the market toward an investment revolution.

“It seems to be working because our new accounts opened by millennials are up 72% year-over-year, and that's driven by both our offerings as well as what's of interest in the marketplace right now,” said TD Ameritrade CEO Tim Hockey in an interview with Business Insider.

“Clearly, the two biggest stories of the quarter were the sectors of cryptocurrency and cannabis. Those are two sectors that didn't even exist a few years ago. That has driven the skewing of our new accounts opened to the younger trader and younger investor,” Hockey added.

For a group that brokerages overlooked not that long ago, Millennials are now being greeted with the red carpet, by a series of options that includes no-commission investment apps like Robinhood—making each trade for each new trader that much easier, and cheaper.

CANNABIS-BLOCKCHAIN HYBRIDS

The pairing of cannabis and blockchain is starting to draw more attention from companies large and small—including the previously mentioned CannaNUMUS that’s now partly owned by Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (CSE: ATT) (OTC: ATTBF).

The first major to make a noise in combining these two sectors was International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM). In November, IBM, being one of the bluest of U.S. blue-chip companies, gave the idea a significant amount of weight, when it touted blockchain as the supply-management tool of choice for cannabis.

It was Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (TSX.V: EMH) (OTC: EMHTF) that took that ball and ran with it, last month, when the company formed a joint venture with a private partner called CannaChain—meant to be a foundational blockchain-based supply chain management system and e-commerce marketplace for the legal cannabis industry.

Smaller entities such as MassRoots, Inc. (OTC: MSRT) which begun as more of a social media platform for cannabis consumers to share and review strains, recently moved into blockchain with a technology for seed-to-sale tracking as well as tracking sales at dispensaries.

On the cryptocurrency side, both Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (CSE: ATT) (OTC: ATTBF), and Future Farm Technologies Inc. (CSE: FFT) (OTC: FFRMF) now have what look to be intriguing properties, in the CannaNUMUS ‘Coin’, and the FlipCoin, respectively.

CANNANUMUS’ COIN AND THE FUTURE OF CANNABIS INVESTING

When Abattis CEO, Rob Abenante, made the announcement of his company’s acquisition of a 49% stake in CannaNUMUS, he undoubtedly saw the potential of the cryptocurrency, and its game-changing impact on the cannabis investment sector at large—But more importantly for his shareholders, he saw a potential major upside in the near future.

“With a 49% equity stake in this blockchain platform, Abattis could see a significant upside from any CannaNUMUS liquidity event, including a reverse take-over of CannaNUMUS or an ICO,” stated Rob Abenante, CEO of Abattis. 

Since the sector is still in the midst of a very active storm of mergers and acquisitions—as cited by by CBC News, the Financial Post and Baystreet in the last few months—it’s not unreasonable to foresee another major such as any of the newly-minted multi-billion-dollar cannabis companies to come along and swoop the Coin up in one of their spending sprees.

CannaNUMUS’s ecosystem is designed to link cannabis investors directly with market leading companies, while simultaneously enabling frictionless peer-to-peer transactions.

The technology will marry the accountability and security benefits of blockchain with the real-world backing of enforceable legal contracts. The Coin gives investors direct exposure to a high performing curation of companies, including licensed producers, labs, and downstream service operators. The near-term goal CannaNUMUS and Abattis Bioceuticals are building towards is an initial coin offering (ICO).

With several positive relationships built throughout the industry, based on its marketing and laboratory wings, Abattis Bioceuticals Corp. (CSE: ATT) (OTC: ATTBF) is well equipped to achieve the ICO goal, and be driving force in both the cannabis and blockchain sectors together.

COMPARABLES

Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. (TSX.V: EMH) (OTC: EMHTF)

Emerald Health, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells medical marihuana and cannabis oils in Canada. The company was formerly known as T-Bird Pharma Inc. and changed its name to Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. in June 2015. The company has a joint venture partnership with Village Farms for greenhouse space, and with Abattis Resources for their jointly-owned subsidiary, Northern Vine Labs. Emerald Health Therapeutics, Inc. is headquartered in Victoria, Canada and is a subsidiary of Emerald Health Sciences Inc.

Future Farm Technologies Inc. (CSE: FFT) (OTC: FFRMF)

Future Farm Technologies operates as an indoor plant growth technology company providing indoor controlled environment agriculture systems that utilize minimal land, water, and energy regardless of climate, location, or time of year. It also manufactures concentrated cannabis oil and purified distillate, and develops and sells apps on IOS and Android platforms. Future Farm Technologies Inc. was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

IBM is also involved in blockchain technology, and is projected to benefit from the BaaS market that is estimated to reach $20 billion in sales in the next decade. Recently, IBM has been working on a cross-border payment system that uses blockchain and has been working with Kroger, Nestle, Wal-Mart and other companies to use blockchain technology to further streamline and improve the food supply chain.

MassRoots, Inc. (OTC: MSRT)

MassRoots operates a technology platform for the medical cannabis community. Its platform enables users to share their cannabis content, follow various dispensaries, and stay connected with the legalization movement; and its mobile apps enable consumers to make educated cannabis purchasing decisions through community-driven reviews. The company's network is accessible as a free mobile application through the iOS App Store, the Amazon App Store, and the Google Play Marketplace, as well as a Website at MassRoots.com In addition, the company engages in developing Blockchain-based solutions for the cannabis industry. MassRoots, Inc. was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

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