Roxana Gonzalez Leyva/123RF

Blockchain For Cannabis: 10 Startups To Watch In 2019

  • 18 January 2019
  • Sam Mire

It’s not just the United States — cannabis is taking the whole world by storm.

The international creep towards medical and recreational legalization has dragged marijuana into the mainstream. The industry saw an uptick in innovation as a result. No longer confined to the edge of the economy,, innovators in the cannabis space are taking on challenges that the still-budding industry has yet to solve. From product quality assurance to consumption-related law enforcement, their work is cut out for them.

Innovators in the cannabis industry are using blockchain to explore how products can be safer and processes more efficient. Enthusiasts are linking up on cannabis-specific, blockchain-linked social networks. Expert horticulturalists are passing along their knowledge to novice growers on blockchain-powered platforms. Financially-minded innovators are creating solutions for countless unbanked dispensary owners. Combined, these developments represent the growing impact of blockchain technology in the world of legal cannabis.

DMGDMG Blockchain

DMG Blockchain is a multi-faceted blockchain company, but its latest project is a full-service supply chain and provenance platform for Canada’s legal cannabis industry.

The company aims to become the go-to resource for legal cannabis supply chains as other regions legalize it.

Date Founded: 2011

Funding Type: Private/Venture


Nezly brings the blockchain to the cannabis industry from seed to sale. Their Nezly token lets growers and sellers streamline their business operations, providing a source of financial mechanism that can’t be frozen or seized. The Nezly team uses its platform to disseminate advice on topics like strain selection, land acquisition, growing equipment, horticulture techniques, and product pricing.

Date Founded: July 26, 2015

Funding Type: Semi-private


Paragon is a comprehensive blockchain-based solution to many of the problems facing the legal cannabis industry. Its distributed ledgers can authenticate product and confirm that a transaction is legal and free from regulatory interferene. Its ParagonCoin is instrumental in everything from finding affordable property for cannabis startups to rent, creating a digital space for cannabis enthusiasts to share their thoughts, and funding and supporting blockchain innovation in the cannabis industry.

Date Founded: 2017

Funding type: ICO


GrowPayment’s Stembis platform is a marketplace where its GRPM token can be exchanged for cannabis, CBD, hemp, vaporizers, and the like. It even works with credit cards, PayPal, and other cryptocurrencies. Fully adhering to international regulations, Stembis “combines the the effortless shopping experience of Amazon, the premium feel of Nordstrom, and community engagement of Lululemon.” But, you know, for weed.

Date Founded: March 2018

Funding Type: ICO


Toronto-based CannaSOS is a blockchain-enabled platform in which users browse, rate, and review different dispensaries and marijuana strains. They interact socially with friends, groups, and fellow cannabis enthusiasts. The interface makes it simple to find and share information and reviews and connect with local businesses. Their PerksCoin (PCT) facilitates transactions and drives engagement within the ecosystem.

Date Founded: July 1, 2014

Funding Type: Private


With cooperation from patients, physicians, growers, sellers, enthusiasts, and activists, Budbo hopes its collection of decentralized blockchain applications will help patients and recreational users store their medical information on an encrypted server and use smart contracts for frictionless cannabis transactions.

Pre-ICO: November 27, 2017

Funding Type: ICO

Growers International

Growers International is a marketplace designed to bring help the cannabis industry find safe, reliable sources for its product, and to provide other goods, services, and guidance to consumers. Users can buy marijuana-related equipment on the platform . The community token GRWI is the centerpiece for these transactions.


PotCoin is a cryptocurrency designed to serve as a payment method and store of value for the world’s legal cannabis industry. Users can exchange PotCoin for legal cannabis products and services. The company famously sponsored Dennis Rodman on a trip to North Korea.


Date Founded: January 21, 2014

Funding type: ICO


HempCoin is a cryptocurrency developed in 2014, and it serves as the currency behind a a decentralized, convenient “THC payment system.” Their users are individuals and businesses within the legal cannabis, hemp, and tobacco industries. They primarily serve as a banking and payment solution for the marijuana industry. Many banks refuse to work with cannabis entrepreneurs as long as the plant is federally illegal.

Date Founded: 2014

Funding Type: ICO

Alt Thirty SixAlt Thirty Six

Alt36 allows users to pay for cannabis digitally using blockchain. Alt36 caters specifically to dispensary owners, who are largely underbanked. The Alt36 platform exists as an alternative to cash and credit cards, which are limited as a form of payment for cannabis. The Alt36 app goes beyond banking, too, as it helps dispensary owners discover and connect with vendors and suppliers, and vice versa.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding type: Private/Venture

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.