By Sherree DeCovny, Co-Founder and Research Principal
The cannabis industry is highly decentralized because of the regulatory mandates on both the state and municipal levels. It’s fast growing: North American marijuana sales grew by 30% in 2016 to $6.7 billion, according to Arcview Market Research. It’s still emerging from the black market, which creates uncertainty about the industry.
Financial institutions see an opportunity to serve businesses along the cannabis supply chain, but they’re concerned about the risk, particularly because the substance is constrained at the federal level. In 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) issued guidance clarifying customer due diligence expectations and reporting requirements for financial institutions seeking to provide services to the cannabis industry. Yet many financial institutions don’t have the knowhow, sophistication or technology to execute on the guidance. To this end, cannabis is primarily a cash business.
Lamine Zarrad, a former U.S. Marine and bank examiner at the U.S. Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), formed Tokken to fill help this gap. He developed the Tokken mobile wallet, which consumers can use at participating retailers. At the point of sale, money is transferred from the consumer’s chosen payment account into the Tokken system. The transaction is recorded on Tokken’s blockchain-based indelible ledger, and the balance is issued to the retailer.
By Ken Cottrill, Co-Founder and Research Principal
The perennial problem of truck driver shortages is back with a vengeance. Technologies such as blockchain could help fix a problem that puts a brake on the U.S. economy.
“Simply – without trucks, America stops,” says the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
They are not exaggerating.
Trucks transport more than 70% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. To move 10.5 billion tons of freight annually requires more than 3.4 million heavy-duty trucks and over 3.5 million drivers, estimates ATA.
Drivers are in short supply for a variety of reasons. Wages in the business have not kept pace with other industries while costs have increased. Other factors include extended periods away from home, the stresses and strains of meeting ever-tighter delivery windows, and a general lack of respect for the profession. Drivers also must contend with tighter regulations governing their hours of service.
Technology can’t solve these problems – but it can make truck driving more palatable and perhaps slow the flight away from hauling freight as a career by freeing up drivers’ time.
By Pete Harris, Co-Founder and Research Principal
Welcome to the new monthly update from Chain Business Insights, in which we focus on news and developments from blockchain technology vendors operating in the supply chain space. Usually, this update is for our clients only, but since this is a pilot posting, as it were, we’re making it free to all.
A lot is happening in the blockchain meets supply chain world, and each month we want to highlight what is important. If you are doing something that you feel qualifies for inclusion, we want to hear from you, so please contact us.
This month, we have news for you regarding IBM, Ambrosus, Provenance, Ripe.io, R3, TradeIX, Cisco and the Trusted Internet Alliance, Oracle and SAP. Let’s get going, starting on a few developments related to food supply chains (which we dived deep into in some recent research) …