Mexico using cryptocurrency to boost local agriculture and legitimize cannabis sales

Last August at a UNESCO and Mexican Government sponsored public policy forum in Mexico, the company Amar Hidroponia, announced a habanero chili pepper backed cryptocurrency, Agrocoin, which they believe will change the way Mexico finances certain crops, especially cannabis.

Through Agrocoin, Amart Hidroponia and the company’s CEO, Rodrigo Domenzain, seek to legitimize sales of cannabis, which, historically, has been a crop associated with illegal markets, through its marketplace Agropot.

In a statement, the company said the Agropot project “Creates an unmodifiable, inviolable, and publicly audible transaction, in contrast to the illegal market full of risks.” The statement refers to the blockchain, which is a cryptocurrency technology that tracks and links all transactions and ledgers chronologically with continuous updates.

Through the Agropot marketplace, customers in Canada and Mexico can buy imported medicinal sativa seeds, oil, milk, Cannakaffe, and other products both via their app and in their physical store in Cancun, Yucatan.

Mexico’s first cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency harkens back to the days of the gold standard, but without the need for paper bills or metal. Instead, it uses a physical commodity, like chili peppers, as collateral for the digital currency.

Coins rise or fall based on the perceived value of the product they represent.

The currency is designed to eliminate third parties, delays, data breaches, and fees from monetary transactions between two entities all the while increasing security on every purchase and sale.

[Despite educational programs, misinformation abounds in the Latin American CBD market]

Amar Hydroponia is a franchise hydroponic pepper growing company, which gained notoriety by expanding Mexico’s famous hot pepper business.

Launched in September 2018, Agrocoin works by linking the peppers grown in the franchise with the Agrocoin. Each 500 Peso Agrocoin relates directly to one square meter of habanero fields, a centuries-old Yucatecan crop.  

Four million Agrocoins are available to purchase on Agrocoins on AlteumX, an exchange launched by Latin America’s first blockchain specialists.

This initiative links technological innovation and advancement with the growing lobby for legal recreational cannabis in Mexico.

Agropot hoping to be the first mover in legal cannabis boom

Mexico’s legislature is currently debating a bill which would legalize recreational cannabis.

“The demand is large and potential for growth is greater,” Domenzain said about the legalization and his initiative. “If we let taboos stop us or if we go little-by-little like other countries, we will be out-of-business. Mexico can decide at this moment to turbocharge it.”

The Agropot online store first launched in Canada after the country legalized recreational cannabis last year. Users first purchase Agrocoin through the Alteum platform and can then access the Agropot marketplace via an app.

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In addition to Canada, Domenzain is in talks to bring Agrocoin and Agropot to the United States, Uruguay, and Colombia.

In Mexico, which does not allow recreational sales, Domenzain is working within the medicinal cannabis legislation. “In Mexico, only 1% of medical products can be traded. We are in conversation with laboratories, authorities, and every entity involved in encouraging the opening of Mexico.”

Their online and physical store in Cancun opened in late 2018.

Legitimizing cannabis

The illegal cannabis market colors the legal markets across Latin America.

Across these nations, regulations, standards, and inspections are at the forefront of much of the legislation.

[Cannabis decriminalization bill takes another step forward in the Texas Legislature]

Mexico’s recreational cannabis bill specifically highlights the injustice many Mexicans experience at the hands of drug cartels and drug incarceration policies.

Domenzain is in discussions with the author of the bill advocating for using blockchain technology. If he succeeds, this technology could become an integral part of the Mexican cannabis and agricultural economy, transforming and legitimizing the recreational market.

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