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MJ Lifestyle Issue 01 Digital

“A huge issue faced by

“A huge issue faced by the industry, especially in the US, is the growing cash problem. Since Cannabis companies cannot open bank accounts (unless done so under false pretenses), the only legal alternative is to use cash. This is obviously a terrible idea, resulting in stockpiles of cash, a growing concern for one’s safety and the issue of having to handle all payrolling directly with cash.” ISSUE 01 42

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE A BLOCK CHAIN FOR THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY? After running my first Cannabis company AuBox, I realized some of the suppliers I had been meeting with were bringing false lab results and telling me their product is 100% organic or that it was 90% CBD. I had some suspicions, so I re-tested many of the products and found out most of my suppliers were honest with accurate lab results, but the few that were dishonest were a few too many. I know how dangerous fake lab results can be for patients with weak immune systems who need organic products, or even children with epilepsy that need CBD not THC. So I decided to create a blockchain that would allow farmers and labs to upload their own data while giving access to suppliers, dispensaries, governments, and patients. Trust and transparency can help get Cannabis on a faster path to becoming federally legal and it can change the old “reefer madness” image that so many have not been able to move away from. AN ACCOMPLISHED MODEL, ENTERING INTO NOT ONE, BUT TWO MALE DOMINATED INDUSTRIES — TECH & CANNABIS — WE CAN’T IMAGINE IT HAS BEEN EASY. ANY ADVICE FOR WOMEN WORKING TO ACHIEVE A SIMILAR FEAT? Don’t be afraid to get into either space—although there are still more men than women in both industries, they are not as much of a boy’s club as is the case in most other industries and we have the chance to really be equals in this space because it’s still early. This is the ultimate disruptive medicine and technology and they have tremendous potential to change the current social paradigm as well. WHAT CHALLENGES WERE YOU FACED WITH IN STARTING A CANNABIS-RELATED BUSINESS? A major issue for the wider Cannabis industry is the lack of transparency and farming information of the product. For myself, it was incredibly hard to get accurate growing information and plant history from suppliers. In order to verify the product quality, I would send batches to a lab to verify the lab results I was given by the supplier. Consequently, I quickly realized that performing lab tests and comparing these to statements from the supplier was the only way to ensure proper quality control. A huge issue faced by the industry, especially in the US, is the growing cash problem. Since Cannabis companies cannot open bank accounts (unless done so under false pretenses), the only legal alternative is to use cash. This is obviously a terrible idea, resulting in stockpiles of cash, a growing concern for one’s safety and the issue of having to handle all payrolling directly with cash. As a start-up in the US Cannabis industry, finding a landlord willing to lease an office or property is a near insurmountable task. The reason for this is the fact that Cannabis is illegal on a federal level, and the federal government could, theoretically, knock down the door at any time if they have any suspicions. As a result, Cannabis (affiliated) companies have to pay far in excess of the market average for rent if they are lucky enough to find office space at all. IT SOUNDS LIKE SOME OF YOUR CHALLENGES HAVE INSPIRED NEW PROJECTS LIKE REAL ESTATE. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT CANNABIS FRIENDLY WORKSPACE? HAVE YOU STARTED CONSTRUCTION? Finding working space can be especially difficult for start-ups and cannabis industry employees. Federal organizations can shut down office units or buildings that are in any way involved with Cannabis at any time. Consequently, most landlords will not lease office space to anybody working within this industry. Paragon is here to help, and we have tailored our spaces to be accessible for all individuals and small businesses operating within the cannabis industry. The only requirement to work at our co-working space is PRG - as this is the only payment form we accept for all services in these buildings. Within these spaces, we bring together like-minded individuals to innovate the industry as well as work towards legalization. In addition to co-working, a vast array of conferences can be held for industry-specific topics. Currently, Paragon has opened escrow and in the process of acquiring a state-of-the-art building in the heart of Hollywood, LA—the location having been voted on by the community. We will soon be releasing news on the progress of refurbishing and designing these buildings - so stay tuned! 43 @MJLIFESTYLE

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