This week we’re delving into the topic of Cannabis and Technology with special guest Richard Skaife (@tokenrichard on twitter!) from Cobidol who is a venture capitalist and cannabis entrepreneur. In this episode we discuss the state of tech in cannabis, and Richard's new blockchain business, Cobidol, which will hopefully raise standards for the CBD industry.
Richard is the CEO and Co Founder of YOVO - a mobile network for Generation Y. Richard also Co Founded the ventures incubator YUZA which was the birth place for the world's leading self help app Digipill and the Fin Tech company Pollen Capital. Richard has spent over 20 years around the mobile industry. He has also spent time in commercial radio - launching The Network "National Radio for Students". Live events and music have been a big part of Richard's career too - he was the creator of a weekend long live event format called the tidy Weekender which ran for over 10 years and also spent a period of time as the Managing Director of the dance music super club brand Slinky. Richard has spent time as a partner in early stage Venture Capital - but much prefers the other side of the table. Richard works with a number of start up's and VC's to advise on growth and sector trends. Richard has recently invested in and created a company called Cobidol who provide a set of tools which allow consumers to be able to locate the highest of quality CBD products.
Podcast Episode Summary
What is venture capital? Venture capital is an asset class which is becoming more and more prominent - think Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den here. Venture capitalists are business people who invest their own money in exchange for a percentage of a company for a financial gain later on down the line.
The cannabis industry is seeing a large number of venture capitalists who are interested in investing in the industry. There are some dedicated specialist firms who do this in Europe and the USA.
Technology will be a fundamental driver within the cannabis industry, at the moment technology within the space doesn't run concurrently as there are some tech companies who are restricted from serving the industry due to its nature.
There is a gap in the market for technology companies to come into the industry and create bespoke products and services specifically for it for example banking platforms and payment gateways. Interesting niches are yet to be served by technologists.
Tech companies will need to create products which are applicable and can be sold to multiple audiences around the globe with the fewest modifications. A piece of technology or software may be suitable for Canada but not for The USA due to different regulatory controls.
Innovations are most likely to emerge within the medical and health sectors as opposed to the recreational side.
We can look towards the US and other developed markets to find out what sorts of technology problems we may find as the industry grows within Europe. Some of the problems we find include being able to find high quality CBD products and being able to verify such claims associated with products. These are global challenges and not specific to certain markets.
Richard explains that the stigma around the word cannabis almost overrides the word ‘medical’. To solve this isn’t just a branding issue but can only be fixed with re-education.
Other technology companies within the industry are offering a mixture of software and hardware such as VAX who create herbal vapourisers and have developed some incredible products which have been since been patented.
Cobidol is a blockchain business
Block chain is a way of recording information whereby a number of parties are record keepers of the information. Those parties then agree that the information recorded is an accurate record of such information. These types of business provide a way of proving that documentation is legitimate and each person who is involved in the transaction agrees so.
Using a blockchain methodology when it comes to CBD businesses means that the quality of product has been completely certified and that the information on the label accurately reflects the quality of the product which the consumer consumes.
‘A good venture capitalist is a good business partner’ 03:32
‘We are starting to see more and more venture capitalists becoming interested in Cannabis businesses’ 03:50
‘Technology will be driving a technology customer experience given where we are at the moment in the UK and Europe’ 07:50
‘We have seen incredible levels of awareness and adoption of CBD’ 09:00
Join Richard on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardskaife/
Understanding blockchain businesses: https://blockgeeks.com/guides/understand-blockchain-business-models/
UPCOMING CANNABIS EVENTS WITHIN THE UK:
European CBD Expo in London
Respected researchers, scientists, ag-tech, pharma experts, regulators, investors, entrepreneurs and eighty exhibitors will share their knowledge about the flourishing medicinal cannabis industry at Europe CBD Expo, Britain’s first-ever international Medicinal Cannabis and Cannabinoids Trade Show and Conference.
The B2B event will take place on Friday, 12th July at The ExCeL London, followed by a combined B2Band consumer day on 13th July.
Grab a ticket with 10% off using the link below - just make sure you enter ‘TCC’ at checkout to make use of the discount.