Hemp CBD startup, Chow420 is taking the market by storm after raising $1 million in seed funding and has now built a blockchain-powered cannabis ecosystem to simplify and facilitate trade amongst all stakeholders in the Hemp and CBD industry.
Unlike pharmaceuticals, it is incredibly difficult to create a consistent cannabis product as small changes in the growing process affect the nature of the plant and the final product. Another challenge is the lack of FDA regulation, which has led to opportunistic actors taking advantage of the fast-growing, but relatively under-developed market, at the expense of consumer safety. Chow420 is solving these challenges, head-on, by building a first of its kind certification standard on the Binance blockchain network.
Last year, Chow420 completed their smart online marketplace, onboarding more than 500 companies like Hempbase, Windy Hill Hemp, Koi and Absolute Nature CBD, who produce high-quality products. “Chow420 has turned out to be one of the best business decisions we have made,” shared Windy Hill Hemp President, Kristy Redmon, R.ph. “With Chow’s online age-verification and automated state-compliance, we are assured that 100% of our customers are of legal age and that we are meeting all state regulations. Chow even provides real-time sales tax calculations, which is no small feat given Colorado’s complex multi-jurisdictional tax requirements.” added Kristy.
In combination with their automated dispensaries launching in malls this Fall, Chow420 is bringing trust, compliance, and convenience to an emergent, but nascent industry, characterized by regulatory gaps, which is predicted to be worth $20 billion by 2024 (Forbes, 2019). “Our goal is to provide the industry with a robust offering that uses blockchain and a combination of physical and online tools to promote best practices in the manufacturing, testing, and retail segments of the CBD Industry,” shared Chow420 CEO & Cofounder, David Obasiolu.
This endeavor by Chow420 is against the backdrop of rampant product misrepresentation in the CBD industry. A CBD market intelligence report by category testing experts, Ellipse Analytics discovered over 70% of the 240 top selling hemp CBD products in the market to be contaminated with heavy metals like lead and arsenic, pesticides, toxic mold, and other dangerous impurities. Such a trend demands a framework for content verification to ensure customer safety.
Using blockchain technology, Chow420 aims to provide unique digital identities for certified products by creating verifiable, unforgeable records. Chow420’s verification protocols check the veracity of COAs (certificates of analysis) against the databases of testing laboratories and communicate discrepancies to relevant parties. Successful outcomes are then embedded on the Binance network to reinforce customer safety, verify the source products, and enforce the accuracy of product labels for all listed products on Chow420.
Chow420 will also be launching their Chow Pods this Fall. These fully automated, zero-contact dispensaries with electronic age verification will allow customers to purchase products with just their smartphone. Chow420 will be launching their automated stores and kiosks in seven locations this fall after signing a deal with major mall real estate companies, Simon Property Group and PREIT. The locations are as follows:
- Mall at Prince George – Hyattsville, MD
- Cumberland Mall – Vineland, NJ
- Philadelphia Mills Mall – Philadelphia, PA
- Quakerbridge Mall – Lawrenceville, NJ
- Lehigh Valley Mall – Fullerton, PA
- Smith Haven Mall – Lake Grove, NY
- Mills at Jersey Gardens – Elizabeth, NJ
To support Chow420’s ambitious blockchain technology and retail expansion efforts, a second round of fundraising has resumed on the StartEngine crowdfunding platform. Backed by over 2,000 investors, the company has positioned itself as a smart ecosystem made up of fully automated dispensaries and an online marketplace that seamlessly connects retailers with customers in the most compliant and transparent way.