City Council Members Stump for Cryptocurrency with a Very Public Pot Purchase

Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett and Emeryville City Councilmember Dianne Martinez have high hopes for cryptocurrency’s future in the marijuana biz. To showcase their confidence, they both walked into a marijuana dispensary and became the first elected officials to purchase cannabis using cryptocurrency last week.

“Councilmember Bartlett was participating in a live demonstration of stablecoin and crypto financial technology produced by Cred and facilitated by the Blockchain Advocacy Coalition,” according to a press release. “The process took seconds and resulted in substantially lower transaction fees for the dispensary.”

The Blockchain Advocacy Coalition is sponsoring legislation that would allow the state to accept cannabis taxes in the form of stablecoin. It’s one possible solution to the industry’s banking problems.

“By providing a cash-free method of cannabis tax collections, AB 953 can reduce costs and safety risks for cities and businesses,” said Councilmember Bartlett, who has asked city staff to draw up a report on acceptance of cannabis taxes through stablecoin. “Tax collections leveraging stablecoin technology will help bring this new industry into the light.”

What did Bartlett and Martinez buy at the pot shop? It’s not clear, but one photo shows Bartlett holding up a pamphlet for VetCBD, which Marijuana Moment describes as “a low-THC, high-CBD tincture that’s used to treat conditions such as anxiety and pain in pets.”