Earlier this week, I knew I wanted to write something today on the cannabis industry. About how Canada is the big winner of the War on Drugs. I had done so before, on a Dutch cannabis news outlet, but when by chance this piece on VICE entered my view, I actually have little to add to the piece other than recommend you to read it. But I’ll give a short summary, because it’s a good transition to the real subject.

Considering the United States enacted the War on Drugs and they’re now well on their way to end it state by state (amidst the Jeff Sessions panic), you would think they’d have an advantage over the rest of the world. Even though the Netherlands has gone through the same green revolution before, which was halted by a conservative government.

Canada is the big winner of the War on Drugs

Canada on the other hand, recently changed it’s medicinal cannabis program, with a few select group of companies now being Licensed Producers (LPs). And while their national market is relatively big, it’s them able to interact with foreign governments looking to change their medicinal cannabis laws and start exporting. They’ve already done so successfully with New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Brazil and Croatia and are bound to dominate the global trade of cannabis. Unlike companies in the United States, which are bound by Federal laws.

But it’s a common problem cannabis companies are dealing with, familiar to the United States, that I wanted to talk about.

European cannabis industry and banking

If you’re following the news coming out of the emerging cannabis industry in the US, it’s likely you’ve read before about the problems they’re having with banking. Because dispensaries can’t use regular bank services, they’re forced to deal only in cash. But what few people know is that this is common too in the Netherlands, as is presumably in other countries as well.

the big players really are the cannabis seed banks

Coffeeshops and banking has always been a delicate matter, but it makes sense. Their supply chain is unregulated and in fact growing is illegal. But there’s more to the cannabis industry other than coffeeshops. There’s nutrients companies, but the big players really are the cannabis seed banks.

Still the larger part of the seed banks are stationed in the Netherlands, but more and more have made moved to Spain. Not because the weather is better or more lenient cannabis laws. No, simply because over there’s less problems for the cannabis industry when you’re dealing with banks. That is, if you’re making enough money.

Meanwhile, except for the few old established seed banks, you will find yourself unable to pay with credit card (or PayPal) at one of the smaller seed banks when you’re hunting for that specific strain.

Whether it’s Nirvana Seeds, Suzy Seeds, High Supplies or Spliff Seeds for that matter, you’re not going to be successful. Some might still have an outdated icon on their website implying paying with credit card is still possible, but at the checkout the option isn’t there.

These are all spasms of an industry that’s going legal globally

Now you could ask yourself why you would order cannabis seeds and pay with a credit card, especially in countries like France where cannabis is strictly forbidden, but that’s not the point.

There’s a certain inequality, by which you even have to be careful not to allow PayPal payments when you’re in the cannabis industry. From a respected source, PayPal will freeze your account and will fine you 40.000 euros if you continue your business.

These are all spasms of an industry that’s going legal globally, but should be ironed out before we can really sit back, relax and take a puff of that legal joint.