Ima make 10 million of nft digital cannabis next year. We will revisit this post next year. I think people underestimating me and it make me just want to prove em wrong.–Jessie Grundy, CEO, The Green Peakz, LLC., LinkedIn post from November 19, 2021
There’s been a lot of talk this year about NFTs, a technology used to create unique digital files. Snoop Dogg just outed himself as a prolific collector of NFTs, with a collection estimated at $17 million. Odell Beckham Jr. recently announced that he’ll be taking his NFL salary in cryptocurrency, and just purchased a valuable NFT. Steph Curry Just Bought a single NFT for $180,000.
The California cannabis community, always on the cutting edge of creative art and subversive tech, is betting big on these new technologies. Visionary cannabis companies are preparing for 2022 by building 3-D experiences for the metaverse, using cryptocurrency, and, now, buying and selling NFTs.
The California cannabis scene has seen some attempts at taking part in the emerging NFT market. For example, the Crypto Cannabis Club has over 10k NFTs for sale. Cryptobuds is a cannabis themed blockchain game. Califari has created their own set of cannabis trading cards. Real Deal Resins created their own set of Real Deal NFTs. Sticker Farmer released the first NFT mylar bags called Blockchain Bags. And at least one company is developing a tool that uses blockchain to verify strain ownership.
[See our “NFThe F**k? A Explainer“ below for an overview of this tech stuff.]
Jessie Grundy, founder of the cannabis brand Peakz, says his company is hard at work preparing for this new world.
“I’m in collabs with big artists, and I’m shifting us to become a cannabis hybrid Web3 company. That’s NFTs, metaverse, stuff like that,” Grundy says. “I’m looking forward to 2022 because it’s definitely when a lot of great things are happening.”
Grundy can already claim pioneer status in this new world of digital cannabis: Peakz launched the first ever weed NFT strains in February of this year. Grundy dropped a limited run of around 40 NFTs, which he says was to test the technology. Each of the works, which were individual strains that Grundy dreamed up and created digital 3-D artwork for, sold out quickly and are now reselling, some fetching over $1,000.
Now Grundy is set to drop a collection of 10,000 Peakz weed NFTs. They’ll land in mid December.
For Grundy, succeeding in the regulated cannabis market has meant being creative and planning for the future.
“I’m just thinking forward,” Grundy says. “Everything is going to evolve and we have to evolve with it.”
Grundy is not only a businessman but also an artist. He designs many of the Peakz bags and he uses digital tools, product marketing, and character design as mediums for his own artwork. He uses tools like Blender and Adobe Illustrator to create cannabis NFTs that will fit in with the environment of the metaverse.
“I’m an artist myself so what I do is a more visionary than just thinking ‘oh, how can I make a couple of crazy looking cannabis buds and how can I make them sell?’ Mine is: what do I see cannabis being in the year 3000? OK, now let me go ahead and make it. So that’s where my head is compared to other people.”
Peakz & Web3
Grundy is building what he calls the first and only cannabis + web3 company. He is currently building a dispensary in the metaverse world Decentraland, where users will be able to buy Peakz brand cannabis as NFTs.
The Peakz NFT collection is gradually dropping this month, and Grundy expects the Peakz dispensary to open early next year.
Grundy says he sees others in cannabis starting to make moves in this space, but he notices they lack vision.
“I think a lot of people don’t really get the metaverse. They just try to make things that they see now. I think the whole point of the metaverse is not being constrained to the reality of the world. You’ve got to be able think outside of what you can see every day, so you can make something that’s successful and fun.”
As for when all of this metaverse stuff will become mainstream? Grundy guesses we’ll see it within the next two years.
“We’re about a year or two away. People are going to gradually get into it, and then there’s going to be a FOMO effect of people being like ‘oh, I want to go to a party in the metaverse. I want to have a house in the metaverse.'”
As he’s worked on the NFT launch, he says it’s become clear to him that the demand is there.
“People are very interested in this. People have been wanting something that’s for the cannabis culture and that they can be proud of. That’s what I’ve learned.”
Weed and NFTs for the People
Grundy, now 29, grew up in East Oakland, where he started selling weed in high school. He launched Peakz in 2019 with support from Oakland’s cannabis social equity program. Last year Peakz received an investment from Jay-Z’s cannabis company The Parent Company, which bolsters Black-owned cannabis companies.
It’s important to Grundy that people with his background get included in these new digital economies. He’s taking it into his own hands by conducting NFT workshops in inner city Oakland and by offering a low-cost online course for beginners.
“I’m trying to educate people in my culture to get on NFTs because I always feel like we don’t get on stuff until we see everybody else do it, and by that time it’s usually too late. I’m just trying to lead them to this space early and get them acquainted so they can be making money in this growing economy.”
Grundy’s $100 “NFT Digital Course” is meant to be an accessible way for people from the community to get started with NFTs.
“We wanted to build something that was very novice-centered. We wanted something that could just cater to beginners into the space.”
Grundy is particularly interested in educating people from the inner cities of the state.
“Everybody can’t be an entertainer or an athlete, but everybody can use their brain to make some money. So I’m trying to lead that revolution in the inner city.”
He’s not worried about creating competition.
“I’m always down for people to try to get in this and try to make something for their family,” says Grundy, who is a father. “I’m always down for competition.”
Grundy hopes that people get into NFTs either for making money or for collecting.
“Some people want to buy them so they can flip them for higher, some people just want to collect the things that mean something to them.”
If NFTs are a source of value in the future, Grundy wants people from places hit hard by the War on Drugs to take part.
NFThe F**k? An Explainer
Below is Visit Hollyweed’s NFT and Metaverse Explainer, intended to help clarify some of this techy terminology.
Summary: The metaverse will be a place to gather and interact. Some believe that blockchain tech like crypto and NFTs will the be the digital “stuff” that exists in the metaverse.
What’s an NFT? NFTs are a type of file that’s completely unique and cannot be copied. It uses the same technology as cryptocurrency, which allows a digital file to be verifiably unique. Once a file has been made into something unique, it can have a value assigned to it just like any other market.
This technology has only been possible recently, when the world-wide internet had evolved to the point where a new sophisticated “block chain” storage method could be used.
Crypto uses block chain technology to create a currency, whereas NFTs use block chain technology to create unique digital objects that can be collected like artwork. In fact, the art world was the first to make use of NFTs to collect digital artworks.
NFTs are really nothing more than collectables. But in the digital world of the future, these digital collectibles will, some hope, have a lot of actual value.
What’s the metaverse? The metaverse, on the other hand, doesn’t use block chain technology. Instead, it uses the internet for immersive online social worlds. Designers use 3D graphics seen through goggles to create “virtual reality” or “augmented reality” digital experiences.
The metaverse is being talked about as a place, a digital world that people will enter through technology like cellphones and goggles. It’s seen as the next phase of the web, the web “that you go inside of.”
Currently, people are purchasing land in these digital worlds and building their own 3D digital experiences that they will be able to invite others into. They’re hoping to be first to claim a prime spot in this new virtual space.
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