CryptoCann™ Report: Western Union may add crypto services; Missouri takes a step forward in licensing medical marijuana businesses

Missouri is expected to generate between $175 million to $275 million in annual marijuana sales, as per Marijuana Business Daily data

Western Union storefront in New York
Western Union said it would consider adding cryptocurrencies to its platform

The Crypto Report

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) is the latest financial institution to consider dipping its toe in the crypto pool.

"We already operate with 130 currencies. If we one day feel like it’s the right strategy to introduce cryptocurrencies to our platform, technology-wise it’s just one more currency,” said Odilon Almeida, president of Western Union global money transfer, in an interview with Reuters.

READ: Bitcoin price hits two-week high past $4,000 ahead of the holidays

The money transfer service partnered with Ripple on a blockchaim trial in June, but said it failed to see any cost-saving benefits, as per a CCN report.

Almeida pointed to the space’s notorious volatility, governance and compliance issues as hindrances to growth.

Big Four auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers highlighted another struggle in the cryptoverse—the lack of access to insurance.

“Most institutionally-minded crypto firms want to buy proper insurance, and in many cases, getting adequate insurance coverage is a regulatory or legal requirement,” said Henri Arslanian, head of PwC’s fintech and crypto division in Asia, in an interview with Reuters.

The Reuters’ report notes that cryptocurrency’s notorious volatility coupled with a lack of insurance coverage may be a significant deterrent to adoption by institutional investors.

More than $800 million worth of crypto was stolen in the first half of the year, according to data from financial research company Autonomous NEXT.

The Cann Report

Cannabis company Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) made headlines Thursday after entering into a research partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (NYSE:BUD)

Anheuser’s Canadian subsidiary Labatt Breweries will team up with Tilray’s subsidiary High Park Company with each company investing up to US$50 million to research non-alcoholic beverages containing THC and CBD.

READ: Aphria widens reach in Argentina after striking deal with authorities in province of Jujuy

“We intend to develop a deeper understanding of non-alcohol beverages containing THC and CBD that will guide future decisions about potential commercial opportunities,” said Labatt Breweries president Kyle Norrington in the company’s press release.

The cannabis company announced Wednesday it inked a medical marijuana supply deal with Sandoz, a division of Swiss pharma giant Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS).

In other cannabis news, Missouri is moving forward with its medical marijuana plans.

State health regulators will begin accepting license application fees for medical marijuana business on January 5, as per a Marijuana Business Daily report.

The report notes that the fee form is not an actual license application, but the step just before filling out an application for a license to operate a medical marijuana business.

Missouri residents voted in November to add a constitutional amendment allowing medical marijuana for patients with cancer, HIV, epilepsy and other serious health issues as well as veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The state is expected to generate between $175 million to $275 million in annual marijuana sales within a few years, according to Marijuana Business Daily data.


Contact Lenore Fedow at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter@LenoreMariee

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