A new coworking space for cannabis companies is set to open Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Hollywood, California, to help facilitate innovation and networking within the industry.
Los Angeles-based Paragon, which calls itself a cannabis solutions company has created ParagonSpace, a four-building compound that includes a cafe, meeting rooms, and rentable office and desk space. The company also has developed ParagonCoin, a cryptocurrency, and the blockchain-based ParagonChain, which includes a seed-to-sale tracking system to provide banking and business services to clients. ParagonCoin will be used to pay rent, cover expenses in the cafe and pay for Paragon-related transactions.
“It’s difficult for people in the cannabis industry to find places to work and when they do, if the landlord hears the word ‘marijuana’ or if your company name even alludes to it, they often jack up the price,” Paragon spokesperson Lauren Bunde told Marijuana.com.
The 4,364-square-foot campus includes private and shared offices that rent monthly for $449 for a single desk; $1,996 for a four-person desk; and $2,070 for a three-person private office.
Founded by former model and entrepreneur Jessica VerSteeg, the company developed ParagonChain with the goal of providing supply-chain tracking for the cannabis industry. Paragon’s systems rely on blockchain, a technology that helps create a verifiable financial and accounting system through distributed ledgers of computer code.
Blockchain is touted as a method of conducting transactions without the need for banking networks, as well as a means of storing data in an unalterable way. It was developed as a response to perceived flaws in the banking system — or in the case of cannabis, in place of the banking system, which does not accept the industry’s participation because federal law lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act.
“We all know cannabis is hard to regulate and even harder to track,” Bunde said. “Through the blockchain, we’ve developed a totally transparent system in which every stage of the process is recorded by the responsible parties, from the farmer to the dispensary owner.”
The system is not just for cannabis producers, she added. Consumers may also use the Paragon app to glean information about products they’re buying. Eventually, the company intends to create a QR code that customers can scan for products using Paragon’s blockchain.