Alt Thirty Six, an Arizona-based startup, announced on Tuesday it has closed a $10 million Series A funding round for its cannabis payment solutions platform.

The round — led by an as of yet undisclosed private equity firm — aims to accelerate the growth and expansion of Alt Thirty Six, and the development of its platform. The startup will expand licensing in states across the US, while working with regulators to ensure compliance.

Alt Thirty Six allows cannabis merchants to connect with vendors, suppliers, and customers in real-time. The digital payments platform is designed to eliminate cash from the cannabis industry by using blockchain technology from BlockCypher and cryptocurrency Dash.

In a press release, Alt Thirty Six co-founder and CEO, Ken Ramirez, said:

“We are committed to revolutionizing the cannabis space by increasing access to compliant digital payments, making transactions easier and faster for all cannabis businesses. This new Series A funding round provides us access to the resources we need to help facilitate our vision for one of the fastest growing industries in the country.”

Indeed, the cannabis industry has seen huge growth in recent years. From 2015-2018, global cannabis-related deals totaled $6 billion, despite only being federally legal in Uruguay for most of that time. As legalization expands, the US and Canada are expected to generate combined $172 billion of retail sales over the next six years.

Alt Thirty Six is not the first to introduce blockchain technology into the industry, though, with cryptocurrencies such as PotCoin and HempCoin offering alternate forms of payment for merchants.

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