TheRev, July 2017
Hello Tokes Platform Enthusiasts!
Welcome back to another exciting edition of the TheRev newsletter! We have some tremendous follow-up on a few announcements from our previous newsletter. This month is going to kick off with a spotlight on the Herbology Tours partnership. We’ll also be discussing our new Merchant Gateway, the Tokes Dispensary Pilot program, Marketing, and an update on the Bounty 2.0 Program. If you didn’t catch it during the month, we also released the first of our quarterly Transparency Reports, with detailed information on the corporate reserve accounts – Here.
Spotlight: Herbology Tours
I’m very pleased to announce that as I’m writing this newsletter, the terms of our equity stake acquisition and MOU (memorandum of understanding) have been finalized with a Las Vegas-based Cannabis Tourism company, Herbology Tours (http://herbologytours.com). We have a meeting scheduled for final signatures this Friday, July 21st, making the partnership official. The deal entitles the Tokes Platform to a 10% equity stake in Herbology, with options to purchase an additional 10% within 2 years. In exchange, we injected cash into the company for ongoing operating expenses, along with $15,000 in TKS to be held in a reserve account managed by us. Herbology also has options to purchase up to 50,000 TKS directly from our reserve at $3.00/ea, within 2 years.
At present, Herbology offers four core tourism services to the Las Vegas area. The first, “Herbology 101,” is an educational tour targeting people interested in learning about cannabis, and generally runs about 4 hours. The tour kicks off with a session dedicated to teaching attendees about the cultivation process, cannabis strains, the expected physical effects associated with particular plant genetics, terpene profiling, positive and negative effects of consuming, as well as basics such as how to consume (currently $129/person). This same tour is available as a VIP experience, starting at $250/person per hour. Others might be interested in the “Brews and Buds,” package, which visits dispensaries and a brewery all in the same day ($169/person). And finally, a hop-on-hop-off shuttle service that visits numerous dispensaries around town on a standard route. These packages are already selling out quickly, and there are already plans to expand the company into other states with legal cannabis sales.
At this point you might be thinking, “Great, but how does this deal benefit me?” The synergistic benefits are numerous. First and foremost, this relationship will be the first of our revenue generating enterprises, and will ultimately be driving profits back into the Tokes Economy. While the exact TKS-holder-return mechanism ($TKS Repurchase Program, snapshot TokesBTC distributions, etc.) has not yet been fully vetted and approved by our legal, you should be enthused by the fact that this revenue will help drive success of the project for the long term. One note of caution, however, is that Herbology Tours is still a startup in its own right, and will take some time to make distributions to partners. However, as a strategic partner, board member, and experienced finance manager, I’ll be working diligently to drive the financial success of the company.
Second, the shuttle service will be traveling up and down the Las Vegas Strip seven days a week with expected exposure to nearly a million visitors each week (on average). A Tokes Platform logo will be prominently displayed on the side of the shuttle, garnering us exposure to countless tourists every day. This is a major victory for brand awareness.
Perhaps the most beneficial component of the deal will be the enhanced relationships with every dispensary in town. As we’ll quite literally be dropping customers off at their door, improving sales and their footprint, we can expect a welcome invitation to discuss the integration of Tokes into their businesses. More on this below. This is all capped off by the fact that we’ll be integrating TKS directly into the Herbology Tours operations, and enabling customers to purchase tour tickets with Tokes.
This will be one of our first use-case demonstrations of the ability to transact in digital currencies for the mainstream public. It will be an excellent opportunity for us to undertake the educational aspects of our platform, which we’ve discussed at length. One of our core objectives is to teach both individuals and businesses on the benefits and abilities of digital currencies, and should have a positive impact on the entire ecosystem. A contribution we’re eager to make.
Merchant Gateway & Tokes Dispensary Pilot Program
As we have progressed over the last few months, it has been necessary for us to make strategic decisions on how to best utilize our time and capital, given the limited resources we currently work with. Given that necessity, we have temporarily sidelined the development of our own mobile app to focus on development features we feel are more pivotal to the success of the project. Although we will ultimately be implementing the features we proposed with our mobile app, the core aspect of wallet transactability has already been integrated by the WAVES application, which is successfully available in both the iOS and Android app stores. Quite the accomplishment in their own right.
In lieu of development on the mobile app, we’ve focused our attention on a new Merchant Gateway system. This interface will ease the transition into digital currencies for conventional businesses, and make integration with dispensaries much more efficient. The idea is simple: make processing a transaction in TKS as seamless as possible for our industry partners. That includes items such as calculating a fixed amount of TKS for a particular sale, transitioning those TKS into and out of cash-backed assets (dollar pegging), and simplifying the asset allocation aspect of a merchant sale. To clarify that last point, some of the businesses we’re engaging with have an interest in maintaining exposure to various digital currencies, including TKS and BTC. Others want sales to effectively sit in cash. We can help these merchants accomplish a ‘portfolio allocation’ automatically through the backend of our Merchant Gateway, which functions similar to a POS system. This is similar to how BitPay integrates with merchants for BTC; however, BitPay does not currently work with the cannabis industry. We see this as an opportunity to build out a functional digital currency POS, integrating both TKS and crypto into the cannabis space. We currently have some rough unpublished versions of this system, but development work will continue and will be published when we have a version we’re comfortable releasing.
Along with this Merchant Gateway we have initiated our launch into the Vegas market for real world adoption of the Tokes Platform. I’ve alluded to this in the past, but we want to take our release slowly initially to ensure any bugs in the system can be ironed out before a full national launch. With that in mind, we’re accepting between 5-10 local dispensaries into our Pilot Program, who we will work with hand-in-hand to ensure the processing of payments and understanding of our system goes off without any major catastrophes. Assuming all goes well with our Pilot participants, we will quickly scale up to include the remaining dispensaries in Vegas, before moving to surrounding markets for a sales push. The relationships we’re building through the Herbology Tours partnership should be pivotal in enhancing our ability to nurture adoption.
Rebranding & Marketing Engagement
Given the significant progress we’ve made over the last weeks and months, we felt it was a prudent time to engage with a professional creative firm to help polish our branding. After much research and due diligence, we have decided to employ Artisans on Fire (http://artisansonfire.com), which is a creative firm focused on the cannabis niche. They work with a multitude of local dispensaries, cultivators, and cannabis concentrate food product producers. They are excited to work on a project in the technology-cannabis space, as we are excited to utilize their talent to take our brand to the next level. They’ll be working on both the Tokes Platform and Sport Canna logos, brand guides, websites, and presentation materials. We intend to release these content upgrades over the next 4-8 weeks.
Bounty Program 2.0
We would like to thank everyone who applied to our Bounty Program 2.0! Mottsthoughts and Coinking have made most of the selections for addition to our brand ambassador program during the month. If you’ve been selected, you will have already been contacted. We appreciate everyone who applied to this program and are looking forward to having the new ambassadors employed on the project. The selection pool was quite competitive, with talents ranging from full stack developers, to qualified writers/editors, and to others with deep marketing experience. As our resource allocation to this new initiative is also limited, we made every attempt to diversify the talents recruited through the program. We will be bringing these new team members online in the coming weeks, and we can expect some active engagement in Slack. If you were not selected in this round, do not fret. We will be continuously expanding the team as we reach various growth milestones, so there will always be an opportunity in the future.
That wraps up the July Newsletter! Thank you to everyone joining us on this journey! Until next time…
Here’s to something new. Here’s to the revolution.