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Podcast: Cryptocurrency as a Payments Solution for the Cannabis Industry: An Interview with COO, Charlie Uchill

November 22, 2021

Jordan (00:05): The legal cannabis industry has unlocked generational wealth opportunities across the country, but the industry is regulatory complexities, constant state of change, and speed of evolution, drive confusion for entrepreneurs and investors alike. On this podcast, we'll interview the industry leaders for shaping the future of the legal cannabis industry to help our listeners understand these idiosyncrasies. This is Cannabis Unlocked, hosted by Key Investment Partners.

Jordan: Good afternoon, everybody. This is Jordan Youkilis here with Key Investment Partners, and I'm very excited this afternoon to have another episode of Unlocking Cannabis. My guest today is Charlie Uchill with Ceres Coin. Charlie, thanks so much for joining the podcast this afternoon.

Charlie: Hey Jordan, thank you very much for having me. I'm really, really excited to talk to you and join in on this podcast; I really like what you guys are doing with it.

Jordan: Absolutely. Thanks so much. And we're really excited to have you. I think both Cannabis and cryptocurrency are obviously sectors that have garnered a lot of investor interest lately. And so we really exciting to really dive into both of those sectors and really how they overlap the series. But before we get into that, we'd just love to learn a little bit more about you and your background. So we'd love to just hear about your background from an education standpoint and and where your career was before Ceres.

Charlie: Sure. So my I'm a 1992 graduate of the United States Military Academy. As is my partner in Ceres, both were a class of '92 at West Point. I went into Branch with the Infantry and went on to serve the US Army Rangers out in with 2nd Ranger Battalion out in Tacoma, Washington. Great, really great opportunity there. It was a real privilege to lead probably the finest soldiers in the world. After leaving the Rangers, I actually went to Chicago, where I went down to the Chicago Board of Trade, was working down on the floor. I started off as a runner down there. I was very interested in, in, in trading. I've always been fascinated by that. But I got a job as a, as a runner and literally running orders out into the Corn Pit would go on to become a clerk in the Soybean Oil Options pit. And then from there, I went on to clerk for four days for a person who was trading Derivatives upstairs electronically. This would have been the late 90s. And he said the only way you're going to learn how to trade this is to trade these products yourself. So you open a trading account for me right away after four days. And I traded all types of different esoteric derivative products, whether they be warrants, convertible options, closed-end funds, anything that we could kind of have a an arbitrage opportunity with, I traded. And I did that for about ten years. And then I did some consulting work, try to launch a fund, and then, my partner right now, Greg Anderson, and said, "Hey, how about helping me fund a real estate project out in Austin, Texas." That pivoted into seeing that there was an opportunity actually in crowdfunding or real estate debt opportunities. Specifically, we focused on mezzanine debt lending, and we were all set and actually had some wonderful projects with that. And all of a sudden got all these cannabis operators saying, "Hey, we'll pay the same interest rates that you're charging on this mezzanine subordinated debt, but we'll put you in a senior position, but just know that it's in the cannabis industry." And at first, Greg and I said, "absolutely not, not interested." Until we started touring some of the facilities in Washington, California, Colorado and saw just how sophisticated real these businesses were and saw that there was an opportunity, and from there we formed again, Ceres, that was initially to provide lending to the space and, and Ceres Coin pivoted right out of that. But that ran you up there 20 years for right there—almost 30.

Jordan: Oh, fantastic. So first off, I want to say thank you for your service, really appreciate everything you've done. And from there, we'd love to learn a little bit more about, you know, when you got into the Ceres, how you decided to develop a cryptocurrency, right. And and why you thought that that was the right approach to tackle.

Charlie (04:42): Sure. So one of the states that we went to was was Washington state. That'd be back around 2016, 2017. We're up there, and alot of the projects that we were looking at were in Washington State. Washington State at some very stringent or strict laws that govern how money could come in to support either through debt or equity investment in a Washington State licensed project. And it was very restrictive how you get foreign money in and how you can especially do a debt deal. So we started examining different ways to to do these debt deals. And we started seeing that if if the operator maybe own their building, that we could do this as a real estate loan. And we would use the lease revenues generated by the owner of the building as, as the collateral for what we were doing.

So we were trying to find creative ways to bring this money in, and then we were trying to figure out, all right, what type of vehicle can we use to securitize these lease revenues per se, to sell to investors? And someone suggested that we look at a crypto coin, this, I had no idea what a crypto coin was and they explained what it was. And I said, all right, well, this is kind of interesting. This crypto coins that I had seen had no real underlying tangible value, but our coin would. And then we could try to sell these coins to investors that then were supported by the lease revenues. And that was, that was how we settled on Ceres. This was also during the whole initial coin offering ICO craze that was going on in 2017 and 2018, where people were creating these coins and raising hundreds of millions of dollars overnight.

And one of the things that was promised to me or suggested to me that if I created this coin that was still backed by these revenues, that it wasn't a security, and it wasn't anything, but no regulator knew what it was. So I could just raise money as an asset and raise money like that. And I had been down at the board of trade long enough and traded enough, you know, upstairs, electronically to realize if I bring in investor capital, and I formed this investor contract with them, no matter what I call this coin asset, whatever, this was a security, and would therefore fall under the auspices of the SEC. And if we were going to raise money, we were going to do it in a manner that was compliant with SEC Rules and Regulations and the Investment Acts of 33 and 34. And that's what we did.

Jordan (07:26): That makes sense. So is my understanding correct that a lot of the other cryptocurrencies today that are not technically securities are considered commodities, and that's how they've been able to get around having to go through the sec registration?

Charlie (07:37): Or they've either done that, or they've gone with the mantra, you know, seek forgiveness instead of asking permission and the sec and CFTC. And a lot of those agencies are, are playing catch up, but there's just so many of them out there that it they're just slowly, you know, methodically going after them. You've seen headline after headline, after headline that such and such coin was an unregistered securities offering. This was an unregistered securities offering. This was an unregistered securities offering. And as we spent our time working with the regulators on what we were doing with Ceres, it was still sometimes a little frustrating watching all the money that was being raised. And we weren't really able to tap into these markets until we got our qualification. Cause we, we did our registered, not as a registration, but we did our offering as a, as a Reg A+, Tier Two offering, which is you're exempt from registration, but you still almost have to go through the same requirements, almost just a little like a diet version of a skinny version of a Registration. And, and you're you get, do this exempt offering, but you still have to file with the SEC, still have to provide them audited financials and still have to get a notification of approval for qualification by the SEC. Not many of these coin operators have done it. And, and they're now going to put their investors. We actually technically can't call them investors at some type of regulatory risk because it's, it's really uncertain what it is they sold to those people.

Jordan (09:23): That's really interesting.

Charlie (09:24): Yeah. Something might never happen, but like the biggest one you're probably seeing right now is a big popular cryptocurrency called Ripple, which has multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency, one of the largest ones out there. The SEC has sued Ripple and said that that was an unregistered securities offering and Ripple has chosen to fight it. I think Ripple makes some compelling arguments. Everyone's just trying to get their head wrapped around what a coin is. We just decided right away from the start let's get, let's take that regulatory uncertainty out of the way, and then we'll get into why we chose the SEC. But we, we, instead of hiding from the regulators, we went and sought out a regulator and basically said, we're choosing you and you're not going to leave us no matter what, and we're going to hug and hold you until we get our notice of qualification from you.

Jordan (10:23): That makes sense. And, you know, we'd love to dig in further to that, you know, SEC registration process, but, you know, I think it makes a ton of sense what you're saying. And, you know, interestingly, you're talking about some of what I'll call, you know, maybe the, the more nefarious or not even a fairness, but just you know, to your point ask for forgiveness, not permission type players. And I think we've seen a lot of that on the other side of the coin pun intended in the cannabis industry, not necessarily with cryptocurrencies, but folks that are creating payment solutions that are looking to circumvent you know, wire fraud laws. And, and we're seeing SEC regulators crack down on them as well. So while I'm sure the path to go through that sec registration process was extremely painful and arduous at the time over the longterm, it will improve.

Charlie (11:11): I believe. So. It w you're you're exactly right. It was painful. It was difficult, but it was, I think it was painful and difficult for the regulators too, because they're in a difficult position. They're, they're trying to come up with a solution that isn't just a solution for this one individual thing they're looking at, but it's going to have ramifications and consequences for follow on registrations and qualifications, and then the early process, especially, I'm sure you're seeing in the cannabis industry, too, any type of regulation that comes down, you know, people are, look, gonna look, try to ho how they can take advantage of it. And, and again, don't regulation, the cannabis industry are in the kind of boat and, and on the, on the crypto side, they absolutely are. So I understood what the SEC was doing. In fact, I look back on this two year, three months and 11 day process, and that's how long it took.

We did, we, I think we have done a lot of the, we've done a lot of the legwork on behalf of the SEC with the questions and comments that they forced us to answer. We were doing a lot of the research kind of a bell will use going forward. And it was, it was frustrating. It was tedious. It was hard, but it made us a better company. I will tell you that without a doubt. I said, when we created Ceres Token and our coin, we'll get into that eventually that, oh, this is how it's going to be treated. And, and, and I could, I could get our little pitch out in three minutes. The SEC forced me with their questions and comments to really dig into what it was that someone was buying, how it was going to be transacted, how it was going to be treated, what disclosures that we had to begin, what accounting treatment we would have to follow. Every, it really forced us to get into really the, the incredible detailed, you know, details that you really need to do as, as a business. And in that regard, yeah, it made us a better company. Now, I didn't always say that under my, you know, in private what I would say, the regulators, they were doing that to us, but it really did make, they made us a better company because of that.

Jordan (13:28): And I would imagine you also really help the regulators. Right. And figure out, you know, how the process will work in the future for additional coin offerings.

Charlie (13:35): I would like to think so I think near, especially near the head over the last nine months I got to know a lot of the directors at the SEC open, both in court and in the office of chief accountant on a, on a first name basis. And we were having some very robust discussions specifically it's the accounting treatment of both our tokens and our points. That was, we didn't always agree. And, and, and it was, it was still, it was never personal, was never malicious. It was, we were both trying to work through a lot of things that I might, I thought were obvious, but from their perspective, I see, oh, I see how you're looking at this. Here's where I think you're wrong. And they go, well, here's where we think you're wrong. And eventually we came to kind of an agreement and, and, and we got our qualification.

Jordan (14:31): Yup. Yup. And we'd love to learn a little bit more about, you know, exactly how that SEC process played out and some of the big learnings you had. But I think before we get into that would probably be helpful for myself as well as our listeners would be to take a step back and really understand Ceres structure overall, because it is complicated. And you've used a couple of terms like stable coins, security token. No, that series also has a more traditional lending business. That's not a cryptocurrency. So it would be great if you could just kind of zoom out a little bit and just explain the different components of the business and why you had to structure these various components to make it all work.

Charlie (15:04): Sure. So going back to where we start at the beginning of the conversation on how we could we were addressing a symptom, I think of the problem in the industry and the back in 2017 and 18, and it's, it's not as bad today, but it still exists. And, and one of the symptoms of the problem was, was the lack of debt capital, being able to come into the industry. Most of the ways that a lot of the cannabis companies were raising money was either through the sale of equity. That was the primary way to do it was, was the sale, very few debt structures there. So we said, Hey, let's create this debt instrument. And we would raise money and through some special purpose, single purpose vehicles, you know, put out $1m to $3 million at a time. And then to our token hole.

So, and we would create this token, that would be this digital asset. So, and that's all it is. It's just, instead of it being on piece of paper, it's just digital and it exists on a ledger and there's different protocols that you can put it on. But that, that that's all that it's open was didn't need to be a token. It was just again how we were going to market it and sell it. But, and I'm glad we did do it like we did. So this digital token was initially just going to be a single security that we were going to do as part of our offering. And again, you would give me a, you know, a hundred bucks, I'd invest that a hundred bucks. And I was going to split the revenues with you. You'd get 80, I'd get 20 kind of a 20, 80 Kerry type deal.

When we brought this to our attorneys about how we were going to raise money we had a really robust discussion about, Hey, if we create this digital asset, that is a freely tradable security under this Reg A and Reg A allows for this token to be traded anywhere. So it doesn't have to be an accredited investor who buys it. It just has to be a qualified investor. So any, and it's pretty much open to anyone could buy this, this token, what we discussed that if we create this token that is freely tradable anywhere, and someone has it in their pocket and they say, you know what? I want to transfer ownership of it to this dispensary over here. And instead of getting money for the token, the dispensary happens to give them product, joints, gummies, whatever. We can track  that transaction cause everything will happen on our, on our ledger, but we didn't feel like were violating laws.  There was no laws being violated. This was a private transaction between two individuals had nothing to do with money. There was no money being transacted here. It's just someone transferred ownership, a security over to a dispensary, the dispensary instead of paying cash for it just happened to give them product. And now they have the security and when the  dispensary wanted it redeemed, sell the security back to us, which they, it said in their investment agreement that they could, they could give us the security back and we give them dollars.

So what I just described to you is the only flow of dollars into and out of our system was you that it buys security or for us, or for them to sell it back to us, perfectly legal transaction, nothing that anyone could really complain about. But letter of the law made this really, I think really compelling to the industry is that we can track down to the penny. What is happening on that transaction? Who what, where, when, how much? So for the banks that have to do these Suspicious Activity Reports for their customers, our chain code and the code that was happening with the coin could actually fill out the reports for them in real time. And we could get, again, down to the penny, what was going to be done to the transaction. So initially we had one coin that was going to do this, and we loved ourselves. We thought we were going to be the new Bitcoin. We were going to issue this for a dollar. Our coin was going to go to a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars. And we were going to be millionaires. We're really excited about that. And it was our CTO in on a Friday call and said, Hey, if our coin is as volatile as Bitcoin, no one will ever take it out of their digital wallet to transfer ownership over it, over to a dispensary because no one will know what it's worth and the dispensary will have no idea what it's worth. So they'll be less inclined to take it. We've got to somehow tap out the volatility. And that's what we did.

We, so we bifurcated our offer. We kept this Ceres Token as an investment vehicle, but we also introduced now under the same offering a Stable Coin, a coin that would always be worth $1, no matter what. And the way we would award our token holders was every time the coin moved, we took a transaction fee and a portion of that transaction fee would flow back to the token holder. So now the token holders are participating in two lines of business, our Cannabis, real estate lending business, and this new blockchain transaction network get the greater velocity that we got. The more times our coins moved, the more money that they made. So that's what we created. Then we had to figure out what type of, what was this stable coin and how would the SEC look at it and how would the SEC treat it?

And, and that became the elegance of what we did then in the offering, probably what really forced us to take two years, three months and 11 days to get through the process. Hope I explained that well that again... One, that that series token is essentially legal form preferred equity that allows you to participate in our lines of business. And the stable coin is strictly on the camp of mechanic crypto people out there, and this utility token for everyone else, for the securities people here, it is a debt security note due on demand that you have an investment contract with us 24/7, 365, you know, that you can redeem that note with us and we'll issue cash.

Jordan (21:20): Got it. So if retail investors wanted to purchase either the stable coin or the security token as not necessarily a store about, or sorry as a way to, you know, purchase product from dispensaries, but rather as more of an investment and, is that something that they could do and are there exchanges that they can do that through?

Charlie (21:37): Sure, so that the token, which again, was just approved March 29th, 2021, we got our approval. If you want to invest and participate with Ceres, which we think it's a very neat investment has a kind of this fixed income attribute based on the lender on the, on the interest rates that we get on the loans that we put out and how good our underwriting is, and still get to chance to participate on what we think can be a huge market for creating a digital payment system, not only for the cannabis industry, but for everything beyond then, yet you, you can buy that token and it will go live probably in the next talking about eight weeks we're approved. We want to sell, all right, now we're registered or qualified to sell up to 30 million. We will probably be amending that fairly soon because the SEC changed the rules where we can sell up to about 50 million of these tokens. They'll be able to buy them directly from us. And we do have an agreement in place where they broker dealer, where these tokens will be listed on an alternative trading system ATS, and they will trade in that secondary market.

Jordan (22:51): Gotcha. No, that's great.

Charlie (22:52): Coins are strictly for those people. We have to first are going to be onboarding dispensary's and, and operators to again, use our coin. We'll start out with our coins accidental on a B2B basis. We want, we're bringing on, we're going to bring on a, a wholesaler and to test through our, our initial lot run of points. The group of dispensary's we'll use the coins to buy from the wholesaler, and there'll be able to see that, Hey, we don't have to do this, no dollars going back and forth and sprinter bands. It's this digital system that can tie into our inventory management system. And then those dispensaries can become our Salesforce to say, Hey, we're paying our wholesaler with these digital coins. We want real coins too, easy to sign up is going to be a mobile app that you can use much like your Starbucks card or your Dunkin donuts card. And then everything becomes digital. And now, and on this network, regulators have access to the ledger. Banks have access to the ledger, operators have lacked access to the ledger. And we slowly go from this where the central node to begin with. And we decentralize out allowing other people to be node holders within our network. It's pretty neat system.

Jordan (24:14): Got it. That is, it is. And, you know, I think the whole concept of decentralization and immutability, especially in the cannabis industry is so hypercritical because of seed to sale tracking requirements and regulations that you yeah, you were just touching on. So it'd be great to, if you could just expand on that for some of the folks listening in who may not be as familiar with how those regulations work and, and why that's critical within the cannabis industry.

Charlie (24:38): Sure. And, and so because Cannabis remains, you know, a class-one drug, you know, it's technically illegal for you to own at the federal level own, use, transport, buy, sell, grow it at all. It's just, what's happened is 34 36 37. You probably know better than I. The number of states have come up with their own state laws that  contradict the federal laws and operate kind of in a closed-loop system within their own state on, on how things are going to operate. But because baking is done at the federal level, it's, it's, it creates a regulatory dilemma for a lot of the banks. The ones that have chose to bank it, and they're usually regional banks or credit unions. Sure. they are working with their local regulators say, Hey, if we bank an operator, this is how we're going to follow the bank secrecy act rules. This is how we're going to make sure we're doing it in a compliant manner. And if it's a very localized relationship between regulator and bank on how that will work. It makes it very difficult to expand it to a federal level. And  the compliance costs are relatively high because it's a very capital intensive relationship that even when the banks decide, Hey, we're going to back it. They got to make sure that the cannabis operators following all state laws, they're properly licensed, they're verifying where the transactions are happening from. And because it's a very cash-heavy system, it's very difficult to, you know, the banks having to deal with large amounts of cash, put again, higher degree of compliance on them to prevent money laundering and illicit transactions from happening and creating this digital payment system. We really address those issues that those banks and credit unions have, and we help simplify the system for them and make it in a, in a, again, just a more, it's an easier system to utilize less capital intensive, really taking advantage of the attributes of blockchain and this immutability this ledger that's completely auditable and an ability to track and trace all these transactions again, down to the penny to identify where this value is coming from in each and every account.

Jordan (27:13): Got it. That's really interesting. And so, you know, there's clearly a need for what you're providing to the cannabis industry and helping to facilitate these payments so that they don't all have to be done in cash. Now, I'm curious to get your thoughts on some of the other solutions that have developed within Cannabis that use more traditional financial services as a means to try to solve the same problem, and why you believe that the cryptocurrency routing series in particular is that path forward the best path forward.

Charlie (27:40): And I beat the, I love the entrepreneurs that are in this space. I think they're very smart. I think they're very creative. I don't, I, I don't claim to know exactly how they do it. I mean, it's hard enough. It's been hard enough for me to understand exactly what is happening in our transaction, make sure that we're following that regular, you know, the proper regulations that make us compliant with whoever the regulator is. So it, there's only a couple of ways that I see these things, actually. I, yeah, so I, I can't totally speak to it. I would guess that some people are acting as money transmitters or money service businesses, and therefore would be required to register in each state and be licensed in every state for these transactions to happen. Or some of the banks are somehow facilitating these transactions. I have talked like with Fiserve and in talks with MasterCard and visa, because this becomes a really interesting transaction that I would argue makes credit card transactions feasible with us.

Because again, the swipe of a credit card in using us would not be for Cannabis, which MasterCard and visa will say, we do not allow on their rails. Now you might know, I'm sure you do. Dispensary's out there that right now can facilitate debit and credit card transactions. In my talks with Fiserv and MasterCard and visa, they would say those transactions should not be able to happen, but they, we know they do. I'm not going to guess how they are doing it. You might have more insight than I do. Our argument is again, that a swipe of a credit card, a do this transaction would be like, Jordan, you had an account with me. You swiped a credit card. All you did was swipe the credit card to buy coins, and then immediately chose to transfer ownership of those points over to dispensary. In exchange for this private party deal of about a hundred dollars with the coins, you got a hundred dollars of marijuana product from the dispensary.

But the only thing that swipe the credit card was for was to buy a security. We discussed this with MasterCard and visa for all going up 13 months now, where I get a little frustrated, I think we're almost too transparent that they know what my stable coin is going to be ultimately used for, that they're a little wary of the transaction happening that you're going to take it and transfer ownership of these securities in exchange for Cannabis. Technically you could swipe your credit card, buy my stable coins and hold onto the coins, the rest of your life, and just say, Hey, I'm doing it almost like I'm putting money under my mattress. We're not going to pay you much if any of a dividend at all for doing that. But you should know that that is printed, that that's protected. And the day that you choose to turn those points back into me, you can, and I will give you the dollars equal that minus the transaction fees.

That's how we went about it. So, I mean, I, I don't profess nor do I even want to speculate on how the other operators are doing it. I, I think there are some real above board. I think there's a lot of operators though, that payments processors that are really skating the rules and, and, and they both help and hurt us because we come across as a cannabis, blockchain cryptocurrency that, you know, we say those words, we thought that would excite people. We're now having to overcome a lot of like skepticism and that the BS detectors immediately go off. When, when some of these people hear Cannabis and crypto it's like, thanks, but no, thanks. I've got, I've got my little bank in line, I've got my Rube Goldberg system set up how I can make stuff happen, don't mess with it. And right now you guys kind of look like as a threat, even though again, I think we would help facilitate. And we're having to overcome that. We're, we're, we're slowly getting there. It's it? It's, it's not an overnight process definitely with us.

Jordan (31:51): Sure, sure. No, that makes total sense. And so then I'm curious, you know, as you as you go and continue to roll out the stable coin and work with dispensary customers, you know, what what are the target customers that you're looking to partner with? Are they, you know, individual dispensary operators? Are they large MSLs? You know, who is the ideal client for you?

Charlie (32:10): So the ideal one for us to roll this out is an MSL. I think just, just because yeah, they would help be, they'd be the greatest catalyst for this. And it would give them a chance, especially these vertically integrated ones where they'd have this low cost, no cost chance to participate in the development of this network. And we are in the pro. We are in the middle of the, I mean, this is, this network is being developed right now today. We're developing it on a Hyperledger fabric blockchain protocol. It's the same one that Walmart uses for its food trust tracking you know, food shipments throughout the supply chain. IBM built that for them. We actually reached out to IBM to ask if we could build our blockchain network for the cannabis industry on top of what they did with food trust. And then IBM said, thanks, but no, thanks.

Don't want to touch the cannabis industry. But they connected us with three of their, four of their preferred providers who actually helped produce develop that. And we chose one of them. So we're building this network out right now and reaching out to these MSLs to say, Hey, we're building this. What is it that you want to see? What reports do you want to see? How do you want to see it integrated with your supply chain? How do you want to see it integrated with your inventory management system? We can do all that. And we all, we were just looking for that one operator would be the catalyst for it. We've had some very productive calls actually in the last week. And I hope to be close with, with one of these NSOs to partner with us on this.

Jordan (33:52): Fantastic. And so, as you think about the industry going forward, and, you know, there's legislation like the safe banking act potentially passes, or even something more exhaustive like the Chuck Schumer bill that was recently proposed, how do you think that will impact the need for a solution like Ceres Coin as some of these more traditional financial services, products, Cannabis?

Charlie (34:13): So, one of the things that's important to understand is that we are far more at the micro level. We are this neat digital payment system, but what I've essentially what we've essentially done is we for each state, our blockchain network creates the infrastructure that a state's cannabis industry could run on, be it, their, their licensing processes, their testing processing, everything could function right on our blockchain network with the key component, being that also a transaction could now happen. There are systems right now that you could do it, but no one's really addressed. How does a transaction as this transmission of value happen? That's tied into the network. We've done that. So, you know, we've talked to multiple states about being that states infrastructure. So states right now get a seed to sale tracker. We'd love to work with these seed-to-sale tracking systems and tie into what they're doing with our payment system, but we've become the infrastructure for that particular state.

Now, as you bring up the safe banking act, and it goes back to what I said right now, there's about 700 or 800 banks. According to FINCEN that that bank, this industry. And like I said, most of those are governed by local regulators, overseeing the banks within their state. As soon as you bring this to the federal level, like what, if you look at the safe bank act on what it's going to do, you're going to now federalize rules and laws that are governing this. So the rules and laws that are working in Maine for the Maine banks to bank, the Maine operators are now going to have to be the same in Maine as they are in California, as they are in Alaska. And I think that's going to push some of those regional banks out of the industry, cause it's going to force them to do some compliance tasks that their regulator locally is comfortable with, but might not be in line with what they're going to come up with federal rules and laws.

And the federal rule is the laws are actually, if you've looked at the safe bank act, I think it's like paragraphs five, six, and seven actual add on some social equity requirements, some lending requirements that the banks have to do before they get this waiver to allow, you know, where they won't be prosecuted. There's really some additional compliance requirements they're going to have to come up with. And I think it's actually going to maybe reduce the number of banks. I guess we have our system. This system will facilitate those transactions. So even if the Schumer bill one day, if it, if, and when it passes, you're going to need a system like Ceres that everyone can be comfortable and be able to track, trace and see every transaction down to the penny, how it can happen. So we think our system actually, I think becomes maybe becomes a a takeout target at that point for the banks maybe for Reg-tech firm, maybe for someone like an IBM that wants to get into the supply chain management. We are going to build, we we're, we're almost not a cannabis company. We're kind of this FinTech reg tech type company. And it really creates an opportunity. You're going to need a system like us for these transactions to happen.

Jordan (37:34): Makes sense, Charlie, this has been fantastic. Really appreciate you taking the time to get on the podcast and walk through all of this, you know, to the extent there are potential customers or MSO partners you want to reach out to you or investors interested in this upcoming security offering. Is there a great way for them to reach out to you or the team?

Charlie (37:53): Sure. Right at my email address charlie@cerescoin.io. And we the, the tokens will be for sale public very, very, very soon. Our circular is up on Edgar. If you search the Edgar SEC at your website, you can see the circular right there. So all the information is up there available for up for public consumption. One, they, I didn't get a chance to say and on, on the crypto side we did receive just, oh gosh, in the last month, I think it might've just been dated July 1st. We received a patent and the title of our invention, we have a us patent for this is the stable coin is a medium of exchange on a blockchain transaction network. Now for other people that are on this call that are like, Hey, I know other cryptos that are out there, they're stable coins.

How did you get this patent? Initially? The, I think the investigator felt, you know, he had 30 issues with how we described it, but when he heard everything that we had gone through with the SEC that, that the art matched, the effort, which matched the whole product. And I think that is what encouraged him or, or, or influenced him enough to say, you know what? You guys have the patent for this. We actually have three more patents pending on that stable coin network. So I didn't get to touch on that. But yeah, Charlie, at series point.io, you go to our website www dot series, coin.io. And if anyone wants to reach out to me, happy to hop on a call anytime with them. 

Jordan (39:36): Perfect. Well, Charlie, thanks again, really appreciate you taking the time and educating our audience about what you guys are doing at Ceres some really exciting stuff. So congratulations on all the progress you all made so far to date.

Charlie (39:45): Jordan, thank you very much. And, and I've really enjoyed your again, this podcast to get what you guys are doing at Key Investment Partners on. And as we get along, you know, hopefully we'll be getting a chance to work with you too on this. So thank you very much for hosting this and having me on a really lovely.

Jordan (40:06): Great, have a great rest of your evening.

Charlie (40:09): Thanks very much, Jordan.

Access our SEC regulation offering circular here.