Currently, the legal cannabis industry in the United States is governed and regulated on a State-by-State versus federal level, which makes traditional banking and financial services difficult to access for licensed businesses in this sector.
Our client, CERES Coin (CERES), hopes to counter these hurdles by creating a new financial infrastructure for the legal cannabis industry that allows approved single-state and multi-state organizations to buy and sell cannabis products in a B2B marketplace using their pegged-value, SEC-qualified digital currency, CERES stablecoin.
CERES needed a technology consulting partner to create a “value transfer system” with integrated chain-of-custody tracking using Hyperledger. Their goal was to create a system that employs peer-to-peer methodology and blockchain compliance to create a transparent solution that leverages CERES stablecoin in a streamlined application.
IBM recommended Chateaux to create, design, architect, and build the system for an initial minimum viable product (MVP) phase that includes an Administrative app and Marketplace app. The recommendation was based on IBM’s confidence in Chateaux’s blockchain and application development expertise.
The CERES solution required two web apps to complete the MVP:
- The CERES Marketplace web application for business-to-business (B2B) purchase of the SEC-qualified CERES stablecoin by cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries
- An Administrative web application for CERES to onboard and manage organizations
Chateaux broke the project into four sprints, strategically using agile methodology:
- Sprint One
First, the team completed requirements gathering, wireframe and mockup design, and the initial development of solution architecture for the initial phase of the MVP. It was determined that all functions within each app would be built using microservice architecture. This allows each function, such as buying, selling, and product management, to be created and modified autonomously without impacting other services.
- Sprint Two
Next, the team created the infrastructure setup, logins for the marketplace and administrative application, organization management in the administrative application, and coin acquisition in the marketplace application. The system was constructed to store data using PostgreSQL, also known as Postgres, an open-source relational database management system.
- Sprint Three
The third phase included development of the application marketplace including acquisition of CERES Coins, redemption of CERES Coins, product purchase, and product sale. The user interface for each app was built using React.js, creating a custom structure enhanced by components and data visualizations from Telerik’s KendoReact library. Our team focused on building a clean design that was scalable for future automation and features.
- Sprint Four
The final phase included product purchase, product management, marketplace & admin dashboards creation, marketplace & admin app email notifications, admin app administrative management, transactions, and reporting. This included an Azure Data Factory file repository to extract all daily transactions and track them in CSV files for CERES administrators to review and evaluate.
Code review, QA testing, and bug remediation was then followed by User Acceptance Testing (UAT) by the client and final deployment and stabilization activities.
Chateaux successfully built two MVP applications for CERES Coin for the legal B2B sale of cannabis:
- Marketplace Application
KYC-approved organizations in possession of CERES coins (1 coin = 1 US penny in value) can purchase cannabis products available in the Marketplace on a State-by-State basis.* The Marketplace supports the ability for companies to import their cannabis product inventory into the CERES Marketplace, which they can publish and manage for sale within the CERES Marketplace web app. This includes the ability to peruse products they could purchase within their state and allows sellers to approve or reject sales requests from interested buyers. Users can also refund CERES tokens for cash.
- Administrative Application
CERES can now onboard and manage organizations wishing to become part of the CERES ecosystem. Features include KYC (Know Your Customer) approval status, document management for onboarding (subscription agreement, offering circular), manage (approve or reject) requests from organizations to acquire CERES stablecoins or refund their stablecoins for cash, and monitor transactions occurring in the Marketplace like the purchase and sale of cannabis.
Additional items built include an Azure Data Factory file repository for CERES administrators which extracts all transactions that occurred per day and tracks the transactions in CSV files for CERES administrators to review and assess the activity. The CERES system supports multi-state operators (MSOs) for organizations that are registered to buy and sell cannabis in multiple US states. The CERES system includes logic to detect if the organization is an MSO and shows them appropriate stores based on the desired State, allowing the purchase and sale of cannabis on a State-by-State basis.
Chateaux is currently providing light support for product demos with government organizations and potential investors.
*Cannabis can only be legally bought and sold within the same US State as the legal guidelines for cannabis sale vary per State.