Trailblazing cannabis art company Califari and cannabis private equity firm Merida Capital Holdings announced today that they have formed a joint venture to create a platform that will utilize non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, to create and distribute unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of art that reflect the cannabis community’s passion for the once taboo plant. The as-yet unnamed platform will also offer brand development and gamification opportunities for cannabis companies and aims to establish a centralized digital space for the unique collision of culture, art, creativity, and rampant commercial growth that cannabis legalization presents.
With nearly 50 million monthly consumers and patients, cannabis is one of the largest growth opportunities in a generation and its aficionados, advocates, and political supporters have been seeking more effective ways to celebrate the plant, highlight its unique strains, and connect in a deeper way as a community in the post-pandemic world. Califari has cultivated a unique and highly popular line of cannabis strain art that aims to visualize the emotional connection between the people and the plant. In doing so, the company has created an ever-expanding vault of cannabis IP that has been embraced across the globe since 2016.
Through this joint venture, Califari will tap into Merida’s broad ecosystem of cannabis companies to release an initial series of NFTs based on existing strain artwork. The partnership will look to create a cannabis-focused NFT marketplace while curating branded experiences for existing cannabis operators, celebrity supporters, and non-profit entities connected to the cannabis community.
Califari’s first NFT issuance under the partnership is slated to launch on 4/20 of this year, and will consist of five one-of-a-kind digital cards from some of the most respected and creative names in the business: Grand Daddy Purple by Ron English; OG Kush by Jesse Hernandez; Sour Diesel by Matt Leunig; Northern Lights by Simon Haiduk; and Pineapple Express by KAM. Dubbed “The Genesis Series,” this initial batch of cards will be distributed via OpenSea, the world’s largest marketplace for user-owned digital goods.
“This partnership will allow Califari to continue pushing the boundaries of cannabis-based art and allow for an easy extension for brands who would like to marry a digital presence to their current physical offerings,” said Jason McHugh, CEO and Founder of Califari. “We also plan to expand into a strain breeding gamification program, to further engage cannabis afficionados on several levels, all while making it easier for the next generation of NFT creators to distribute through our marketplace.”
“Merida’s focus has always been identifying cutting-edge opportunities with best-in-class companies throughout the cannabis industry, and we are excited to bring Califari’s impressive art catalog, which already reaches international markets, to the booming NFT space,” said Mitch Baruchowitz, Managing Partner at Merida Capital Holdings. “Califari is the perfect partner for this exciting endeavor, and proof of how creative and passionate the cannabis industry—and its supporters—truly are. We look forward to helping bring their unique works of art to brand new audiences and further spreading the passion for cannabis that we see every day.”
Califari is on a mission to tell the story of the ever-expanding cannabis universe. With the help of our diverse Global Artist Network, we create physical manifestations for the world’s most loved cannabis strains while highlighting their individual personalities. We value those perfect moments that cannabis enables through art, music, and friends and have already amassed an international group of collectors that grow by the day.
About Merida Capital Holdings
Merida Capital Holdings is a private equity firm targeting fundamental growth drivers which accelerate the rapid development of the cannabis and hemp industries. Merida’s motto, Responsible Investing in the Cannabis Ecosystem, highlights its focus on governance while identifying leading cultivation technologies, products and services associated with the evolution of cannabis and hemp as agricultural products, plant-based medicines, constituents in pharmaceutical formulations and recreational consumer products. For more information, please visit www.meridacap.com or follow Merida on twitter @meridacap.