Chinese Blockchain investor turns its attention to hemp

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A Chinese Blockchain investor said it has struck an agreement with a hemp research institute in China’s Heilongjiang province to develop at least five varieties of hemp, including for medicinal cannabis.

Grandshores Technology, which is traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, said it intends to buy a 40 percent stake in Hangzhou Yupu Trading, which has access to seeds and growing licenses for industrial hemp. That unit will interface with the Heilongjiang-based Hemp Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Grandshores is backed by the government of Hangzhou municipality in the enterprise.

Heilongjiang and Yunnan are the only provinces in the country where Chinese hemp is grown. China has been picking up the pace in development of CBD.

Access to seeds & licenses

“Through our partnership with Heilongjiang hemp research institute, we have gained an advantage in accessing high-quality cannabis seeds, with high levels of CBD. We want to be a key supplier of industrial and medicinal cannabis and control that supply from the source,” Yao Yongjie, the company’s co-chairman, told the South China Morning Post.

Yao said the company could begin to turn over income from its cannabis-related businesses in 2020, at which point it may decide to move resources out of its global blockchain investments into cannabis.

Upbeat on hemp & bitcoin

Yao is also an investor in Canaan, a maker of bitcoin mining rigs that had hoped to raise up to $1 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but that plan was canceled in 2018 in the wake a precipitous drop in the value of the cryptocurrency. The price of bitcoin has fallen nearly 80 percent since its peak near $20,000 in December 2017.

Despite those troubles, Yao remains upbeat on both sectors. “Both blockchain and industrial cannabis are the future, and both are embraced by the younger generation,” he said.

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