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The cyber frontier of the metaverse, still in its infancy, is already home to a cannabis dispensary. Or, more specifically, you can order cannabis for delivery in the metaverse and have it delivered to your address in the real world.
This may sound very futuristic, but it is happening now. Florida-based Kandy Girl opened a dispensary in the Decentraland Metaverse after spending 3850 MANA, a cryptocurrency used to purchase virtual plots of land in Decentraland. At the time of purchase, that equaled $13,282.50.
Higher Life CBD also has opened a digital location in the Cryptovoxels metaverse. Both are betting that shopping the metaverse and getting marijuana and CBD products delivered to their doorstep is an experience people will enjoy.
What is the metaverse, exactly?
The metaverse is considered by some to be the future of the internet. So what is it, exactly? Nobody knows entirely because we haven’t developed all the technology yet. “It’s a bit like having a discussion about what ‘the internet means in the 1970s,” according to Wired. Essentially it is a virtual world with virtual marketplaces that can be accessed by VR, AR, a computer, your phone, or any other technology that may arise in the next 10 years.
Meta, the new name for Facebook, received a great deal of attention when CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the metaverse in October 2021. That news lead some to believe there is only one metaverse. But there are already a variety of metaverse platforms, including the two mentioned above, as well as Somnium Place and The Sandbox.
How the metaverse works
Kandy Girl, founded by Alina Boyce, is located in Decentraland at -55, -129. Every parcel in the metaverse has its own location so people can “teleport” there immediately if they choose.
Kandy Girl can distribute to all 50 states because of provisions in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. In that bill, Congress made hemp legal. Hemp-derived CBD products are now on shelves across the country because they contain less than 0.3 percent THC, the chemical ingredient in cannabis that gets you high.
Kandy Girl sells gummies that weigh four grams and contain 10mg of hemp-derived THC, which comes out to 0.25 percent of Delta-9 THC in each gummy. “Kandy Girl is real Delta-9 THC, the same THC you would get in a regular dispensary, but since the THC is extracted from hemp and under 0.3%, it’s legal” Boyce said in a press release.
Buying cannabis in the metaverse
Once they enter the Decentraland metaverse, users create an avatar to move through the virtual environment where they can also see the avatars of other people. While customers can walk to and go inside the Kandy Girl virtual store in the metaverse, when it’s time to make a purchase, they are directed to scan a QR code that takes them to the regular Kandy Girl website.
People also can explore all the floors in the virtual Kandy Girl store, including a gallery of NFTs and a rooftop where they held a party earlier this year.
Writer Shannon Palus shared her experience buying Kandy Girl gummies in the metaverse on Slate. She also talked about the experience on Slate’s ICYMI podcast. She said one of the biggest attractions for Kandy Girl is simply the impact they’ve made by getting in early.
“I wouldn’t have heard of Kandy Girl, I wouldn’t have cared what Kandy Girl was if it hadn’t been for this “first cannabis dispensary in the metaverse” title,” Palus said on the podcast. She later added, “I think I genuinely did have fun,” although she said the metaverse needs improvement if entrepreneurs hope to make it an entertaining experience that shoppers find worth repeating.