An Indianapolis-based CBD dispensary, Higher Life, became one of the first cannabis brands to launch an actual CBD dispensary in the metaverse offering customers a new shopping experience through a shared virtual reality.
“It feels amazing to be one of the first cannabis companies to step into the metaverse. We’re able to communicate with customers easier, give them an actual experience without physically being at our brick and mortar store, and it makes the online shopping experience more entertaining,” Higher Life CBD dispensary CEO Brandon Howard explained in an interview with Forbes.
The metaverse is an online space where people can participate in a shared virtual universe. The online virtual space is powered by a blockchain which is an online ledger that is decentralized and able to track and record data securely without having it altered in any way.
Higher Life CBD’s virtual dispensary was launched and currently runs on Cryptovoxels, a metaverse built on the Ethereum blockchain. Within this virtual world, people can purchase land to build stores and art galleries to display their NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
Within Higher Life CBD’s metaverse dispensary, people can view and shop the company’s products. Virtual guests can also listen to music and check out the company’s NFTs. The virtual dispensary was designed to match the actual store’s interior and exterior.
The CBD brand currently offers hemp-derived tinctures in dropper bottles, bath bombs, topicals, capsules, and edibles. Pet owners can also find CBD treats for their furry friends within Higher Life’s inventory.
Howard explained that the pandemic forced a lot of businesses to consider secure alternatives when it comes to speaking with customers and employees.
“For some, that means looking beyond the physical world and thinking outside the box,” Howard said.
Financial institutions are not able to provide banking services to cannabis businesses since marijuana is still considered federally illegal. The obstacle has led many companies to weigh in on whether cryptocurrency and cannabis can intertwine and provide an alternative to traditional banks.
With cannabis global sales projected to double in 2025, marijuana companies are attempting to find ways to attract and retain new customers.
“We see great potential in the virtual reality world. VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) have changed the game on how we will go about buying things in the future. Shopping in the metaverse and then being able to receive your items on your doorstep is groundbreaking and the next big thing. It’s a place where NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the cannabis world coincide,” Howard said.