The possibilities of the metaverse are attracting people (as well as companies and institutions) of all kinds. In the United States, several companies that sell cannabis-based products are already in this virtual territory. And in the emirate of Ajman (the smallest member of the UAE), the police themselves have opened a police station for avatars.
Cannabis: 1,000 visitors a day
Both the Decentraland platform and Voxels already work with cannabis companies.
Since the metaverse will necessarily be decentralized, these advertisers can discuss the advantages of their products much more freely than Facebook offers, for example, believes Lisa Buffo, founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association.
Since December, Higher Life CBD Dispensary LLC has an open store on Voxels, a platform created in 2008 that operates with cryptocurrency and NFTs.
Higher Life reports on its website that it offers “a range of high-quality CBD and hemp products formulated for the user to experience a full range of healthy benefits while providing a feeling of complete relaxation.”
Physically, it is located on a central street in the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, but it can also be accessed from the second floor of an online store at Voxels. There, no avatar buys the company’s products, but if they touch the sales record, they are teleported to the site, where it is possible to order a range of plant derivatives.
According to Brandon Howard, CEO of Higher Life, a thousand people visit the digital store daily.
In the coming years, enthusiasts believe, it will be possible to buy marijuana directly in the metaverse, betting on the reduction of restrictions that still surround the product and derivatives in the United States.
At Decentraland, the leader is Kandy Girl, a brand that produces chewable candies with THC additives that can be delivered to most parts of the United States.
THE Kandy Girl has also made $30,000 in NFTs oroffering virtual wearables (or, in Portuguese, “wearables”), like feathers that look more like marijuana leaves.
But the platform points out that it is necessary to strictly obey government rules around the product and its derivatives, which means that it is prohibited to sell to countries where such trade is still prohibited.
In Meta’s metaverse, ex-Facebook, the advertising of cannabis-based products is prohibited, as is the promotion of the commercialization or use of illicit or sporting drugs.
virtual police station
While the metaverse has proved to be an interesting space to work with issues that are on the margins of legality, in the other corner, let’s say, is the Ajman police.
The emirate opened, in the capital of the same name and with just over 200,000 inhabitants, a virtual police station where it receives the avatars of citizens. So they don’t even have to go to the district.
Authorities and civilians can interact using Quest glasses or via smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers. There’s even a meeting room in the metaverse, which you can visit from anywhere in the world.
The Ajman Police General Command proudly reports that this is the first police service of its kind in the UAE and that the local police are the first government agency in the emirate of Ajman to make the digital leap.
Last December, the United Arab Emirates relaxed some of its tough drug laws, relaxing penalties for travelers arriving in the country with products containing THC, the main intoxicating component of cannabis.
The new law says that people caught transporting food, drinks and other cannabis items into the country will no longer be arrested if it’s the first time. Instead, the authorities will confiscate and destroy the products.
It’s unclear what the cops at the virtual police station will do if they encounter a high-strung avatar.