Earlier this week, a bill was introduced in Washington state to ban pot shops from accepting bitcoins. Some of the biggest names in cannabis, however, have already dipped their toes into the digital currency market.
One of the most storied functional glass makers in the history of glass (he’s done works for the Dalai Lama and Snoop Dogg) accepts bitcoins and offers a steep discount to those who pay in the digital currency.
“Jerome Baker himself (Jason Harris) will make you a beautiful hand made glass Bubbler – old school style – for one BITCOIN,” reads the Jerome Baker Designs (JBD) website.
Also Read: Colorado Cannabis Operations Begin Banking with Bitcoin
By sending bitcoins to the company’s public Bitcoin address, and confirming a shipping address via email, bitcoiners can make the so-called ‘Slyme Bubbler’ their own.
Jason Harris, the founder of Jerome Baker Designs, started blowing glass in 1991. The seventh disciple of legendary functional glass blower Bob Snodgrass, Mr. Harris was part of Eugene’s bustling glass scene of the nineties, and also seventh generation glass blower Hans Ittig from Wertheim, Germany
“I don’t make custom glass,” Mr. Harris, who has been interested in Bitcoin for about four years, told Bitcoin.com. “If I do, it starts at $10,000. I don’t like doing them, but I will do one for a bitcoin. I won’t do it for cash, I will only do it for Bitcoin. My objective was to mine bitcoins out of humans, because I believe in Bitcoin. Well, I make glass art. I make something special that might draw people in.”
There are various examples of businesses giving discounts for Bitcoin. Purse.io offers consumers discounts at Amazon. Gyft offers 3% back on gift cards for bitcoins. Fold saves people 20% at Starbucks. Vapeboy offers 5% off vape liquids, including their Satoshi Nakamoto flavor.
While he lived in Oregon, the DEA arrested Mr. Harris as part of Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter. Tommy Chong served time for his functional glass products as a result of the operation.
By the time of his arrest, which some content was merely for being a symbol of US cannabis culture, Mr. Harris had a functional glass empire and was known worldwide. The federal government labelled the operation an illicit enterprise and seized company assets.
Mr. Harris, a founding member of the Eugene Glass School in Eugene, Oregon was indicted alongside 50 individuals on charges of trafficking in illegal drug paraphernalia. According to authorities, he had partly succeeded because of the internet.
Attorney General John Ashcroft stated at the time: “With the advent of the Internet, the illegal drug paraphernalia industry has exploded. The drug paraphernalia business is now accessible in anyone’s home with a computer and Internet access. And in homes across America we know that children and young adults are the fastest growing Internet users. Quite simply, the illegal drug paraphernalia industry has invaded the homes of families across the country without their knowledge…Today, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force…has taken decisive steps to dismantle the illegal drug paraphernalia industry by attacking their physical, financial and Internet infrastructures.”
Mr. Harris laid low thereafter and turned the JBD brand into a skateboarding-focused lifestyle brand. After moving to Maui to soak up the sun and ride the waves, he focused on non-functional glass, making high end installations for exclusive clientele as Maui Glass Blowing.
With marijuana legalized either medicinally or recreationally in 35 states and Washington, D.C., Mr. Harris’ functional talents are enjoying renewed demand. He recently designed a $18,000 nug jug for entertainer Snoop Dogg. Like the internet helped Mr. Baker build his business empire of the nineties and early oughts, many say Bitcoin could become a tool to help cannabis industry payments.
“I feel like Bitcoin is a great a currency for this quote and unquote gray market area,” said the artist, whose main interest is how the Bitcoin algorithm and protocol works. “The currency lends itself nicely to this particular industry. It’s a biblical algorithm that changed humanity and will change humanity on a much more powerful level.”
What do you think about the merging of cannabis and Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Joshua Richard (header imagine), Jason Harris, Jerome Baker Designs, Maui Glass Blowing, Jerome Baker Designs Collectors & Connoisseurs Facebook Group
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