Financial failure does not phase medical marijuana millionaire and entrepreneur Maximillian White. 

Europe’s wealthiest legal cannabis tycoon has seen misfortune quite a bit, twice in his own career and once in his father’s. However, his personal reaction when his business lost $29 million in the Cypriot banking collapse in 2012 was a little unusual.

Instead of eking out his remaining money, he blew it on buying a Rolls Royce that he drove about in public.

“I’m a proud man. I didn’t want people to think I was lost,” he says. “I may also be a poser.” In reality, he is a hard worker who isn’t afraid of failing.

Like many of his generation, White is now embracing blockchain — with a unique use case for NFTs — as part of his business.

He says the whole is better than the sum of the parts, like a cocktail.

“For example, a Manhattan cocktail is a blended mix of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. It’s the combination that makes it great. For me, it’s the combination of cannabis, blockchain and crypto – you can’t go wrong.”

Who is Maximillian White? 

White’s first career was in music production, including working on a track with Drake that resulted in the hit “One Dance.” He also built and sold a music streaming service called Beatport, which made him millions.

Maxmillian WhiteMaxmillian White
Maxmillian White (Jordan Bareham)

His love affair with Portugal saw him create a beach club called Blanco Beach, which was frequented by Rio Ferdinand and featured top performances from Tyga, Tory Lanez, Roger Sanchez, Rick Ross and French Montana. It has since closed.

White also has ADHD, which he reckons allows him to have an eclectic taste in music, from classical to U.K. funk and hip hop.

He says he knew he was going to be a business builder while still in primary school. When asked to dress up as the man he was going to be, he did not arrive at his classroom as a fireman or a policeman. Instead, he opted to dress up like an entrepreneur, wearing a sheepskin jacket and carrying a classic cloth swag bag.

He attributes his work ethic to his early life, singing as a chorister in Durham Cathedral and never having a day off, including singing on Christmas Day. 

He made most of his fortune selling medicinal marijuana to wholesalers around the world and setting up Europe’s largest plantation in Portugal, a massive 40-hectare farm. He somehow managed to secure multiple government partnerships in territories previously untapped.

He expanded into property in Dubai, Majorca and Eastern Europe and says his interest was sparked by the loss of the family home as a child. His father lost everything, and they had to move to a council home. He has since experienced even greater personal tragedy in the full glare of the public eye when his brother died in a violent altercation at a Dubai nightclub in 2022.



Legal marijuana and crypto

Many people who grew up with restrictive marijuana laws may be uncomfortable with legalized weed, but in recent years, the laws around the world have become increasingly liberal.

Read also: How Silk Road made your mailman a dealer

Medical marijuana is now legal in more than 50 countries, and nine countries have legalized recreational marijuana use, including Canada, Germany, South Africa and Thailand. Ironically, despite the Netherlands’ reputation, weed is not strictly legal there, though it is tolerated.

Back in 2021, White told Ladbible about plans to develop a cannabis industry cryptocurrency called MEDI. That token never launched — he got caught up building his medical marijuana business instead — but three years on, he’s revised and revamped the plans into something new.

LadbibleLadbible
LadBible’s report on his previous crypto project. (Ladbible)

Aided by digital marketeer Ricardo Capone, an old friend now serving as his chief technology officer, White has teamed his cannabis product with NFTs to provide a traceability engine on the blockchain for his plants.

White says that when he first came across NFTs, he didn’t see them as valuable art pieces. Even though Beeple’s $69 million NFT sale dominated the news, White was not excited about artist sales or royalties.

“However, I instantly got smart contracts, that’s what excited me. I could see the future business use which would decrease the need for lawyers. People could buy cars or property using smart contracts, or you could sell a business with full transparency. Smart contracts made me delve further into the space.”

NFTs representing a business

However, White is not so sure about whether the term has a good reputation any more. Given he’s already selling recreational cannabis, he is slightly wary about doubling down by pairing it with the term “NFTs”.

Dr GreenDr Green
Dr Green NFTs represent a share of a business (Dr Green)

“People lost a lot of money investing in NFTs, typically digital art, but the technology is what excites me. So, I think the onus is on us to educate people about this real-world asset, or digital asset, and what it can do. It’s not just about flipping art. 

“Again, I bring it back for business use,” he says, explaining how NFTs — which are unique tokens — can represent a fractional share of a real-world property. “For example, maybe people purchase properties today, using NFTs as a means of showing ownership. If you can’t afford the entire house, maybe you could buy a portion, and in the future, you could even sell that NFT, earn profit and put it into your next house.”

His latest crypto-related project is called Dr Green, with NFTs being used as part of the distribution business or what he calls “unique business passes for people.” A total of 5,145 unique NFTs provide holders with access to the Dr Green DApp so they can build a community to sell cannabis. There are also plans to release Platinum NFTs linked to cannabis-loving celebs who’ll create their own strains.

The DApp requires KYCing customers to ensure the product is only sold in regions where this is legal. Payments are taken in fiat or crypto, with the sellers’ markup paid out in Ethereum.DrGreen then ships the products out.

Maxmillian White and Ricardo CaponeMaxmillian White and Ricardo Capone
Maxmillian White and Ricardo Capone, the chief technology officer of Dr Green (Jordan Bareham)

Supply chain tracking of weed on blockchain

White says the blockchain traceability proves the quality of the product and says he spent millions investing in the “cannabis farm, processing plant and R&D facility.” 

“We have put significant money into developing one of the most sophisticated medical cannabis businesses. By putting our recreational business on the blockchain, we are using technology to track everything, ensure we are compliant with all laws, and it also allows us to function as a hub for distributed entrepreneurs.”

In short, the NFTs are a bit like a license to operate a business hooked into his distribution network and can be traded on to others if necessary. The value of the NFT rises based on how many customers it represents. Some will see this as a savvy business move blending technology and entrepreneurship, while others will no doubt see it as morally bankrupt and corrupting our youth. But times are changing.

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“Our NFTs are acting like a digital key or real-world asset, where you can plug into the systems of a company that is already up and running.”

Interested, but still cautious about crypto

Despite his interest in blockchain, he is cautious about the hype around cryptocurrencies as a financial instrument and believes there is an inherent flaw in the way cryptocurrencies are valued against the dollar. 

“If the price of crypto is always going to be valued in real-world money, then how can it be decentralized? The dollar will never be decentralized, and I think that is a dangerous precedent.”

Jillian GodsilJillian Godsil

Jillian Godsil

Jillian Godsil is an award winning journalist, broadcaster and author. She changed electoral laws in Ireland with a constitutional challenge in Ireland’s Supreme Court in 2014, she’s a former European Parliamentary Candidate, and is an advocate for diversity, women in blockchain and the homeless.



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