Steve Janjic, Founder CEO of Amercanex and Chapdelaine FX New Director of Sales checked in with Forex Magnates for his exclusive perspective about the genesis of Amercanex and the parallels between FX and Cannabis industries. Mr. Janjic serves as Tullett Prebon’s institutional dealing firm, Chapdelaine FX Director of Sales since March 2014, and has a long career in institutional FX.
1. What brought you to establish Amercanex?
The momentum and increasing scale of the Cannabis industry in the US and complete lack of centralization and modernization tools and systems required to allow this industry to function efficiently as a regulated and monitored free-marketplace.
2. How does your background in the FX business helps with Amercanex?
FX in the US, and majority of the world, is one of, if not the, most regulated and monitored markets. Having experienced first-hand the regulation and reporting requirements of the CFTC and NFA for FX businesses, it seemed to be self-apparent to build a similar system for this type of market and set it up to run like an FCM; we will operate Amercanex in the same way with the addition of physical tracking/monitoring and delivery components.
3. Do you see any connection between FX and Cannabis?
Absolutely, in the coming year we foresee derivative OTC products reaching the market such as Cannabis Indices, NDFs, CFD products deriver from major strains or index of strains against the USD or GBP. We simply need to time to build the market data, which will be derived from the products, prices and quantities transacted in the ACE Marketplace
Short-term goal is that we solve the current issues of the existing marketplaces and set the precedent in CO that our solution is the way to go forward with this industry. Long term goal is to be the state and eventually federally approved system for the entire Cannabis industry as well as instituting the same model in foreign markets and eventually globally allowing developing and emerging countries to take advantage of the potential tax revenues that exist within current legal and back market transactions. Perhaps go public at some point as well.
5. If Cannabis will become completely legal in all of the US, won’t the CME launch its own trading? What will happen to Amercanex in such a case?
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We could see this with industrial contracts of Hemp. However, as experienced with Tobacco, alcohol and raw materials from creating medicines it’s not a ‘commodity’ in that regard that the CME would want to get involved in as we’ve seen over 500 products/strains across several different markets, each given strain/product can have up to 50 different grades.
6. Who can apply and what process do they need to pass in order to become a member of the exchange?
Transacting members in CO are currently being on-boarded. Those members must be recognized, registered and in good standing with the state regulatory authority, for Colorado it’s the CO. MED. Member-applicants complete on-boarding docs, agreements and supporting documents, IDs, Proof of Address etc. and, as any other FCM, our membership/operations team review paperwork, perform necessary background checks to confirm with KYC and CIP procedures as the exist already within the financial industry
7. Some say that America has suffered great financial losses in its “War on Drugs” which led to Cannabis legalization and might lead to more drugs criminalization. Do you think we will one day see exchanges for other now illegal drugs such as methamphetamines for example or is cannabis a unique case?
Cannabis is a unique case, we would actually see this type of system applied to some other similar commodity for a niche industry such as grapes for the wine industry.
8. Why can’t a trader, in a country or state where it is illegal to own cannabis, simply buy a non-deliverable futures contract or even a CFD to profit from price changes?
When will that be possible in your opinion? This will be coming, In the USA Spot FX is heavily regulated so we expect NDFs and CFDs appearing in Foreign speculative markets long before any US market.
9. If I am not a grower nor vendor, but see the potential in the cannabis market what options do I have to invest?
There are equities available on the NYSE right now that you can purchase. A couple of new indices of these equities is being launched on NYSE as well.
10. How has the new business been going so far?
Fantastic, it’s growing at a euphoric pace. We are excited to see our first transactions on Oct 1st and beyond.