Case Study:

From the Metaverse into the Physical Realm

Over the last few years, the crypto space has expanded expeditiously, with projects seemingly popping up weekly to disrupt many traditional business models. But while there are a few projects with real long-term prospects, most are hampered by a lack of utility and value. As a result, many die off once initial excitement disappears, and now that there is a bit of a crypto pullback, many weak projects have shut down.

One of these new projects trying to do things differently is the Stoned Ape Crew ( It is a Solana-based non-fungible token (NFT) project looking to become a global leader in the nascent community-based weed-lifestyle space.

Their idea is simple, which makes it extremely interesting. Instead of building a brand from scratch and creating a network effect, they want to start with a network effect; in the process, they have a big pool of supporters vested in the company's success and growth.

It's a unique experiment to build a vertical brand focused on a specific market while setting it up to profit the holders.

Their most significant advantages are their brand, technology and their massive community. Rather than focus on making highly capital-intensive investments in the growing, distribution and retail processes in the cannabis industry, they focus on what we are best at, which is to focus on the brand & packaging while licensing to fully regulated partners who manage the distribution.

Founding members are primary developers - tech geeks – and marketers who have joined together from the payment industry & working on crypto payment solutions for the past four years, and They have selected Cannabis as one of the spaces with enormous potential because it's working with outdated legacy systems. Payments are one problem.  

Stoned Ape Crew Puffin Amsterdam

Why TNL and SAC?

At True North Labs we are innovators. Our vision is to be seen as Europe’s best innovators in the cannabis space. In so doing we aim to elevate the cannabis industry through education and transparency and to provide a positive impact on our clients, consumers and the world.

Our mission is to use a science-led, formulations-driven approach to create innovative new cannabis-based products that address specific consumer needs.

TNL and SAC are both innovators in their respective spaces, with similar missions that transcend our categories: to push the boundaries of possibility with new products, technologies and solutions that build communities and improve lives. It’s natural that we’d want to collaborate on this – and other – projects!

Stoned Ape Crew x True North Labs Puffin Amsterdam

Our Approach

Regulatory and Compliance Guidance

We brought the SAC team up to speed on current market regulations, advised on appropriate product formats and strategies to enter the CBD wellness market in the EU and North America.

Brand Strategy

We guided Stoned Ape Crew in brand and strategic direction for their new lifestyle cannabis brand called 'Moon Fuel'.

SKU Production

The TNL team designed, formulated and manufactured 3 unique SKUs, provided flexible MOQs and delivered the project within 6 weeks. We also provided guidance on 3PL logistics on 2 continents. The first batch sold out within 30 minutes.

Continuous Support

We believe in supporting our clients as their brand gets out into the world. In July 2022, Stoned Ape Crew hosted 'Puffin', an exclusive party for NFT holders in Amsterdam. We provided design and booth support for an extract-focused experiential Dip & Dab bar.

Stoned Ape Crew Merch

Why This is Also Interesting

Restrictions on Capital, Banking and Financial Services

Large banks and payment providers refuse to serve Cannabis businesses and some credit cards don’t work at the retail level due to compliance reasons.

Various national laws also prevent cannabis businesses from deducting expenditures on their taxable income- leading to a much higher tax bill. A lot of businesses are barred from traditional financing and listing on major stock exchanges, with the cost of capital extremely high for the industry, especially for smaller companies. It has been estimated that institutional involvement (investment) is as low as 4 to 5% in the As with most industries, the hope is that many of these challenges will be addressed shortly by two regulations in the US Dollar market called SAFE and CLAIM and we will see how the German legislation will take for adult recreation in Germany.

SAC is a Brand with Huge Potential, but also as a Payment Solutions Leader

The primary concept is the complexity of payment methods when purchasing adult recreational products. Adult recreational is extremely complex from a legality standpoint, creating a unique situation for purchasing & selling. Most major credit institutions cannot be used to purchase the product.

The idea is that Stoned Ape Crew is not just a Cannabis brand, but has a leadership experience in blockchain payment solutions, and is focusing on tackling a major global issue. Although there are no guarantees of success various members of the SAC crew have a background in blockchain payments and they have continuously provided information about tackling this issue. They also focus on large scalable solutions versus providing short-term fixes. The long-term potential of working with SAC as they scale their brand offers great opportunities for TNL to work with their team. If SAC figures out how to combine crypto payments and the logistics for delivering adult recreational products, it will scale the company building a massive brand and business.

Stoned Ape Crew Puffin Amsterdam

Our Takeaway:

With great pleasure and full hearts, we bring the vision of the #1 cannabis NFT project to life. And this is just the beginning.