It’s undeniable; the marijuana industry is blazing. All puns aside, the U.S. market for legal marijuana grew from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014, according to the Huffington Post. But like any other industry, technology is shaking things -- and preconceived notions -- up. Here are a few innovative minds that are gearing up to cash in on the budding industry.
For those looking to take advantage of cannabis’ medicinal benefits, navigating the endless waters of strains in a dispensary can be tricky and often overwhelming. While budtenders are there at your service, there’s only so much one person can do, and Potbotics seeks to fill those gaps with artificial intelligence. The PotBot will give customers recommendations based on their cannabinoid level needs and that information is provided by the BrainBot EEG device, which measures the brain’s electrical activity when high off of different strains.
When it comes to choosing your high, common knowledge has got us into two lanes: sativa and indica. The startup Ebbu wants to change that by acting as a cannabis distillery to better localise highs -- think giggly, chill or blissful. By converting marijuana plants into a purified oil, individual cannabinoids can be extracted and can allow for a more predictable high. It’s already begun distributing its extracts to companies for products like edibles and sodas.
No list of technological advances in the 21st century would be complete without mention of a drone. Trees is a Bitcoin-accepting marijuana subscription box service that -- sort of against local regulations -- plans on using drones as their means of delivery. The startup currently only delivers throughout the San Francisco Bay area but is looking to expand to Los Angeles and Denver. That’s one way to differentiate a weed delivery service.
It’s like an ATM for your local dispensary. Jane is a check-in kiosk that seeks to help simplify busy dispensary transactions by providing financial services directly to customers. A guest can securely purchase marijuana from the kiosk or using a mobile app. Other features include a loyalty program, pre-scheduled ordering service like in a pharmacy and PIN codes for safety.
Social media has broken into the marijuana industry with Weedwall, a social networking playform that comes in both website and app form and allows users to share photos, updates and basically their opinion on dispensaries, strains and products. The cross between Craigslist, Facebook and Yelp uses a business directory to connect people to discover and rate services and also features classifieds on just about anything marijuana-related.