Ever since Marijuana became legalized in the United States, for both medical and recreational purposes, it has been a booming industry. There are over 2 dozen states from California to Massachusetts that have legalized the drug and have therefore sparked an emerging tech industry that is continuing to grow. In 2016, North American legal marijuana sales totaled $6.7 billion and more than $10 billion in 2017. While this may seem like a topic that many don’t talk about due to its recent legal integration into society, “cannabis is just another kind of product, surrounded by every kind of ancillary business of which you can think, and wrapped in an ecosystem of apps, services, and software”.
Like any other popular product, consumers in this industry want to buy their preferred products as conveniently as possible. This can be done through online shopping, on demand delivery, or at dispensaries through point of sale. Like any other business, “ganjapreneurs” need customer relationship management and marketing automation platforms in place in order to keep track of product catalogs, manage the books, and retain customers using promotions and loyalty programs. Like any other consumable product, growers and manufacturers need growth tracking and seed-to-sale systems to ensure compliance and success when growing. Some of the hottest innovative tech companies right now are succeeding in this industry with apps and tech ranging from social media and business intelligence to vaporizer tech, strain DNA mapping, and even DIY growing.
Eaze and GreenRush
Everyone knows how popular and successful Uber and Amazon are as they currently reign as the kings of tech start-ups. So why not try to be the Uber and Amazon of your own industry? That is what Eaze and GreenRush are aiming to be. Both of these apps partner with local dispensaries that hire drivers and coordinate deliveries which are fast and reliable, just like food delivery apps such as Postmates or Doordash. They began as only delivering medical marijuana, but have now moved into recreational as well. Eaze is one of the highest funded cannabis startups with $51.5 million to its name.
This company is the Salesforce of cannabis, acting as a CRM and marketing automation platform for dispensaries. They also integrate with most of the major seed-to-sale companies so they can act as the full package for e-commerce, marketing, and sales tools to retain customers.
This company is the go-to social media network for those involved in the cannabis community. It is one of the few that is publicly traded and has over 1 million users on their platform. People can log on to search for strains or dispensaries, find smoking buddies, and post content along with following their favorite brands to receive updates and enable online ordering.
This Massachusetts-based startup’s main product, the CannaCloud, can be described as the Keurig for Weed. It acts as a pod-based vaporizer system, that works just like a Keurig does using pre-packaged pods. I wonder if down the line this product will experience the same sustainability back lash as Keurig is currently.
This start-ups PotBot app helps recommend marijuana strains for medical patients by utilizing the scientific and medical research data on various strains and bodily effects in its main database and even has the ability to pull in data from EEG brain scans.
This product is a fully-automated home growing device that is controlled through a phone app. The device is about the size of a small refrigerator and the app helps you choose what to grow and monitors the growth of your plant in its self-contained ecosystem until it lets you know it is ready to be harvested.
This app, launched in 2017, is said to be a cross between Yelp, Groupon, and Netflix for weed. It provides product prices, nearby dispensary locations, offers promotions, and can make personalized recommendations based on past purchases.
This is an augmented reality startup that acts as a helper for growers. It includes a comprehensive guide that syncs with your smartphone camera so you can set up, manage, schedule, and harvest grows perfectly.
Overall there are a lot of really cool and innovative tech startups breaking through this industry. It is most interesting because many of these are concepts that have already been created, but were then specialized towards the cannabis industry. New industries will continue to pop up throughout the future and it will be interesting to see how the tech world continually adapts to them.
If you’d like to see the list of all 21 top weed tech startups, here is the article this post was inspired by: https://www.pcmag.com/feature/353117/21-blazing-hot-weed-tech-companies-to-watch/21