How Marijuana Startups are Becoming Big With The Help Of High Technology

By Zack M

It is a whole world of possibilities. There are no incumbents in the newly legal cannabis industry. Each of the business establishment is a startup. As the cannabis industry continues to grow and expand, technology will continue to be a main driving force behind its evolution.  This is especially true in the collection and analysis of important data needed in the development of cannabis products for use by prospective clients. It doesn’t stop there, the stocking and sale of marijuana-related products has also been conducted online. Startups in this area keeping online databases where the would-be clients can access and chose what they need from a single platform. The industry’s potential is creating tech-opportunities that have been embraced by professionals from the Silicon Valley.  As of today, data science has been used by startups in the marijuana business to deal with the huge chunks of data coming up by the day. With the need to shape the industry and built it, technology is playing a central role.

How Is Technology Being Used In Marijuana Startups?

Technology has been used in these cannabis startups to track data useful to consumers, investors and the companies themselves. The type of data includes almost everything and that includes preferences of different marijuana brands, accurate molecule ratios in the marijuana plant and cannabis cultivation in general. In the process, companies are creating a new vertical: cannabis. Data science has been very vital in the creation of products that promote consumer confidence, simplify and streamline chains of supply and as well fight stigmatization.  The founder of Confident Cannabis, which is a Y combinator-and StartX-backed legitimate marijuana tech startup, believes that the marijuana industry is getting reborn in this age of technology. Actually, Confident Cannabis is in the fore front of enhancing transparency to legal cannabis technology, something that has never been there before. All this is done to create opportunities for “quantified marijuana”. Data continues to accumulate in every new country and state that gives room for the industry to thrive.

Eaze is a company based in California that has in recent times predicted the on-demand supply of medical marijuana being the main opportunity that spurs growth. Tagged the “Uber of cannabis”, Eaze has been very instrumental in facilitating the supply of medical pot to marijuana patients from dispensaries in not more than 20 minutes. Made possible through the EazeMD app, the company has been able to streamline the process of getting medical cannabis recommendations from licensed doctors. Additionally, it has been able been able to leverage its medical cannabis patients’ database and anonymize customer-related data to alter the lawmakers’ mandate at all government levels. An Eaze official reported that they were able to access aggregated medical cannabis usage data that could not be accessed by regulators. This way, Eaze has been able to specially work with both state and local policy makers to help them comprehend the cannabis industry in a better way. This has been very useful in regulating the industry where patients can access medical cannabis conveniently and in a safe manner.

Growing significance of Technology in Marijuana Startups

In tech hotbeds like Silicon Valley, legitimate cannabis tech companies are moving cannabis production from the black market into an age of predictive modeling and legal convenience. For CannaTech, saved data has been very instrumental in minimizing the margin of error. This marijuana consulting organization assist cannabis startups to grow, push more marijuana products and excel in becoming much more mainstream than the case has been from the beginning. With investment in technology, the interest has not only been centering on money, but the ability to create sustainable solutions to propel the industry.

Additionally, they have continued to increasingly get the attention of conventional venture capitalists alongside erstwhile tech pioneers. Cannabis technology has been able to create a good balance of risk versus reward for those who have identified the great potential tailored in the use of data science to maximize on what is, ideally a very new industry in the market. However, there are very high stakes with magnificent federal law believed to have significant business implications. When it is about state-legal cannabis, there’s pretty little room for mistakes. Nonetheless, there is almost boundless opportunity in the industry.

There is yet another software company, Weave, with an objective of simplifying marijuana by way of data science. The focus for this company has been to help in shedding light in unchartered waters in this industry. The organization creates an app ecosystem that has been streamlining business solutions for customer feedback, regulatory compliance and inventory data management. Some five years ago, there was not any significant relationship between legal weed industry and data science. There wasn’t much to talk about the connection between these two. The practice of data analysis in weed by this time was not in existence. There were a lot of numbers stacked into spreadsheets and a world of guesswork prevailed. There was no much evident collection of data and the little that was provided was not well-utilized.

Tech-backed Future for Marijuana

Data is very vital in managing the affairs of any business and it is the support that marijuana startups need to excel. Access to information related to changes of user interfaces, the development of logistics and supply has been very paramount in the development of useful menu aimed at meeting the needs of the patients.  But perhaps the biggest development brought about by the availability of data to the marijuana industry has been educating the masses about marijuana, how and the reason why it is used and measures of safety as well. With this knowledge available to customers, the business has continued to thrive. 

Green Bits Named TechCrunch Disrupt First Runner Up

CALIFORNIA: Cannabis technology company Green Bits today announced it has been named the first runner-up at San Francisco’s prestigious TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield competition. The event marks the first time a cannabis technology company has been accepted into TechCrunch Disrupt, a highly regarded technology event known for identifying and producing young companies that are changing technology applications across sectors.

Green Bits, which provides point-of-sale software services for the emerging legal recreational cannabis market,  was not only accepted to the competition, but advanced to the final round of just six participants and was then named first runner-up. “I am deeply honored to have made it to the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield finals,” said  company co-founder Ben Curren, who presented at the grueling multi-day event alongside co-founder Trae Robrock. “There’s not a lot of competition providing this sort of software with our pedigree within the marijuana market. This is Silicon Valley-quality software, custom-tailored for this new business model, and I am thrilled my peers in technology have recognized that.” 

Founded in 2014 by and bootstrapped with proceeds from selling his Outright accounting software company to GoDaddy, the one-year-old point-of-sale system already serves nearly half of the retail recreational marijuana market in Washington, despite the software still being in the beta stage. 

See Green Bits’ TechCrunch Disrupt presentation here.

Curren and his co-founders, former Outright colleagues Trae Robrock and Andrew Katz, developed the software working alongside recreational marijuana retailers as their stores opened. While other POS companies have shoehorned, revamped, and retrofitted their software to fit this unique segment, Green Bits seamlessly meets the needs of marijuana retail. An easy-to-use iPad-based register and web-based inventory solution work together and automatically sync to each state’s system. 

“We wanted our software to work like that in a marijuana store: You ring the customer up, and it’s simple; but our software also ensures that you’re in compliance with state and federal laws governing the sale of marijuana,” says Curren.

Because of individualized state reporting requirements, Green Bits customizes for each state. Having achieved 45 percent market share in Washington state while still in the beta stage of product development, Green Bits is now moving into Oregon and Colorado.

How Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Are Rushing To Cash In On Cannabis.

CALIFORNIA:  LIKE MANY PEOPLE in San Francisco, Sasha Robinson is working on a startup out of his home. His living room is a riot of wires, battery packs, pliers, and metal casings. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was a bomb maker. But these are just the raw materials for a new gadget he’s creating. It’s something revolutionary, he thinks, and he should know. In the 2000s, Robinson ran software development at industrial design firm Moto, where he oversaw new product development for the Flip HD camcorder. Before that he was at Juniper Systems and Silicon Graphics, two of the Valley’s foundational tech firms. His cofounder, Mark Williams, has also bounced around Valley software firms, but his main experience was at Apple, where he managed a Mac OS design team. These guys have tech cred.

They also met at a Burning Man party. “We would hang out socially and always ended up talking about ideas and inventions,” says Williams, explaining how they came up with their new product in his living room. “We were sitting on my couch in my apartment, smoking. I was over 40 then, we could really feel it in our bodies. We were social smokers, but we both felt it …”

“Wait. Are you talking about tobacco here,” I interjected.

“Yes … ,” Williams says, looking sideways and grinning. “I am?” Pregnant pause. Robinson chuckles. “That’s what the line has to be from any manufacturer importing into the US,” he says. Openly acknowledging that your product—in this case a high tech vaporizer called the Firefly–is intended for marijuana use exposes you to classification as a distributor of drug paraphernalia, opening you up to the risk of the federal government seizing your assets and bank accounts. And that makes it difficult to pay a lawyer.

Marijuana Legalization Could Happen in 2016, Thanks to Silicon Valley Cash

CALIFORNIA: At the heart of most matters is a simple thing: money. Cash — and infinite sums of it — is the sinews of war, Cicero told us, and a scan of the technocapitalism headlines — acquisitions, fundings, and otherwise a list of zeroes punctuated by commas are tech news’ daily bread — shows that it’s the dollar that drives the Bay Area. [Read more…]