Back in February, rapper-turned-venture capitalist Snoop Dogg announced his plans to raise a $25 million fund for tech startups working in the field of cannabis. That led to his participation in the biggest investment in a cannabis-focused startup to date: a $10 million Series A investment in San Francisco-based weed delivery startup Eaze, in April.
It’s been a long time coming, but it seems that now the floodgates have opened and cannabis is getting its chance at disruption.
With Washington and Colorado officially legalizing recreational cannabis use back in 2012 (it’s also been legalized in Alaska and Oregon since), a whole new market has germinated and is fast spreading in the US.
You might be surprised to find, however, that the startups developing the hemp-isphere are not just the usual suspects of a lifestyle market. Sure, you have your online stores that sell brand-name smoking merchandise, and a few companies competing for the top-spot in on-demand delivery – but it’s starting to look like many potrepreneurs have bigger plans for the space.
What we’re seeing is the start of a full-blown ecosystem around a core product. Startup accelerator Canopy Boulder has accepted their inaugural class for a cannabis-specific program, partnerships and acquisitions are already in motion, and the market looks like it will only continue to mature.
Here we highlight six of the companies that will shape the future of cannabis tech:
Bud and Breakfast launched their weed-friendly accommodation booking platform in April. All listings are in places where cannabis consumption is legal, so guests can be sure they’re in the clear.
PotCoin is a cannabis-specific cryptocurrency. Launched in 2014, the virtual currency wants to facilitate transactions between individuals and institutions.
Steep Hill offers three products that help growers and distributors to leverage the power of analytics in the world of cannabis, including on-site analysis tools and laboratory services.
Flowhub offers a seed-to-sale platform that will streamline grow and dispensary businesses. Marijuana-centric social network MassRoots is working with Flowhub to bring partial integration of the platform to MassRoots. Users will get access to live pricing, inventory and an order-ahead system.
HerbFront is a real-estate listing platform specifically for those in need of marijuana-friendly property for their growing or distributing business.
Green Bits aims to alleviate the pains of running a cannabusiness with their point of sale system. Their app handles everything you need to get your dispensary running smoothly.
As more states and countries decide to go the way of legalization, we will undoubtedly be seeing much more innovation developing in this ecosystem. Be sure to track the cannabis market on Index.