Recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Nevada, but weed-tech companies are still hesitant to showcase their latest products at one of the world’s largest consumer tech conventions,Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018. Cannabis startups feel they exist in a niche market, and can’t legally distribute sample products containing weed at non-cannabis events. So, how do weed-startups push forward?
As legalization becomes more widespread, entrepreneurs continue investing millions of dollars into weed startups. Vaporizers, oil pens, dab rigs, automatic grinders, butter makers, and ganja gizmos are just some of the products available on the market, reports Digital Trends. With only eight recreational states in the US, reporter Drew Prindle says international marijuana use needs to increase, and more states need legalization before its profitable enough to exhibit at CES.
“The buyers are all very mainstream merchants, and frankly the [marijuana] industry isn’t there yet. And it goes both ways. Generally, the big buyers [at CES] aren’t there to purchase, and eventually carry, any product related to the weed industry. So as a potential exhibitor, if you can’t find people who are interested in your product, it’s hard to justify going out and spending the marketing money on attending the show,” says Richard Huang, CEO of Cloudius9, to Digital Trends.
Only one vape company, Vapium, was comfortable presenting its product at CES, for the fact it’s specifically for the medical marijuana market. Their vapes are able to measure THC or CBD through inhalations of the user, which aides in correct dosing.
“Even for doctors who are convinced that cannabis is effective, there’s not really good dosing guidelines,” said Barry Fogarty, Vapium Medical’s COO, to En Gadget. Vapium’s staff were dressed in long white doctor coats at the exhibition to drive the medical point home.
However, other weed startups prefer to give hush hush demonstrations away from CES. Roger Volodarsky’s, Puffco CEO and founder, demonstrated Puffco Peak using real cannabis concentrates to show off the company’s new dab rig on the 28th-floor of Mirage hotel suite, En Gadget reported.