Innovation gets lit
The marijuana industry is graduating from its street-dwelling roots. Saavy entrepreneurs are findings ways to revamp distribution, production and marketing of the drug, and investors are taking notice.
The Amazon of weed?
Forgive me if the “We are the Amazon/Facebook/Uber of X” line is old, but in this case, it’s warranted. Traditional marijuana distribution involves lots of middlemen. That’s a big overhead cost, and it’s slow, two traits you don’t want in a fast-growing industry. With the arrival of legal retailers in states like Colorado, consumers can access more of the drug with ease. Sounds like the perfect breeding ground for an online retail disruption, no?
Enter Tradiv, an online wholesale marketplace where licensed marijuana businesses can buy and sell product.
Backed by over 3 million dollars in venture capital, the site showcases the wares of over 200 growers; to date, it has facilitated tens of millions of dollars in weed deals.
Dealers love it because it shortens an extensive network of pot brokers who have dealt the product since the 1930s. Consumers get access to more product. Tradiv takes a transactional cut. Everyone wins.
Rise of the modern pipes
If you’re unfamiliar with traditional marijuana smoking pipes, they can look a bit weird. Vaporizer technology has improved the experience of smokeable commodities. Firefly, a portable vaporizer brought into the world by former Silicon Valley product and software developers, take the technology to the next level, improving the vaporizing experience and making the product look smaller and sleeker. It easily fits in a pocket, has the sleek lines of a sports car, and offers a better smoking experience through a smarter vaporizing process.
The former CTO of Zynga, Tom Bollich, now heads up Surna, a startup inventing a climate-control system that better mimics ideal growing condition with less energy. Bollich told Wired that he see this industry as “the next gold rush”.
The Stanley Brothers’ grow house used advanced cross-breeding to create a strain of THC without intoxicating effects. The plant oil appears to help reduce chronic seizures, and the grow house has hired a full-time chemist to figure out why it works the way it does.
As legalization happens across the country, marijuana’s value potential expands dramatically. Entrepreneurs are not only pushing the boundaries of that potential, but they are also working on expanding the supply of the drug to meet the new demand. If you aren’t taking the new weed industry seriously, you should be.