It was just a matter of time before the high-tech community merged its way into the ripening cannabis industry, looking for hot financial opportunities. Ground zero for that assembly was the inaugural Cannabis Investors Summit held earlier this month and fittingly hosted at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco – the former site of the city’s Federal Reserve main headquarters building.
There were distinguished, besuited professionals dabbing their toes in the nascent waters of the cannabis industry mixed with fresh-faced app builders and cloud technology experts — each attempting to understand the blossoming cannabis sector that looks to continue on its path toward ever-increasing profits.
Though unfamiliar with the burgeoning legal marijuana space, there was little sign of trepidation from presenters who firmly believe that “tech will drive the cannabis industry” moneymaking machine.
David Goldstein, a summit presenter and the founder of PotBotics — a company that looks to mesh science, tech, pot and robotics — commented that while the companies involved in the disruption of this industry “may not have worked in the cannabis sector, they’re taking knowledge from other industries and adapting it to cannabis.”
BrainBot, one of PotBotics’ three products currently in development, was designed for medical professionals to treat specific symptoms and conditions using a wireless electroencephalography (EEG) helmet.
The device “allows practitioners to capture brain waves and analyze a patient’s neural response to cannabinoid stimulants so that the right strain and cannabinoid level can be recommended,” says Goldstein. “By identifying and quantifying the effects that different cannabinoids have on a patient, BrainBot reduces patients’ reliance on a roll-of-the-dice medical marijuana recommendation.”
Other companies involved in the summit included products and services already familiar to the industry, like GreenRush, an online service that lets verified patients order medical cannabis for home delivery; and AllGlass, which provides unique, high-end American made “functional glass art and smoking accessories.”
Still other pioneering entrepreneurs were present, like the company BitCash — a play on the open source peer-to-peer payment network protocol similar to BitCoin — whose business model focuses on the problematic aspect of processing payments for marijuana. As cannabis is currently considered federally illegal, many in the industry find it a challenge to process payments. This is particularly problematic for any member of the industry directly involved in actually touching the plant — for instance, medical marijuana dispensaries and seed companies, as opposed to ancillary products that do not directly handle cannabis, like attorney services.
Eddie Miller, eCann Media’s CEO, assembled the group and wants to see cannabis treated like any other consumer product.
“The Cannabis Investors Summit was created to explore the benefits of investing in the cannabis industry at this early stage, while at the same time being able to securely leverage the transparency of a cloud environment,” he explained.
Future Cannabis Investors Summits are set for Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, London and Hong Kong.
What type of cannabis industry events would you like to attend? Tell us in the comments.