On November 8, Americans in nine states headed to the polls to decide the legalization of Marijuana. California voted to sanction cannabis for recreational use, and Florida approved the use of the drug to alleviate symptoms of illness.
Leading up to the election, recreational marijuana use was legal in four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, along with Washington, D.C.
It is not just the stoners who are paying attention. Investors have shown increased interest in weed tech startups and the companies listed below five are part of the reason why VC’s are getting into the sector. This is a big deal for users and for startups in the sector and is a big reason why anyone considering starting their own weed tech company should reach out to a cannabis consulting firm.
Since its launch in 2014, Eaze has raised more than $12 million in venture capital funding. What is Eaze and why is it so popular? The company is seeking to build a marijuana delivery service which will do for pot delivery what GrubHub and Seamless did for food delivery.
To date, Eaze has facilitated deliveries to more than 100,000 members nearly 100 cities and California. Depending on the outcome of ballot referendums, the company will seek to expand into new states.
Besides acting as a marijuana delivery service, Eaze also helps patients to get a prescription for marijuana online. This works by putting users in touch with licensed doctors. In many cases, this has helped patients who would have no other choice than getting opioid prescriptions to help with the pain and discomfort of their medical conditions.
2. Steep Hill
Another weed tech startup which has gained interest is Steep Hill. Founded in 2008, this company is one of the oldest weed tech companies in the industry.
Steep Hill specializes in testing and analytics software and equipment for growers and dispensaries. Since its founding, the company has raised nearly $9 million and is reportedly amid another funding round.
This weed tech startup is a social network for marijuana users. The app not only helps patients to find dispensaries, it also helps to users to connect and communicate with the shops. In addition, there is a community feature which allows users to leave reviews on their favorite dispensaries. For this reason, Weedmaps has often been called the ‘Yelp for pot shops.’
Available as a website and a mobile app, Weedmaps has become something of a community for marijuana patients in four countries – Canada, France, Spain, and the U.S. As you can see, weed tech is going global.
The company has also developed a media division in recent years which helps to deliver news and videos on cannabis culture. Since its founding in 2008, Weedmaps has grown precipitously and today the company gets more than 50 million pageviews each month.
MassRoots is another social network for tokers and while getting stoned helps you to mellow out, this company has risen like a rocket since being launched in 2013. In fact, it made headlines as the first company in the weed tech industry to apply for NASDAQ listing.
The company boasts nearly one million users who rely on the app to commune with other users and to find out which dispensaries have the best stuff. Another item which helps to set MassRoots apart is the section on marijuana legalization.
5. Bhang Chocolate
While apps are popular amongst early-stage investors, another area of interest is edible marijuana. These are snacks and other food items which include marijuana as one of the active ingredients. Whilst this sector has been under increasing scrutiny, especially from federal authorities, Bhang Chocolate raised close to $40 million from Mentor Capita in 2014.
Founded by a master chocolatier who is a big fan of chocolope, Bhang Chocolate offers a full line of bars, oils, and vaporizing equipment. Today, the company has operations in seven states and three countries; though one of the biggest threats to further expansion are pushes to reverse or restrict legalization in several states.
As shown, weed tech startups have become the darlings of venture capital investors and many of these companies are helping to revolutionize weed culture in the U.S. In doing so, they are raising millions of dollars and delivering returns. If you are an investor, then maybe you should take a deeper look into this sector as you may like what you see.