Yes, more than half the population of the United States live in a place where they can legally use cannabis for medical purposes. The industry is developing rapidly, refining its growing and processing technologies, creating new products and building expertise among employees. And as regulation increases (product testing, child-safe containers, accurate labeling, etc.) the supply of cannabis has become safer. Dispensaries are moving beyond the random supplier who shows up with the big baggie at the back door to tax-paying product-testing sources of cannabis.
Medical marijuana research is hamstrung by federal regulations of course, and many worry that new Attorney General Jeff Sessions will come down hard on the legal marijuana industry. Despite the risks, these entrepreneurs are investing time and resources to advance their products and their businesses. Here, six from around the country, share what they are working on.
Uri Zeevi, CEO of Seedo, an automatic hydroponic device that grows medical cannabis for home use without any human intervention or agricultural knowledge. “These home grow machines allow medical patients to produce high-quality cannabis on their own, without having to go to dispensaries for their medication, and ensure for the elimination of pesticides because it is an airtight, closed and locked systems. The home-grow machines also allow patients the freedom to choose the exact strain that will work best for their condition, and given that 8 states now allow home cultivation of cannabis, there’s no reason to believe the growth of this product type will slow anytime soon.”
Carrie Tice, Co-Founder of Octavia Wellness, a Direct Home Sales Company in California. “Direct sales are important in medical marijuana. Many patients, especially elderly ones, do not feel comfortable going into a dispensary and interacting with young budtenders that might not understand their needs. Home visits provide privacy and the time to discuss options. We focus solely on selling medical marijuana to senior citizens, customizing the packaging with large easy-to-read labels, simple instructions, home consultations and delivery.”
Jamie Rosen, CEO of Dr. Dabber, a Nevada-based vaporizer company specializing in portable, oil-compatible products: “Innovations in the vaporizer space, such as the development of electronic cannabis oil vaporizers and increasingly discreet pens, seem to be making a notable difference in medical marijuana patients’ lives. By allowing patients to consume cannabis without smoking, increasingly high-tech and high-quality vaporizers are making it easier for medical patients to access the treatments they need.”
Shanel Lindsay, Founder and President of Ardent, a Boston-based biotech and medical cannabis device company “Decarboxylation is a process applied to cannabis that, through sustained exposure to the correct temperatures, removes the acid molecule while leaving behind the THC (the main psychoactive compound in cannabis). Those consuming cannabis that isn’t properly decarboxylated end up losing 1/3rd or more of the available THC, while accurately decarboxylated cannabis allows for all of the THC to be retained. Advances in decarboxylation technology, as well as a rapid increase in understanding and acceptance of the process itself, will result in more users getting maximum benefits from their medicine.”
Serge Chistov, Business Advisor to Honest Marijuana, a Denver-based marijuana cultivation company that produces and packages cannabis flowers grown in organic soil: “Recent technological innovations are offering novel CBD consumption methods for patients. For example, CBD will soon be readily available to medical marijuana patients through strips similar to Listerine breath strips.”
JJ Southard, CBD Division Director at mCig, a publicly traded provider of grower services and cannabis products: “The most notable innovations to the medical marijuana industry lay in the ever expanding knowledge base of the professional cannabis essential oil/concentrate makers, lab technicians and product engineers. Not only are these areas continuing to expand and develop new methods and equipment, creating the best yields with the cleanest finished product possible, they also offer improved service to the patients, growers and edible manufacturers.”