State by state, the current debate around cannabis sees legislators decriminalizing possession of the drug alongside discussions that question whether or not marijuana should be permitted for recreational use, with Maryland and Missouri most recently joining the other 19 states that have approved its use.
Meanwhile, a $27.7 billion global market has emerged.
Cannabis Tech Companies to Know
- Green Thumb
- Jane Technologies
- Stealth Monitoring
- SōRSE Technology
Regardless of ganja’s legal status, tech companies have found a way to work within the system — by spearheading modern solutions ancillary to the cannabis industry, without touching the herb itself.
And with ingenuity comes novel portmanteaus: This one is called cannatech, sometimes referenced as weedtech, and it meets at the intersection of tech and 420-friendly commerce.
Unless they’re inventing gadgets or conducting cutting-edge research, companies budding in this field typically follow a keep-it-simple formula. They take a product, service or discipline — like workforce management or an e-commerce platform — and outfit it for the needs of cannabis cultivators, producers, manufacturers and consumers alike.
What Is Cannatech?
Cannatech, also known as weedtech, refers to a crossover of tech companies entering the cannabis industry. These companies are the digital arm to producers, supplying innovative services and solutions to improve products, customer experiences and market-wide compliance with federal and state regulations.
Top Cannabis Tech Companies
Here is a shortlist of must-watch cannabis tech companies lighting up the cannabis industry.
This Boston-based biotech company simplifies decarboxylation, or an herb-activation process that applies a precise amount of heat over a fixed timespan in order to stimulate the THC content in cannabis, with a counter-top-friendly, one-touch machine that resembles a thermos. Self-described as the “easy bake oven for adults,” Ardent’s laboratory-grade decarboxylator decarbs, infuses and bakes in one portable, purple appliance. The company’s best-selling product, the NOVA, works with flower, kief, concentrate and stems, to name a few.
Confident Cannabis is a lab testing software platform with a built-in, real-time database of global legal cannabis statistics. The platform partners with licensed laboratories nationwide to supply producers, processors, wholesalers, vendors, retailers and ultimately consumers with accurate, lab-tested product information, such as crop potency, displayed on its app’s easy-to-read, trackable charts.
Eaze is both an online marketplace and software platform that connects vetted, fully-licensed dispensaries to customers via on-demand delivery. Homegrown in California, Eaze is currently limited to conducting business in just two states (California and Michigan), but is looking to expand to future locations. The platform has completed more than eight million cannabis deliveries to date, according to its website.
A Berkeley-based biotech company, Demetrix applies fermentation methods in the study and production of more than 100, high-purity cannabinoids and their interactions with the human body. Most recently, Demetrix launched a commercial-scale manufacturing operation as its first product went to market, a cannabinoid named cannabigerol, or CBG, which carries anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, according to beauty news outlet CosmeticsDesign. Demetrix is the first company to produce this rare, bioactive ingredient.
For consumers, Dutchie hosts an online delivery platform that directs shoppers to local and interstate dispensaries. For dispensaries, Dutchie provides e-commerce and point-of-sale software, complete with a dashboard of tools to help run day-to-day operations and expand market reach, priced from $500 to $1,000 per month.
Flowhub is a company that builds retail management software specific to legal medical marijuana and recreational cannabis dispensaries. Its highly customizable, open-setup platform delivers compliance, point of sale, payment, inventory tracking and analytics data to shepherd better business decisions as well as easy-to-use mobile applications. In its eight years of operations, this Denver-based operation now processes over $1 billion dollars in cannabis sales annually from its 700 retailers across 18 states.
Based in Chicago, Fyllo’s Compliance Cloud is an enterprise-grade suite of software and services designed to take companies in heavily regulated industries — such as cannabis — under its wing. Pulling from an extensive archive of cannabis and CBD purchase data, the four-year-old company provides tools, information and integrations to keep businesses in compliance with ever-changing legal customs as well as high win-rate marketing solutions that accelerate growth.
Green Thumb is a Chicago-based, social-impact-focused cannabis retailer with several dispensaries and consumer packaged good brands under its roof, including Good Green (which sells various strains of flower), Rythm (flower, vape and concentrates), Dogwalkers (pre-rolled joints), Incredibles (chocolates, gummies and hard candies), Beboe (gummies, mints and vape pens) and Doctor Solomon’s (lotions, balms and drops).
Acquired by Dutchie, Greenbits is a software company that provides a point-of-sale platform to assist cannabis distributors with their day-to-day operations and management needs, spanning retail, inventory, customer and legal regulations. The company’s product features automated state-by-state compliance, loyalty programs, inventory audits and personalized insights.
Jane Technologies is a cannabis retail tech company that champions the little guy, building an online marketplace curated for small businesses. Using the fully automated e-commerce platform — now available as an iOS app — dispensaries of all sizes can customize a pre-built website, complete with an analytics dashboard. Collections, a personalization feature, suggests new products to shoppers based on local inventory, verified reviews, activity and user interest. CEO and founder Socrates Rosenfeld told TechCrunch that they’ve been a bit “boring,” having spent the past five years developing proprietary technology dedicated to helping dispensaries provide accurate e-commerce information with unified metadata.
Global biopharmaceutical company Jazz Pharmaceuticals entered the cannatech industry two years ago when it acquired cannabis-focused biotech company GW Pharmaceuticals, best known for its drug Epidiolex, the first and only FDA-approved prescription cannabidiol. Infused with highly purified CBD, Epidiolex is an oral solution that treats childhood epilepsy. Recently, the biotech firm invested $100 million to build a 60,000-square-foot facility to support their plant-based innovations.
LeafLink is a wholesale management, business-to-business platform that runs 52 percent of the country’s supply chain supporting cannabis commerce, according to the company’s website. Its centralized sales engine serves more than 8,400 retailers and 3,700 brands and distributors. The New York City-based company launched a full platform pricing model late last year, which bundles payment tools, logistics solutions and marketplace access for a monthly cost.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., New Frontier Data is a tech-backed, independent analytics company that offers real-time data solutions to the cannabis industry. The company uses deep learning, neural-net-framework and artificial intelligence alongside a proprietary big data infrastructure to compile comprehensive insights.
Olla is a software-as-a-service company that has developed a white-labeled, digital-commerce platform, delivering build-your-own operating systems. In other words, canna-business owners can forgo middlemen marketplaces by assembling their own native site — no design or coding experience necessary. In 2020, Olla processed $262 million worth of digital orders and now average 4.3 purchases per minute, according to its site.
Using microarray technology, PathogenDx is a biotech company developing rapid-detection solutions that can identify bacterial, fungal and viral threats in cannabis. The company’s latest product, Octa, is a 96-well, autoprep station that can detect over 50 different pathogens, including E. coli, listeria, gray mold and mildew, in six hours or less.
Puffco challenges market norms with their line of original, award-winning products. Puffco’s approach to setting a “more flavorful industry standard” focuses on extraction consumption, using a highly refined process to create cannabis concentrates for the most potent puff possible. The company’s products — including its best-selling vaporizers — are free of glues, fibers or chemicals and are exclusively made in-house at its Los Angeles headquarters.
Boasting a team with over 200 years of experience in food, beverage and product development, SōRSE Technology has created a water-soluble emulsion that cannabis companies use to infuse products — food, beverages and topicals — with functional cannabinoids. The Seattle startup told GeekWire that its accurate dosing recipe enables customizable metrics, allowing manufacturers to set the scent, strength and timespan of effects a user may experience when consuming a CBD, THC or terpenes-integrated product.
Springbig is a marketing tech company that brings customer loyalty programs and marketing automation to cannabis retailers and brands. Springbig uses every promotional tool in its box — texts, emails, customer feedback portals, and so on — to bolster customer retention, boost revenue, build customer loyalty and roll out effective campaigns.
Stealth Monitoring is a security company that offers industry solutions tailor-made for a multitude of cannabis operations, ranging from small retail dispensaries to farms. Combining video analytics with human intelligence, this remotely-monitored, real-time surveillance system averages 35,000 deterred crimes and more than 800 arrests annually, according to the company. In the company’s words, “there is a great need for video surveillance in the marijuana industry. Not only do many states require it, it is critical in helping to protect against theft in such a cash-heavy industry.”
Treez is an enterprise cloud commerce platform that provides software solutions that help streamline supply chain operations. Its products include a point-of-sale system, dispensary inventory management and cashless payment processing all on an open API platform, further expanding functionality by enabling compatibility with market leading integrations. Treez processes $4 billion transactions annually, claiming 15 percent of the total market share of stateside dispensaries.
The Valens Company is a biotech company looking to diversify the cannabis market with its array of proprietary extraction methods, including CO2, ethanol, hydrocarbon, solvent-less and terpene. Partnering with licensed producers, Valens also performs analytical testing, formulation and white-label product development services.
Würk is an all-in-one workforce management software designed with the cannabis industry in mind. The company built an intuitive application fit for highly regulated markets that streamlines human resources, time keeping, payroll and tax compliance. Its proprietary solutions include the Compliant Payment Cloud, an underwriting program, as well as software that merges integration with analytics, accurately coined the Intralytics Cloud.