A rush to develop new tech for the regulated pot industry reveals a device that borrows from existing kitchen appliances
Discouraged by the side of effects of medicines prescribed for his anxiety, Michael Borque found a medicinal haven in a more natural remedy: marijuana. Given that his home state of Massachusetts had yet to sell the drug medicinally, the 40-year-old went about acquiring his first ever buds the traditional way. One parking lot deal and rolled joint later, Borque realized that he liked the high, but hated the burning sensation he felt in his throat and lungs that followed a smoke. Fast forward two years and Borque is now the CEO of Stoneham-based CannaKorp, maker of the CannaCloud vaporizer.
In being a longtime product developer, Borque decided to flex his creative and problem-solving mind to find a better solution. Tearing commercial vaporizers apart to unravel their inner workings, the man was convinced he could craft a vaporizer fashioned after a Keurig machine: an American household staple.
The sleek, white plastic vaporizer works by heating marijuana up to an optimal point wherein most of the active compound (THC, the chemical responsible for cannabis’ psychological effects) gets released without burning the plant. Unlike your standard vaporizer however, the weed for the CannaCloud model comes in mini, single-use pods filled by independently-run, legally authorized growers.
But CannaKorp’s manifestation wasn’t a solo effort; in fact, the vice president of Keurig Green Mountain inc., Dave Manly himself, is now chairman of CannaKorp. Recalling the reaction when they showed the machine to a focus group of potential customers:
“People said, ‘Oh my God, how fast can I have one of those?’ Which is exactly what people said when they saw the Keurig.”
Unlike the coffee trade however, the emerging regulated pot industry isn’t yet dominated by a single entity, and both sober and 420-friendly entrepreneurs are casting their rods. With a forecasted $22.8 billion haul by 2020, up from the current $7.1 billion this year alone, legalized recreational use and de-stigmatization have enabled a once forbidden fruit to take center stage as one of the fastest growing industries around. And as policy surrounding the controversial treatment of cannabis loosens, those numbers are likely to skyrocket even further.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by PSFK
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