8 Marijuana Startups Changing the Industry

Businesswoman using mobile phone at back seat of the car

The times are quickly changing for the cannabis industry. The sweeping legalization in North America is causing an influx of new startups all with the same goal of improving the business of marijuana. Apps, investment, and new products are coming in by the droves. These innovations are changing cannabis as we know it for the better. Here’s eight up-and -comers to keep an eye on this year.


From parent company Potbotics, a funding data aggregation and technology company, comes an innovative app called Potbot. Potbot uses the latest research on cannabis science to help patients choose the perfect way  to medicate. The app provides users with the information they need to get the most out of marijuana use. It analyzes patient’s needs based on the ailments they medicate for and their tolerance. So far Potbotics has raised a whopping 2.4 million dollars in funding. This app is sure to change the way consumers approach their cannabis use, and hopefully improve the quality of personal cannabis therapy.

Flow Kana

Flow Kana is a collective of small artisan cannabis farms from Humboldt and Mendocino County. Their aim is to protect the organic, sungrown, boutique cannabis that comes from that region. Don’t let the small farms fool you though, Flow Kana has $260,000 of funding to date. With legalization coming to California in 2018, they’re providing a way for small grows to compete with the big business coming to cannabis. They distribute cannabis throughout the state all while keeping their small town roots well watered. Their transparent business practices and dedication are sure to keep Flow Kana as the top artisan supplier for years to come.


GrowBuddy is an app for cannabis growers by cannabis growers.  Before the recent green rush, most information on growing came by word of mouth. There was very little formal research on the process. Now, GrowBuddy is seeking to change the way growers cultivate their cannabis through an app that allows them to track all the elements of their grow cycle, while also offering up important information. Aiming to make grows more organized, as well as encouraging the cultivation community to connect with one another on a wide platform, GrowBuddy is sure to become a staple in any cannabis growers life.


The perfect bowl or bong is out there for everyone, but often remains illusive in the vast market of smoking accessories. Fortunately, a new company called Printabowl is making the perfect piece accessible through 3D printing. Customers can create their own design and have it applied to beautiful glass bongs and pipes. All at the click of a mouse. So if your smoking accessory soulmate has alluded you, skip the search and create your own!


Gateway technologies refers to themselves as “the first differential accelerator and investment fund for startups”. Their program assists cannabis startups in their initial stages of development. Twice a year they invest $50,000 in exchange for 5% equity in the most innovative new companies. After investment Gateway puts the startups through a five-month training in Oakland, California. This is to ensure they have the knowledge and support to succeed in this rapidly growing market. Gateway is providing the cannabis industry with high-caliber startups backed by an established company.

Jane Technologies

Launched May 2017, Jane Technologies is the first end-to-end cannabis marketplace. They provide menus from neighborhood dispensaries in real time. This makes it simple for consumers to search for their preferred type of cannabis. In addition, you can purchase your cannabis online and have it delivered straight to your door! No fuss, no driving, no waiting in line. Just quality cannabis. Jane has currently raised funds exclusively from friends and family, but has offices in California and Colorado so VC money seems right around the corner. There’s even reviews about the dispensaries they show, making it easier to make solid decisions about your purchase.  With live updates and a user-friendly website, Jane Technologies is soon to become a stoner favorite.


Tokken is a new tool to help dispensaries receive payment. With banking being a big issue for cannabis businesses due to federal regulation, this new startup could revolutionize the way people pay for weed. Users download the app, link their preferred payment option, then they can pay automatically at participating dispensaries. Retailers can also use Tokken to make other payments, such as purchasing product or transferring their balance to the bank of their choice. Sort of like the PayPal of marijuana, this new payment method will simplify and streamline all aspects of cannabis purchase.

Hound Labs

With cannabis legalization sweeping North America there comes a unique set of challenges. Among these is the question of how to keep the roadways safe from impaired drivers. Now, Hound Labs has manufactured one of the first cannabis breathalyzers. Founded in 2014 in Oakland, California the company has raised $1.7 million in funding. Not only is their product very unique, it could help keep the roads clear of drivers who may decide to toke up right before they take off. An innovation in safety, Hound Labs breathalyzer may be coming to a highway patrolman near you.


Steve Burt is an MBA and owner of 420lightguide.com, the web’s source for quality reviews of LED Grow Lights and how-to’s for recreational and medical growers.


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