California’s Best Cannabis Innovators
Canopy and Eaze
The cannabis industry is ripe for opportunity. In fact, 8 out of 10 Americans support the legalization of cannabis for medical use, according to NORML. It’s new; it’s growing (ArcView projects a 30 percent annual growth over the next 3-5 years); and it’s endlessly fascinating. And, in California, ArcView estimates cannabis to be worth $6.5 billion by 2020.
As for innovation, no other industry is as cutting edge as cannabis. Just take a look at Canopy and Eaze: two companies that are changing the game. It’s no doubt that no matter where the cannabis industry ends up over the next few years, both Eaze and Canopy are well equipped to ride the high.
Canopy is a business accelerator, and while that isn’t necessarily innovative in and of itself, their focus is. They’re one of the first startup accelerators 100% focused on cannabis. Their goal is to find the most innovative, up-and-coming canna-businesses and to help them get off the ground with funding, advice, and training. “We offer a 16-week intensive mentorship-driven programs for our portfolio of companies along with seed funding and space to work for 4-5 months,” explained Jack Scatizzi the Managing Director of Canopy San Diego.
Think of their 16-week course like a mini-MBA program for cannabis entrepreneurs. They take the best and make them even better. Cannabis startups enter the program, receive between $20,000 and $30,000 in seed money, gain office space, and receive access to dozens of industry mentors. From 208E accounting practices and state and federal taxes to cultivation and operation plans, each company leaves the program with a full understanding of the entire legal cannabis market.
“Currently, a number of barriers to entry are creating a window of opportunity for startups to gain early traction in cannabis before the larger companies look to enter the market”
What truly makes Canopy standout are the companies within their cohort. Each company is developing a product that could potentially transform the cannabis industry, and they’re getting that chance at success thanks to Canopy. A few of our favorites include:
–Loose Leaf Technologies develops software specifically for the medical marijuana market that will allow patients to track their consumption and symptoms. Think Fitbit meets an electronic health record system.
-Icarus RT is creating an “add-on” for solar panels that will drastically increase their efficiency.
-Apothecarry Brands is designing a sleek and sexy storage solution aimed at the next generation of cannabis consumers.
For Canopy, being a canna-business accelerator at this time in the industry is like striking gold on the cusp of the gold rush. “Most accelerators fail because they can’t get good companies,” explained Jack. “It’s different for us. We’re one of only a handful of accelerators in the nation working in the cannabis industry, and there’s an endless market as the industry continues to grow.”
Hitting up Uber to go to the dispensary? Try Eaze to bring it to you instead. Eaze is a San Francisco-based, cannabis technology company that is all about getting patients medical marijuana on-demand. Their service guarantee is safe and effective delivery of quality cannabis products at competitive prices in around fifteen minutes.
“Cannabis is a natural fit for on-demand technology,” said Eaze founder Keith McCarty. “On-demand consumer services need to have a high frequency of use, be agile, and be naturally social in order to be successful. Cannabis fits all of that, and it has the added struggle of being fragmented, which requires a horizontal layer—such as on-demand delivery—that makes cannabis accessible and safe to all consumers.”
There’s no doubt that Eaze is successful. Since launching in 2014, the company has raised $25 million in funding—more than any other cannabis company. Plus, they’re already in 100 locations across California with the ability to easily replicate in all states medically and recreationally. “The pace at which Eaze is growing is unprecedented,” Keith said. “We’re now firing on all cylinders and hitting an inflection point in the industry that is unprecedented. We’re really excited.”
But it’s not just about funding or explosive growth, Eaze works because it is data-driven technology. “Data drives us,” explained Keith. “In the cannabis industry, it’s very difficult to get consumer data unless your technology enabled. We capture data on every sort of consumer behavior in real-time. Then, we pull it all into dashboards to help dispensaries, product developers, and anyone else in the industry make the most agile and informed business decisions based on consumption behavior.”
As for Eaze’s secret sauce? It’s about putting the consumer first. “Eaze is not just an on-demand delivery technology,” Keith said. “We’re a team player that uses data to educate, simplify, and streamline the entire cannabis industry for the best possible patient experience.”