Innovations Abound in Cannabis, Despite Regulation

Ethan Andersen |

If there’s any industry in the US that’s growing at a rate like that of the tech sector in the late ‘90s, it’s the cannabis space. 28 states now allow for the medical consumption of cannabis, eight of which allow for its use as a recreational substance, and there’s no sign that state-specific industries will slow down their rate of growth.

This rapid upward movement “is fueling products, services, and processes that will change the world as these innovations change how we look at all agriculture,” according to Electrum Partners President Leslie Bocskor, and most industry professionals would agree. Given the massive increase in employment and entrepreneurship that’s taken place over the last few years, as well as the expected increases to come, it’s important that would-be entrepreneurs take notice of the innovative practices being implemented in the space and brainstorm new ways to improve the services and products being offered by the industry.

With that, here are some thoughts on innovation in the cannabis industry by its leading entrepreneurs:

Listening to Consumers

Jamie Rosen, CEO and Founder of Dr. Dabber:

"The key to successful product innovation in the cannabis industry is to develop an ear for the wants and needs of consumers in the space. Through a variety of methods (social media interactions, industry conferences, in-person meetings, and the like), we've been able to nail down what most vapers look for in their products and then build our product designs around satisfying their needs. Much like with any other industry, innovation in the cannabis space requires dedication, research, and creativity, but unlike other spaces, you need to do so while paying close attention to ever-changing municipal, state, and federal regulations."

Scientific Research

Seth Yakatan, CEO of Kalytera:



"Medical innovations in the cannabis industry should be backed by scientific research, so as to establish credibility and ensure that patients have positive reactions to the treatments being produced. An innovation will be profitable if it satisfies a need that people are willing to pay money for, so would-be innovators need to do their due diligence and make sure their exact product/service isn't already offered on the marketplace."

Be Contrary

Aaron Herzberg, Partner & General Counsel at CalCann Holdings:

"We're continuing to innovate by going against the grain and by being contrary. One of our main methods of innovating in the space is by exploiting licensing and real estate opportunities in Southern California that generally aren't well-understood. As California has yet to implement a highly regulated marijuana marketplace and there is tremendous confusion as to what the regulations will look like, we have focused on real estate investment and municipal licensing of marijuana facilities, as we know that all facilities in California will eventually need to be municipally licensed."

Packaging

Serge Chistov, Business Advisor to Honest Marijuana:

“It’s an amazing time to be in the cannabis industry. Despite heavy regulation, the industry is constantly evolving in countless ways. For example, at Honest Marijuana we have released multiple innovations that we believe will raise the industry standard: we use Modified Atmosphere Packaging to ensure our products stay fresh and deliver a consistent experience and we have released new products such as the Honest Blunt, the world’s first machine rolled, organic hemp wrapped blunt.”

Agility and Support Services

Michael Bologna, CEO of Green Lion Partners:

“Uniquely restrictive and dynamic regulations combined with rapid market expansion have forced cannabis entrepreneurs to be even more innovative than their counterparts in other industries. To be successful, cannabis companies must be agile and willing to adapt to market conditions. Green Lion Partners focuses on identifying and partnering with companies built to take advantage of this challenge, most noticeably within software and support services that can deftly pivot and remain viable.”

Edibles, Lighting, and Agricultural Best Practices

Leslie Bocskor, President and Founder of Electrum Partners:

"Innovation in the edibles vertical will come from established companies that have proven science and IP. Lighting, or the replication and optimization of natural light, will also continue to drive innovation in the cannabis industry. Investors can feel comfortable that best practices yield best results while allowing for the innovation in agriculture that we see developing will also apply to the commercial agricultural industry at large."

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

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