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Back in June, the three founders of the consumer review cannabis platform, Leafly, have finally decided to branch out – after selling their company for an undisclosed amount in 2011 – and begin Headset, a logistical, B2B solution for emerging businesses ventures in the cannabis industry. Headset is one the first of many innovations in the world of capitalized cannabis. By using a subscription-based service, Headset is targeting both recreational and medical industries to provide accurate and reliable insights and services. So far, Headset has divulged that these services include: a detailed comparison of specific products and how they’re selling in the market, inventory data, and manufacturing data. Thus, unlike the consumer-driven Leafly, Headset aims to address big business solutions. “We’re staying in the cannabis industry but are tackling a different problem,” said co-founder Cy Scott in a recent interview with Geek Wire. His fellow Leafly founders, Scott Vickers and Brian Wansolich, will also be at the helm. Another example of the maturation of the cannabis industry is the booming edibles industry within – with many cannabis consumers shifting towards a more practical, and non-permeating way, to consume their product. Edibles have an advantage, offering a way to incorporate cannabis use through every-day functions – your morning tea, a light snack, cooking, etc. Fairwinds and Dixie Elixirs are two companies in particular that are re-branding the traditional image of cannabis use – an image more enticing to venture capitalists and potential investors. In a recent article on Slate, cannabis industry investor, Leslie Bocskor, accurately summed up the element of sophistication of the edibles industry:[addtoany]
“Ultimately, marijuana will follow a pattern similar to that in the tech industry. The industry will evolve and stoner culture will be less and less prevalent. Eventually, we won't think of Cheech and Chong when we think about cannabis, just like we don't think about geek culture when we think about Amazon."The constant pursuit of finding out what exactly is inside your cannabis is another shift towards a more legitimized industry. Similar to the natural food movement we’ve seen over the years, more consumers and manufacturers (in both the medical and recreational industries) are beginning to pay attention to what cannabis products are right for specific ailments, mentalities, and lifestyles. Potbotics, another “big-picture” medical cannabis startup, is developing PotBot, an EEG device that scans a patient’s brain, measuring electric activity to find how cannabis affects the specific user. This device is meant to narrow in on how certain strains interact with the user’s specific ailments – i.e. is Blue Cheese or Silver Haze the right strain for my chemo therapy? Combine PotBot with other rising medical startups, (such as Hello MD, Aurum Labs, and Health MJ) and it’s clearly evident that medical cannabis is considerably on par with the worlds of traditional medical industries. From the streets to the boardroom, smarter solutions for the young and fertile industry are rapidly cropping up. With over 300 new cannabis startups – in an industry only truly employed in a tiny handful of states in the US – the intersecting worlds of medical and consumer cannabis are not only growing in size, but also maturity and legitimacy.