Recreational marijuana use has been legal in Colorado and Washington for less than two years, but the industry has already seen some major innovation, including chic edibles and a Yelp-like service for finding the best cannabis. To spur even more new ideas around marijuana, cannabis startups MassRoots and CannaBuild are hosting a pot-themed startup competition September 26-28* in Denver.
Isaac Dietrich, cofounder and CEO of cannabis social network MassRoots, told Fast Company attendees will have two minutes to pitch their startup or concept, and judges, which include investors in marijuana companies, will select the top five ideas. After spending the weekend developing their products, these five startups will take the stage for 10 minutes for a final pitch. The winner will receive $2,500, and companies that come in second and third places will be rewarded $1,000 and $500, respectively.
Dietrich previewed some of the pitches that will present:
- A Tinder for marijuana, which helps cannabis users find other people to smoke with
- An ad network for cannabis
- A platform to inform voters of progress on the cannabis legalization front
- An order-ahead system to reduce wait at dispensaries
- A cryptocurrency to help the cannabis industry overcome banking challenges
This "competition is going to bring together over a hundred entrepreneurs, developers, and investors committed to transforming the cannabis market through technology," Dietrich said. "It will be an important step in supporting and legitimizing the cannabis industry."
*An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the competition would be held August 8-10. We apologize for the error.