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Technology Meets Legalized Pot

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The legalized marijuana market could be worth at least 36 billion dollars annually by 2020, bigger than the NFL, by some estimates. For that reason technology companies are wasting no time entering both the medical and recreational use arena.

Dayton's Pelican Technologies is looking to gain a foothold into the marijuana industry. The software provider company promotes its PlantTracker system as designed to meet the unique needs of the grower and dispensary community. The company sells software to farmers and dispensaries enabling them to easily read and record plant information from RFID tags.

Scott Denholm, the executive director of Metrc, the regulatory tracking system of record for Colorado and others, says, "What makes this market unique and quite fascinating to be honest is that you don't have a lot of large companies that are involved in it because of the product being federally illegal so what it's done is it's created this really unique environment where small entrepreneurs can get involved in it and try and stake out a business."

Forbes reports other technology companies jumping into the arena. Computer scientists Jessica Billingsley and Amy Poinsett created MJ Freeway. With 1,000 licenses in 19 states, it's a platform that tracks every gram of pot and every dollar. MJ Freeway is translated into Spanish and is looking to get into foreign markets.

Sage Analytics built a small desktop measuring device to deliver instant and accurate product testing. Leafly is described as the Yelp of marijuana, Weedmaps, the Groupon of cannabis and Weedhire is for jobs in the industry.

David Goldstein and his dad say they entered the medical marijuana market to help validate the industry and bring a stronger scientific rationale to it. Their company, Potbotics, targets patients, doctors and farmers with three platforms.

  1. Potbot- "the desktop and mobile app will guide patients toward the appropriate strain and consumption method for their specific ailments"
  2. Brainbot- "a wireless EEG (electroencephalography) helmet that allows general practitioners to capture brain waves and analyze a patient’s neural response to cannabinoid stimulants so that the right strain and cannabinoid level can be recommended. "
  3. Nanobot- "cultivators get a fully customized growth plan with optimal amounts of irrigation, sunlight, UV films and nano fertilizers to use when growing specific strains and hybrids."

Other technology companies involved in the pot industry:

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.