A growing number of Canadian tech entrepreneurs are betting big on the future of cannabis in the lead up to legalization later this year.These “weed tech,” or “canna tech,” companies, as they are sometimes called, are hoping to cash in on the new legal market by creating specialized software and hardware to serve the cannabis industry and consumers.
Investor interest, so far, has focused mostly on companies cultivating cannabis. But the ancillary market, which includes industry-specific technology as well as other offshoots, such as consumption devices and security, is predicted to be sizable. A Deloitte study predicts Canada’s upcoming legal recreational market could be worth as much as $8.7-billion a year, and with ancillary operations thrown in, the number jumps to $22.6-billion.
“We’re like the plumbing of the cannabis industry,” said John Prentice, founder and chief executive of Ample Organics Inc., a seed-to-sale software company that helps producers with compliance requirements and inventory tracking. “If you’re going into a licensed facility and [are]trying to figure out how many plants are in a grow room, what they’re being manufactured into and who’s buying the product, our software is the system that tracks that.”
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