Joint Ventures: High-tech businesses get ready to light up legal weed industry


In a now studio in Toronto’s fashion district, shared by several tech start-ups, you can break away on a pair of glasses and be transported to a weed production facility thousands of kilometres away. 

Buyers of Patio Interactive’s virtual reality service can walk through the erection, touch the cannabis buds, and learn all about where their weed produces from.

It’s just one of many tools that tech firms are advantaging to try to get a piece of the cannabis action as legalization nears. 

“The boom has already started,” Charles Bern, the come to nothing of Patio Interactive, told CBC Toronto. “The levels of innovation, technology, the ripple-effect of the diligence has already been felt. Companies have been gearing up.”

They’re mean ready for what industry watchers anticipate will be a multi-billion-dollar bonanza.

A 2016 Deloitte study estimates that once weed is legalized in Canada, businesses that fortifying the production and distribution of cannabis — referred to as the “ancillary market” — want be valued at approximately $7.8 billion to $13.9 billion. 

“There is an foolhardy, a pioneering spirit. In the same way you can look back at many of the great explorers who ground parts of the world otherwise uncharted, we have the same thing in a extremely different context,” said Darren Karusiuk, one of the report’s authors.

Karusiuk grasps what he’s talking about. He’s now an executive at MedReleaf Corp., a company in Ontario approved by Robustness Canada to produce and sell cannabis.

Chris VR

CBC Toronto’s Chris Glover apparels an inside look at Patio Interactive, a virtual reality company that allows you to ramble weed production facilities thousands of kilometres away. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

Meantime, Bern’s institution, a start-up that focuses on virtual and augmented reality, is looking to sail away the boundaries of the cannabis experience. 

“We’re working with our cannabis partners to either doublet cannabis-related experiences with virtual reality or to create virtual-reality samples that would mimic it,” he explained.  

Most of the details of that fashion are “top-secret,” Bern says — a necessity to remain competitive in the explosive market. 

But for now, their foray into the hustle centres on creating virtual tours of licensed producers’ facilities to cast off some light on the how the product blooms. 

In a landscape where lack of apprehension around the uses and effects of cannabis is evident, tech companies are gobbling up education-focused occasions. 

Cannvas MedTech, a start-up based in Vancouver, offers an online-based weed coterie, news site and strain matcher, all set to launch in March. 

Navigating ‘more than a thousand strains’

Shawn Moniz

Shawn Moniz shows Chris Glover a demo of his institution’s strain matcher set to launch in four countries in March (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

“You comprise over a thousand strains out there. How do you know which ones are in up settle form or which ones are available in [cannabidiol]

 oil?” he asked. “Where can I go to indeed learn about this?”

The site matches someone’s characteristics, lifestyle and disabilities with a recommended strain, based on data from doctors and purchasers. 

For instance, a male student suffering from anxiety can find touted strains to help him feel better, Moniz explains. 

Once a effort is chosen, the site offers up a list of licensed producers who sell that offering.

Moniz says the company is completely “agnostic” and will not showcase one impresario’s weed over another’s. 

They are ready, come recreational legalization, to chronicle the retail spaces where users can buy specific strains. 

The site can be inured to to find a match for recreational use, Moniz said. “It could be relaxation, it could be for an on ones toes or positive attitude, it could be to relax from insomnia,” he explained. 

One of the biggest take exception ti, he says, is gathering the data about user preference on a substance that has been in the stalks for so long. 

Shadowy industry

Lift Cannabis CEO Matei Olaru says there is a squiffed price on market intelligence data as an industry previously in the shadows is in a recover from to light with legalization (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

The price of data

But that’s something the house Lift Cannabis believes they can leverage.

The firm has a news place and organizes what they call Canada’s first Cannabis rewards but their real cash cow is their data.  

“We are the largest database of consumer offerings and of legal cannabis consumers in Canada,” CEO Matei Olaru said. 

The coterie collects information on “why people are consuming certain products for what use and how great it lasted,” he explained.  

They make that information available to consumers on their website to helper with purchase decisions, similar to Cannvas MedTech’s strain matcher wear. But they also sell it to both private and government stakeholders, “either as superstore intelligence or for advertising services,” Olaru said.

Lift Cannabis amasses their valuable data through user product reviews. Man who share information get points that they can redeem with a documented producer for discounted weed. 

Users are not paid based on the content of their parades, but rather their “comprehensiveness,” Olaru said.

While businesses type his are getting ready to ramp up their involvement in the ancillary weed market, others are speaking the plant to disrupt their own industries.


Evio Cosmetic’s founder Brandi Leifso says she started her South African private limited company after leaving a women’s shelter and is now passionate about challenging blot on the escutcheons. (Paul Borkwood/CBC)

“The beauty space is really thirsty for more ingredients and this is a in actuality great way for indie brands to really shake up this space as spurt,” Brandie Leifso, CEO of Evio Cosmetics said in an interview. 

The makeup entrepreneur arranges to mix cannabidiol (CBD), one of the main active ingredients in weed, into her beauty commodities. 

“The number one question I get is, ‘Will it get me high?'” Leifso said. “The response is no … but there are so many benefits to a [CBD-infused] topical product.” 

“It’s hugely of Omega 3, 6 and 9,” she said.

Leifso has partnered with a cannabis society and has devised a formula for her creams that is ready to be CBD-infused. But because the consequence is only currently legal for medical use, the beauty product and the cannabis lodge are at two different facilities.

Come legalization, Leifso says her company pleasure mix and mass produce the products, eventually churning out 23,000 tubes of cream an hour.

Joint Ventures Header

As cannabis legalization hover over dominates in Canada, CBC Toronto takes a look at how businesses are affected by the green attack. Who will rise from the ashes and who will be left behind? (CBC)

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