Blazing Trails, Hitting Roadblocks: A Cannabis Tech CEO’s Story

Spread the love

Blazing Trails, Hitting Roadblocks: A Cannabis Tech CEO’s Story

As the CEO and Founder of BakedBot AI, a company at the forefront of innovation for the cannabis sector, I’ve navigated the complexities of this evolving industry. Celebrating successes while confronting challenges, our journey reflects the broader paradoxes of a rapidly changing market, particularly highlighted by a recent incident with a prestigious Colorado incubator program.

Navigating Challenges

Our journey through the incubator’s selection process was promising, thanks to our Autonomous Agents designed to enhance cannabis retail operations. Despite excelling in the final interview, a sudden shift occurred – the incubator, having received state funding with a “vice clause,” was unable to support cannabis-related businesses, including ancillary ones like BakedBot AI.

This scenario underscores a broader issue within the industry, as highlighted by cannabis investor Emily Paxhia, who criticizes the systemic preference for “protecting lazy money” at the expense of innovative opportunities. Vice clauses represent a significant barrier for legally operating startups.

The Paradox of Progress

The irony is palpable. Colorado, a pioneer in legalizing recreational cannabis, simultaneously upholds policies that hinder the sector’s progress. This contradiction is emblematic of the challenges entrepreneurs face, battling outdated stigmas while striving for innovation.

As MediaTechVentures’ CEO Paul O’Brien points out

Startups and entrepreneurs are typically facing an uphill battle given the fact that establishments (be that existing industry or government) resist change. Most people don’t perceive it that way, after all, many U.S. Federal elections are  built on a promise of change, but the reality is that government regulations designed to manage Big Business, or protect people seemingly, often works against innovation. The cannabis industry is a more extreme example, but we even see in well-established industries, such as music or food, how regulatory policies, often sought by existing industry, act to maintain a status quo and make it costly or impossible for entrepreneurs to bring about good change.”

Streamlining Regulations for Innovation

The cannabis industry is stifled by stringent regulations, affecting even ancillary startups. Cannabis compliance lawyer Griffen Thorne emphasizes the need for clear, sensible regulations akin to those of other industries, advocating for reforms to facilitate access to banking, equitable taxation, and interstate commerce.

Diverse Regulatory Environments

The legal landscape for cannabis startups varies significantly across states. In more restrictive regions, startups face higher barriers to entry, according to lawyer Amanda Ostrowitz. This discrepancy creates uneven playing fields for entrepreneurs, further complicated by the hesitancy of investors due to legal ambiguities.

Advocating for Sensible Reform

Our experience with the incubator has only strengthened our commitment to advocating for sensible policy reform. By collaborating with industry groups and policymakers, we aim to address the regulatory inconsistencies that impede innovation.

Moreover, the societal implications of restricting cannabis innovation are profound. Technologies that ensure compliance and enhance operational efficiency are crucial for the industry’s responsible growth.

At BakedBot AI, we’ve demonstrated how technology can streamline the cannabis retail process without direct involvement with the plant. Our success is a testament to the potential for innovation within a supportive regulatory framework.

Where do we go from here?

The cannabis industry requires regulations that reflect its unique needs and potential for growth. By adopting policies that treat cannabis like any other regulated industry, we can overcome the current paradoxes and unlock the market’s full potential. It is essential for policymakers to move beyond outdated stigmas and recognize the value that ancillary entrepreneurs bring to the industry.


Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Spread the love

Resources© 2023. Made with ❤️ in Chicago. Incubated at 1871 in Partnership with CannaTech Ventures.