What if using cannabis for the first time was as easy as making a cup of coffee?
Users simply load the CannaCloud with small aluminum “CannaCloud Pods” filled with pre-ground, lab-tested strains. The machine then heats up the herb to vaporizing temperature with the press of a button, and users wait about 60 seconds until the display screen indicates they can take a hit. After use, the Pods can be tossed into the recycle bin.
The whole system – established in part by four former Keurig executives who now serve on the CannaKorp management team – is meant to offer first-time cannabis consumers an experience that’s familiar to them.
“There are people who are interested in cannabis or have gotten into it but still aren’t connoisseurs. We [want to] simplify it and make the whole experience feel more normal for those people,” James Winokur, CEO and co-founder of CannaKorp, told Civilized.
“We hope doctors see it as a great avenue to point people… who are new to cannabis or those from older demographics.”
The last year has been spent communicating with those demographics, following CannaCloud’s concept launch at the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo last fall. Winokur predicts the CannaCloud will be available to the public in select markets as early as March 2017, following a pilot program set to begin in January with a small network of consumers.
In coming months, he expects to hear much of the same feedback received by the company over the last year, which is that the CannaCloud’s familiar design is only one aspect of what makes it so accessible.
The CannaCloud Pods will feature a range of clearly labelled sativa, indica and hybrid strains with varying THC levels, which Winokur said will make it easier than ever for first-time users to choose what’s right for them.
He’s quick to add that the CannaCloud and its accompanying Pods aren’t just for cannabis novices, however. His hope is that there will be growing interest among cultivators and dispensary owners to create blends catered specifically to the CannaCloud as the product gains traction.
“The model today in the U.S. is almost like craft brewers, so we’re hoping the cultivators and retailers really get into what’s in a Pod, and make some proprietary concoctions so that people can’t wait to get to the dispensary and get the next Pod,” said Winokur.
“We’ll have a cannabinoid profile we’ll ask [dispensaries] to fill, from high THC to high CBD and one-to-one and everything in between… just like every other product, they’ll learn what’s in demand and what’s not and where they need to fill in, and as time goes on the variety will increase.”
As it now stands, the CannaCloud is set to be released in select dispensaries in Colorado, Washington, New England and across Canada. Winokur expects the CannaCloud will retail for somewhere between $150 and $170, with the Pods running in the $6 to $7 range, although that will be up to the dispensaries that carry them.
“I don’t want to be overly optimistic,” said Winokur, “but the level of attention we’ve received has been tremendous, so I’m anticipating that we’re going to be drawn into more and more markets as dispensary owners and cultivators want to be part of our system.”