It's a stereotype that cannabis consumers always want to talk about the plant: hashing out strains, where to get it the best ways to smoke it. A big yawn, in other words, for everyone around then.
But corporations, at least, have been listening: the folks over at Vancouver-based Lift are poised to launch Elevator, the world's first cannabis-specific chat bot for consumers endlessly curious about the benefits of their favorite plant.
"There's so much false and misleading information floating around the web about [cannabis's] effects, benefits, and how to access it safely - and if you're new to medical marijuana it can be really hard to cut through all the noise to get answers specifically tailored for your situation, "says Lift CEO Tyler Sookochoff. "We developed Elevator as a response to this."
Elevator is capable of remembering your questions and its own responses, and the more it "learns," the more thoroughly it's able to answer your queries.
"We see Elevator as your personal 'Cannabis Concierge,' " says Sookochoff.
Elevator will be demoed at Lift's upcoming trade show in Toronto on May 28-29 before it's rolled out in select markets across Canada.
Lift isn't the only firm using this kind of technology to help people have conversations about weed. PotBot, more of a budtender than a cannabis concierge, gets users to submit data including their weight, gender, medical condition, and frequency of use to tailor strain and dosage recommendations
"There are more than 750 strains of cannabis to choose from and many methods of consumption such as tinctures, dabs, edibles, lotions, vaporizers and sprays. Choosing the wrong strain and form of ingestion can aggravate symptoms instead of alleviating them," according to the PotBot site.
"We calculate the individual effects of each cannabinoid, and delve farther into the synergistic effects of the entire cannabinoid profile in order to accurately recommend the appropriate levels of each cannabinoid for your ailment and spit out your personalized "Cannabinoid Overview." The tool also hooks you up with a list of strains that match your ideal cannabinoid ratio, preferred consumption methods, and a map of cannabis-friendly doctors and dispensaries in legal states.
Potbot is only available on your desktop for now: the mobile app's coming soon to Google Play and the App Store.
Cannabis-specific chat-bots and virtual budtenders are just one of many ways firms are lowering the knowledge barrier for rookie cannabis consumers, as well as ensuring they don't need to bore their friends with marijuana shop talk.
That being said, they're also an obvious win for data-mining. As the chat-bots "learn" about their human interlocutors, they'll also amass a huge body of information that can be used to market to cannabis consumers more effectively. Smart technology, indeed.