A gadget that turns any Starbucks venti cup into a bong, a power cleaner for resin-clogged pipes, and chewing gum that cures cotton mouth are among products that marijuana aficionados may see in their favorite head shops before the end of the year.
A flock of American businesses, seeking to take advantage of an investment rush into the marijuana industry, are behind a wave of new weed-smoking accessories designed to improve on such classic devices as the bong, the pipe and the one-hitter. The new so-called ganjapreneurs are hoping to capitalize on a speculative mania that cannabis industry insiders call a “green rush.”
“People have been trying to do this for a really long while and now is really the time,” said Ross Kirsh, owner at New York based Quark, which creates accessories used to store and display medical marijuana.
At two marijuana business networking conferences last week in New York, ganjapreneurs shook hands, smoked joints, made deals, and shared plans for profiting from the creeping legalization of pot. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana, and two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized recreational adult use of cannabis last year. The federal government still considers pot illegal to possess or use.
“There was a lot of uncertainty in this business in 2011," Kirsh said. "People were hesitant to see where business would go after what was a federal crackdown. But after legalization in Colorado and Washington, the attitude has completely changed.”
Los Angeles-based Royght! plans to sell a gadget that fits snugly atop the standard-issue wax-paper cups used by takeout restaurants. For $19.95, super-sized becomes super high.
Matt Luxton, the company’s 30-year-old owner, said he’s gone through 24 prototypes, but believes “lucky number 25” is ready for market. He said designing, manufacturing and -- particularly -- testing his product has been an eye-opening experience for him as an entrepreneur.
“One of the things we’ve found in testing is people like the ability to fill the cup up with whatever -– coffee, orange juice, vodka, Coca-Cola from the McDonald’s fountain -– and smoke through that,” Luxton said.
Click on the slideshow below to see eight other products likely to come out of the marijuana industry’s “green rush.”
A Stealth Bong
Royght!, based in Southern California, is developing an accessory that turns any Starbucks venti cup into a water pipe. The gadget, which the company plans to retail for $19.95, fits snugly atop the standard-issue wax-paper cups used by takeout restaurants. Matt Luxton, Royght's owner, said he's already raised $140,000 for his vision and needs $80,000 more. He said the product can roll out in two months.
A Way To Show Off More Discerning Tastes
New York-based Rodawg is creating what CEO Josh Gordon called "a lifestyle brand for professional smokers." The company said it plans a full line of ganja-themed accessories. "The products within the industry are still tied to that hippie or stoner look," Gordon said. "Ours have more of a cigar aficionado feel: it's 'Grey Goose meets John Varvatos' rather than the traditional brand with the pot leafs and tie-dye."
A Weed Jar Worthy Of The Mantelpiece
Among Rodawg's offerings soon to be sold at retailers is a line of storage jars "more consistent with the packaging of high-class spirits."
A Stash Holder That's All About The Plant
Ross Kirsh, a medical marijuana patient who owns New York-based Quark, came up with the idea of a mid-concept weed holder that puts the focus on the product inside. An upgrade on the Mason jar many smokers use to store their skunk, Kirsh's invention replaces the top of the pot receptacle with magnifying glasses. Kirsh expects the product to retail for $9.99 and said he needs $50,000 to make it a reality.
A Pipe That Matches Your Suit And Tie
Buckle Puffer, a Cleveland-based upstart, is looking to market a stainless steel belt buckle that doubles as a discrete marijuana pipe. Samson Mastroianni, a senior at John Carroll University in Cleveland and the company president, said the idea is to create a product that blends in with semi-formal male business attire. Mastroianni said he believes he's aiming at a $200 million market he called "apparelphernalia."
A Power Cleaner For Your Pipe
Nothing disrupts the flow of a smoking session quite like a clogged pipe. KashIt, a San Diego-based company, is developing a hand-held power tool to clear those pesky clogs. The company seeks to raise $115,000 to develop KashIt Clean, expected to retail for $25. No word if the cleaner will work on 1980s-era video game cartridges.
Air Conditioning For Your Bong
Kashit is also working on a prototype accessory that fits atop bong mouthpieces, forcing the marijuana smoke through a cooling mechanism. Nimesh Goel, one of Kashit's co-founders, said the product would have an anti-microbial component, in a nod to germophobe stoners. "Everything we develop creates a solution to a personal problem we ourselves have experienced while smoking," Goel said.
A Lightning-Quick Mobile Vaporizer
UpToke, based in California, is developing a portable vaporizer with a sophisticated look and enough technology under the hood to smoke the competition. The company's signature product is a $300 contraption about twice the size of a cigar. It heats marijuana to a smoking point in 2.7 seconds, a vast improvement over existing pocket vaporizers. The odor emitted by the device is very faint.
Supplements To Enhance Your Buzz
An upstart CEO who asked that he not be named, given the embryonic state of his venture, is working on a line of chewing gum products to end “cottonmouth,” the parched throat feeling many people have after smoking marijuana. A few investors told HuffPo the holy grail of products, which no one has come up with yet, would be a supplement that somehow helps people who’ve imbibed too much sober up. Talk about a buzzkill.