Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Keep Your Hands Off the Marijuana Tech, Man

Legal marijuana is on a roll, but not in one tech space.

CES, the world's largest consumer electronics convention, will not allow vendors to showcase cannabis technologies. That would be e-cigs and vapes to the non-smokers out there.

It's unusual because Nevada, site of the annual trade show, has legalized medical and recreational pot. It looks like what happens in Vegas, doesn't include marijuana tech.

Marijuana Tech

According to reports, CES 2019 has banned cannabis products from the convention floor. Officially, it's because the show "does not have a category" for it.

But Jeff Brown, vice president of Pax Labs, an electronic vaporizer company, said the organizers are "not comfortable with cannabis." He said CES allows alcohol and other concessions, but not marijuana.

"To draw the line at a technology company demoing cannabis is odd and frustrating," he told Mashable.

The Consumer Technology Association, which hosts the trade show, has made room for more than 4,500 exhibitors. Pax Labs, however, is on the outside looking in.

Outside Looking In

This year, the marijuana companies are taking their business elsewhere. They are demonstrating their products at unofficial events nearby.

"This movement has too much momentum to be stopped now," said Roger Volodarsky, founder of a portable vaporizer company. Experts say cannabis will be a $146.4 billion market by 2025.

For now, marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 33 states. By 2020, analysts predict it will be legal in at least a dozen more.

CES, in the meantime, should be back in Las Vegas next year.

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