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CES 2019 Turns Away MarijuanaTech

This post is part of our High-tech High series, which explores weed innovations, and our cultural relationship with cannabis, as legalization in several U.S. states, Canada, and Uruguay moves the market further out of the shadows.

It’s not easy being green — especially at CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics convention. Marijuana tech companies are grumbling about how difficult it is to participate in CES 2019 because organizers will not allow them to exhibit.

“We’re not allowed on the showroom floor, and it’s apparently because [organizers] say they haven’t created a category for cannabis vaporizers yet,” says Jeff Brown, vice president of public policy and communications at PAX Labs, an electronic vaporizer company.

“Apparently they’re not comfortable with cannabis. It’s odd and mildly frustrating,” he adds. “Nevada is a medical and recreational [consumption] legal state, and there’s certainly no shortage of alcohol being served at CES. There are concessions everywhere. To draw the line at a technology company demoing cannabis is odd and frustrating.”


“Apparently they’re not comfortable with cannabis. It’s odd and mildly frustrating.”

For a company like PAX Labs, the consequence of not being able to participate in a convention like CES can be devastating. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the trade organization that hosts CES, estimates 180,000 people will attend the conference this year with more than 4,500 exhibiting companies and more than 6,500 media workers.

For a startup like Pax Labs, the type of exposure and backroom deals that can be made at a conference like CES can catapult a company from tiny startup to full-fledged industry leader.

Mashable spoke to the CTA about its decision to prohibit marijuana technology companies from exhibiting at the conference. In an emailed statement, the CTA said, “There are no cannabis or e-cigarette products on the exhibit floor at CES, as the show does not have a category pertaining to that market. As the industry and regulations evolve, we continue to assess all categories.”

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Michael Nunez on Mashable

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Published: January 10, 2019

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