The US marijuana industry is being cannibalised by startups

The pot industry is not just for growers anymore. Tech entrepreneurs with high ambitions are finding money in applying startup solutions to the budding industry.

There’s already the on-demand delivery startups like Meadow and Eaze which will deliver medical marijuana to your door. Pax has brought Apple-esque simple design to vaporizers.

Even the “Birchbox” subscription box model has come to cannabis.

The Guild is the incumbent in the market, but a new 500 Startups-backed startup, Love, Nancy, is growing first by selling only Hemp products, which are legal to ship in all 50 states.

But, startups aren’t stopping at delivery. Two new Y-Combinator backed companies are tackling the cannabis industry by going after its business, not the product.

First, Serica is tackling one major problems for the medical cannabis industry: payments. It’s still a cash-based industry and these aren’t transactions people want on their credit cards, nor are banks willing to have a medical cannabis company on their bottom line.

Serica, though, is a venture capitalist’s dream because it combines uses the blockchain to track and record every purchase, and gives companies an easy way to accept payment online. The startup has already signed a deal with the second largest e-commerce site for medical cannabis to become the only online payment option for the site, its founder Taariq Lewis said at Y Combinator’s demo day on Tuesday.

Other startups, like Transcend Lighting, are increasing the profits of the growers themselves. Its LED lighting increases profits by switching farms to lower energy-consuming lights. The company isn’t limited to cannabis, but it’s an industry that’s taking off and one that Transcend can’t ignore.

The “Uber for marijuana” services may have already carved out their space, but the next wave of startups like Serica and Transcend are coming into maximise all other parts of the cannabis industry.

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