/ / 10 Cannabis Tech Companies & Startups
/ / 10 Cannabis Tech Companies & Startups

10 Cannabis Tech Companies & Startups

Think the cannabis industry is all about plants? Think again. As a tech-focused angel investor, cannabis tech is one of the most exciting emerging sectors for me. It’s also tangled in red tape. While frustrating, the added bureaucracy and legal hoop-jumping force startups to be innovative if they want to be successful. This forced creativity has led to some of the most impressive tech custom-built to serve cannabusiness needs. With better solutions for growing, harvesting, packaging, back-end management, distribution, and retail, creating and consuming cannabis is safer and better than ever.

Here are some of the most cutting-edge cannabis tech companies I’ve seen recently:

What is Cannabis Technology

Cannabis tech spans verticals. It could be a new way to grow and harvest crops, an AI machine that aids in quality control, a retail management system that supports backend operations, an omnichannel retail platform, or anything that improves the current industry standard.

What’s been most exciting is seeing how cannabis startups are getting creative with their tech ideas to break new ground and push the industry forward. Tech already plays a significant role in the cannabis industry today – and that role will only keep getting bigger.

10 Cannabis Tech Companies You Need to Know About


Leaflink was founded in 2015 in New York as a wholesale cannabis marketplace, connecting thousands of retailers and brands in one platform to streamline client management, communication, purchasing, and orders. Today, Leaflink operates five offices throughout the US and manages about 32% of US wholesale cannabis commerce. In December 2020, Leaflink closed its $40 million Series C funding round with more than $90 million raised in total.

Green Thumb Industries

Green Thumb Industries hails from Chicago, Illinois, where it was founded in 2014 as a vertically integrated cannabis producer. Green Thumb uses integrated technology to handle everything from harvest to sale, managing its production, processing, and distribution sales. Cannabis consumers know Green Thumb for its wide range of products and retail stores under names like Rise and Affinity.


Another Chicago-founded cannabusiness, Fyllo, focuses on legal compliance and leaves the product to others. With the Fyllo Compliance Cloud, cannabusinesses can ensure their messaging and digital advertising comply with location-specific regulatory standards and requirements. Well-known industry names like Apothecanna and Grassroots trust Fyllo to support their sales and marketing planning and execution while maintaining compliance.


Puffco is on its way out of the startup stage and into the ranks of household industry names. Founded in Los Angeles by Roger Volodarsky in 2013, Puffco’s luxury vaporizers are known among cannabis aficionados as some of the best you can get. With a flair for elegant aesthetics and a modern, user-friendly design, Puffco’s award-winning vaporizers have been heralded by cannabis media outlets. Though they’re a bit pricey, dedicated smokers who prefer an elevated experience have had no issue shelling out the big bucks for their very own Puffco vape.


Though Caliva started as a traditional dispensary in San Jose, CA, it’s raised over $70M in funding since its founding in 2015, thanks to its new take on retail store design and its flexible purchasing options. By allowing customers to place orders online for delivery or pickup and by creating a modern, stylish design in stores, Caliva’s founders raised the standard of a cannabis dispensary and attracted millions in funding.


Weedmaps is one of the original players in the cannabis tech space. Founded in 2008, Weedmaps’s online platform for medical marijuana patients has expanded into an online community and app where patients can explore dispensaries, doctors, and deals in their area. Since its inception, Weedmaps has added functionality and is headed upstream beyond its existing marketplace. Now known as WM Technology, the company is offering a SaaS end-to-end solution for retailers and brands.

Tokyo Smoke

Tokyo Smoke never limited itself to being just a cannabis brand. The company’s motto, “Coffee, Clothing, and Cannabis,” guides product development, creating a varied online shop complete with apparel and accessories that can even make specific cannabis strain recommendations for users. Tokyo Smoke is the perfect example of how lifestyle brands are beginning to converge with the cannabis world.


Equilibria is a CBD platform dedicated to helping women restore balance in their physical and mental health through high-quality CBD products and one-on-one dosage support. Founded in 2019, the online, subscription-based service closed its latest funding round in 2020 after raising 1.97 in Seed capital. Women have flocked to Equilibria for their personalized consultations and recommendations on dose and delivery, as well as their consistent, quality products sourced from its organic hemp farm in Colorado.


Growbuddy is on a mission to improve the backend of the cannabis industry. Using the SaaS model, Growbody’s proprietary software uses sensors to tell growers what’s happening in their gardens. By picking up on temperature, humidity, and other climate factors, GrowBuddy’s platform helps growers get a comprehensive view of their crops so they can manage the grow process and improve their crops.

Natura (Natura Life Science)

Natura Life Science believes cannabis consumption can transform the world, and they’ve created an end-to-end, vertically integrated supply chain solution under one roof to facilitate that. By providing growing, manufacturing, distribution, and delivery, Natura allows cannabis companies to standardize their offerings and scale with consistency. Founded in 2018 in San Francisco, Natura’s current Sacramento campus is the home of this 11.4-acre, fully integrated supply chain for the global cannabis industry.

How to Invest in Cannabis Technology

Angel investing is the most prominent kind of investing in the world of cannabis technology. Startups closely involved with the plant itself may find it challenging to secure a loan from a bank – or at least one with good terms – so an angel investor is often a better fit. Especially in the early stages of development, cannabis startups can be risky for traditional lenders and even larger VC funds. Angel investors like me are more comfortable with risk, and we’re often more willing to get our hands dirty, offering mentorship and guidance as the startup grows.

If you’re interested in investing in cannabis technology and you have significant personal funds you could contribute, becoming a cannabis angel investor is a great way to get involved. 

For others who may not have sizable personal funds, you can still invest in cannabis in smaller ways, such as putting a bit of money in stocks and ETFs for medical or recreational marijuana companies. 

How the Cannabis Industry has Accelerated in the Last Few Years

The global cannabis market was $20.47 billion in 2020 and shot up to $28.26 billion in 2021. Fortune Business Insights projects the industry to skyrocket in the coming years, potentially reaching $197.94 billion by 2028. What got us here, and what’s driving us forward still?

Cannabis technology is propelling the industry ahead. Thanks to rapid and monumental innovations, commercial cannabusinesses are scaling faster, producing higher-quality products, and becoming more profitable. The growing cannabis markets have also helped. Mature markets, such as Colorado and California, continue to lead the pack, but newer and emerging markets, like Florida, are also contributing to the sector’s rapid growth.

The Coming Explosion of Cannabis Innovation

The cannabis industry’s growth is throttled forward with new tech innovations, but the industry can only grow as far as regulations and social norms allow. As millennials and Gen Z begin to hold more political offices and take over a larger share of the global economy, we’ll see old laws and cultural perspectives on cannabis replaced by more accepting ones. I can only imagine what incredible technologies startups will create with a new cultural and legal acceptance of cannabis – and I can’t wait to see them. If you’re on the edge of something great in the cannabis industry, let me know. 

Enjoy the ride.