The new pro-weed atmosphere in America has brought about an age of discovery. Where cannabis research and the exploration of its effects were previously hampered by savage marijuana prohibition, today those fascinated by the plant can crack it open in a lab setting and hone our understanding of it.
Many primary questions about cannabis focus on its interaction with our bodies, particularly our brains. Each of the dozens of cannabinoids may have a unique effect on us, and we’re just barely scratching the surface. With a little patience and a lot of research, we’ll soon have some answers about the complexities of cannabis. However, I recently learned of a company that makes it feel like the future of cannabis is already here.
Potbotics specializes in applying technologies like brain scanning and artificial intelligence to diagnostics for patients and cannabis plants alike. The most fascinating product is BrainBot, an electroencephalography scan that monitors your neural reactions to certain strains and compounds so you can figure out which strain effects you in which way. The idea is that you can target specific reactions and give patients exactly the strain they need. Another, NanoPot, scans seeds for their DNA information and recommends optimal growth strategies based on the findings.
Naturally, my first question when I met founder David Goldstein was, “Can you please scan my brain while we get high right now?” But I’ll have to wait just a little longer before I can literally see pictures of my stoned brain. In the meantime, David shared his views on legalization and how it’s affecting his foray into the tech side of pot.
Describe your involvement with cannabis in all aspects, personal, professional, etc.
I am the Director of Communications and Co-founder of Potbotics Inc, a start-up creating technology to help assist and legitimize the medical marijuana industry. We’re developing medical-grade equipment to help doctors fully understand the benefits of medical cannabis and help them make specific strain recommendations to patients.
How is state-level legalization affecting your cannabis-related activities?
Because our technologies deal with state regulations on a state-by-state basis, our company must adjust our business model and operations based on each state we launch in. This means that every state we enter must have its own strategy and operations readjustment to meet state regulations, which presents unique challenges and makes a national model difficult.
What are some of the victories of state-level legalization in your area?
PotBotics is a bi-coastal company with offices in New York and San Francisco. With the recent state-level legalization movements in New York to further its progression as a medical state, our company feels confident New York is among the best states to be operating in for future growth. The progress being made to regulate the medical cannabis industry in California is also a positive step towards mainstreaming this medicine.
What is the biggest challenge facing legalization on a state level?
The biggest challenge facing legalization is the poorly run and illegitimate dispensaries and adult-use stores. We’re now at a point where we can use real medical data as cornerstone of any cannabis recommendation, and we should be making sure all of this information is being passed along to the patients that need it. Dispensaries and shops that shortcut this important processes can further the stigma around cannabis that it isn’t a real medicine.
Do you believe the federal government is making progress towards decriminalization or legalization?
We believe the federal government is making progress in realizing the medical benefits of cannabinoids, as shown by their recent actions to begin studying the drug. We also believe that in the future, much like other currently legal medications, federal agencies will oversee the manufacture and distribution of medical marijuana. I think progress is being made to treat this similarly to other medications in that respect.
How long, do you predict, before weed is completely legal in America?
It’s hard to say, but I would say for medical purposes, which is our focus, 5-10 years.
How long, do you predict, before weed is completely legal in the world?
Never. According to some religions, it will never be allowed in Islamic countries.