When Michael Bourque, an engineer, was prescribed medical marijuana, he found the whole endeavor of taking it a bit daunting. How much should he buy and how strong was it? How should he prepare it?
Like many marijuana patients, Bourque wanted consistent dosage, standardized packaging, easy administration and no mess. As an engineer he decided he could invent his way out of the problem.
Bourque teamed up with Dave Manly a former vice president at Keurig Green MountainGMCR +% Inc., maker of the pod coffee machine and James Winokur, a technology executive and now the company’s CEO. The trio dreamed up a machine similar to the Keurig coffee maker, but for marijuana vaporization. Users would insert a single-use pod of cannabis into the device, which would heat it and releases the vapor to be inhaled.
CannaCloud by CannaKorps (Photo courtesy of CannaKorps)
Soon two other retired Keurig executives joined the CannaKorp Inc. team. “They said they missed the entrepreneurial spirit they had at work,” said James. The machine they created, CannaCloud, will make its sales debut in Boulder Colorado at the end of 2016.
Early feedback has been enthusiastic. “We showed our invention off at the MarijuanaBusiness Daily cannabis trade show in Las Vegas last year and the booth got really crowded,” said Winokur. Greg James, who was there to talk to the founders about joining the company, even jumped in and started giving product demonstrations. Now he is Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
The Stoneham Massachusetts company currently employees eight people.
While the $149.95 CannaCloud vaporizers will be sold at dispensaries to patients, the founders have created another device that loads pre-ground cannabis into the pods, the “CannaMatic.” They plan to sell this machine to cannabis growers and processors in different states. Vetted and trained, these partners will fill and sell cannabis pods locally, said James.