Cannabis Startups: Companies Making a Difference in 2020

By WeedWeek Aug 8, 2020

There are many cannabis startups in the United States and around the world, as the marijuana industry continues to grow. Demand for weed and weed products appears to be strong, however regulations pose risks and uncertainties to the industry on the whole. 

Fortunately, the future seems bright. This article will help you glean an understanding of what types of cannabis startups are out there, and how, together, they comprise the many facets of this exciting nascent industry. 


Investing in Cannabis Startups

Because cannabis is still an emerging industry, and due to regulatory uncertainties, it’s important to understand that investing in cannabis startups is very speculative. The market volatile, and could take years to stabilize. And just because a cannabis startup has a good idea doesn’t mean it will succeed.

However, the overall trend appears to be upwards, and there are many opportunities for the wise investor. Demand in the United States and around the world continues to grow, as nations such as Canada have entirely legalized the cannabis plant. This creates space for entrepreneurs to experiment with creating new products, businesses and opportunities within this industry.

Before putting any money down, you should get an understanding of the industry, the major players, the up-and-coming companies as well as those that have long records of success. Keep an eye on investment magazines such as Investopedia to get the most up-to-date information. 

Here are some of the startups currently operating in the marijuana industry. They give an idea of the breadth of opportunities available. WeedWeek does not endorse these companies.


1. Cannabis Startup: Ardent Cannabis

Ardent Cannabis produces the “all-in-one portable cannabis kitchen,” a series of tools for folks that are looking to create a wide variety of cannabis products at home. By being able to simply decarb cannabis, infusing oils into your own edibles, oils, and other products is made much simpler. Anyone looking to produce their own weed products at home could benefit from Ardent’s products.

2. Distru

Distru is a seed-to-sale software specifically tailored to the cannabis industry. Often, due to regulations and outdated technologies, cannabis companies are left with less-than-ideal options, hindering these companies’ abilities to engage with customers and build relationships. These are the problems that Distru aims to resolve, drawing from its expertise in cannabis, inventory management, order fulfillment, and compliance with METRC.

3. CannaFundr

On the entrepreneurial side of things, CannaFundr is an online investment portal which allows marijuana companies seeking funding to connect with qualified funds and accredited investors. Start-ups can apply via a online application to be connected to VCs and other investors. CannaFundr supports the growth of this exciting industry from all angles. 


4. Canndescent

If you’re looking for a luxurious cannabis experience, then you’ll want to check out Canndescent, a luxury cannabis company that offers pre-rolled joints and ultra-premium flower in chic single-gram boxes. Cannadescent’s products are tailored to provide five effects: calm, cruise, create, connect, and charge. 

5. Cloud Creamery

Cloud Creamery is a cannabis catering company that creates marijuana-infused foods which purport to help with pain management and are all-around delicious. Cloud Creamery focuses on plant-based foods, and sources ingredients of the highest standards through their relationships with farmers and growers in order to deliver products of the highest standards. 

6. Eaze

Eaze brings the dispensary to customers’ doorsteps. With a technology platform built to support the legal cannabis industry, Eaze connects weed companies to consumers, enabling companies to deliver a wide range of products – from vaporisers to edible vegan treats, to flowers – via a network of drivers. The platform also helps businesses meet regulatory standards.

7. FlowHub

FlowHub is a retail software company that helps dispensaries stay compliant amid an evolving regulatory environment. Through point of sale, inventory management and more, FlowHub helps dispensaries expand operations, increase revenue and improve efficiency across the board.


8. Gateway

Gateway was an incubator for cannabis businesses. This full-immersion business accelerator aimed to leverage the power of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship and capital networks. By providing seed investments and partnering with software companies, Gateway sought to build a robust network of immense value to the cannabis industry. 

9. Green Thumb Industries 

Green Thumb Industries (GTI) manufactures and distributes a range of branded cannabis products featured in dispensaries across the United States. GTI also operates the national retail stores Essence and Rise™.  With 13 manufacturing facilities and licenses for nearly 100 retail locations, GTI is a major player in the cannabis consumer products industry. 

10. Greenbits

Offering a complete cannabis retail platform and dispensary POS software, Greenbits provides business solutions that increase sales and helps ensure companies stay compliant with local regulations. The company boasts that it processes the most transactions, greatest number of sales and serves more retailers than any other software company. 

11. GrowBuddy

The GrowBuddy app helps make growing marijuana easier, more organized and resulting in better yields, enabling growers of all levels of experience to track every aspect of their garden. The company also features a grower’s marketplace where you can research the latest products, including nutrients, seeds, pesticides and growth mediums. 

12. HelloMD

Hello MD is a digital healthcare platform providing doctor consultations regarding medical marijuana. Through the company’s Daily Bonfire app, users can shop a wide range of cannabis products and win prizes sponsored by cannabis brands and retailers. 

13. Hound Labs

Hound Labs created the world’s first dual alcohol and marijuana breathalyzer, which can detect recent marijuana consumption and indicate impairment. Using ultra-sensitive technology for non-invasive breath measurement, the Hound Marijuana Breathalyzer helps people assess their levels of impairment. The Hound Foundation provides education to young people about the impacts of stoned driving. 

15. Leaf Trade

Leaf Trade connects licensed growers and cultivators of marijuana and hemp to retailers. This compliant, connected, and reliable technology solution offers complete supply-chain management, providing clean and consistent data management and reporting, and helping ensure compliance with state-by-state regulations. 

16. Leaflink

Leaflink is the industry standard when it comes to wholesale cannabis marketplaces. Boasting the largest network of compliant cannabis businesses, Leaflink streamlines the cannabis supply chain and has helped enable thousands of brands, distributors and retailers to manage operations, simplify communications and reduce administrative workload.

17. MassRoots

MassRoots is a social network for the marijuana community. If you’re looking to find the perfect strain of marijuana to suit your needs, searching for new products to try, or even attend a cannabis-friendly event, then MassRoots is your one-stop shop. The company features an extensive repository of strains and products complete consumer reviews, and features a nation-wide map of dispensaries to help you on your learning journey. 

18. MJ Freeway (now Akerna)

MJ Freeway is a cloud-based, “seed-to-safe” software program enabling cannabis companies to operate in compliance with local regulations. The platform connects cultivation, manufacturing, wholesale, retail and delivery companies. 

19. New Frontier Data

New Frontier Data provides unbiased and vetted data as well as analytics reporting to help cannabis companies make the best decisions for their businesses. Using cutting-edge technology, comprehensive data sources and partnerships, New Frontier claims to be the first and only company to enable the cannabis industry to utilize Big Data for business solutions. 

20. Nirvana Spirits

Nirvana Spirits produces a line of cannabis-infused alcohol products, including Nirvana Vodka and Nirvana Gin, using organic cannabis sativa and other non-GMO ingredients to create rich and smooth spirits. 

21. PotBotics

PotBotic’s PotBot app makes recommendations on cannabinoid profiles and percentages suited to treating specific medical ailments, based on symptoms, tolerance, and other personalized information. The educational app can also make recommendations for local dispensaries. 

22. Strainz

Strainz supports wellness by providing natural products derived from hemp and cannabis. Their award-winning CBD products deliver superior quality at an affordable price. Strainz offers inctures and softgel products, and even products meant for animal companions. 

23. Surterra Wellness

Surterra Wellness is dedicated to providing high-quality, cannabis-based, natural medicine. Surterra brand products are cultivated within the largest greenhouse on the East Coast of the United States; are easily accessible via an online marketplace; and come in a diverse array of choices. 

24. Weedmaps

By providing technology and software infrastructure for the cannabis industry, Weedmaps connects consumers, patients, retailers, doctors and brands. Weedmaps has been a driving force behind much of the legislative changes over the last decade in the United States and continues to push for social equity, legalization advocacy and licensing in many jurisdictions. 


The opportunity for cannabis startups can be huge in this nascent industry. From technology platforms to growing high-quality bud, these cannabis startups seek to maintain a healthy, and thriving, marijuana industry. And as the regulatory constraints continue to lift in many states and countries around the world, the future is looking bright indeed.