Being a consumer in this world can be overwhelming to say the least. We’re constantly inundated with ads on TV, in magazines, and even at the bus stop, for cereal, medications and that toothpaste that 4 out of 5 dentists recommend (who is that fifth guy anyway and what’s his problem?).
As normalized, and often unnoticed, as some of these advertisements can be, they help guide us. So when we go to the store, we have some knowledge of the products we’re faced with. Even more important, we get to interact with those products at the store. We can inspect them, read information on the packaging, look at pricing and, ultimately, decide if it’s worth spending our hard earned money.
This is how it is for most products, consumable or otherwise. But it’s not the case for cannabis. Currently, all legal states have laws restricting advertising for cannabis products. This makes it really hard for brands to get their message out and even harder for consumers to know what’s best for them. Add in the high diversity of cannabis products and you get a whole bunch of consumers who are likely not making the most educated buying choice.
Jeff LaPenna, John Capogna and Bill Stark, the founders of The Peak Beyond, are changing that. The California-based company, and 2016 Canopy graduate, is innovating the way people buy cannabis through interactive smart displays that allow consumers to pick up a product, place it on a display screen and instantly get information. The technology allows dispensaries and brands to advertise their products, getting the right information directly to the customer, while at the same time educating customers so they can choose the best product.
What started as a graduate school project aimed at fine dining and wine quickly shifted into something more serious when the team rolled out their idea at a wine event in Milan. After returning from the trip, the founders decided to start pursuing the idea as a business. Friends involved in cannabis saw the potential for the product in the industry and so the founders made the move from wine to weed
Switching their market also opened up the opportunity to attend the San Francisco edition of CanopyBoulder in 2016. Realizing they needed to freshen up on their business skills, the team joined the accelerator with hopes that the the Canopy network could support them as they began the long road to launching a product.
“The amount we learned in the accelerator was staggering” explains LaPenna, “My background was in media and so I knew we needed the business support to launch this product. We got that with Canopy. I mean, here we are years later running a business and having a great time.”
Since leaving the program, the company has worked to prove out its concept, installing pilot products in dispensaries. The data and feedback they received in those pilot programs helped them iterate and refine. And now, just two years later, the company is ready to re-launch its product, focusing their energy on sales.
The company is prime for growth, with a few big deals in the works. Meaning, it’s just a matter of time before your local dispensary becomes a smart store. Are you ready for a new shopping experience?
Want to get in touch with the team to hear about opportunities to get involved? Email the founders at firstname.lastname@example.org.