CES takes half-baked stance on cannabis – TechCrunch

A cannabis company won a CES award for 2020. Called Keep, the desktop storage device features biometric security to secure cannabis products, and looks good while doing it. The CTA gave them an Innovations Award Nominee in October and then weeks later told the company they were unable to use the word “cannabis” when exhibiting.

Keep Labs decided to stay home and not exhibit at the massive Consumer Electronics Show, potentially missing out on distribution deals, funding and increased brand awareness.

Vaporizers, cannabis and tobacco alike have long been found on the CES show floor. They’re often hidden under different names, like aromatherapy devices. This year is different. They’re gone from the show floor. I spent hours in the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo center. The vapes are missing from the 2020 show.

That could change, according to a spokesperson for CES. The trade group behind the show is evaluating if cannabis has a place at CES.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) runs CES. It’s the largest such trade event in the world and attended by some 200,000 people. After speaking with a CTA spokesperson, it’s clear the trade organization knows its under close scrutiny and yet it’s still willing to blur lines to allow some companies ancillarily to cannabis to exhibit. That is, if they don’t talk about the device’s true intention.

In the past, sex tech was explicitly banned, so companies like OhMiBod exhibited under Health and Wellness. Vaporizers could be categorized as aromatherapy devices. Emails obtained by TechCrunch show the CTA has told cannabis-adjacent companies it can exhibit if cannabis is not mentioned on the show floor.

Keep Labs submitted its cannabis storage device exhibit under the “Home Storage” category. Upon its acceptance, the CTA nominated the device to the coveted

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