Medical marijuana startup develops Keurig-like vaporizer device

CannaKorp's CannaCloud device and CannaCups--Courtesy of CannaKorp

Companies are developing innovative devices for medical marijuana, rolling out everything from palm-sized inhalers to metered products that deliver drugs through the inner cheek. Massachusetts startup CannaKorp is taking a different approach, creating a Keurig-like medical marijuana vaporizer device to compete for its share in a growing market.

The Stoneham, MA-based company's CannaCloud device operates similar to a Keurig coffee machine. Users put CannaCups, or prepackaged pods of cannabis, into a canister that looks like a travel mug. Then the canister is placed in the device and the user presses a button to activate the system. Less than a minute later, the device fills with vapor.

The device could offer an advantage over current vaporizers and delivery methods. CannaKorp has deals with authorized cannabis growers and processors, ensuring that the product meets medical standards. And the company's prepackaged cups allow users to skip a step in the vaporizing process, providing an "easier, more consistent experience," the company said in a statement. If all goes according to plan, CannaKorp will roll out its device in fall 2016.

"Our goal is to simplify and improve the medical marijuana experience for millions of users worldwide," Michael Bourque, CannaKorp's president and co-founder, said in a statement. "Patients don't always know exactly what they are buying and preparing cannabis is an archaic process today. Used together, our CannaCloud vaporizer and CannaCups solve this problem."

CannaKorp, which kicked off operations last year, is still waiting on a patent for its technology. In the meantime, it's facing competition from other companies that are also forging ahead with medical marijuana delivery technology, including Generex and Israel's Syqe Medical.

In April, Generex inked another licensing deal for its RapidMist buccal drug delivery device, teaming up with Smoofi to distribute and market its product. The Worcester, MA-based company's device contains liquid drugs that are absorbed through the inner cheek, and includes surfactants that let large molecules move between the cell walls and membranes. Generex also has licensing deals with Canadian medical marijuana outfit CannScience Innovations and Sunnyvale, CA-based Amarantus BioSciences.

Meanwhile, Syqe Medical is busy with its own medical marijuana product. In September 2014, Syqe announced that it was developing a palm-sized inhaler that vaporizes tiny granules of cannabis in small doses, allowing physicians to fine-tune dosage and tailor treatment to each patient. The product has already attracted funding from Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist, which awarded Syqe $1 million in stipends over three years to fine-tune its device.

- read the statement

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