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Marijuana Tech Startup Weekend coming to Denver

It was just a matter time before Denver’s budding tech startup community publicly hooked up with Colorado’s nascent marijuana industry.

The founders of a pair of self-described pot tech firms in Denver are organizing the inaugural Marijuana Tech Startup Weekend to help create, discover and refine products geared toward weed.

The three-day coding event is scheduled to kick off Sept. 26, a few days after the latest iteration of the tech-dominated Denver Startup Week and, perhaps, not a moment too soon.

In April, Wired Magazine published an article titled “High Tech: How Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are rushing to cash in on cannabis.”

Really, that’s a thing?
Cannabis-infused coffee. Machine-rolled marijuana cigarettes. Joint-peddling vending machines. A THC-infused, ladies-only lube. A food truck selling only infused edibles. The massage of your life, via a marijuana-infused lotion. Yes, really, these are all real things.

It contends that “the future of pot is being plotted in Silicon Valley” as tech heavyweights, such as guys who once led the development of the Flip video camera and the design of Apple’s Mac OS, are hoping to get rich off a product now widely attached to Denver.

“Here’s a truism about the gold rush days of San Francisco: It wasn’t the miners who got rich; it was the people selling picks and shovels,” states the piece by Mat Honan. “As the legalization trend picks up steam, Silicon Valley thinks it can make a better shovel.”

MassRoots, a social network for the cannabis community, and CannaBuild, an online management system for dispensaries, are driving Marijuana Tech Startup Weekend. It will be held at their shared, 4,000-square-foot office at 2247 Federal Blvd.

Investing in cannabis: CEO for San Francisco angel-investment group ArcView has one piece of advice for you

“The goal of the event is to generate as much traction as possible over the course of the weekend,” they state. “This can be by creating an entirely new product, adding new features to an existing one or by focusing on scaling an existing system.”

CannaBuild CEO Zach Marburger said the event, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will feature several investors, including officials from the ArcView Group. ArcView has pumped $225,000 into CannaBuild and nearly $1 million into MassRoots.

It’ll cost $50 to pitch an idea and $20 to attend.

Tech startup weekend events typically feature a swarm of software developers who code away for hours on end. Marburger hopes to attract about 50 hackers and another 100 attendees.

Smoking will be allowed. Whether that’ll lead to better coding is up for debate.

This story was first published on the TechKnow Bytes blog