Every year CES shows off the latest developments and products from the tech and electronics world. What consumers won’t find at the annual trade show, however, is the new gadgets and equipment from the world of cannabis. Though CES takes place in Las Vegas, where adult-use cannabis is legal, the trade show has a ban on marijuana.
According to Barron’s, a CES spokesman said cannabis and e-cigarette products simply don’t have a category on the trade show floor. Hence the ban. That leaves a company like PAX Labs in a tough spot. As PAX Labs CEO Bharat Vasan told me, the company wishes to brand itself as the “Apple of Marijuana.”
But how can you be the Apple of anything when you can’t display your product at one of the most vital tech conventions in the country? Let alone one residing in a state with legal marijuana? Though PAX Labs will maintain a presence at CES, the full product can only be sampled at a nearby dispensary, Barron’s reports. Placebo pods, with flavors like blueberry cheesecake, will instead be on display at official CES events.
“We are a technology company in the pot field,” Vasan told Barron’s. “We want to bring more and more acceptance to the field.”
PAX Labs spokesman Jeff Brown also revealed the company intends to work directly with CES ahead of next year’s convention to allow more inclusivity for the cannabis industry. Brown did confide he finds the CES ban on cannabis products “odd” due to the plant’s legal status in the state. And, as he told Barron’s, “there’s no shortage of beer, wine and alcohol poured and consumed at CES.”
PAX Labs is far from hurting. The San Francisco-based company closed a $20 million round of funding last October and could soon enter another round of funding. Vasan told Barron’s PAX Labs could be headed to a potential IPO in the near future.