Startup Targeting Medical Marijuana Market


Two entrepreneurs from Philadelphia are developing a new product they hope will fundamentally change the medical marijuana industry. According to law, they can’t put a “medical” tag to their product just yet, but that doesn’t seem to bother these two. Their startup is called Ananas and they have spent the last three months in Boulder, Colorado, under the guardianship of the cannabis accelerator called Canopy Boulder. Ananas’ founders are Andrew Kristof and Roberto Lombino, are both graduates of Lafayette College in Easton, PA, which is where they started developing their first product – The Newton.

A product for medical marijuana patients

The Newton is an induction vaporizer that brings its users the exact amount of marijuana dosage they desire. It does this via a controlled release of particular cannabinoid chemicals. “We recognize that within the market, there’s a lack of precise methods of patients to consume cannabis,” one of the founders said. “We are creating a product designed purely for medical patients and not just recreational users.” However, it is important to clarify, as the founders have pointed out, The Newton is not a medical device, at least not until the Food and Drug Administration approved it. For this reason it cannot be covered by patient’s health insurance and it would cost around $600-$800.

Binging precise dose to medical marijuana consumption

The Newton will be launched at a discounted price to selected group of 100 applicants from Ananas’ early adopters program. The company will be targeting patients who live in states where medical marijuana is legal. One of the most important issues in development of their product is to work with doctors to home in on the exact dosage that maximizes pain alleviation. “The standard medical sense is modern medicine requires patients to take a precise dose of their medicine,” Lombino said. “This has been lost in the medical marijuana field, which is ‘smoke until you feel better.’ We are changing this status quo.”

More personalized marijuana accessories

The goal of the Ananas company is to develop medical marijuana accessories that can be personalized to fit individual patient’s needs. They plan to do this by utilizing new technologies such as 3D printing. Patrick Rea, the CEO and co-founder of Canopy Boulder accelerator, said the cannabis accessory market might be peaking right now at $10 billion. “The ancillary part of the industry has more revenue than just selling the plant,” Rea said for Philadelphia Business Journal. “We’ve encouraged [Ananas] to remain focused on the best opportunity they have. Everyone’s chasing the recreational market. So you can choose to solve a whole basket of problems, or you can choose to solve a very key critical problem.” We think The Newton is an amazing product that will bring some control to the consumption of medical cannabis. With alternative medicine such as marijuana, it is easy to sway toward consuming until you feel better and then some more – just in case, or worse, because your tolerance levels have gone up. Like any other drug, cannabis has to be consumed responsibly and in a controlled environment.


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