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2018 JAZ Tank: CannaVATION Startup Competition

Kit Poon won for ARBR, an algorithm to speed up the cannabis strain selection process for patients in medicinal cannabis dispensaries.

The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp and Jefferson Innovation have collaborated to create a medicinal cannabis related pitch competition called JAZ Tank: CannaVATION. The “Shark Tank” style competition took place on October 3, 2018. The event was hosted by Dr. Charles Pollack, Director of the Lambert Center, and Dr. Rose Ritts, Chief Innovation Officer of Jefferson Innovation. The competition had more than 50 applications from all across North America. Startup concepts included hemp-based tampons, scratch and sniff labels for cannabis, and hemp and cannabis-infused sunflower seed butter. Each of the six finalists presented their business ideas in a 10-minute pitch to compete for a $10,000 grand prize.

The winner, Canadian pharmacist Kit Poon and his team, developed a screening software called ARBR. ARBR was created to help physicians personalize medical cannabis treatment based on patient demographics, conditions, preferences, and budget needs. The algorithm has the ability to receive the feedback of its initial strain and dosage allowing any necessary adjustments as it learns more of the patient's needs.   

The concept won $10,000 in financial support, plus business mentorship, legal support and business consultation from Jefferson. “The next step for the company is getting more exposure and further driving the business in terms of adoption rate for the software, as well as getting this clinical tool into clinicians’ hands,” said Poon, “It’s a tremendous time to jump in and put your ideas to the test.”

We the People from Florida and Cannabiscope from Las Vegas were the two runners-up, each received $5,000 in financial support. We the People is a hemp based, biodegradable, mold-resistant kitchen and bath towels. Cannabiscope is an app-based interactive wheel to assist in cannabis strain classification. 

Each of the finalists joined by Jefferson Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Rose Ritts, MS, PhD.