The weed wireOttawa pot shop chain unveils Canada’s first AI budtender

Stash & Co. teamed up with Ontario software firm StrainBrain to bring to life an AI-powered cannabis strain recommendation platform
Jared Gnam Jared GnamOctober 7, 20206 min

An Ottawa-based pot shop chain is looking to personalize the cannabis consumer experience with the help of computerized budtenders.

Stash & Co. said Wednesday it’s teamed up with Ontario software company StrainBrain to activate the first artificial intelligence budtender in the Canadian industry.

The platform is designed to give customers tailored recommendations based on recreational criteria such as desired taste, effect and potency, according to a statement. StrainBrain says its recommendation engine uses millions of data points that have been collected from thousands of user reviews on cannabis strains sold in Ontario. The data is then transferred into A.I.-powered personalized budtending.

“We are very excited to be the first retailer in Canada to offer A.I. budtending as a part of our retail operations,” Stash & Co. GM Joe Glynn said in the statement. “With the increase in demand for online orders we are currently experiencing due to the recent spike in Covid cases in Canada, it is our aim to provide the same top-notch service online that we do in-store.”

Ottawa pot shop chain unveils first robot budtenders
Both StrainBrain and Stash & Co. offer the A.I. budtender platform on their websites. Sreenshot via thestashandco.com

StrainBrain founder Andrew Leber says Stash & Co. is an ideal partner for the A.I. platform because they offer the largest selection of cannabis products among Ontario’s private retailers via Stash’s flagship store in Ottawa.

Stash & Co. says it’s opening a second store in the Ottawa suburb Nepean next week, with plans for 10 more locations across Ontario by the end of 2021.

Not only is StrainBrain’s budtender software being set up in all Stash & Co. locations, both enterprises have the service available free for consumers on each of their websites.

StrainBrain says they also include data from cannabinoid and terpene lab tests in their A.I. platform, which they tout as “the next generation of budtending.”

While the concept is novel for brick-and-mortar cannabis stores, it’s not the first time a digital cannabis recommendation engine has been offered to the public.

In February, an Ontario couple launched WhatsMyPot, a website that matches consumers with their most ideal cultivars through a short online quiz.

Read more: WhatsMyPot matches you with your best bud

The free online application, which has a medical and recreational user option, is linked to a database of more than 600 research papers on how cannabinoids and terpenes can treat various conditions.

The idea behind the site was to address public confusion around the wide range of legal product available to Canadians.

Top image via CannaBot

 

jared@mugglehead.com

@JaredGnam

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