In Israel, it’s pretty typical for innovations to be inspired by stimulating Shabbat table discussions. Friday nights are prime time for extended families and friends to schmooze over a multicourse meal.
So it is not surprising that Aviel Cohen got his notion for a new gadget from a Friday night table discussion with his parents. But it’s a bit unusual in that his invention is a gadget enabling cannabis users to control and track smoke sessions.
“My parents are both doctors. I grew up in a liberal house where every Shabbat dinner we talked about a lot of subjects and one conversation was about medical cannabis,” Cohen recalls.
“My father was comparing cannabis to the world of wine. Wine consumers can access a lot of information such as where and how the grapes grew, and for how long the wine was aged. He said this could happen to cannabis as it becomes a legal product.”
His father’s musings “triggered me to think about cannabis differently,” says Cohen. “It took me to a higher place of seeing cannabis as more than a weed to make you feel good.”
Cohen enjoys a joint now and then, but he’s first and foremost an entrepreneur focused on efficiency.
“I like to see how to make things work better for consumers,” he tells ISRAEL21c.
“Even as a kid I tried to figure out how to do things better. Later, I studied law and business management, and I moved to the world of entrepreneurship to bring more efficient solutions to the public. The idea of the Gramss Grinder&Scale really connected to this vision.”
Debuting this summer for $49 in North America, the Grinder&Scale combines a manual herb grinder with an electronic scale and a smartphone application.
The device helps users measure out precise quantities for accurate micro-dosing, and learns their preferences so that it can recommend the ideal quantity of a particular cannabis strain. The app transmits smoke-session data to the user and/or a healthcare practitioner.
“As cannabis becomes more widely accepted and legal in various parts of the world, it’s essential to understand the importance of controlling its consumption and consuming cannabis in a more educated manner,” says Cohen.
Controlling the experience
For medicinal users, he says, the Grinder&Scale helps maintain a fixed therapeutic regimen while reducing negative side effects.
“There is a need for tools to control cannabis like you do with antibiotics, so that doctors will really feel they’re giving a medical treatment at a fixed dose and monitor consumption to provide an even better treatment.”
For recreational users, the system aims to help them achieve the desired effects of relaxation, creativity or socialization.
“Producers crossbreed strains to achieve new effects and therefore, an array of uses. Whether it’s quantity, quality, strain or any other variant, all these have an impact on the consumption experience.”
For both types of users, the hardware system can help save money – after all, cannabis is not cheap – and the AI software provides valuable data.
“We understood that data is missing for both medical and recreational needs,” says Cohen. “There are about 1,000 types of strains. Each has different effects and it’s hard to adapt the strain to each user. The way to make it happen is data.”
Launching in NY
The bootstrapped Gramss startup, which is now starting to raise funds, was founded in Ra’anana. Cohen moved to New York a few months ago to set up commercialization operations there.
“New York is a new legalized cannabis market, as well as a financial center,” he points out.
The battery-operated, rechargeable Grinder&Scale is available in North America (and soon in Israel) through the Gramss website and will be sold in high-end dispensaries in New York initially.
“We will then slowly expand our channels,” says Cohen. “The American market, both medical and recreational, is seeking products like this.”
As just one example, the Grinder&Scale could be a good fit for the “Pot Moms” movement in the United States, which advocates responsible cannabis use as an enhancement to the parenting experience.
“They’re eager for solutions to consume it in a more educated way so you can have fun and still be responsible,” he says.
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