The pros and cons of crowd-funding pot smartphone apps


Crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have revolutionized the way new businesses start up.
But are they ready to help combine marijuana and mobile technology? The folks behind AbacaRX and Dispensed2U hope so.

Although many people think of crowd-funding sites mainly as platforms for actors and actresses to beg their fans to finance a shitty movie, they’ve also proved effective in launching businesses that might still be languishing otherwise. And given the recent explosion of marijuana business, it’s not surprising San Francisco-based AbacaRX would want to use this method to tell the world, “There’s an app for that”.
The one created by AbacaRX is hyped as the first medical marijuana evaluation app for laptops, phones and tablets. The concept involves encrypted software and a small team of physicians ready to give evaluations in the 22 states, plus the District of Columbia, where medical marijuana is legal.
“Some people seeking advice or consultation on medical marijuana might feel uneasy talking to their family doctor,” notes AbacaRX CEO Roger Proctor, corresponding via e-mail. “And some people live in such a remote rural area that going online is much easier.”
According to Proctor, the company’s founders have been working on the app for two years and believed they had everything covered aside from the funding to launch. But then, something went wrong.
The company’s Indiegogo campaign debuted on June 9 and had reached almost half of its six-figure goal in about two days. Individuals contributed thousands of dollars and it looked like a launch party was in order.
Then Indiegogo shut it down.
Thomas Mitchell at the Denver Westword has the full story.