Hello Mary
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Hello Mary

Why Cannabis Users Will Love HelloMary

Our ambitious little start-up plans to integrate doctor-trained, machine learning into a so far untamed market, for the benefit of users and the industry alike.

HelloMary is a German tech start-up, headquartered in Berlin. We are a voice assisted, AI-based, and doctor trained platform, which allows users to ask “Mary” for suggestions as to which cannabis products they might want, like or need, and further where they might obtain them within a local vicinity.

Perhaps it sounds ambitious if not arrogant to think that our first target is the American cannabis market — and the Californian one at that. But it really isn’t. The world of cannabis is at this point a global one, and if you understand the environment, and nail the tech, you have as good a chance as anyone, no matter where they are on the planet, of entering just about any market. Plus, there are several Americans on board at this point, not to mention Russians.

Certainly, from the perspective of Germany and national regulations, the prospect of a California launch seems like a test run in a much less regulated space — something that feels like freedom to tech entrepreneurs who run up against significant barriers to similar innovation in Europe. GDPR (European privacy law) is a big part of that, but it is not the only challenge. In Germany, certainly, the idea of an AI guided medical adviser (which is mostly what cannabis still is) falls under the rubric of complicated regulation from the departments of health. Including whether the application is a “medical device” which dispenses advise.

Beyond this of course, cannabis is just not mainstream here in a way that it is in California — despite the lack of federal regulation.

How tech like ours will be adopted in European markets where recreational cannabis reform is coming is another matter. However, with at least a test run in California under our belts by the end of the year, we will also be well poised to expand to Europe, even if we need to tweak a few things on the backend.

In the meantime…

The User Experience

For the most part, just about everywhere, and certainly in California, the education about cannabinoids, much less the products that are made from them, is a catch as catch can proposition. Even though medical use became legal in 1996 and the state finally moved forward on recreational reform in the election that brought Donald Trump to the White House, the California market is as wild and woolly and untamed as ever.

This is because state regulations are not as stringent as federal ones. It is also because for all the hoopla about reform, most people just do not know what cannabinoids can do for them because they have never tried them. This is as true of CBD as it is of THC and all the other cannabinoids to come (see the current Delta 8 craze in the US).

Further, it is also because cannabis cannot be broadly advertised, even on social media. Most cannabis companies find ways around this of course, in limited ways, but the reality is that users, particularly newbie users, who are coming to the market have almost no information except word of mouth, and where they have seen something, limited information via social media.

Sales and AI

One of the newest trends in the online user experience is in fact finding ways to integrate artificial intelligence into sales platforms. If you think Jeff Bezos has been sleeping on this one, think again.

However, as commerce continues to go online, expect to see more of this kind of specialized application in almost every sales platform and app.

When it comes to cannabis, the impact could well be brand launching if not make the difference in continued sales from satisfied users. To be given product information via a tool which grounds its recommendations in medical data, as it exists so far, about cannabis, is actually the first if not the best way to think about selecting a cannabis product. It is certainly better than any budtender recommendation, much less promo from a campaign on a digital feed somewhere that you might have caught out of the corner of your eye as it whizzed past.

Most people in the marketing world in the U.S. at least, have found themselves stymied at some point by the continued lack of federal reform. Payment processor issues are a constant “thing,”

However, this world is changing.

There are plenty of ways an online, AI guided sales tool can begin to change the equation, even before federal reform. And that adds up to not only more customers, and of the happy kind, but sales and from segments of the market that so far have been hard to reach.

Bottom line? HelloMary is the solution whose time has come. Watch this space. More coming soon.

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