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Photo: Courtesy of Keep Labs

Last year, the big controversy at CES was over an exhibit from a sex toy company. This year, it is cannabis-tech companies that are crying foul.

Why it matters: Although there are a wide range of electronics shown at CES, critics say that whole categories are unfairly excluded.

Driving the news: Keep Labs, which makes a digitally enhanced storage canister for weed and related devices was given an award by the Consumer Technology Association, the trade group that puts on CES. Then it was only allowed to exhibit if it omitted any references to cannabis, the main use for said product. Instead, it opted to skip the show.

What they're saying: "It's profoundly disappointing when a conference known for its innovation is failing to honestly embrace a cannabis tech company that’s driving innovation," says Cortney Smith, CEO of DaVinci, another consumer cannabis tech company. "The terms 'cannabis' and 'technology' aren’t mutually exclusive."

The CTA, for its part, pointed to the mixed legal status of cannabis in explaining its policy.

"Marijuana is illegal at the federal level — as well as in public parks and hotels in the state of Nevada. Because of this, CES does not cover cannabis. Keep Labs was able to exhibit under the terms they'd showcase their product as a home appliance or storage device — the category they submitted their innovation award for. They decided not to exhibit."
— CTA, to Axios

The big picture: Cannabis companies often find themselves excluded from markets and services open to other companies, including financial institutions and online marketplaces.

  • That, Smith says, is wrong. "Cannabis tech companies should be seen as tech companies first — not cannabis companies that happen to operate in tech," he said. "We are the new players shaping the future of technology and consumers are already recognizing that, even if the tech industry hasn't yet."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

Developed countries reveal $100 billion climate finance plan ahead of COP26

Alok Sharma, head of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, speaks in Paris on Oct. 12. ( Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

After 12 years of fits and starts, industrialized nations on Monday put forward a detailed plan to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate aid to developing countries starting by 2023.

Why it matters: The plan, presented by representatives of Canada and Germany, is aimed at defusing one of the biggest sources of tension at COP26, which is the failure of industrialized nations to follow through on their financial commitments.

2 hours ago - Health

Moderna says COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in kids

Photo: Martin Galindo/Long Visual Press/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Moderna on Monday released trial results for its coronavirus vaccine for children aged 6 to 11, saying it provides a "robust" immune response after two doses.

Why it matters: Moderna said it will officially submit the results to the Food and Drug Administration for authorization in "the near term," meaning we could soon see two coronavirus vaccines available to protect approximately 28 million more kids in the U.S.