Innovation

The future of cannabis is mainstream retail

Illustration of a marijuana plant traveling through a grocery store checkout line
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Brendan Kennedy, the head of one of the world's largest cannabis investment firms, says he's mostly seeing recycled business plans but believes the industry's next phase of startup innovation will be around everyday products sold by mainstream retailers.

Thesis: Kennedy says that Cannabis 1.0 related directly to the flower, while Cannabis 2.0 was about beverages. He believes Cannabis 3.0, which is just beginning, will be in all sorts of consumables (shampoos, lotions, cookies, etc.) that will sit alongside more "traditional" versions at places like Walgreens and Target.

Where disruptive ideas come from

Illustration: Caresse Haaser, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Science is increasingly specialized, big and so information-saturated that experts can struggle to keep up in their own fields, fueling debate about whether the massive investments are being matched with novel findings and solutions.

What's new: Generating disruptive ideas, according to research published this week, can be encouraged in two seemingly contrasting ways — by forming small teams and leveraging crowds of workers. Each addresses a common enemy of innovation: how we interfere with each other's thinking and creativity.