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Cannabis Company Wins Award at CES but is Restricted by Exhibition Limitations




A cannabis product won an Innovation Award Honoree for this year’s 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), however sources stated that if the company attended the event, it would not be allowed to use the word “cannabis” anywhere on the show floor.

CES begins today and runs through Jan. 10. Among this year’s unique innovations, such as an air-conditioned baseball cap, smart trash cans and robot cats, is a smart device called Keep Smart Storage, which safely houses cannabis products. The device can be connected to a Wi-Fi network via Bluetooth, has a biometric touch pad for safe access and doubles as a sleek looking clock as well.

TechCrunch reports that even though Keep Smart Storage was exclusively made to contain and protect cannabis products, the company was told that it would not be able to use “cannabis” anywhere at the show. According to the event’s governing organization called the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), any reference of the plant on the company’s signs or marketing pamphlets would be prohibited, and the product wouldn’t be allowed to show images of cannabis or any related paraphernalia either. News of Keep Labs receiving this award originally broke in October 2019, and only two months later the company was notified about the restrictions.

The CTA categorized Keep Labs’ product as a “storage solution and appliance for the home” rather than being more specific about the product’s intentions. Keeps Lab co-founder Philip Wilkins confirmed to TechCrunch that the company will not be present at the show this year because he believes that they wouldn’t have been able to do the brand justice without outwardly mentioning cannabis. He noted that Keep Labs’ and countless other cannabis companies strive to dissolve the stigma, however they are often still lumped into the assumption that the company is all about “bongs and blunts.”

Wilkins noted that instead of attending 2020 CES, Keep Labs has focused on a self-ran crowdfunding campaign that as of Jan. 5, is 77 percent funded (and has until March to reach their funding goal).

In the past, companies that make consumption tools such as Pax, Puffco and Juul have been prohibited from debuting at CES. According to a statement that the CTA provided to TechCrunch, Keep Labs’ presence was only allowed because it fit a currently existing category. “There are no cannabis or e-cigarette products on the exhibit floor at CES, as the show does not have a category pertaining to that market.?Given cannabis is not a category at CES, the company was able to exhibit under the terms they’d showcase their product as a storage device . . . Keeps Lab [sic] fit in the Home Appliances category for the Innovation Awards.”