Tinder for pot lovers

Tinder for Pot Lovers
Tinder for Pot Lovers   

Just last week a new dating app went live on Apple's App Store. It's designed for pot lovers who want to hook up, hence the name: High There!

"This app gets those cannabis consumers to connect with each other," co-founder Todd Mitchem said.

Watch Mitchem pitch his pot start-up to angel investor Alicia Syrett, Canopy Boulder co-founder Patrick Rea, and Cheryl Shuman, the "Martha Stewart of Marijuana." Will the panel swipe right on his big idea? Click the video to find out.


Lighting up

This isn't the first time Mitchem has lit up a start-up. He's been consulting businesses in the cannabis space for two years and co-founded two other marijuana start-ups based in Denver.

Mitchem, who's a bachelor, said his involvement in the cannabis space was always a red flag on the dating scene, and often doused his chances with women who didn't like his love for weed. That was the seed that led Mitchem to co-found High There.

"We wanted to build something that connected the millions of cannabis consumers all over the world to each other. … Personally I am going to find Ms. Right on there I just know it," he told CNBC.


The High There! app connects cannabis users
Source: High There!
The High There! app connects cannabis users

But Mitchem believes the app is bigger than just linking pot-loving lovers. He also wants it to connect people who use medicinal marijuana to find new friends facing similar health issues.

How does it work? Users create a High There profile that includes a photo, and answer questions on topics like how they like to consume marijuana and what other activities they enjoy after a few hits.

Much like Tinder, users swipe right to connect with potential matches and swipe left if they are not interested


High hopes

While High There has been available on Android since Feb. 6, 2015, it's one of the first marijuana social networking apps to be cleared for distribution by Apple in the App Store. Apple has attached some strings to the High There's distribution. For instance it only allows downloads by users who are 21 and over and only makes the app available in the 23 states where some form of marijuana is legal.

During the Power Pitch segment, Rea asked if there is room on people's phones for what appears to be a tinder clone.

"Consumers like me want to connect with other people like us in a way that's safe, and in a way we can count on, so I think there's plenty of room," Mitchem responded.

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ArcView Market Research predicts the market will reach 3.5 billion this year, although it has no specific research on apps in the space.

But the "pot-repreneur" faces competition from other players in the cannabis social networking space like MassRoots, and another app set to launch in spring called Duby.

Mitchem has high hopes for the start-up he launched in June 2014. He told CNBC the app hit almost 4,000 downloads almost immediately after its Android launch and is now growing at about 2,000 new users per day. The app is free and he said he doesn't like the idea of charging for downloads.

"That's like inviting people to a big fun party and then charging a cover. I don't like that," he said.

Mitchem told CNBC he's not quite ready to discuss the specifics of his monetization plans for the app, but he said making money is definitely part of the plan.

"We are building something special that will give users control over the monetization without asking them to pay us to be there," Mitchem said.

High There has 10 employees and is self-funded with $250,000.


--By CNBC's Joanna Weinstein

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