DaVinci Tech's Cort Smith on Cannabis Purity and Designing High-Quality Vaporizers

Plus, the biggest challenges facing the industry

Cort Smith is founder/CEO of DaVinci Tech and inventor of the DaVinci IQ2, one of the world's most advanced handheld vaporizers.

Now based in Las Vegas, Cort lived in China for many years. Fluent in Mandarin, he built dozens of large-scale projects in China and produced China's first X Games. He founded DaVinci Tech in 2012. He is also a die-hard international off-road motorcycle race junkie.

We spoke with Cort for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.


Cort, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in the Bay Area, and I'm currently living in Las Vegas.

Your current role in the cannabis industry, and where you're based.

I am the founder, CEO and visioneer of DaVinci Tech. We operate out of Las Vegas.

Your earliest cannabis memory, and a story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.

Great question! While I don't think I can remember my first experience, one that does stick out was the purchase of my first dry-herb vaporizer. It was cheaply built and fell apart within days. This experience inspired the creation of the DaVinci brand—I wanted to create a pocketable, high-quality product that would elevate the cannabis experience rather than disappoint.

A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.

A big concern for me when consuming cannabis is purity. Growers that use the best agricultural science in their cultivation and distribution are favorites. Whichever strain helps me to be creative and focused is a plus, too.

The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.

Federal legalization of cannabis is the biggest roadblock. Other than that, spending smart when using alternative methods to market our products.

One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.

Besides the exciting projects we have in the works at DaVinci, we love what Cansativa is doing in Germany. They share our belief that building cleaner tech for medical users and finding healthier alternatives to cannabis consumption in general are the future of the industry.

A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.

At DaVinci, we hope to send hundreds of our vaporizers to "disadvantaged vapers," such as people with disabilities, our wounded veterans and medical users who need our support and deserve the best Clean First Technology to consume cannabis.

A recent project you're proud of.

The DaVinci IQ2, a product we launched less than a year ago, and I still couldn't be more proud with how well it took off. It raised the bar for DaVinci and inspires us to push the limits in our future projects today.

Someone else's project you admired recently.

This answer may surprise you, but I love everything that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is doing. The way he motivates people and gets them excited about his products and projects is truly inspiring.

Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.

In the 2020 growing season I saw photos online of farmers in California tending to their cannabis under fire-tinged orange and red skies—I admire their tenacity and strength. Their work ethic and positivity in harsh times is the stuff of admiration.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.

I'd be spending more time with my family. Either that, or dirt biking down the edge of a mountain.

Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio. Previously, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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