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An Irish company spent six months designing the perfect grinder for weed

For medical marijuana users, of course.

Image: Associated Press

FOR SIX MONTHS, among the software startups and other early-stage companies in Dundalk’s regional development centre, one team has been busy working out the best way to grind weed.

The Chewy will be the latest concept off the assembly line from the six-year-old Sourcing Product Design or Louet Woods Products (LWP), named after its founders, Darren Louet-Feisser and Ronan Woods.

The bud-shredding device is being billed as a world-first “truly portable electric herb grinder” as part of the company’s pitch for a piece of the billion-dollar trade in legal dope.

“There are a lot of people who use medical marijuana and have poor hand skills, like those with bad arthritis, for example,” Louet-Feisser says.

And it’s quite hard to use a grinder when you are out, on the move or even at a concert. So we decided to design something that both loads and grinds your herb.

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While LWP often works developing other inventors’ ideas, like the Ladderlimb, a tool holder for step-ladder rungs, and getting them onto the market, in the case of the Chewy the process was entirely in-house.

The product designers identified an unfilled niche to service the burgeoning cannabis sector while they were developing vaporisers for e-cigarette suppliers.

A recent report from the industry-sponsored Arcview put the size of the US legal marijuana market at $2.7 billion (€2.45 billion), of which 82% was bought for medical use. Cannabis use for any purpose is still banned in Ireland.

“People might say it’s an unusual or even a taboo market, but there are millions of people using medical marijuana in US alone,” Louet-Feisser says. “Most of the feedback has been this product is a game changer because it’s really unique.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 4.35.35 p.m. The Chewy, right Source: YouTube

A hybrid design

Rather than taking their inspiration from existing devices, most of which Louet-Feisser dismisses as glorified coffee grinders, the Chewy is more like a combine harvester mated with a piece of office stationary.

The device runs on a nine-volt battery, which powers a high-torque motor the designers say is good for grinding a bud of the green stuff in about 10 seconds.

“We prototyped about 100 different mechanisms until it worked perfectly,” Louet-Feisser says, adding that the company has already applied to patent the Chewy’s internal workings.

Here’s a look at the final production model:

Chewy1

The product was recently launched in a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo with prices starting from $35 (€32) apiece, although with a week to go it appears the Chewy will fall short of its $20,000 (€18,230) target.

But Louet-Feisser doesn’t mind, at least as far as he’s letting on. With the device ready for production, the launch was more about creating a *ahem* buzz among its potential customers and garnering endorsements from bloggers, he says.

Before we pushed the button on tooling we really wanted some market feedback on it – really it was getting people interested in the product before February.

READ: Cork, Dublin and Limerick are getting heaps of jobs this morning >

READ: Irish hosts are making very nice pocket money from Airbnb >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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