MassRoots Dissed at Consumer Electronics Show

“Our goal with programs like this is to provide computers to influencers who create positive impact through technology. In this instance, we declined to participate because one of the companies in the contest did not meet our criteria.” - Dell

LAS VEGAS — One of the final events at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is the Extreme Tech Challenge, a contest for startups in emerging areas of technology. Among the participants is MassRoots, a sort of Facebook for cannabis consumers.

The arrival of marijuana at the tech industry’s biggest trade show is causing a bit of discomfort both for the Consumer Technology Association, which oversees CES, and the organizers of the contest. This kind of tension is likely to grow for the show as pot legalization spreads. It could hit particularly close to home for CES by next year. The show is always held in Las Vegas, and Nevadans will vote on a proposal this November to make recreational pot smoking legal.

The organizers of the Extreme Tech Challenge were courting Dell in the hopes that it would send a judge to the contest and give computers to the winner.

But Dell decided against it after MassRoots was named one of the ten semifinalists. “Our goal with programs like this is to provide computers to influencers who create positive impact through technology,” Dell said in a statement. “In this instance, we declined to participate because one of the companies in the contest did not meet our criteria.” 

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