Pot speakers, hemp cars: Mark 4/20 with ganja-inspired tech

April 20 has turned into an unofficial celebration of all things marijuana. The tech world isn't immune to the reefer madness, finding inspiration in hemp materials and high-tech vaporizers.

420 Audio pot speaker
Go "high-fi" with this pot-themed speaker from 420 Audio. Amanda Kooser/CNET

Regardless of what you plan to do at 4:20 on 4/20, it's hard to overlook the strong connection that time and date have with pot culture. What used to be a taboo topic is increasingly the talk of the town as more states allow for medical marijuana use or outright legalize pot for recreational purposes.

There are plenty of ways to mark the occasion that don't require any actual dancing with Mary Jane. You might just cue up some Snoop Dogg radio and pair your music player over Bluetooth with the $40 420 Audio portable speaker.

At first glance, it just looks like someone slapped a pot leaf on top a regular cylindrical speaker. Then, you turn it on and hear the unmistakable sound of bong water bubbling. If any kids are nearby, just tell them someone is scuba diving. When it enters pairing mode, there's a puffing exhale. Power it down and it tells you it's hungry. It's like having your own little low-maintenance pothead buddy.

The 420 Audio speaker isn't the only tech gadget with ganja on its mind. There are high-tech vaporizers, including the very spliff-looking Uptoke Spyre, a $299 device that makes vaping much more portable. Over in Colorado, the newly unveiled Zazzz vending machine is aiming to supply medical marijuana users with pot-laced munchies.

Not everything is strictly about the bud. You can go out right now and buy a hemp-cone speaker (like the Eminence Patriot Cannabis Rex) to strive for a smokier tone from your guitar amp. The apparently vaporware Kestrel EV car was supposed to be made with a hemp-derived material for the body. It's still an interesting idea. Perhaps someday you'll be driving around in an environmentally friendly dank-mobile.

Have a safe and legal 4/20 observance and check out these nine pot-themed tech items. Remember, don't bogart that Yahookah.

 

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