Despite the growing pains of the cannabis industry, it's not a question that the greenrush has been a sure winner. It's projected that both the and recreational marijuana will hit $57 billion by the year 2027. With these huge projections, technology definitely has a place at the center of the stage.
From growing to processing, testing and retail, great opportunity for technology exists inside of the cannabis vertical. We have taken a closer look at these technologies in the cannabis space for you, and have prepared a list of what we consider to be the most impactful.
Let’s dive in!
1. Use of AI technology in Cannabis
The dynamics of artificial technology can be used from seed to sale.
The introduction of seed-to-sale and point-of-sale cloud platforms such as shopify and chatbots is a mind-blowing game changer for the average consumer. Not only can customers look through products before they buy them, retailers can also analyze data on consumers on the backend in real-time, which ensures a better matching of needs on the follow through. Seed-to-sale compliance technology ensures proper documentation and track all of the necessary steps to maintain compliance, while on the front-end, can restock a particular product just by the click of a button.
Other examples of AI are:
- Real-time information can be gathered by cannabis growers on each plant, studying general plant health and details like cannabinoid potency levels. Not only does this create efficiency, it also mitigates the risk of potential loss.
- AI can help cannabis dispensaries improve their customers’ shopping experience via their interaction inside of their space.
- Machine learning algorithms and data mining can predict trends with an unprecedented precision. This information can even be used to predict stock market headwinds.
The potential for AI is limitless. The surface has barely been scratched.
2. Use of Blockchain Technology in Cannabis
In case you find yourself asking how blockchain and cannabis can be related, you should ask yourself first, who cares - Make them relatable. Blockchain is disrupting everything it touches, just like the cannabis vertical.
As the industry is largely unbanked, blockchain provides a platform for payment and source of value. Companies such as Greenrush and Eaze have developed interfaces for cannabis sellers and buyers to interact smoothly and exchange the monetary value in the stability of blockchain for cannabis products in the real world.
Blockchain transactions are also very fast and secure, making them a medium of choice. Another advantage is that blockchain technology can be used to track products for validity from the instance they are added to the database, to when they are consumed by the end user.
The role of Blockchain in the cannabis industry is evolving at lightspeed as market demands grow beyond the capability of the current financial systems in place.
3. Cannabinoid biosynthesis and nano-encapsulation
Another major hindrance to the distribution of CBD has been its chemical composition. As it is an oil, it will separate from most liquids it is added to over time. This limits its use in most applications. The ultimate aim would be to add it to products like beverages which are water-based.
Not to fret, a technology called nano-encapsulation is expected to both break it down into smaller molecules that can be blend it with water, but also improve its bioavailability, which is currently at a paltry 20%.
Though still in its infancy, manufacturers are already working on nano-CBD products. So you should definitely be on the look-out for cannabinoid infused beverages!
4. Cannabis breathalyzers
One of the biggest issues currently faced by the cannabis industry is law enforcements inability to decisively decide the level of impairment of a person who has consumed cannabis. This in turn, further exacerbates the legalization issue. To further complicate this matter, THC can stay in a user’s system for days or even weeks, and it’s thus difficult to establish how recently it was consumed.
A technologically aided solution would be to have breathalyzers that are specifically meant to measure the intoxicating effects of cannabis.
Several private companies are currently working on a breathalyzer that can both measure the impairment of a user and how recent the consumption was. If this method of checking and control was in place, there would be greater acceptance of cannabis as a controlled substance and thus increased chances of legalization.
Though still in the early development stages, this technology has the potential to shift the whole narrative.
And on that note, the use of cannabis shouldn't be considered a crime. It's medicine. But, like with all medicines, consumption at certain levels, medicinal or otherwise, should come with a guide to understand the side effects.
Since the legalization of cannabis, the way people buy and grow marijuana has drastically changed. From hurried backstreet exchanges and hidden indoor grown plants, to classy, modern retail shops and top notch greenhouses, the growing, processing and distributing of cannabis has become a fine science on wheels. This can only get better with time. We are watching the cannabis vertically closely, as it segues from infancy to childhood, and it begins to discover the marvels of technology and how the industry can grow with it.
Tech for the marijuana industry means safety, efficiency, and increased profitability all around. Get in while you can.