The cannabis industry is on an enormous upswing, with numbers predicted to reach $31.4 billion by 2021, according to GrandViewResearch—a marijuana market research firm. One thing that’s pushing this industry upwards is a surge in cannabis technology, which is helping to produce better crops, connect customers and marijuana businesses, ensure topnotch safety standards, and provide a wide variety of options for cannabis consumption.
Technology in the cannabis industry is ever-changing. It has, however, left a lasting impact on several factors within the exponentially growing market.
Today, we’re going to show you how IT is fueling the budding cannabis industry in 2019. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
A big change in the marijuana cultivation area has been in connection with lighting technology. Over the past few years, growers have moved from options like high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps to LEDs as they direct light on the cannabis plants, instead of wasting energy lighting up the aisles or the walls.
Although LEDs boast a higher up-front cost, they do pay for themselves via saving a large amount of electricity over time, according to cultivators. They also stated that LEDs help them grow top-tier products at savings—savings that gets passed along to the consumers.
Another thing that’s generating improvements across several different industries is intelligent automation. In fact, some of the best HR software were created to solve critical HR challenges and allow them to focus on building their business.
Intelligent automation also plays a significant role in cannabis cultivation. It is used for almost everything, from developing and managing the standard grow environment (water, temperature, lighting, etc.) to trimming the cannabis plants.
Smart sensors throughout the whole environment send reports, causing conditions to be modified and/or adjusted accordingly, as well as automatically. Furthermore, smart heaters allow growers to bring the soil in a certain plot of land to a certain temperature using smartphones. This type of cannabis technology has made growing less labor-intensive and allowed farmers to achieve more controlled and consistent results.
#3: Cultivation Methods
Because technology is fast-paced and ever-evolving, the look of cannabis cultivation spaces has also changed.
Some growers opt for traditional soil-based cultivation methods, while others tend to experiment with hydroponics that forgoes soil for a nutrient-rich water solution. Also, aquaponics pushes hydroponics to a whole new level by adding in fish and several other aquatic organisms, the waste products of which are broken down to build nutrients for the marijuana crops.
Such cultivation techniques have provided rise to space-saving tactics that enable growers to learn how to detox the room they have to grow. Vertical and stacked farming, for instance, allows marijuana farms to grow a larger number of plants compared to using traditional cultivation strategies.
#4: Cannabis Testing
Today’s cannabis technology enables laboratory testing for:
- Pesticides: Many customers want to ensure their marijuana is pesticide-free, and major states like Colorado mandates a cannabis pesticide analysis be performed by all of its licensed cultivators.
- Microbes: This ensures marijuana is free of organisms like Salmonella, E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Aspergillus, etc.
- Solvents: Production of BHO and other concentrates creates the risk that the final product may contain unsafe levels of solvents like propane, butane, ethanol, etc. This type of laboratory testing ensures each product meets the acceptable limit for residual solvents.
For years, consumers bought their cannabis from black markets and other marijuana-related products from local stores.
With the expanded legalization of cannabis came an explosion of eCommerce. Websites like Eaze help coordinate cannabis purchases via participating dispensaries that will deliver the product right to the consumer’s door. Meanwhile, consumers can go online to buy rolling papers, vaporizers, glass rigs, etc.
#6: Social Media
Before social media became a thing, people used to gather with friends in-person to smoke a joint, exchange extraction and consumption tips and techniques, and discuss cannabis lore.
Today, all of that is done online through channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Besides making way for experts and medicinal marijuana users to come together, social media provides another platform to marijuana-related businesses to efficiently market to their target audience.
The cannabis industry has experienced innovative ideas that completely changed the way cultivators grow their crops and how customers find and use cannabis products. However, there has been a steady stream of concepts that just did not have the staying power.
For every technological advancement that has caused a seismic shift within the cannabis industry, there are tons of other businesses, products, and apps that have come and gone without any trace.
While it is impossible to tell what the next big thing will be, cannabis technology remains a force to be reckoned with and shows no signs of ever slowing down in the many years to come.