The cannabis businesshas taken off. It’s predicted to be a $6.59 Billion industry by the year 2025.And according to various Wall Street investment banks, it has the potential to hit $50 billion to $75 billion in annual sales in roughly a decade.
The cannabis industry is continually evolving, but the most significant transformation is likely to be technology-based. Here are five ways that technology is helping the cannabis industry.
Cannabis breeders who create new strains can apply for patents to protect their IP. They can do this for unique strains if they’re made using traditional breeding techniques.
Technology supports this. For example, a software company, BLOCKStrain helps breeders track their cannabis IP in much the same way people can track cryptocurrency transactions. It uses smart technology to store and track Big Data (massive amounts of data) related to marijuana strain genomes.
BLOCKstrain combines the traditional cannabis culture with modern crypto-technology to deliver an intelligent platform.Its secure and immutable blockchain platform establishes global certainty for cannabis strains and their ownership.
Machine learning and automation are also increasingly common in the cannabis business. It’s being applied to growing and processing plants. Massachusetts-based Bloom Automation is bringing advanced automation and robotics to the commercial and medical cannabis industry.
They claim that using their robots to trim marijuana plants can reduce costs by 5 to 10 times what growers are paying humans to do. They also say that their robots can work three times faster than a human doing this by hand.
Marijuana labeling must ensure that information is accurate while integrating secure packaging to keep it out of the hands of children.
StrainBrain provides a fully customizable cannabis product label. It can be tailored to include each dispensary’s information with scientific data and pricing on the label.
Strain Brain utilizes artificial intelligence on their website. With machine learning algorithms, the StrainBrain website gets smarter as it’s used.
Growers don’t need any extra equipment to implement it. The labels are downloaded and can be customized on any standard computer and printed on Avery 5236 label sheets.
Each label includes a QR code so information can be accessed on any compatible smart device. It’s helpful when inventorying products and providing consumers with the information they need to find the best marijuana strain for their purposes.
Canada’s regulatory agency laid out precise guidelines that retailers and growers would need to follow to get marijuana products on dispensary shelves. California-based Kush Bottles is expected to provide these packaging and branding solutions for a number of Canadian growers.
This has been a game-changer for the cannabis industry for both growers and retailers. Shopify, known for offering online retail sales platforms for brick-and-mortar stores, is now doing this for the marijuana industry. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario chose it as their point-of-sale provider.
Shopify’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud platform provides two unique developments to the cannabis industry:
First, retailers can now analyze data on consumer buying habits. In the beginning, because sales were illicit in many locations, the cannabis marketwas dominated by cash purchases. This made tracking purchasing trends difficult. With Shopify’s e-commerce platform, marijuana retailers have help with ordering and determiningwhat is and isn’t working from a product or margin perspective.
Second, Shopify’s cloud-based compliance software can aid in seed-to-sale documentation. It tracks the product from planting to its sale on dispensary shelves, to ensurea quality product reaches consumers.
Licensed retailers and microbusinesses authorized to engage in retail sales of cannabis must record point-of-sale areas and areas where cannabis goods are displayed for sale on a video surveillance system.
At each point-of-sale location, camera placement must allow for the recording of the facial features of any person purchasing or selling cannabis goods, or any person in the retail area, with sufficient clarity to determine identity.
Licensed premises use digital video surveillance systems to effectively and record images of the area under surveillance at all times.
Cameras are permanently mounted in a fixed location and record activity occurring within 20 feet of all points of entry and exit on a premises where cannabis is sold. They record continuously 24 hours a day and at a minimum of 15 frames per second (FPS) according to regulations.
Consumers are looking for convenience when it comes to buying their preferred strains, edibles, or oils; with today’s technology, they can. Retailers are providing online shopping and on-demand delivery.
Growers and manufacturers are benefiting and taking profits to the bank with seed-to-sale systems that oversee compliance and ensure that every plant and product are accounted for. And with future technologies in the works, the growth of the cannabis industry has only just begun.
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