In the US, legalizing the consumption of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes has been a real game-changer for countless states in the last decade. Scientific breakthroughs play a significant role in introducing cannabis to the mass market while creating a new frontier of opportunity for many. From cultivation, innovation, branding and marketing, distribution, and—of course—consumption, technology has brought on exciting fields of discoveries, innovation, and progress and remains at the forefront of transforming how we relate to cannabis as a society.
Here is a brief look into how tech supports the emerging global cannabis industry.
Cultivation and Innovation
Every step of the growing process can be guided and automated to procure a quality harvest, even without access to a garden or outdoor space. Technology-driven advances in genetics are being used to create cultivars with unique, distinct flavors or pest resistance. Meanwhile, genetic mapping technology enables producers to develop new applications for plant growth that allow greater control over the products available.
So too, is innovation playing a part in how we prepare cannabis for the market. A great example of this is bladeless bud trimmer technology, which combines the efficiency and profitability of traditional electric trimmers with the gentleness and high yield you expect from hand trimming.
Customized Consumer Consumption
Vaping devices, electric dab rigs, transdermal patches, and bong smoking are just some provocative and obvious developments born from the synergism of technology and cannabis. Nowadays, tech is taking it one step further by tailoring blends of essential cannabinoids balanced to your unique physiology.
Specific strains have reputations for mellowness or intensity, and each person’s biochemistry causes them to process cannabinoids in different ways. That’s why finding the right blend of THC and CBD can be challenging. Luckily, some have already started making inroads into this new method.
For patients and cannabis lovers alike, this is the ultimate scenario. But, perhaps as the practice becomes more common, another opportunity to scale the industry by making more practical products for new consumers may arise—making cannabis more accessible and welcoming to everyone.
Purchase and Delivery
The way people buy marijuana has changed dramatically with legalization, and technology has already begun to streamline this process. In legal cannabis states, ordering recreational or medicinal marijuana from various online dispensaries to be delivered to your door is in motion. Inside cannabis dispensaries, developers are working on solutions that help educate consumers on their options.
The concept of a vertically integrated point-of-sale platform will support all links in the cannabis supply chain, from seed to sale, and greatly improve data available to growers and manufacturers—thereby necessitating a more efficient development of new products.
Correcting the Misconceptions Surrounding Marijuana
Even though we’ve barely scratched the surface, the possibilities for technologists to contribute to the cannabis industry are endless.
However, beyond the civil injustice of a failed war, the biggest hurdle may still lie with political reform and social progress. The cannabis industry will continue to hit roadblocks and policy failures unless otherwise overcome by facts, science, proper education, and measurable actions toward political and civil de-stigmatization.
In the meantime, transparency is key, and cannabis businesses must focus on privacy and data security best practices, among other critical safety measures. There’s still much to be done, but progress is bound to be made through the use of technology.