Technology has infiltrated the cannabis industry. When all of the critical players were operating within the black market, there was little need for advanced tech. Being discreet mattered more than being efficient or providing superior customer service.
Now that the country is rife with legal cannabis markets, tech entrepreneurs have new avenues to explore. Everyone involved in the industry, from dispensary owners to cultivators, can reap the benefits. Eaze, one of the top cannabis delivery companies in California, acts as a liaison between dispensaries and consumers. Anyone who wants to purchase cannabis visits the app or website to make a digital order. A driver then picks up your order and delivers it to your door. Because of technology, someone can legally buy cannabis without getting up from their couch.
Many of the new industry-specific software programs that have been introduced are not customer-facing, however. People who depend on vending cannabis for their livelihood need tools to manage their business effectively. For example, there are many dispensary sales platforms that can keep track of inventory as well as remind you of the rules in place.
Perhaps the biggest effect technology is having on the industry is with growers. People are pouring significant resources into their efforts to grow better, cheaper cannabis. Market research predicts the industry could swell up to $66.3 billion by 2025. The growth is being pushed by an explosion in technology.
Tissue culture is one example. Growers have long depended on cloning as a way to preserve and propagate superior cultivars. Plant tissue culture, which refers to “a collection of techniques harnessed to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues or organs under sterile conditions…” has long been an agricultural staple. The process produces plants through micropropagation, which is more efficient compared to conventional cloning. It’s now being used to produce cannabis. “These techniques are done in big ag, the food industry. We’re just adapting what’s already out there,” said Hope Jones, CEO of Emergent Cannabis Sciences.
Cannabis is consumed in many different forms. Extraction methods are used to create concentrates, a flourishing segment of the market. Extractors are focusing their efforts on sophisticated technology that allows them to achieve greater yield for lower cost. Cold ethanol extraction, for example, is becoming more popular. Maximizing scalability is also paramount, as the extraction of cannabidiol and other molecules from hemp has significantly augmented the need for crude and refined oils.
Legal cannabis markets will continue growing. There are still huge swaths of people who don’t have easy access to a dispensary. Technology can make different aspects of the process better for everyone involved.
Image source: Marijuana Stocks