Cannabis as an industry has simply exploded in recent years, largely thanks to legislation allowing its use for both medical and recreational needs in certain states. It was arguably the strongest industry of 2019, and it may become the strongest industry of the new decade. In about a decade, it hit $75 billion in annual sales, a record for alternative medicine.
With such a rapidly growing industry, we also see constant evolution in the space to keep up with the demands of an industry. As with any rapidly growing industry, technology is key in keeping things going.
Many technologies have already jumped into the scene to keep the cannabis industry organized and ready for more growth. And we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that technology has infiltrated the cannabis market.
More Online Sales
Websites play a strong role in the cannabis industry, and while this may seem like an obvious tenet, it actually hasn’t been part of the industry for long. For decades, cannabis was sold under the table away from the eyes of the law because of legislation preventing it. A website for cannabis products at that stage in the game would have been a recipe for bringing down the full force of the law.
Now, we see many new websites popping up selling cannabis, especially in the CBD sector. New companies are popping up all the time, and the reception is grand. For example, a new company in the industry, Penguin CBD, is the perfect example of a young startup selling CBD prolifically through a website. They have great product pages, plenty of information, and a streamlined checkout service designed for attracting curious CBD users.
CBD is the most popular product sold online just because it’s legal to sell it as long as the THC content is less than 0.3 percent. However, other cannabis companies are also selling online CBD oil products but putting restrictions on where it can be shipped so that it doesn’t go to states where most cannabis products are still illegal.
Faster and More Accurate Third-Party Lab Testing
This is a huge and important breakthrough in the cannabis industry because third-party testing is currently the best method of regulating cannabis products since the government has not yet pledged their support for most companies.
Third-party lab tests are designed to verify that the ingredients, potency, and dosages described on the bottle are accurate and safe. Companies are then obligated to post the lab results on their website or offer them in-store to customers so that they have proof of the efficacy of the products being purchased.Thanks to modern technology for labs to take advantage of, we’re seeing a massive improvement in both the speed of results and the accuracy of what’s printed.
Blockchain Technology Manages Records
According to Avis Bulbulyan, CEO of the cannabis firm Siva Enterprises, blockchain technology will make a huge difference for cannabis companies today.
“Blockchain has the greatest potential for industry impact because it addresses a big technology need this industry has,” he told DisruptorDaily.com. “The relative newness of blockchain and the chaos of the cannabis industry will cause a slower adoption of blockchain, but its application in the industry is inevitable.”
Those in the cannabis industry that want to see improvement in safety and quality of products are using blockchain to develop more efficient, quality products. They are using blockchain-linked social networks, forums, and other platforms to share information on horticulture practices, community building, and more. It could be one of the most important factors for boosting awareness and quality of cannabis products.
This also contributes to better traceability in supply chains. Companies can easily look back through the line to protect intellectual property and ensure that their products are pure and uncontaminated.
It can also help government entities to regulate the tracing of cannabis supply chains to find sources of contamination. This is all part of making the cannabis industry healthier and safer for users.
Better Growing Abilities
Growing cannabis is very expensive, which is why the price of the associated products are so high. A large part of that is the cost of keeping the temperature exactly at the right climate for growth. This is partially why Colorado and California have so many cannabis farms—their climate is closer to the right temperatures for growing cannabis.
Tesla is one player working on an electric temperature-control center for cannabis. The company is looking to oust HPS bulbs, which are the current climate-control tools for these cash crops. Instead, they’re turning towards LED lighting, which last significantly longer than these bulbs while putting out better lighting and heating. This drops the costs of producing cannabis significantly.
Tesla’s idea is to use a Powerwall/Powerpack solution that helps growers store electricity. That way, when there’s a power outage, instead of turning to a gas-powered backup generator, growers can use the electric energy stores to prevent problems with cannabis growth.
Biosynthesis Extraction Machines
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant in most cases using a process called CO2 extraction, which is expensive and time consuming. Enter a new method of extraction called biosynthesis that’s designed to lower costs, improve yields, and make it easier to perform the extraction at any time.
It’s a biosynthesis machine that could be used to produce cannabis products on a commercial scale rather than in small, expensive groupings. This would drop the price for consumers significantly, and when perfected, it could mean altering the entire cannabis industry.