l.e.d. lights and marijuana plants

Tech in the Marijuana Industry

By MK Thomson

March 1 2024

The current business landscape is witnessing a paradigm shift, particularly in the cannabis sector and our new “fr-enemy” artificial intelligence, which is seeing unprecedented success and gaining broader legal and societal acceptance. Despite these positive changes, marijuana businesses must stay on guard in a time marked by constantly evolving regulations – some even at the county level.

Investors are now almost fully awake to the seemingly unlimited potential of this exploding industry, with cannabis stocks currently experiencing a surge in popularity and value. The infusion of technology presents promising avenues for further growth, leveraging advances in agricultural technology, DNA sequencing, and enhanced retail opportunities. In this quickly changing field, the importance of having the most cutting-edge technology cannot be overstated, as it plays a crucial role in ensuring that both the business and cultivation sides stay as up-to-date as possible.

Techies and Cannabis Connoisseurs

The correlation between marijuana use and individuals working in the tech industry is widely acknowledged. There’s a joke around tech businesses (especially smaller, agency-styled businesses) that cannabis consumption is almost a prerequisite for jobs in tech, a notion not without its merits. Given the high-stress levels and prolonged working hours inherent in tech roles, it’s not surprising that there’s a unique affinity for marijuana among tech professionals. The belief persists that marijuana enhances creative thinking, a quality indispensable for innovation.

marijuana leaf and computer keyboard

In the post-legalization era, coders have congregated to share insights, addressing the myriad uncertainties surrounding the cannabis industry. This collaborative effort, fueled by accumulated tech expertise, is contributing significantly to the ongoing success of the marijuana sector.

Innovations in cultivation

The labor-intensive nature of marijuana cultivation has prompted technology integration to streamline processes, reduce costs, and increase yields. Automated grow rooms, once considered a distant dream, are now on the brink of becoming a reality.

Applications powered by automation are revolutionizing climate management during the growing process. These apps oversee crucial factors such as watering, temperature, humidity, lighting, and nutrient application, enhancing precision. Growers increasingly utilize data gathered during growth cycles to optimize yield and profitability.

l.e.d. lights and marijuana plants

One standout innovation in indoor cultivation is LED lighting, a technology catering to marijuana plants’ light requirements while producing minimal heat compared to other bulb types. Automation extends to lighting arrays, tying in seamlessly with the overall production design. Devices like hygrometers, ultrasonic misters, and dehumidifiers can also be automated and programmed, further enhancing efficiency.

The Dutch are at it again!

The Netherlands, renowned for groundbreaking farming techniques, has achieved remarkable results in conventional crop cultivation. Using artificial intelligence and innovative greenhouse designs, Dutch growers have demonstrated how sustainable and efficient farming can meet future nutritional needs. Their expertise holds promise for cannabis growers worldwide, offering novel and improved cultivation techniques.

Cracking the Cannabis Code

The integration of artificial intelligence in DNA sequencing adds a futuristic dimension to the cannabis industry. Decoding the cannabis genome empowers producers to tailor blends for individual customers, utilizing DNA analysis to select seedlings with desired properties.

Emerging technologies are simplifying the challenges of biosynthesis, particularly in the extraction of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Chemists and engineers are adapting methods from other botanical extraction applications, introducing new profiles with specific cannabinoid and terpene levels, and catering to diverse consumer preferences. Predictions suggest that sales of concentrates could reach approximately $14 billion by 2026.

marijuana leaf and a stock chart

Legal, tech, and marijuana

While legalization has brought numerous benefits, it also places increased scrutiny on the cannabis industry to adhere to regulations diligently. Internal tracking systems, known as seed-to-sale, play a pivotal role in preventing product abuse and establishing standards for safety, supply chain oversight, and medicinal quality.

These systems help regulate access to cannabis, restricting it from certain groups such as minors or individuals with criminal records. Innovative software design ensures the privacy and security of customers’ and patients’ information, while simultaneously facilitating compliance with evolving regulations.

A Safer Financial Harbor

In the realm of banking and finance, the cannabis industry grapples with antiquated practices due to federal illegality. The reintroduction of the SAFE (Secure and Fair Enforcement) and SAFER banking acts in both houses of Congress seeks to rectify this. With bipartisan support, the act aims to create a “safe harbor” for credit unions and federal depository institutions collaborating with marijuana-related businesses in legal states, facilitating smoother loan processing for minority cannabis operations.

marijuana and dollar bills

The SAFE Act addresses the vulnerability of many cannabis businesses operating solely in cash, reducing the risks of robbery and money laundering. This legislative initiative promises a more secure environment for both businesses and employees. However, as of this date, any iteration of a safe banking act for marijuana-related business has not been able to make it through the Senate. With the snowball of crises happening in DC, it seems to always be on the back burner.

The future looks bright

The meeting of technology with the cannabis industry is bringing about a transformative age for the general weed businesses. Improved cultivation practices, expanded product choices, enhanced safety measures, and increased financial security collectively contribute to a brighter future. As technological advancements continue to shape the landscape, we anticipate further innovations that will streamline business processes, yield more effective products, and ultimately satisfy a growing base of contented consumers.