Around the world the legal cannabis industry is booming. Sales from recreational cannabis are expected to reach $66.3 billion by 2025.
And one of the key things driving this growth is the vast amount of cutting-edge technologies. Tech is helping us understand more and more about this amazing plant.
Below are six technologies making an impact on the industry in 2021.
DNA sequencing & personalised products
The cannabis plant is a wonder of the natural world, and every year we are learning more and more about the benefits it can bring. However its status as an illicit substance means we know a lot less about the specifics of the effects of various strains than we otherwise might.
With over 113 cannabinoids that can all interact with each other to deliver different results, it is clear when it comes to understanding cannabis’s potential we are only just scratching the surface.
A Colorado-based company has taken a step towards expanding our knowledge in this area by developing a method of gene editing using CRISPR to create customised strains with specific cannabinoids. This technology could lead to bespoke personalised strain and the ability to implant cannabinoid chemicals in yeast or bacteria, eliminating the need to even grow a plant.
Itemized cannabis tracking
Tracking of cannabis in the legal system has proven to be quite a headache for many cannabis businesses.
Traditional inventory management systems were built to track products at a product line level and according to some studies, proved to only be accurate 66% of the time. This is a massive problem in an industry where product tracking needs to be 100% accurate to avoid fines and even the loss of their business license.
This has led to many businesses doing manual counts of their inventory, costing them time and money.
Cannabis tracking software business, Parsl, has delivered a solution using NFC technology, to make itemised tracking of cannabis products more streamlined. In one case study Parsl was able to reduce a cannabis delivery service’s time spent on inventory reconciliation by 82.14% while increasing their initial inventory accuracy by 92.06%.
Nanoencapsulation of CBD is a process of capturing cannabinoids in smaller emulsions that its natural form of oil.
It is believed this technology could help open the door to increasing the bioavailability of CBD when added to liquid products. Because oil is not water-soluble when CBD is currently added to beverages and other water based products it separates over time.
Nano-encapsulation may also have the benefit of making consuming CBD more effective as currently consuming orally in oil form only allows 20% of the CBD to enter your bloodstream. There is a strong theory that nano-encapsulation will increase this percentage dramatically.
Grow lights designed for efficiency
A key challenge of growing cannabis is the light required for a healthy crop. Cannabis is a tropical crop so a wide-spectrum of light is required to get the most out of a grow.
This means that traditionally one of the biggest costs in cannabis cultivation was energy costs of running high-intensity bulbs around the clock.
However, LED technology is beginning to have a significant impact on how cannabis is grown. LED lights are able to deliver an even wider spectrum of light to cannabis crops and they are able to do so with significantly less heat than other bulbs. While this is nothing new for consumers, with LED lights being the norm in many households, the technology has taken some time to catch up to the scale required for full-grow operations.
Now that we are here, you can expect to see the cost of a commercial grow setup drop dramatically.
While cannabis laws are opening up around the world, cannabis is still illegal in many jurisdictions, including at a federal level in the United States.
This means many businesses struggle to find access to financial services, despite the fact that their operations are considered 100% legal from a State perspective.
More and more cannabis companies are looking to blockchain technology as a solution to this problem. Instead of trusting third party financial organisations like banks that could have their assets seized by federal authorities at any time, they are putting their trust in decentralised blockchain based companies.
Artificial intelligence is making big waves in the cannabis industry in the realm of cannabis cultivation.
As mentioned earlier in this article, we are a long way behind where we should be as a society when it comes to understanding the cannabis plant. Black market status has stifled research and development.
Companies are looking to get a jump start on this gap in knowledge by implementing artificial intelligence in their grow tracking to deliver crops efficiently, as well as tailoring the grow to produce levels of CBD, THC and other aspects of the plants’ genetic make-up.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to reflect the specific views of the publication.