Technology has played a big role in the way that society has developed in the past several decades, making a big impact on everything from the way we work to the way we relax. When looking at how tech has impacted the cannabis industry though has been more focused on maintaining compliance and transparency within businesses and consumers alike. This is why the biggest transformations in the cannabis industry to date have been technology-based.
A number of new technologies have already reshaped the industry at large to ensure more accountability and better quality control and customer experiences in the future. Let’s take a look at three of the most prominent technologies that have been developed or are being developed that are taking the cannabis industry by storm.
As more states are legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, state lawmakers are being put in the tough position of creating laws that ensure the safety of the general public. The first place that lawmakers are starting to focus on in their quest for public safety is on the roadways. However, unlike alcohol where a driver is considered impaired at a certain level (.08) in many states, there is no set level of driver marijuana impairment yet in developed in any state.
Scientists believe that more studies need to be done to reach a conclusion on THC impairment before major laws are enacted because many believe that THC presence does not automatically imply impairment. Since THC is detectable in breath for up to three hours after smoking marijuana, several companies have begun development of cannabis breathalyzers to measure the level of impairment just like alcohol breathalyzers do. Many believe that this three-hour timeframe is key to telling whether a person is more likely to be impaired. if further development continues on cannabis breathalyzer technology, it could possibly help states research and set limits for marijuana impairment in the future.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have been a big topic of discussion in the past decade for many reasons. For one, LEDs never burn out, they just slowly dim. Secondly, LEDs use at least 50% less energy than traditional incandescent lighting. Since the amount of light bulbs needed to sustain the growth of an indoor cannabis farm is massive, switching over to LEDs can potentially give growers massive energy cost savings.
Besides the massive energy cost savings, a 2017 study found that LED lights were able to produce crops with 26-36% higher THC content than common High Pressure Sodium Vapor (HPS) lights that are often used by indoor farmers. Better understanding of cannabis-related photobiology will allow LED lighting manufacturers to create LED lights that will allow growers to discover the true medical potential of cannabis.
Last, but definitely not least, on this journey through the technological innovations in the cannabis industry, are seed-to-sale systems. These systems offer customers with intuitive strain analyses that can help them compare new strains to existing strains to ensure they receive the right product. Once the product is selected by a customer, the seed-to-sale system is able to track each cannabis product through the pipeline to ensure quality and inventory control is as perfect as possible.
The impact that these seed-to-sale systems are having on the cannabis industry is massive when you consider how much transparency and availability of information these platforms give producers, government authorities and consumers. More transparency ultimately leads to better tracking, more informed consumers, and a stronger more sustainable cannabis supply chain.