“WeedTech” Takes on the Legal Cannabis Industry

“WeedTech” Takes on the Legal Cannabis Industry

As more jurisdictions open up to legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, and with the mounting interest among entrepreneurs to enter the space, technology is becoming increasingly intertwined with cannabis. This has taken on multiple forms, ranging from novel technologies such as artificial intelligence for cultivation to software systems designed to streamline the cannabis supply chain, among many others.

In an interview with “Cannabis & Tech Today,” Trellis CEO Pranav Sood stated that “we need the technology and tools that other traditional industries have and often take for granted.”[1] In an effort to do this, the Canadian company conceived software that allows cultivators to track the plants’ growth progress, beginning from when they are planted up to when they are harvested. The software likewise alerts growers when the crop is ready to be harvested, as well as room conditions to achieve maximum efficiency.

“All the tools and the foundation around the industry [are] fairly young and immature,” Mr. Sood added. “So, you’re going to start seeing people drive towards economies of scale, very similar to any other industry that you’re looking at.”[2]

Another Canadian company, DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc., is also seeking to streamline the cannabis industry’s supply chain using blockchain technology. The platform created by DMG will be able to track products throughout the supply chain, and automate transactions and the flow of information between producers, distributors, and retailers. It will also allow for more transparent reporting and auditing systems.

“The emerging cannabis industry demands product management solutions, and blockchain is the most logical choice,” said DMG’s CEO Dan Reitzik. “We want to be the first to offer an enterprise-grade solution in partnership with leading technology providers and cannabis producers, processors, and distributors.”[3]

Tech firms have also catered to end users, offering various ways of enhancing users’ experience and introducing new, “smarter” ways of consuming cannabis. One such firm is “Puffco” which has made devices such as vape pens and “The Peak,” a “smart” bong that vaporizes cannabis concentrates. Puffco states “The Peak,” one of its signature products, provides “radical changes” to the vaping experience in that it provides “intelligent temperature calibration” to provide a hassle-free and user-friendly experience.

LucidMood, a company providing low-potency vaping pens, has expanded its target market beyond cannabis enthusiasts to capture those who do not frequently consume cannabis. It does this by combining and altering ratios of different cannabinoids to elicit different moods based on the user’s preferred effect. At this time, LucidMood offers ten different types of vape pens for a range of different effects such as “calm,” focus,” and “sleep,” among others.

Even large corporations such as Altria, the producer of Marlboro cigarettes, are taking interest in the industry. On December 7, 2018, the tobacco giant announced that it had bought a 45% stake in Cronos Group, a company that invests in cannabis ventures, for USD1.8 billion, causing its stock to accelerate by 28%. The partnership indicates that Cronos will be able to access Altria’s design, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution capabilities while Altria can gain a foothold in the young cannabis industry.[4]

As attitudes, regulations, and interest in the cannabis space become increasingly favorable, further innovations can be expected in “WeedTech.”

[1] “Cultivating Efficiency with Trellis CEO Pranav Sood,” Patricia Miller,Cannabis & Tech Today (Jan. 17, 2019) (available at https://cannatechtoday.com/cultivating-efficiency-with-trellis-ceo-pranav-sood/).

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Global Supply Chain Management Platform for Cannabis,” Supply Chain 247 (Oct. 27, 2018) (available at http://www.supplychain247.com/article/global_supply_chain_management_platform_for_cannabis).

[4] “Marijuana Marlboro And What Altria’s Purchase of A Canadian Marijuana Maker Means,” Jordan Waldrep, Forbes (Dec. 18, 2018) (available at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanwaldrep/2018/12/18/marijuana-marlboro-and-what-altrias-purchase-of-a-canadian-marijuana-maker-means/#24e7fc9a398e).

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