As the cannabis industry continues to grow and expand, technology is evolving alongside it. Growers are seeing changes and innovations in hardware, software, and other tools used in the industry. As cannabis cultivation technology progresses, so does the ability to offer a high-quality cannabis product that sets you apart from competitors.
There are many innovations in the cannabis industry every day, from HVAC systems adjustments to sensor data and artificial intelligence tools. Before we dive into some key industry advancements, it helps to understand why these progressions matter to those in the cannabis cultivation business.
Why is Cannabis Technology Important for Your Cultivation Business?
Technology impacts almost every industry, and cannabis cultivation is no exception. In the aftermath of the COVID-10 pandemic, businesses saw an increase in the use of tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other forms of communication. It’s also worth noting that we live in a time where information is more accessible and transferable than ever, so having a reliable way to gather data and safely store it is essential.
As a member of the cannabis business, it’s important to keep pace with technological industry developments. When you understand where and why new technology is implemented, you can envision new ways of growing cannabis that give you a competitive edge in the market. You can also try forecasting future trends and getting ahead of the competition. For example, you can be at the forefront of using a certain LED lighting or innovative plant growth technique.
Innovation is important for staying competitive in the market, but it can also help your internal team. New technological developments may help cannabis growers communicate faster with employees, eliminate downtime, and maximize efficiency. Technology can also help with sharing resources among your team to keep everyone educated and up-to-date on the latest processes. This quick communication helps minimize labor costs and unify your team under a common goal and vision.
Innovations in Cannabis Technology
Understanding innovations in cannabis cultivation will help you better understand the industry’s future to form a plan of action. So what’s going on with developments in the cannabis space? Here are three key trends to watch.
Cannabis plants have a hormonal system that regulates their growth. This system responds to external and environmental stresses that drive its development. Crop steering is a method that manipulates these hormonal responses by changing a controlled environment to get the right outcome. These changes could be adjusting the temperature, decreasing the humidity, or changing the amount of water the crop receives.
The key focus of crop steering is to generate more flower production and yield a higher outcome, ultimately helping a grow lab create more profit. To increase flower production, crop steering needs to be done at the optimal time in a plant’s growth cycle with controlled environmental sensors.
Different methods for performing crop steering may require sensors, tracking tools, and controls that analyze how your plants perform with certain levels of light and water usage. Then, based on this data, growers can create crop steering strategies to maximize growth. This technique is constantly being innovated by using different software and hardware solutions that help growers create the perfect conditions. Crop steering is a top trend to watch in the cannabis business.
Vertical farming utilizes multi-level racking systems that hold fitted grow trays. These racks can move side to side to help maximize the use of a grow space and save on energy costs. In addition to having structured racks, this system uses special air ventilation systems that can reach plants even in vertical spots. There are even special LED fixtures that attach to these grow racks to ensure the plants are getting enough light.
Vertical farming can employ all types of innovative equipment, from grow racks to special HVAC and airflow systems. This equipment is constantly being updated and improved. Because of this, the upfront costs of vertical farming can be steep, but not compared to the eventual payoff. Once this system is installed and functional, it can save companies on LED lighting and energy costs while maximizing crop yield.
Genetic engineering allows cultivators to cross strains of cannabis and select phenotypes for desirable traits. As genetic engineering has progressed, what was once a lengthy process can now be done in a matter of weeks.
Some growers like to choose genes like climate tolerance and pest resistance, while others may genetically engineer their crops to have a unique CBD/THC ratio. Depending on the type of plant you want to harvest, genetic engineering may be able to help you achieve those traits.
The field of genetic engineering for cannabis cultivation is only growing. Some companies specialize in creating mother plants or hemp seeds with tailored genes that growers can then use to model their own crops. There’s still lots of room for innovation in the genetic engineering field, which means it’s an important technology to keep track of.
How Can Technology Help the Cannabis Business?
There are many ways that evolving technology can help the cannabis business and improve the final product. Some of the most common ways include:
- Data Storage and Sharing – Data storage and sharing are essential to modern businesses. Using tools like Cloud storage, cannabis companies can keep track of their data and share it almost instantly with coworkers or other parties. This can help improve growing processes, customer service, and productivity.
- Interpersonal Communication – Cannabis growers who lean into the usage of modern technology may find it easier than ever to communicate with their team. Tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom offer instant, reliable means of conversing. Plus, there are tools available to help streamline tasks like employee training, scheduling, and more.
- Physical Applications – In addition to digital technology and software, there are also physical applications of cannabis technology. Growers can benefit from improved lighting, upgraded irrigation systems, and new types of farming for the cannabis crop. Many of these physical applications work in tandem with digital technology to improve and optimize the growing process.
Future Trends in Cannabis Technology
In the near future and beyond, look out for innovation in vertical farming, crop steering, and genetic engineering. Due to their present popularity and applicability, these practices will likely continue to evolve.
Growers should also be aware of the use of tech like e-commerce, which is used across the retail industry. E-commerce allows customers to digitally shop and purchase products as they please. Although e-commerce isn’t fully integrated into the cannabis field yet, trends are already leaning in this direction. This can allow growers to customize their brand further online and create a seamless, enjoyable experience for e-commerce shoppers.
Not all trends can be predicted, but growers should also look out for increased use of tools like artificial intelligence, personalized software tools, and more. By keeping up with indoor cannabis cultivation technology, growers can find more opportunities to take advantage of these developments and stay ahead of the competition.
It’s hard to predict exactly where the cannabis industry is headed, but it’s undeniable that it’s growing. More states and territories are continuing to legalize the crop, which means sellers have more opportunity to break into the market and profit. The industry is also advancing through new and improved cannabis cultivation technologies. From genetic engineering to the use of advanced LED fixtures, the technology and innovation in the field is something to watch out for.
The cannabis market is growing, in part, due to increased legalization of the product and the use of cannabis for medical reasons. As the plant becomes more legally and socially accepted, its value will likely continue to grow. This presents a special opportunity for growers to innovate their processes and generate a profit.
Cannabis technology can refer to products, processes, and tools created for users or producers. For users, this could mean improving consumption methods for a safer and better experience. For cannabis growers, this can refer to hardware and software that improves grow operations. Whether this is a new lighting system, a data tool, or an artificial intelligence machine, there are many options in cannabis technology.