Advances in Technology Benefit Marijuana Industry Despite Changing Policies
U.S. states continue to navigate around local laws and public sentiments to legalize cannabis use for recreational or medical purposes. Fortunately, this has not hindered marijuana farmers and buyers from benefiting from technological advances made in the cannabis industry.
Many states failed to foresee the rapid expansion of the marijuana industry. According to the report, the marijuana industry is set to hit the $40 billion mark by the year 2021. That’s an astounding growth considering that the industry only generated $16 billion in revenues in 2017. The industry also projects that the number of states that would legalize marijuana use for recreational and medical purposes, would increase to a total of 35.
Currently, there are only nine states that allow for medical and recreational marijuana use for people over the age of 21. However, it’s not just about getting more people high. The industry is projected to create 414,000 new jobs and contribute more than $4 billion to the economy. These positive impacts are hard to ignore.
In California alone, the state would have 99,000 workers gainfully employed in the cannabis industry. That number will balloon to 146,000 jobs when taking into account the indirect impact of this sector. In April 2018, there were 827,456 unemployed people in California so job generation from an embattled industry should be a welcome development.
Marijuana growers are becoming more creative about how they utilize the new technologies across industries. For instance, the augmented reality technology by Huxley is being used to gather important data on cannabis cultivation. This allows growers to have access to the most accurate information enabling them to improve production the majority of the time.
Farmers wearing devices would now have a wealth of information at their disposal regarding humidity, PH balance, water levels, and climate. Growers can quickly scale up their farms without employing more manpower.
There’s another app that can have huge benefits for the industry and this is the Waterbee. Through this technology, growers can irrigate their farms with the exact amount of water needed. There’s no room for user error since everything is automated.
On the marketing side, Weed VR allows buyers access to a dispensary in the virtual space. They can browse, examine, and even roll a joint before they will place their orders. You can avoid the queues and ensure your privacy in the meantime. You can also talk to the staff and ask questions. After placing your order, you wait for delivery or pick up your product.
The marijuana industry may also contribute to the global campaign to go green. An Alaskan firm is already producing bio plastics that are made from hemp. Instead of using traditional materials like petroleum, bio plastics are vegetables based or, in this case, hemp-based. Every year, the world consumes 200 million tons of plastic, which typically decomposes after 1,000 years. In contrast, hemp-based bio plastics leave behind a small carbon footprint due to their 100% biodegradable nature.
With current and future technologies, the projected expansion of the marijuana industry may have to be revised yearly as new apps and machines will become a very valuable asset in more efficient cultivation, better grades and products, and effective marketing.
However, states are still struggling to change their stance regarding the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana. Despite proposals for cannabis rescheduling, marijuana still remains in the Schedule I substances. This creates a huge roadblock for some states, preventing them in creating their own policies on the cannabis industry as status quo continues to prevail.
For instance, the marijuana policy of Ohio is contradictory, at best. In the state, it’s illegal to smoke marijuana without a medical prescription. However, possession of less than 100 grams won’t land you in jail because it’s decriminalized. Dispensaries are in operation but they are limited to medical patients only.
A new proposal is being hammered out to further muddy the waters. The amount of cannabis patients can order is heavily regulated. For instance, they are not allowed to have more than a three-month supply in their possession. They are also only allowed to use five grams of THC vape during this period, or about 220 milligrams per day. For edibles and oral products, they are allowed no more than 100 milligrams per day.
Under these proposed regulations, mobile apps that can monitor the daily intake of patients to make sure they don’t violate the law would be invaluable.
If you know of new technology or have one of your own, we’d love to hear from you by commenting below in this post. We like to highlight the latest advancements in the cannabis industry as it pertains to technology. Feel free to visit one of our many other articles we provide.