The new year is just around the corner, and it looks set to be a big one for the cannabis industry. There are expectations of huge strides being made in cannabis technology development, specifically in the areas of cultivation and consumption, which is a bit of a no-brainer when you consider what industry leaders are saying about the upward trajectory of the industry. Cannabis market research firm the Brightfield Group projects the global cannabis industry will reach $31 billion by 2021.
Another leader in the cannabis space is Nick Kovacevich, CEO and co-founder of KushCo Holdings, Inc., and a contributing writer who covers business and the legal cannabis industry for Forbes. “As the legal cannabis market matures, it’s driving advances in how users consume it,” Kovacevich wrote in an October article. “In fact, the quickly evolving market is forcing producers to adapt to changing expectations.”
Top Trends In Cannabis Agriculture For 2019
As the director of cultivation for the US division of Tikun Olam, one of the world’s largest medical researchers and growers, Bill Campbell has his finger on the pulse of cannabis innovations. One of those innovations that he’s been able to try is the cultivation management software Supergrower by info-tech service provider RedPoint Solutions, which is still in beta testing and not yet available to the public. It features traditional grow management software functions for tracking hourly employees and simplifying the state-mandated seed-to-sale software process, while also managing metrics such as the number of plants, harvest weights, sales, temperature, humidity, light intensity and light cycle.
“What’s unique about it is that it can aggregate data from multiple cultivation facilities in multiple states and give real-time reports on the state of each facility,” Campbell tells us. “I can sit in my office in Denver and view real-time data on cultivation facilities from California to Florida on one screen. It’s an incredible tool for organizations that are operating in multiple states.”
On the automation front, Campbell is impressed with the Rhythm Advanced Fertigation System for the following reasons:
- It’s specifically designed for growing cannabis
- Controls nutrient dosing, temperature, humidity, CO2 and lighting
- An easy-to-use interface
- Great for scaling up with the grower
“I really like the way it handles nutrient dosing to multiple zones,” Campbell notes. “Most fertigation systems are designed for large commercial agriculture and are not good at adapting to the needs of cannabis cultivation.”
Finally, Campbell recommends the Green Vault Systems Precision Batcher as the “hands-down best automated cannabis packaging system he’s ever used.”
“It can do 15 to 20 perfectly weighed grams or eighths per minute,” he says. “Your average human packager can only do two-eighths a minute on a good day. It totally solves the packaging bottleneck.”
Top Trends In Cannabis Tech For 2019
Adapting to an expanding market means the cannabis space is seeing more tech innovation when it comes to how we store, secure and consume our cannabis. Innovations such as the smart hub for cannabis by Kassi and the Eaze delivery app are trailblazing entrepreneurship in this sector of the cannatech market.
Eaze, the wildly popular CBD delivery app, recently reported that it’s expanding its services to 41 states, according to Forbes. Meanwhile, Kassi is a revolutionary smart storage hub that delivers an innovative solution for tracking consumption and maintaining optimal cannabis freshness and effectiveness. As the first cannabis storage hub with “internet of things” connectivity to a mobile app, Kassi allows its users to ask Siri and Alexa, “How much Lemon Haze do I have left?” and know exactly when to reorder.
“We hope that other companies will see our forward-thinking cannatech and follow in our footsteps as we bring true innovations to this industry and consumers,” says Ido Havilio, CEO of Go On Green Ltd., whose mission is “to bring cannabis consumption to the 21st century, providing people with the ultimate medical cannabis consumption experience, setting a new standard for the industry.”
The cannabis industry is seeing unique partnerships between cannabis and technology companies in places like California, where technology companies such as Dosist and Grasspit are utilizing cannabis in their tech innovations. Dosist is creating vaporizer pens that contain small amounts of cannabis for sleep improvement, pain management or to provide a calming sensation. Grasspit added new features to the company’s cannabis delivery system, including a patient management platform that promises compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, plus information in real time.
You Can’t Escape The Vape
Vapes are here to stay. Some experts go as far as to say the trend of vaping cannabis will see sales of vapes and oil cartridges surpass those of flower. But it’s no wonder, considering how far vapes have come over the past couple of years.
“Experienced cannabis users say they notice a real difference between the original vapes and the new ones,” Kovacevich writes. “The flavor, functionality and cost have all been improved since the ‘olden’ days of 2012 or 2013. As the market for extracts continues to expand, you can expect that vape technology will evolve along with it.”
Among the top new vaporizers on the market are the Pax 3, a lightweight vaporizer with 90 minutes of battery power that utilizes loose flower extract, and the V4 Plush, which is lightweight, ergonomic and can hold up to 0.65 grams of fresh herb. The latter product utilizes Dynamic Conduction Technology and an all-glass air path.
Whether you’re a grower or a consumer, it’s an exciting time, with constant innovations in the cannabis tech space planned for 2019. Also, if you’re still looking for a great gift this holiday season, there are a few good ideas listed in this article.