Canada was the second country in the world, to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. As with most industries today, technology is, and will be instrumental in the success of the marijuana industry. From evolving e-commerce options to more advanced testing, technology is predicted to push the industry forward in leaps and bounds in the coming years.
1. E-Commerce in the Marijuana Industry
Commercial transactions have been an option for many years now. In fact, many automatically look towards online stores or shopping experiences when they want to make a purchase. This is no different when purchasing legal recreational cannabis in Canada. Even though regulations can vary between territories and provinces, the Ontario Government as well as some brick and mortar stores allow for online transactions. Bringing new convenience to truly benefit the industry.
2. Cannabis Market and Seed to Sale Platforms
Traceability is an ever-increasing focus for consumers as people are becoming more conscious of what they consume. Meaning, companies must be ready and willing to abide to new product traceability demands. Luckily, evolving technology can help, even in the cannabis market. New digital platforms are created to help connect all aspects of Canada’s cannabis trade. From their growth phase, into production, tracking plants is possible. Not only does this increase customer confidence in the entire process and issues in quality, but non-compliance can be detected early on.
3. Cannabis and Farming Technology
When it comes to matters of technology, production has not been overlooked.
Technology companies are looking into different farming technology to help farmers increase their yield. Among many tools, legal growers and agritech companies are using types of ‘ponics’ (such as hydroponics and aeroponics) to deliver nutrients more efficiently, or smart sensors to ensure optimal artificial lighting and temperature is maintained. Some of these entails reducing production costs while improving indoor plant growth.
Source: Fluence Bioengineering, YouTube
4. Cannabis and Bio Friendly Decomposing
One of the regulations licensed producers have to adhere to is the denaturing of all organic plant material before it leaves their facility. While some of the older methods were not environmentally friendly, newer innovations promise to change this.
One such technology, the BioRoter is a perfect example of this change. It uses enzymes to process organic waste into good quality compost, in significantly shorter times. In fact, the compost can be reused by marijuana plants or donated to local farmers to grow their produce.
5. Cannabis and Logistics Technologies
Most licensed producers of marijuana are producing on large scales. As profitable as this is, it also poses logistical nightmares to growers.
The solution? Robotics and automation technology that is already in use by some licensed growers. In time, as demand grows, it’s expected for more producers to automate their practices. Allowing for lighting, feed cycles, and environmental control to increase production while maintaining quality. While these systems will be monitored, modified and manipulated by humans, human interaction will be significantly lessened.
6. Cannabis and Product Testing Technologies
One thing in strict control with the cannabis legalization is its testing and regulation. When it comes to public consumption, all cannabis products must be lab tested to ensure its safety. Among the tests, there is a focus on potency, whether there are residual pesticides and solvents, as well as a look at the microbial and processing of chemicals.
However, the high demand for cannabis has created shortages in lab facilities because of the massive supply being sent for testing from licensed producers. Fortunately, previously used technology in the form of laboratory information management systems (LIMS) can help ensure that the testing process runs more efficiently. While LIMS platforms are not new technologies, they are seen to be useful for the cannabis industry. For producers, this means getting their products into the market faster and ensuring that there are no supply gaps.
Source: Digital Trends
The legalization of marijuana will allow for a world of opportunities for startups and tech companies as they seek ways to support the industry. Still, this leaves room for the discerning investor.
At Evolve, we believe your investment options should evolve with market advancements. Is it time to invest in the marijuana industry? Consider the Evolve Marijuana Fund (SEED), the top-performing TSX-listed equity ETF over the past year*, and the Evolve U.S. Marijuana ETF (USMJ), the world’s first ETF investing in the U.S. cannabis industry.
*Based on the Bloomberg classification of 491 TSX-listed equity ETFs, as at April 30, 2019.