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The Future of Cannabis Tech

Escrito por Marjorie DeHey el 16/10/2018 a las 20:04:06

(Co-founder of MediaMojos)

Marjorie DeHey

Technological innovation has impacted most agriculture industries to provide sturdier crops, quicker growth cycles and better processes along the production and distribution chain.

The Cannabis industry is no different. Implementation of technologies such as genetic testing, robotic harvesting and crop data analysis are growing, as the global Cannabis industry is predicted to expand from $13 billion to $32 billion in the next five years according to Lisa Stahura, President of BDA Analytics (which tracks the Cannabis industry).


Cannabis(Image of BudTrader’s Offices - Courtesy of Brad McLaughlin, CEO BudTraderTM)


Genetic testing has become a way for Cannabis growers to ensure the health of their crops.  PathogenDX, a technology start-up, allows businesses to check Cannabis for 40 types of bacterial contaminants like staphylococcus, aspergillus and E. coli.  Their innovative use of genetic technologies, like microarray and polymerase chain reaction testing,  shorten the result  time from 4-to-6 days to 6 hours, allowing for early confirmation of healthy crops, and detection of “abnormalities,” contamination, or propagation conditions which might prove hazardous to the consumer. Having raised $3.4 million U.S.D in July of 2018, the Company sees Cannabis crops as a way to market test and validate its genetic testing, and plans to expand its offering for use with other crops. 

Automation will also enhance the industrialization of the Cannabis industry as companies like Naoi Technologies have developed autonomous robots for easier farming of Cannabis.  They currently have 4 models, and, in one hour, one of their robots can weed 1000 meters of a crop.  Their robots ability to quickly weed crops and turn soil allows for the growth necessary to sustain the Cannabis industry.


Looking more closely at how technology is impacting the overall growth of the industry, I was able to interview one of the premier technologists and industry leaders, Brad McLaughlin, CEO of BudTraderTM.  In 2014, McLaughlin and his colleagues created what would become the largest classified ad platform for Cannabis in the U.S. (now expanding globally).  With his background as a computer scientist, he saw that the digital–aspects of the Cannabis industry was fragmented and disorganized.  He and his colleagues saw an opportunity to create a cross-advertising platform that would allow Cannabis users to network and promote the industry – basically, the LinkedIn of Cannabis.  Fast forward four years and over 2 million users later, McLaughlin has become one of the leading business voices for the promotion and legalization of Cannabis.  He believes that the rise and growing use of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are the future of the Cannabis industry.


“Blockchain technology allows for incorruptible tracking that would limit fraud and allow for smart contracts.  I spend a lot of time lobbying for the industry and believe that Blockchain and cryptocurrency will allow for the reliable tracking and secure banking transactions needed for the growth and proper regulation of the industry,” according to McLaughlin.  If you look at McLaughlin’s office (in the photo above), he lives what he speaks – his office is a datacenter of Analytical software and crypto-mining computers. 


As regulations about Cannabis crops and use ease around the world and Cannabis becomes more mainstream, we are excited to see where technology leads this industry.