What Happens When IoT Meets the Cannabis Industry?

How IoT benefits the cannabis industry
Illustration: © IoT For All

Cannabis and IoT are two industries that are both experiencing a significant and consistent rise, continuously generating more and more revenue each year. Although there seems to be no apparent relation between the two industries, a closer look indicates a world of possibilities for adopting IoT technology in the cannabis industry, for the benefit of not just consumers but also of suppliers and business owners.

An Introduction to the Cannabis Industry

The past decade has witnessed an overwhelming shift in public opinion regarding cannabis. Multiple states in the United States have legalized the use of recreational cannabis. In contrast, some have loosened up on the availability of medical marijuana and other cannabis products such as CBD, and it seems as if the trend is leaning in a direction towards overall legalization.

Every year, an increasing number of states, countries, and governments worldwide recognize the value and benefits of legalizing cannabis. Consumers are provided access to cannabis and no longer need to avoid the law’s clutches, which in turn lessens the burden of law enforcement. Those in need of medical marijuana can now experience its benefits on a wider scale. Enterprising citizens are given another avenue for their endeavors, and people are being provided with means of livelihood through the job market in the cannabis industry.

Furthermore, the cannabis industry has generated heaps of revenue for the economy. It’s predicted that the legal marijuana market will be worth a whopping 73.6 billion dollars by 2027.

The IoT Industry

The Internet of Things, more commonly known as IoT, has been steadily taking over the world. IoT’s uses and benefits now range from simple domestic uses such as controlling your appliances through your smartphone to complex industrial uses in many industries, such as mining, warehousing, manufacturing, and automotive.

This year, it has been predicted that 31 billion IoT devices will be installed, and by 2025, that number is projected to be more than 75 billion. Experts have also estimated that by 2026, the IoT device market will be worth a tremendous 1.1 trillion dollars!

IoT’s imminent ubiquity indeed embodies the statement that the future is now. The groundbreaking technology has made life dramatically easier for everyone worldwide, and the people in the cannabis industry are no exception. IoT is set to revolutionize the cannabis industry and is bound to deliver a handful of benefits for cannabis consumers and suppliers alike.

From Small Home Growers to Large-Scale Operations

Just like any other crop, growing cannabis takes a lot of time, dedication, and patience. From the moment that someone has planted a cannabis seed, it becomes almost a full-time job to attend to the plant and make sure that it grows well. Growing cannabis entails a significant workforce, especially for those looking to grow cannabis on a large scale.

Thankfully, IoT can make the lives of growers much easier. Cannabis growers can adopt smart farming techniques and technologies to manage their cannabis crops while at the same time, optimizing the quantity and quality of their products and streamlining human labor.

Seed-to-Sale Systems

Since the cannabis industry is yet to be universally accepted, most governments are still hesitant to give cannabis businesses free reign over the industry. Understandably so, given the cannabis industry’s roots in drug cartels and the black market. This necessitates stringent regulation on the part of the government.

Cannabis suppliers are required to be compliant if they wish to keep their businesses running. This is where seed-to-sale systems come into play. Through seed-to-sale systems, every part of the process, from the growing, packaging, manufacturing, and eventually the selling, is tracked. The use of IoT technology makes it possible for suppliers to keep track of their entire inventory and governments to make sure that everything is kept in check. Seed-to-sale tracking ensures that suppliers aren’t doing any business under the table.

Video Surveillance

Just like any other business, security is and should be a priority for cannabis growers and dispensaries. Entrepreneurs can adopt video surveillance systems to ensure that everything in their businesses is running smoothly and that no one tampers with their operations. Plus, video surveillance and extensive security systems provide an air of legitimacy that will solidify the cannabis industry’s position as a legitimate business that contributes to society.

Access Controls

Another aspect of security that cannabis businesses can adopt through IoT is the use of access controls. With access controls, employees of farms, processing plants, and dispensaries need to swipe a card or have an ID scanned so that they can enter the facilities. This also makes it possible for cannabis businesses to keep track of who has access to their facilities. Couple this with video surveillance and suppliers can quickly and easily monitor their respective businesses’ day-to-day operations.

Wireless Management

Gone are the days of tedious bookkeeping and inventory tracking. By implementing a simple IoT system, businesses can now have everything tracked almost automatically with minimal human intervention. Whether it’s a grower is trying to monitor the condition of his crops or a dispensary keeping track of its sales and remaining supplies, IoT makes everything quicker and more accessible. It’s virtually running a business with your thumbs.

Monitoring Consumption of Medical Cannabis

The IoT industry has given rise to devices such as the Syqe Inhaler. A smart inhaler such as this allows for tracking cannabis consumption, which is especially convenient for doctors to keep track of the dosages of patients who use medical cannabis. This promotes the efficient and proper use of medical cannabis and helps doctors treat their patients as precisely as possible.

Consumer Convenience

Consumers can also enjoy the benefits of IoT through applications that streamline the customer experience. For example, someone at a dispensary can scan a particular product’s barcode and have comprehensive information about the product literally right at their fingertips. With IoT, the cannabis industry is set to be more accessible than ever.

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