The Role of AI in the Cannabis Industry
- The cannabis industry is already starting to use AI.
- AI is a powerful tool used to help grow consistent and customized hemp plants.
- Cannabis companies use AI to track the seeds of their plants.
- Customers will one day use apps for hemp delivery.
The 2020s are quickly writing themselves into the history books. We’re not even halfway through the first year of the decade and two juggernauts are already prone to take over their respective industries. We’re talking about cannabis and artificial intelligence (AI). AI has many applications as a useful tool in the long-term success of the cannabis industry. Let’s take a closer look at the influence of AI in cannabis.
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
We like to think we know a thing or two about artificial intelligence (AI) from TV and Will Smith movies. In reality, however, the ins and outs of artificial intelligence can be difficult to explain. Well, we’re going to give it a try!
AI covers a lot of territory, but it can be loosely defined as machine-run functions that are intended to benefit humanity. Artificial intelligence collects and interprets input data and uses programmed answers to formulate a response. These responses are tailored to the human experience.
We hate to burst your bubble, but no matter how interesting your conversations with Siri might be, a human programmed her to say those things. They wrote an algorithm that categorized your question, used keywords to find an answer, and recorded a response to engage with you.
This user-friendly experience is precisely why so many industries incorporate AI into their practices, including:
- Driverless cars.
- Delivery food services.
- Microbiome testing.
- Checkout registers.
AI gives consumers the ultimate customizable experience. We rely on AI to pick up on which songs we like when it compiles Spotify playlists. Consumers also appreciate the convenience AI offers when we use self-checkout at the grocery store. Now more than ever, we can reap the benefits of AI in the cannabis industry, too.
How Is AI Used In The Cannabis Industry?
The legal U.S. cannabis market could reach over $66 billion by 2025. It’s only natural that the latest marketing and data tools would be an excellent fit in this niche. That’s why, in just the short time since hemp became legal, the cannabis industry is already seeing benefits of incorporating AI. Here’s how AI and cannabis go hand-in-hand.
Growth Of Hemp
Who doesn’t love the convenience of a smart home? You can turn the lights on and off when you’re not at home and adjust the temperature. Now, hemp growers can enjoy the same benefits. One of the most significant advancements AI has made in the cannabis industry is how it can improve growing conditions.
Farmers can use data to determine how desirable their growing conditions are. AI can help adjust the soil pH and sunlight exposure to the needs of the plant. Understanding these patterns has allowed farmers to breed new, customized strains. They can alter the environment to create hemp plants with higher levels of CBD or marijuana plants with larger quantities of THC.
Once the grower perfects their strain, they can lock in all the protocols by programming watering, lighting and temperature schedules. By using AI, farmers can save costs on manual labor, which could help bring the price of cannabis products down. They can accomplish all of this while growing a more consistent crop.
Thinking about growing hemp on your own? Check out the Joy Organics Ultimate Guide to Growing Hemp before getting started. We have everything you need to make your green thumb even greener!
Seed To Sale
AI is also transforming the practices of buying seeds for growing. Seed-to-sale tracking has quickly become a favorite use of AI throughout the cannabis industry. The way it works is simple—each plant or clone is given a unique 16-digit tracking number.
From there, the plant’s needs and growth rates are recorded. This becomes something like the plant’s CarFax. It will follow the plant until it’s made into an extract, when the oil is given a new number. This number will follow the oil until it is ready to be packaged and a product number is given.
The customer can use the product number to determine the origin of the plant, the nutrients used to grow it and other pertinent details. This seed-to-sale process can offer transparency in an otherwise unregulated business.
Manufacturers make use of seed-to-sale technology because it allows them to make educated decisions about products. Meanwhile, consumers have peace of mind because they know where their product is coming from.
For many of us, our earliest introduction to AI has been through the use of smartphone apps.
Most of these apps use AI to help make the experience better for you. For instance, Netflix will recommend shows to you based on the types of movies and shows you watch most. Meanwhile, Untappd can recommend beers and breweries around you that you might enjoy. These sorts of tools are valuable to us because they help enrich our experiences (and viewing habits).
The cannabis industry is already embracing this customizable technology. For instance, the Uppy App helps medical cannabis patients get recommendations for their personal needs. They track usage, prescriptions and other preferences to offer custom insights and strain recommendations. These types of tools will continue to be useful in the future of the CBD industry as well.
As legalized cannabis opens the door for more delivery service opportunities, cannabis and AI are going to reach new heights together. Let’s face it. We love our Uber rides and our UberEats. Who wouldn’t love having their CBD or medical cannabis delivered to their door?
In some states where marijuana is legal, these services have already sprung up. For instance, Eaze delivers throughout the Golden State. If you are a California resident, you can also have CBD and hemp products delivered through this service.
One of the biggest obstacles in starting an online cannabis company is remaining compliant in all 50 states. While the 2018 Farm Bill decriminalized hemp, we have a long way to go before the cannabis industry is in the clear. Since the cannabis niche is under such scrutiny, it’s essential not to make a misstep.
AI is making it easier to keep all of your ducks in a row. This technology uses location services to ensure your online company remains in compliance. Based on these algorithms, they give you recommendations for everything from the wording on the packaging to accepting sales outside of business hours.
One of the most popular cannabis tools is MJPlatform. Not only do they offer insights about compliance issues, but they’re also a consulting service. You can also use big data to help you with everything from targeted marketing to design aesthetics.
The Future Of AI And Cannabis
AI is the future for every industry. It’s no different for cannabis. This inevitable development should be a cause for celebration, because AI is going to make everyone’s life easier, including the customers and retailers.
Incorporating AI will make transactions smoother. Retailers are going to rely on AI to ensure that their customers’ data is kept secure. They’ll depend on AI to act as an escrow account that will guarantee the retailer gets paid for online sales.
Using AI will also help keep inventories in check so that retailers can see which products are really moving. Access to this sort of data can help business owners decide if the products they are selling are the right fit for their brand. It can also assist them with catching loss prevention issues, including employee theft.
Most importantly, AI will enrich the cannabis user experience. It will help people tailor their wellness regimen to fit their needs. Consumers will have access to recommendations about CBD products that meet their wellness goals.
One day people might even be able to formulate their own custom CBD oil, based on a blend of specific strains. Who knows? The sky is really the limit. That’s what makes the future of CBD and AI so exciting.
Have you used AI as a cannabis consumer or business owner? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She’s passionate about providing wellness and CBD education in a clear and accessible way. Before Joy Organics, she worked as a travel writer and photographer.