RISE OF THE ROBOTRIMMER: Artificial Intelligence, Cannabis and the Future of the Industry
The rise of AI in all industries have been quite prominent over the years. We have become somewhat dependent on the artificial assistance in everything from data collecting, market projections, process optimization and so forth.
There is no doubt in anyone’s minds that A.I will only become more integrated in our everyday activities, that eventually it will blend into what we know as “normal”.
This “new normal” is already seeing itself filter into the cannabis industry as a whole. In fact, artificial intelligence will probably fill the gaps needed for regulators to finally give the plant the “all clear” in terms of legalization.
But exactly how will artificial intelligence benefit the cannabis industry?
The robots are coming
One trend that has been universally observed is that robots are taking over our “labor”. Sure, today we still have plenty of “human workers” doing most of the physical labor, but from the automotive industry to virtually any other industry – the robots are coming!
Currently, within the cannabis industry, the actual “trimming” of the buds are left to the capable hands of seasoned trimmers. These workers can sit hunched over for hours while delicately removing leaf from bud so that you can have a great smoke.
While technology still isn’t capable of replicating the precision when it comes to the art of trimming, artificial intelligence aims to bridge that gap. We already have “robotrimmers” on the market, but the technology is still in its infancy stage. Once advanced computer algorithms can learn the tricks of the trade, these robotic trimmers will eventually be able to outperform their human counterparts.
And once the technology becomes economically viable, it would mean the end of human trimmers altogether.
Probably one of the more interesting applications of artificial intelligence and cannabis comes down to the actual growing of the plant. Once we have “trained” computers to the perfect conditions of a cannabis plant development cycles, the machines will have the ability to observe the plant 24/7.
Any micro adjustment needed to ensure that the plant is in the “perfect parameters for optimal growth” can be implemented in real-time. Artificial intelligence will also eventually be able to identify pests, diseases, nutrient deficiencies, under/over watering, soil health and a myriad of other things as well.
Furthermore, once artificial intelligence starts accumulating plant data, it will begin to decipher what roles certain cannabinoids play in creating your weed. This would mean that “designer strains” could become a real thing.
“Designer Strains” refer to cannabis strains specifically crafted for particular conditions. For instance, an actual “Insomnia-focused cannabis strain” or an “appetite stimulator strain” and so forth.
Once this starts taking off, we’ll have a whole new world of cannaceutical medications catered to specific conditions which will change the medical game forever.
A.I for Compliance Issues
Once sector that heavily relies on artificial intelligence for compliance issues is the health care industry. They already have companies that sift through millions of data points to reveal where companies are lacking in compliance related offenses.
The cannabis industry also requires a lot of “oversight” due to zealous regulators. Artificial Intelligence would have the ability to be able to track a plant from seed to consumption, automatically check all the boxes in a process for cannabis companies to remain compliant with the law, and even predict where certain issues “could occur”.
For the industry as a whole, it could also mean we could de-regulate some of the legal systems out there. For instance, many of the process for license applications could be automated through these systems. This especially becomes a reality once cannabis become federally legal.
This in turn would reduce the costs of regulation, which would allow businesses to thrive within the free market. If regulation costs decrease, and industry efficiency increases, it would ultimately affect the price-per-gram to the end consumer.
Not to mention, artificial intelligence would be able to ensure quality and consistency within products.
How far are we from it?
It’s really hard to say when A.I will become an integral part of the cannabis industry. It still isn’t fully incorporated into other industries, and thus the integration is partly delayed due to the technology not being mature enough – yet.
Every year we’re making leaps and bounds to making artificial intelligence more integrated with our everyday lives. Most people don’t truly understand how much artificial intelligence we are already using – a lot!
We’re still not at the point where we can have “slave robots” doing all our biddings, but how long can we say that this will continue to be so. Every year, as we inch closer to creating smarter, more efficient machines, we are creating a society where it will be A.I will fade into the background, doing everything we rely on.
The Cannabis industry too, will be included in this future. I personally, think – then the weed game will really get interesting!