A Blog by Jonathan Low


Apr 22, 2020

How AI Is Helping Optimize the Cannabis Industry

From farming to marketing to delivery, AI has begun to play an integral role in the growth of the industry as more locales legalize use.

And with medical marijuana frequently labelled an essential service, AI has been especially helpful in sorting through issues of regulation, inventory management and delivery during the crisis. JL 

Analytics Insight reports:

Using sensors and algorithms, farmers are able to take in information about their specific plants to provide practical suggestions for improving conditions and even creating hybrid plants. Farmers are using smart bots to detect changes in temperature, light, and more and adjust the atmosphere. AI helps improve inventory to carry the products customers want most as well as help predict how much they’ll need to meet consumer demands. (And) an AI helps cannabis companies stay compliant with state and federal regulations.
Artificial intelligence has infiltrated our society like a thief in the night. One minute it was a budding idea that everyone thought wouldn’t last, and a minute later, it was in homes all over the world. We have self-driving cars, voice-activated robots, analytical data programs, predictive financial models, and so much more. It’s become part of almost every market—why wouldn’t it affect the cannabis industry too?
Like any industry, the cannabis market has need of efficiency, streamlining, predicting, organizing, and more. AI can bring all these benefits and more. Let’s take a look at exactly how much AI has infiltrated cannabis for the better.

Personalized Marketing

The cannabis industry has exploded in part because of the ability to market products effectively. AI bots crawl the web looking for information about potential customers that will push the sale of cannabis products, and it’s working very well.
For example, consider social media advertisements that are geo-targeted to their audience. An algorithm gathers information about consumers based on their browsing history and even what they say out loud to determine the kinds of advertisements a person wants to see.
Now, there are restrictions on cannabis advertising in most social media platforms because many cannabis products are considered schedule 1 drugs. But companies are allowed to advertise creams that are meant for topical application. Data points might indicate that an individual is active in sports or fitness and they might benefit from a cream with CBD oil for recovery. The ad will be displayed as such and significantly increase a person’s chances of buying that product.
This is just one of many ways that advertising is taking place in a more personalized light. Traditional advertising may also be influenced by data showing what kinds of ads cannabis users will respond to.

Cannabis Operations Management

Owners of cannabis companies require special organization to deliver top quality products, maintain good public relations, and stay compliant with the many regulations in place. AI is helping many company owners to revamp their operations and stay in line with the required regulations.
There are tons of apps that can help with this not specific to the cannabis industry. Companies can use financial tools like QuickBooks, productivity platforms like Asana, and data-gathering bots like DataBot to gather information about their processes in order to stay in shape.
AI is taking a more niche-specific approach to the cannabis industry as well. For example, a company in Colorado created an AI assistant that’s designed to help cannabis companies stay compliant with state and federal regulations. It tracks everything from seed to sale and reminds businesses of compliance needs along the way.
This is a huge support to the cannabis industry given that companies spend thousands trying to meet all the constantly shifting regulations. It’s a huge time and money saver.

Smart Product Delivery

Delivery of cannabis products is another area that AI has been excelling lately. Cannabis companies try to maintain a fully sustainable operation—it’s not only good for their industry, but it’s also a great marketing point. AI companies are changing the way that cannabis companies at any stage of the game are able to deliver their products, whether it’s crops to manufacturers or manufacturers to product warehouses.
Smart delivery is taking it one step further and facilitating easy delivery to customers’ doors. A California company, for example, came up with an app called Eaze that’s designed to facilitate deliveries of cannabis all over the country. It connects individuals with cannabis dispensaries where legal and hires delivery drivers to take it to the consumer’s door. An Uber for cannabis, if you will.
Eaze does more than help to put product in the hands of customers. It also gathers valuable data that helps cannabis companies improve their operations with customers in mind. It helps them improve their inventory to carry the products that customers want most as well as help them predict how much they’ll need to meet consumer demands.

AI in Ag Improves Growth

Cannabis plants are sensitive, and growth must be monitored very closely to ensure great products. Industrial hemp, which is high in CBD and low in THC, is a little easier to grow, but marijuana plants and other cannabis plants containing high levels of THC require specific conditions and care.
AI has been a game changer here. Using sensors and algorithms, farmers are able to take in information about their specific plants to provide practical suggestions for improving conditions and even creating hybrid plants.
Many farmers are using smart bots to detect changes in temperature, light, and more and adjust the atmosphere accordingly. It can help crops thrive in a way that was never possible before, all thanks to a powerful AI algorithm.

Monitoring Market Risk

The cannabis industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and it’s slated to grow at unprecedented rates. With regulations changing across the nation, consumers are becoming more interested in cannabis and many of the myths and stigmas surrounding cannabis are starting to drop.
That being said, no market is completely stable. A shift in laws, a negative research study, heavy competition, and a number of other factors could influence the state of cannabis as we know it, and those holding stakes in the market will want a heads up.
There are data analytics tools designed to specifically forecast the ups and downs of the market. Such tools can identify patterns that might lead to harmful risks for stakeholders, warning them of trouble on the wind so they can make financially savvy decisions.
The data can also be used as risk management within companies. It can help gather information about compliance regulations, laws, and other political agendas that could influence the way cannabis operations are run. It could give companies the heads up they need to adequately prepare for changes in the market and come out on top.
The cannabis and CBD industry has only gotten better since AI got involved, and the technology continues to impress. With all the data available, cannabis companies are thriving and helping to bring health products to those truly in need.


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