As a former director of cannabis production at one of California’s largest cannabis growers, I wanted to share with you how technology plays a key role in developing, processing, and maintaining this highly developed crop. This month’s column focuses on the emerging technology – pun intended – cannabis market.
Before I begin my discussion of technology, it would be helpful to have an overview of the laws, as outlined by the California Cannabis Control Department. California has a long-term cannabis policy. It was the first country to legalize cannabis for medical use (1996) and the fifth for adult use (2016). California also provides financial and technical support to local governments that implement long-term and inclusive cannabis programs.
The Department of Cannabis Control (DCCC) merges the work of three different state programs into one state department. DCC licenses, examines, and monitors all cannabis activities in California.
This is a crucial first step in easing California’s approach to controlling cannabis. This is done in three different ways: laws, guidelines and regulations.
Laws are laws written and passed by the state legislature and signed by the ruling law. They apply to the whole state and create the basic structure and rules that everyone should follow.
The rules are the laws created by the government agency in a very special way by interpreting the law. As with the laws, the rules also apply to the whole state. DCC creates rules for cannabis businesses.
Provisions are laws created by cities and states to make more specific rules for the local community. They set a time, place and procedure for a business, or the resident takes certain actions. The ordinance applies only to the city or province where it is made. Provisions may be more specific than rules or laws, but they may not apply to them. Check with your city and state to find out if any provisions for cannabis have been passed.
Cannabis is one of the most controlled crops in history. Technology makes this possible and is expensive to implement, manage and maintain. This is not your grandfather’s flower business.
Now that you understand the main driver for the use of technology, let’s see what kind of technology we are talking about. The technology includes cannabis cultivation in the following three areas: security, operations and production.
Security – A very important feature and includes the use of cameras, access control and physical security. Regulations require you to be able to clearly identify an individual within 20 feet of any cannabis product at any time and for the images to be recorded for 90 days. All entrances to entrances / exits must be locked only by certified, registered and at any time individuals or entities. All exits (emergency exits) should be locked and monitored. Individual movement and vehicle traffic are also required, and all individuals must wear certified IDs that can serve as electronic keys to doors and gates.
Operations: Smooth workflow is essential for any business and technology is an integral part of efficient and smooth workflow security. An integrated VOIP (Voice over IP) telephone system that allows you to make calls from your desktop or mobile phone is very useful. It is an amazing device in the form of a two-way radio or a dedicated or smartphone app. Video surveillance tracking GPS assets, RFID access tags, digital signage, smart watches, temperature sensing cameras, face recognition and sensitive areas.
Product – The tire is connected to the road. When it comes to growing crops, it’s all about time and quality. How many harvest cycles can you get in a given period of time and how do you maintain the quality that your customers demand? Facilitation is the goal, and to do that you need to address all the factors that affect crop growth. From seedlings to mature plants, you must eventually deliver the environment, movement, harvesting, processing, and finished goods. Because of all the moving parts, this part requires technology to monitor and manage a large amount of information. From weather, temperature, humidity, soil conditions, water quality, light, shade, nutrition, pests, fungi, disease, etc., all of this is complemented by integrated, automated gardening control systems and plant treatment and processing equipment.
So, as you can see, growing cannabis is not easy and technology is a big part of this daily market because it is a part of our daily life.
If you have questions about technology, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (805) 684-3414. I like to talk to Tek.
Michael Averie brings decades of experience to its projects and clients. He has been the owner, partner, CEO and employee of some of the most advanced companies in the electronics market. In addition, it provides professional consulting services to a number of leading companies in the industry, including Panasonic Technologies, CEDIA, AMX, Microsoft, GE Industrial, CompUSA and Paradise Theater.