With both medical and recreational marijuana being legalized all over the country, the nation’s smartest minds are putting their heads together to turn cannabis into the ultimate cash crop by combining Silicon Valley startups and high-tech laboratories.
Here’s a rundown of what’s new in canna tech:
Cannabis and Cryptocurrencies
Despite being medically legalized in 29 U.S. states, dispensaries and other businesses in the industry struggle with banking due to cannabis still being federally illegal. Federal law prohibits banks from taking the industry’s “green” money. In Colorado, cannabis businesses have a banking problem. According to The Pew Charitable Trusts “Businesses can’t get loans, customers have to pay in cash, and state tax collectors are processing bags of bills”. This is where cryptocurrencies come in.
Cryptocurrency is undoubtedly one of the hottest advancements in tech this year — cryptocurrencies are being accepted at more and more places while blockchain’s distributed ledger adds a new powerful dimension to existing tech. Companies such as SinglePoint and First Bitcoin Capital have partnered to use tech to fill the gap and provide non-cash payment methods, i.e. credit/debit card processing, for the cannabis industry.
Legalization and legitimization of marijuana has taken it from the street corner to the store front resulting in thousands of business people and scientists delving into the industry. Walking into a dispensary, many of the strains are advertised with the amount of THC and CBD of the particular strain.
The amount of THC and CBD in a given strain is determined through precise analytical chemistry in scientific laboratories throughout the world. Besides determining the levels of THC/CBD, labs can also do everything from determining terpene profile, screening for pesticides and detecting leftover solvents to making concentrates, microbial analysis, genetic testing, and heavy metal testing (according to a study by Transparency Marketing Research).
Cannabis testing labs help the industry as a whole, including research institutes, drug manufacturers, and cultivators. Besides helping the industry, increased cannabis testing allows for more educated and informed cannabis consumers who are able to choose strains that fit them and their needs best.
Cannabis Genetic Test
While cannabis can greatly improve quality of life for many, some people have adverse reactions to consuming cannabis due to their genetics. Although there currently isn’t a way to avoid these negative reactions, there is a way to prevent people from ingesting the cannabis if it’s potentially dangerous to them. According to Anantlife, by analyzing an individual’s “genetic code”, doctors can analyze and predict the individual’s “predisposition to cannabis dependence, cannabis induced cognitive defects, cardiovascular issues as well as eating disorders”.
Genetic testing is also extremely easy for the patient. Anantlife provides the world’s first genetic test to predict how someone’s body reacts to cannabis. How does it work? A patient receives a saliva testing kit, takes their saliva sample and mails it to Anantlife’s lab where they use Next-Generation Sequencing and a proprietary algorithm to give a full analysis of an individual’s reaction to cannabis.
By providing valuable information on the individual risks of cannabis, companies such as Anantlife are allowing cannabis users to be healthier and more informed.
Meadow: Amazon for Weed
Meadow, a startup in the marijuana industry, raised $2.1 million to establish itself as the software backbone of the cannabis industry — just as Amazon did with it’s Amazon Web Services and establishing itself as the backbone of the internet.
Meadow’s suite of software for selling marijuana allows dispensaries to easily sell cannabis while still following the law. One of the best features to look out for is Meadow’s loyalty program — the program rewards smokers for purchasing their green by offering cash back programs, discounts, and prizes.
The best part? Meadow is helping more and more dispensaries offer marijuana delivery — so you don’t have to leave your couch.