ROBOTS AND DRONES ENTER THE CANNABIS BUSINESS

Security systems, cameras and armed guards have dominated the cash-rich cannabis business since the inception of legal medical and recreational marijuana laws.  Recently, drones and robots have been introduced to defend against outside threats to businesses’ valuable and vulnerable assets as well as to minimize the often-costly consequences of human error.

Mechanically, robots and droids can conduct a complex series of actions automatically and efficiently with the capability of alerting human monitors when they detect that something is wrong.   They differ from armed guards because they ‘don’t shoot back at intruders’ and ‘can take a gunshot better than humans’’.  Though there is a chance that they will soon arm the robots with pepper spray.

Canndescent, a grow in Desert Hot Springs uses Hardcar Security to monitor and secure the perimeter of their site. A UGV, or Unmanned Ground Vehicle, made by a group called Intellos, provides the evening patrol and delivers more assurance than the visions of a lonely night guard falling asleep or playing video games at his post.

Recently, Eaze, a cannabis delivery company demonstrated the use of a drone at the Cannabis Cup in San Bernadino.  A spokesperson for the company said “We see it in the future.  It’s on the horizon”.

Automation seems to be all over the industry.  Smokey Point Productions in Washington has automated the seeding, feeding and trimming processes in their cultivation business and find it to be incredibly efficient.  “This saves me from having a person mix the nutrients and do it manually”.  A person however is used to place the product in a package but then the machine finishes the process when it seals, bar codes and counts the packages.

With the industry on a trajectory to very rapid increased growth, it only follows that the size of grow operations and delivery warehouses will need to embrace automation and the use of newer more efficient ways to deal with their volume and demand for speed.

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