As the cannabis industry turns from black market sales to legalized big business, technological improvements are coming at breakneck speeds. Whether that takes the form of more sophisticated extraction methods, automated cultivation methods or delivery by drone, legalization means weed is finally making its way into the 21st century.
For Canndescent, a high-grade bud producer in Desert Springs, California, the push towards “high tech” means robotic security guards patrolling their crops after dark.
“At night guards sleep, they play video games and spend time on social media. It's fraught with human error,” Todd Kleperis, a cannabis security specialist and Chief Executive Officer of Hardcar Security, told Forbes about the benefits of robotic patrolmen.
The robots can’t actually apprehend or harm trespassers, but they can detect them and immediately report the intrusion to the farm’s owners, human security personnel, or police. Kleperis still sees the robots as an incredibly valuable as a supplement to more traditional, human security.
“If you've ever been shot at, it's very scary,” Kleperis said. “These robots can take a gunshot better than a human.”
The security expert also suggested that a pepper spray function could be added to the smart vehicle in subsequent models. The robot, or Unmanned Ground Vehicle, is produced by Sharp Intellos, the artificial intelligence branch of the Japanese-based manufacturing giant.
Canndescent isn’t the only legal weed company getting in on the benefits of Silicon Valley research, the Bay Area-based marijuana delivery company Eaze recently dropped their first drone-made delivery at the recent Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino, CA. Eaze doesn’t own any of their own drones yet, but the technology could be used commercially in the future.
Of course, drones have already been used to deliver Domino’s Pizza and 7-11 Slurpees, but with prohibition forcing canna-businesses into the shadows for so long, the industry never had time to catch up to mainstream tech.
Thanks to America’s legalization push and the increased normalization of marijuana, these advances will continue to be implemented to help cannabis cultivators produce the high quality product that consumers want.