Jori Hamilton   |   October 13, 2022

How AI Could Transform the Cannabis Industry

Artificial intelligence is changing our world. Here's how it is impacting cannabis.
Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who covers technology, AI, business innovations, and more. You can find her on LinkedIn or Twitter as @hamiltonjori.

In recent years, there have been many exciting developments in the world of AI, including many new automation solutions for crop cultivation processes worldwide. Naturally, AI has many applications for the cannabis industry and can help home growers and enterprise growers alike optimize their profits.

In this article, we’ll explore the current applications of AI technology in the cannabis industry, both in the commercial and consumer sectors, and look to the future for other upcoming developments.

Improving Cannabis Cultivation

Growing cannabis — especially on a large scale — can come with several complex challenges unique to the industry. For example, creating the right level of humidity and sunlight is key to maximizing production. Modern AI technology can help farmers monitor the conditions of their growing environment and, with the implementation of IoT devices and robotics, implement essential changes as soon as they are needed.

As the growing environment matures and begins to self-regulate, farmers can reduce the likelihood of unhealthy crops. However, AI sensors and cameras that detect plant growth rates and other indicators of plant health can help cultivators detect sick cannabis before it becomes unsalvageable. This technology can also help identify the proper treatment for each plant. Information like this can lead to a massive reduction in waste and increased crop yield.

AI can also improve cannabis crops rather than just keeping them healthy. With more accurate insights into their production and the conditions that yield the best results, cultivators can create strains with higher cannabinoid percentages and greater pest resistance.

AI for Cannabis Inventory Management

For both cultivators and sellers, AI can be incredibly helpful for meeting the changing needs of consumers over time. AI and IoT devices are helping professionals track more information about product preferences, consumption habits, and more, so companies can proactively prepare their inventories accordingly.

AI can also help companies predict inventory levels based on current sales and supply. Instead of manually tracking inventory, sellers can use modern software to get instant notifications about low inventory and, if desired, automate supplier orders. This technology can also help sellers identify products that aren’t moving quickly enough to be cost-efficient, so they can remove those items from their inventory or raise their prices.

For cultivators, AI-enhanced inventory management tools can also help identify expansion opportunities. When sales start moving quickly enough, cultivators can use AI to weigh the potential profits and risks associated with scaling their growing operations.

The Use of AI in Cannabis Industry Customer Service

In the increasingly crowded cannabis industry, excellent customer service can make or break a business. AI can play a role in improving customer support by making it more efficient and less dependent on human labor.

For example, growers and sellers can implement AI-powered product-matching tools that help clients identify the best products and dosages for their needs. Instead of requiring a consultation, even beginner cannabis users can quickly determine what they need to purchase for the best experience possible.

Other self-service opportunities can be vital to improving customer service, too. For example, when retailers implement a quality AI chatbot on their website, potential customers can get answers to common questions without reaching out over email or phone, which reduces wait times while helping these clients get answers faster. This frees the customer service agents’ time for more complex support needs.

Tracking Demand to Improve Production

As we move into the future of the cannabis industry, changes in demand should be a constant expectation. With cannabis regulations growing more lax across the country and healthcare chatbots making prescriptions easier to obtain, demand can be expected to increase throughout the cannabis supply chain.

However, supply and demand fluctuations occur at different rates in different markets. Since the industry is relatively new in some areas and well-established in others, some markets may see sudden surges in demand for certain types of products at different times. Modern AI technology can help companies mine data from social media mentions, website traffic, and more to generate actionable insights about the right products to produce and sell.

The Future of AI for Cannabis Sales and Marketing

The increasing implementation of AI for sales and marketing isn’t exclusive to the cannabis industry but can help boost your bottom line. With more predictive analytics and more accurate customer data, you can generate campaigns that are more likely to work and develop sales pitches that are better tailored to your specific audience members.

In the sales realm, AI can help you identify the best sales opportunities — leads who are likely to convert with a nudge, churned subscribers who could reactivate with a follow-up, and more. In the marketing realm, AI technology is already helping many business leaders (including cannabis business leaders) instantly generate compelling content and save time.

AI for Content Marketing and Compliance with Media Laws

AI isn’t just helpful for creating general content. It can be programmed to help create content that complies with the laws that cannabis companies have to follow — for example, by helping you avoid restricted mediums or animations that could be attractive to minors.

With many cannabis companies facing detrimental social media suspensions and ad deletions, new AI software is helping companies flag potential issues in their content, including hashtags, captions, and visuals that could initiate bans or shadow-bans on key marketing channels.

While the future of the cannabis industry could introduce more relaxed rules surrounding content marketing, especially if federal legalization occurs, age restrictions will continue to make AI-driven compliance essential.

Improving the Cannabis Industry With AI

Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that can be applied in all aspects of the cannabis industry. New technology can help cultivators produce better crops and identify the right times to scale their growing operations. For suppliers and sellers, AI and IoT technologies can also create more accurate demand predictions, so they can avoid being out of stock on the wrong products and eliminate slow-moving inventory for good.

As we move into the future of AI and the cannabis inventory, we can expect software to support more aspects of cannabis operations, from content marketing to sales.

 

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