Touchless Automation: How Cannabis Operations Are Joining The Latest Tech Wave

Is the cannabis industry growing as fast as technology is advancing? In today’s world, that’s hard to say — but this much is clear — cannabis and tech are joining forces like never before. 

More specifically, touchless automation in the tech industry is helping cannabusiness owners make major headway in scaling and streamlining their operations with huge payoffs that include: 

  • Reduced costs 
  • Time-saving potential
  • Consistent quality in products
  • Data collection for compliance

Should all cannabis businesses adopt automation practices? Yes and no. The truth is the answer is as complex as the cannabis industry.

Small businesses don’t absolutely need to, while larger businesses absolutely should. The earlier a business starts automation, the better it will be for quality control in the long run. 

Embracing precise quality control measures means cultivating a finely tuned operation over time, and with the significant testing, reporting, and quality control requirements of the cannabis industry, opportunities to automate and save time and energy are very welcome.

In addition to business size and quality control, here are a few other things to consider as you explore touchless automation for your cannabis business. 

What Are The Types Of Automation Tech On The Cannabis Market?

Various types of automation are available for all parts of the cannabis industry, whether at the farm or the dispensary. Albeit, a lot of them are still on the rise and awaiting development. 

For now, there’s still a lot of existing cannabis tech to enjoy. 

With Trym, for instance, your hands no longer get sticky as you pick up and put down countless plants to weigh or measure yields. 

While fully automated harvesting is still a ways off, Agrify lets cannabis operators monitor plant health, adjust indoor climates, and control environmental conditions such as temperature, CO2, humidity, dew point, and more.

How Does Automation Lead To Greater Profits? 

Automation almost always equates to saving time and energy. But how exactly does this happen in the cannabis industry? 

First, less manpower equals fewer labor hours equals fewer employee expenses. Automation could also mean fewer employees overall, and employee overheads tend to be one of the highest expenses of most companies, not least of all on a cannabis farm.  

Second, better quality control ensures more consistency and less waste — be it from touch contamination, lack of temperature control, or otherwise. Regardless of where along the production process you position automation, less waste will always mean more profit. 

How Does Automation Play A Role In Compliance?

There will always be a need to collect data in any business. It might be for decision-making, scaling purposes, or making sure you adhere to strict compliance regulations in this particular industry.

Whatever it is, you’re going to need to keep track of your operations — all parts of it. 

And the best way to do that is in a way that saves time. Heck, the best way to do anything is in a way that saves time because we could all do with a few more of those precious minutes.

With touchless automated operations, such as internal environment data collection, you can rest at ease knowing all relevant data points are going to the proper authorities and still make it home in time for dinner with your family.

How Does Automation Improve The Workplace?

Do you automatically hear “robots” when you read the word automation? If yes, you’re not paranoid. At least, we’re not paranoid (wink!) Robots and artificial intelligence go hand in hand with the latest waves of touchless technology.

Unfortunately, we’ve also had to account for a more disastrous wave in the world in the form of the pandemic.

Touchless temperature scanners are not just for your cannabis plants. A lot of cannabis business owners are doing temperature checks of employees.

In addition to temperature checks, automation, such as conveyors, helps ensure workplace safety since workers can better practice social distancing. 

Automation, however, will never achieve the same level of thoroughness as that of a hands-on approach for specific processes. There’s only so much prediction and analysis a computer can make.

How Does Automation Improve Your Accounting? 

There are a number of software options out there that reliably automate your essential accounting needs. We’re talking bank and credit card reconciliation, tax preparation, forecasting, budgeting, and KPI reporting. 

You will want to look for software that integrates with your point-of-sale, payroll, and inventory tracking apps. There’s a ton of options out there for these apps, so partnering with an accounting professional to get the best recommendations for your business is essential.

Professional inventory tracking software is another must-have. Ideally, your inventory management tool should integrate with METRC, a tracking and reporting system mandated by many states where cannabis is legal. 

While your cloud-based accounting software automatically generates your financial reports alongside handling your accounts, a POS and inventory management system that integrates with METRC tracks your cannabis and creates the necessary incident reports required by state governments.  (You can read more about inventory and POS software here.)

What Future Automations Can We Expect?

Like we said at the start, tech doesn’t yet have all the solutions to your manual labor woes. However, there are a couple more fixes I think are just around the corner.

Amazon and their robotic deliveries won’t be a luxury exclusive to those who shop on the internet’s largest retail giant. After all, you can’t hold a monopoly on robots. 

For more cannabis-exclusive tasks like soil mixing, pesticide application, irrigation, pot filling, and fertilizer preparation, I expect future touchless automation to help make operations less labor-intensive.

So, Should You Automate Your Cannabis Operations? 

As the owner of a company called Automated Accounting Services, I’m inclined to say yes — but not for the reasons you might think. 

You’ll save tons of hours in labor, reduce overhead, and put yourself in a better position to scale and grow your business thanks to your newfound competitive edge in the modern cannabis industry. 

Furthermore, with automation, you increase production without sacrificing quality. In fact, you get more consistent quality thanks to using smarter technology.

If you haven’t heard, consistency is the ultimate sweet spot for long-term growth. So if you’re looking for consistency throughout your entire operations, start and end with us.

We’ll help you set up your systems, find the right apps to use, guide you with compliance management, and take care of your bookkeeping and accounting needs. 

Book a free consultation with us today and get to automating your business growth!