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weed growing technology

“There’s thousand dollar bottles of wine,” he said, “and there’s ‘Two Buck Chuck.’”

Burman predicts that workers trained to use specialized machinery in the cannabis industry will earn higher wages. Meanwhile, even if some growers need fewer people to work on their farms, he said the demand for products like vape pens, topicals and edibles could fuel manufacturing jobs downstream from the farms.

For now, nearly two-thirds of VetsLeaf business is manufacturing and distributing cannabis products for other growers, Silva-Tello said, not growing its own cannabis. She said the co-packing portion of the startup — the packaging, labeling and distributing services VetsLeaf does for other companies — will grow to 80 percent of operations in 2019.

‘We’re going to need more bodies’

Robby Flannery, founder of Dr. Robb Farms in Desert Hot Springs, sees technology like basic irrigation and fertilizer systems as a way smaller growers will be able to stay in the game by growing more efficiently.

Because of the gray market, the goal used to be “to get the product out of the grower as quickly as possible,” Bernard said. GreenBroz has a different objective. “When we designed our trimmers, the goal was, ‘Can we create a machine that replicates hand trim?’”

“I’m able to take about three pounds — two, three pounds, roughly — and I’m able to trim it out in this machine in 15 minutes,” Watson said. “We’re able to be a little bit more economical with our time.”

Keeping doors open

Before California legalized marijuana, growers often watered their gardens one plant at a time and trimmed their buds with scissors. And some of the companies trying to get a license in the state’s newly-regulated market still do.

Lise Bernard, the sales director at GreenBroz, another company that makes trimmers, extractors and sorters for the pot business, said some of the company’s customers are “super-secretive” about the fact that they’re using machines at all, fearing customers will think they’re skimping on quality.

Weed growing technology

The cannabis industry is a brand new frontier of opportunity for many, but we would be remiss to ignore the pain and social injustice of its legacy.


Innovation is also at play in the hemp world, where producers are breeding seeds that allow growers to optimize for end-use products including textiles, seeds, or cannabinoids.

Retail, e-commerce, and delivery

Regardless, technology remains the best lever for growth in transforming how we relate to cannabis as a society, and what we’re seeing is changing everything from how the product is grown to how it’s being manufactured, purchased, delivered, customized—and, of course, consumed.