Marijuana: A high-tech, industrial future?

Marijuana growers wrestle with cannabis’ high-tech, industrial future: You can’t hand-prune the plants for a $32 billion business.

Industrialization will bring us to marijuana’s future, said Ed Rosenthal, the “guru of ganja” who co-founded High Times Magazine. He wrote “Ed Rosenthal’s Marijuana Grower’s Handbook,” but now he argues in favor of greenhouses where robots plant and transplant marijuana plants. Optical systems will guide pruning lasers, he predicted.

“What this does is put the machine between you and what you’re making,” Chaitanya said. “I”d maintain there’s something inherently different with growing something with love.”

Marijuana companies would be wise to aim products at cannabis connoisseurs, BDS Analytics’ Stahura said. People in that category are wealthy, very knowledgeable about what they’re buying, and use marijuana for both recreation and wellness. “They often integrate their cannabis routine with their exercise routine and nutrition routine,” she said.

“We’re working to get cannabis considered like French wine, like where certain regions have a certain taste,” he said. Plants would have to be grown in natural conditions — with sunlight and in the ground.

But the tech is coming.Rosenthal sees an entirely different development direction: genetically engineered yeast that makes cannabis the same way brewers make beer in a vat.

“You can take the genome of marijuana and put into yeast, then put that yeast into a bucket of water and sugar,” Rosenthal said. “You’re going to get that same THC in five days. That’s the future. It’s not going to be grown under the lights and sun, it’s going to be grown in a bucket.”

*This might be true for recreational highs, but I’m guessing that for medicinal use they will discover that the Entourage Effect and whole plant applications will be more effective. ‘Reductionist’ and ‘efficient’ has ruined many a good industry in the beginning.

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