What are the biggest innovations in legal cannabis?

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Mar 5 2019

One of the most exciting things about any emerging sector is the potential it has to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technological innovation. This is particularly true of the legal cannabis industry.

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalise cannabis for recreational use in 2012, before Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon and Vermont all followed suit. More states are expected to join the club this year, as investment tops $12.8 billion. Analysts believe that this will rise to a massive $47.3 billion by 2027.

The life cycle of the cannabis plant—now legal for recreational use in 10 US states—from seed to sale combines agriculture, data, biotechnology, finance, manufacturing of consumer products and much more, creating endless possibilities for entrepreneurs to come up with the next big thing to help the legitimate cannabis sector thrive.

 

Payment processing

Differences between federal and state law governing cannabis make it difficult for legal cannabis retailers, many of which are small businesses, to accept card payments. Banks are, for the most part, backed by federal law, which still classes cannabis as a controlled substance. For this reason, many banks don’t work with dispensaries and recreational shops.

Fintech entrepreneurs have stepped in to develop merchant accounts and payment processing systems that help these businesses move away from being cash-only entreprises. Customers can load funds onto a payment card and use this to pay for marijuana instead of going to the nearest ATM when they need to make a payment.

 

Data

There’s no underestimating the value that data and analytics can have for modern, forward-thinking businesses in achieving growth. In the legal cannabis sector, this means being able to gauge customer demand for the first time ever, teaching small businesses what their existing customers really want and how to tap into new demographics.

Innovations in cannabis-sector data and analytics can also help dispensaries and recreational shops overcome remaining regulatory hurdles caused by differences between state law and federal law.

 

Home-grown systems

Consumer products are as central to the cannabis industry’s future as dispensaries are. Increasing legalisation of recreational use means that people don’t have to rely on industrial growers and sellers anymore. It’s perfectly acceptable to grow cannabis in the comfort of your own home.

Cannabis home-grown systems are consumer versions of industrial systems used in cultivation—similar to the difference between an industrial freezer and a domestic one. These machines take the essentials of best-practice cannabis agriculture and downscale them for consumers. Many look a lot like mini-fridges and can be used to grow much more than just cannabis.

 

About LINX

LINX is the United States’ leading provider of credit card processing and merchant account services for legal cannabis suppliers, such as dispensaries and shops. Our solution has been developed over 15 years, combining the expertise of financial, legal and technical experts to create a fully compliant marijuana payment processing system that supports the growth of a legitimate legal cannabis industry.

We want to help legitimate businesses become more efficient and spur the growth of a thriving legal cannabis sector, bringing it into an era of financial compliance despite the challenges. If you want to join LINX’s ever-growing network of dispensaries, sign up here.