Entering and servicing the marijuana industry is tricky; even if its a legal industry in some states. For this reason, many of the big players have stayed out. Up until this point, services and product providers, have been filled by smaller businesses willing to take the risk.
But sometimes these products and services can only go so far, making it difficult both for the government and regulations side of things, and for the marijuana businesses themselves.
But it is evident that marijuana is moving toward legalization and normalization. Twenty-five states have legalized medical cannabis. In November, five more states will be voting on legalizing recreational use. Therefore, this is an industry that we can only expect to grow. And if the DEA reschedules marijuana, then it will open up the market further.
But it gets tricky; just like alcohol and tobacco, this industry will always continue to be highly regulated. However, because of the different stances on legalization across the United States, the rules and regulations of each state are unique – there is no standardization.
Some software companies are beginning to try and bring order to all this chaos. As noted, this has been difficult, as all the players that have done so thus far have been small, and may lack the resources to be as successful.
But now, a major player has stepped in – Microsoft. They have partnered with Kind (who built the software called Agrisoft) to collect and monitored data needed to maintain compliance. Their goal is to work with governments and marijuana businesses to ensure compliance.
This is a great step forward. However, we must keep in mind that we need to continue moving forward, rapidly in order to keep this new industry up with the other industries and business – we cannot simply collect the data and monitor it. The next step will be to learn from it and gain insight from the data.
Thus far, there are very few companies offering this service to the industry. Listen to this podcast with a data scientist discussing how data can boost the industry and boost profits for dispensaries.