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Applied DNA Sciences 2021 Predictions: The Future of Cannabis - Underpinned by Science & Technology

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

The Future of Cannabis - Underpinned by Science & Technology

By John Shearman, Vice President of Marketing and Cannabis Business Lead, Applied DNA Sciences

Science and technology have led us forward in humankind's evolution since discovering the wheel and Galileo introducing us to the beginning of modern science. Cannabis, has been with us in some form or another during that entire time. It is not the first thing you think of when you consider the leading edges of advanced technology, but your college roommate's buddy, just might have been holding the first commercial intersection of genomics, AI, IoT and blockchain.

It has been no secret that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for the regulation of numerous aspects of neuronal activity. Yet scientists are still discovering the unique benefits cannabis can offer for human wellness across many ailments with cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the most famous, but far from the only cannabinoids at work in the humble plant. We are just beginning to unleash the cannabis plant's potential and understand its interaction with the human body.

If we leave the science lab and look at how advanced technology will help produce safer, higher-quality products, we can see there is a huge future for cannabis. Cannabis ultimately is still a plant and can be grown outdoors in most temperate climates and indoors just about anywhere. Cannabis is also an incredibly fussy plant; it requires a large amount of water and pristine growing conditions to reach peak quality. Large commercial facilities need multiple environmental systems, GMP standards and other systems to ensure that the product is free from pesticides, powdery mildew and other harmful pests that can be dangerous or even fatal if imbibed. That is only half the battle however, now you must get that safe, tested product to market, in a sea of products that may not have the same rigor or legal pathways as yours.

The future filled with utilizing advanced technologies such as IoT, AI, big data and analytics to capture and document a unique molecular signature on products allowing business to identify and track strains and products across global supply chains.

If a company producing CBD infused beverages wants to claim the drink's CBD ingredient is made in world class GMP facility in Colorado, how can they prove it?. They can add a unique molecular tag to the CBD isolate at the time of manufacturing and then test for that tag using an IoT connected polymerase chain reaction (PCR) device that amplifies the molecular tag's signal to provide 100% certainty that particular beverage is from that specific company. Add this now to a global supply chain where each time that molecular tag is read by the PCR it is backed to the cloud or even blockchain, and you have a fully rendered global supply picture. Talk about a secured product.

This unique identifier can also help with product counterfeits and diversion of products across locations, IP protection, liability and even insurance. This technology, in addition, can be applied to the primary and secondary packaging and labels, and the data can be exchanged with other business and lab systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Laboratory Information Systems (LIMS) to provide an end-to-end brand protection strategy. 

Combining the strengths between science and technology platforms allows for real transparency, traceability, and trust across cultivators, processors, dispensaries, and the end customer.

The cannabis industry will continue to mature over the next five to ten years, and research will quickly follow as regulations evolve. For this wave of change to ultimately make a difference in medicine, business, trade and even the rebalancing of social equity after the war on drugs, it will require the intersection of the latest technology advancements in genomics, AI, IoT, blockchain, and FinTech. We are excited to see all the ways technology is going to continue to help drive this industry forward. Hang on tight, we are in for a rippin' ride.


About the Author

John Shearman, Vice President of Marketing and Cannabis Business Lead, Applied DNA Sciences

john shearman 

John's has over 30 years of deep enterprise and advertising agency experience across all marketing, sales and IT disciplines. John's experience allows him to advise on structuring sound strategies that address business goals and objectives. His extensive technology background stems from working with several leading technology companies throughout his career.  John spearheads Applied DNA Sciences Cannabis vertical leading the vision, strategy, and product development for this emerging market. John also oversees the marketing for the entire company driving the marketing strategy for its other core verticals.

Published Thursday, November 26, 2020 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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