The Real Opportunity Cost of Missing the Innovation Train

When it comes to the cannabis market, many companies find themselves facing a classic innovator’s dilemma. Since the legalization of cannabis, technological advancement has affected all points of the market. For everything from cannabis cultivation to payment processing, there’s a major technological innovation to help companies grow at unprecedented rates.

Still, the challenges of maintaining an innovator’s mindset can be considerable. As the industry grows more competitive—with consumers more educated and product and brand preferences becoming more established—it can be easy for a cannabis company to rest on their laurels and continue doing things the way they’ve always been done.

But as competitors across the industry make innovation their top priority, keeping your cannabis business on the cutting edge remains critical. Brands that miss the innovation train are at risk for being left at the station.

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The Importance of Innovation in the Cannabis Industry

From seed to sale, almost every aspect of the cannabis industry can be improved by innovation. Here are some of the ways the growing cannabis industry is innovating and why it’s critical for your company to get on board.

Technology

Adopting the latest, most efficient technologies is critical to boosting the competitive advantage of any business, and the world of cannabis is no different. It can be challenging and seem cost-prohibitive to implement the latest cannabis technologies, but innovation doesn’t just keep you ahead of the competition with a superior product, it also makes you more money in the long run.

Agricultural innovation is an area of the cannabis industry that has seen serious growth. For example, using LEDs as grow lights for cannabis plants produces high-quality flower suitable for both recreational and medical cannabis products, and advances in breeding technologies make creating the perfect strain easier than ever.

On the consumer side, improvements in payment processing technologies make the cannabis purchase process seamless. Application programming interface software allows companies to process digital payment from customers, solving a major pain point in the industry.

Cannabis User Demographics and Trends

Whether you’re a company focused on recreational or medical cannabis, the growing market of cannabis users can shift quickly, and staying on top of user demographics and trends is critical to innovation.

Recent reports suggest that the global legal cannabis market, valued at 9.1 billion USD in 2020, is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 26.7% between 2021-2028, and some projections are even more optimistic.

In that market growth, there are some surprising demographic shifts. Women have emerged as a powerful market force, responding to the increased availability of product types and female friendly branding. Staying alert to these trends can mean the difference between surviving and thriving in the cannabis marketplace.

Leading the Pack in Vertical of the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is a fast changing business sector, and as the legalization of cannabis spreads to more states, so do financial opportunities for companies willing to swing for the fences.

One major factor in ambitious growth? Leading the pack in vertical integration. Less common in the cannabis industry, vertical integration has long been used by companies like Apple to control every step of the production process, from the creation and design of devices to customer facing decisions involving troubleshooting, repairs, and retail.

By adopting the principles of vertical integration, cannabis brands can exercise a greater degree of control over the way their products are perceived in the marketplace, all while creating the flexibility to expand to meet growing consumer demand.

Bioavailability

With THC levels climbing sky-high, the increasing bioavailability of cannabinoids is often left out of the conversation.

New technologies like nanocrystallization offer the promise of increased bioavailability for the active compounds cannabis contains. By embracing these innovations, companies can offer customers products that are more effective and backed by science, a particularly appealing proposition for medical consumers.

Sustainability

Sustainability is one of the most important trends in the world of cannabis, and for good reason: It’s what consumers care about. Gen Z consumers are rapidly becoming a major source of revenue for cannabis companies, and with their preference for eco-conscious products, going green is a must. 

Developments in the world of lighting, hydration, and energy technologies on the agricultural side of cannabis production allow you to grow greener, and innovations in packaging technologies allow you to step away from plastic and save money while meeting consumer demand.

Using Data and Analytics

Analyzing where consumer interest is going is critical to staying on top of the global cannabis game, and using data and analytics to track behaviors is the most efficient way to do it.

Thanks to the growth of online shopping and searching, it’s easier than ever to find out what consumers want and who they want it from. Monitoring data and analytics is the best way to ensure you’re innovating in a way that will appeal to customers, keeping you on the cutting edge.

Customization and Consistency

One of the most important recent cannabis innovations for building consumer loyalty is the rise in technologies that improve customization and consistency.

Gene editing and other breeding technologies allow companies to produce customized flower with a consistent flavor profile. Innovations in materials such as hemp are allowing companies to produce tobacco free blunt wraps that stay softer and more flavorful for longer. Taking advantage of the innovations that allow your brand to create a unique and dependable product will make consumers return to you again and again.

Automation

Automation is a buzzword in much of the business world, and that includes the cannabis industry.

Agricultural automation has already allowed farmers to increase production rates, improve productivity, and use materials more efficiently. On the production and retail side, automation in warehouses and other behind the scenes production spaces can reduce the need for workers to perform repetitive tasks, saving money and reducing worker injury.

We may be a long way from robot powered businesses, but there are several major innovations in automation that are already changing the game.

Robots working in a grow room

Cannabis Innovations Can Push Growth and Profit

When it comes to business, one rule matters most: Don’t leave money on the table.

Cannabis innovations are the best way to make sure your company has the tools to give consumers the high-quality cannabis experience they’re looking for, and the brand loyalty you earn will continue to pay off as the market grows.

Don’t leave money on the table. Contact Botani today.