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“We’re in an industry that’s always changing,” says Jikomes, “and with that, companies have to adapt fast and that’s where smart technology comes in.”

“We want to build tools to help consumers see cannabis in new ways.” It’s a proclamation that reverberated across tech companies laser-focused on buoying an industry that is merely in its infancy. This particular statement comes from Nick Jikomes, principal research scientist at Leafly.

You may know Leafly as a one-stop hub for online strains, a database that includes its origin, most common side-effects, photos and user reviews. Crowdsourced data was helpful 10 years ago when Seattle-based Leafly got off the ground, but it’s a different landscape now, says Jikomes.

He notes that Leafly is partnering with labs to eventually come out with an online product that will create “a visual language for cannabis strains,” which will better look at a strain’s compositional process. “We want to show what exactly is inside each strain,” Jikomes says.

The average customer can be overwhelmed by stats such as the amount of THC in a strain, or what percentage of a certain terpene flavours the bud. “That kind of formatting data isn’t digestible to most people. We want to use lab data, though, to bring more of that information to life.”



Technology has also been a fixture for cannabis companies seeking software solutions necessary to track their inventory. Trellis, based in Toronto and California, is a SaaS firm founded in 2014 and tallying 120 clients so far. It helps cultivators, producers, extraction firms and edible makers manage all their operations under one hood. Its product lineup consolidates end-to-end operations into one platform, including HR, cultivation management, inventory, CRM, sales and much more.1

Pranav Sood, CEO and founder of Trellis, says producers need to scale and that tech tools are necessary for ambitious firms. “The seed-to-sale piece is important for a lot of big billion-dollar companies who are actually turning to us, to ask to work with us,” Sood says.

Then there’s the potential of blockchain to seep into the cannabis scene. Vancouver-based TruTrace Technologies claims it is the first blockchain-secured, fully-integrated IP tracking platform database that allows the user to register plant data and genomic sequencing. This tech aims to deliver transparency to growers, retailers, regulators, and consumers for the cannabis industry.

StrainSecure believes it will have billions of data points on every step of the cannabis logistics chain: breeders, growers, distributors, and consumers will all contribute to the network to help bolster the integrity of the industry.

Finally, a piece of the tech puzzle touches on an integral but underrated aspect of legal recreational cannabis: same-day delivery. While California is bloated with competing delivery services, Canadians usually have to rely on Canada Post for online deliveries, although Ontario did, at one point, flirt with the idea of opening up bids from entrepreneurs seeking to bring same-day delivery to the province.

In other provinces with more privately-owned cannabis stores, such as Manitoba, an app called Varda is making inroads as a same-day delivery service.2

While still immature, online delivery will undoubtedly invigorate the Canadian cannabis industry, due to how quickly we’ve all clamoured to Uber Eats and other food-delivery services.

“We’re in an industry that’s always changing,” says Jikomes, “and with that, companies have to adapt fast and that’s where smart technology comes in.”

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