HighOT: Cannabis and the Internet of Things

By: Jacob Maselek for Bluefin Technology Partners

Medical marijuana is becoming legal in more states than you’d think. About twenty states around the country have legalized medical marijuana. Recreational pot usage has been controversial for decades, however, many people now believe that the drug should be legal for medical uses. Even though the benefits of smoking pot may be overstated by advocates of marijuana legalization, new laws will help researchers study the drug’s medical uses and better understand how it impacts the body. Marijuana has numerous known health benefits and many more yet to be discovered!

The legal cannabis market in the United States is projected to grow from $4.6 Billion in 2014 to nearly $23 Billion in 2020 - nearly a 31% compound annual growth rate. This shocking growth is due to the increased legislation permitting legal marijuana consumption on a recreational basis; “adult use” as the industry states.

As with any new and emerging market, entering the cannabis industry in general has it’s potential risks and rewards. The largest risk in the industry comes with the transition of the United States from a [relatively] cannabis friendly federal government to a government that is generally not in favor of the cannabis industry. The payoff on the other hand is state governments becoming increasingly keen to the medical benefits and safe recreational uses of cannabis. With 23 states having legalized marijuana in some form (23 for medical purposes, and 8 for recreational/medical), investors are looking at one of the largest growth opportunities in decades. They have the ability to enter an entirely new industry.

Now, you may be asking, where does the internet of things play into this? Why are we taking the time to write about recreational and medical cannabis? The answer is simple, opportunity. Just as the investors  highlighted above see the value in investing in the industry, we see the value of implementing connected products to enhance the growth of the market. There are a few companies that have been taking advantage of using technology to gain a competitive advantage in the legal cannabis industry.

Products like Leaf really caught our attention. The company’s strong attention to detail, beautiful design, and branding on top of a core of  cutting edge technology gives the product mass appeal. Users are able to grow their cannabis completely remotely through their mobile devices. Not only is this product appealing to everyday consumers, it has huge medical implications as well. One of the key benefits of cannabis use is to patients with parkinson's disease. The effects cannabis has on patients is astounding. This product allows patients with parkinson's to control the growth of their medicine from the comfort of their own home, without having to even open the door to check on their plants.


Another technology that will benefit the cannabis industry is built by PotBot. Solar power, wi-fi connected garden sensors that stream data on temperature, light, humidity, and soil acidity to the cloud. This product enables growers to breed plants remotely and with predictable outcomes to tailor plants to benefit specific ailments. The central idea of this trend is data mining -- the process of turning raw data into useful information. Data mining capabilities are being integrated into the core architecture of more and more cannabis related devices with an on/off switch.

The market has enormous potential for companies and investors willing to take the risks. The internet of things can lift the innovation potential in the industry to new heights, we are looking forward to getting involved with the emergence of more connected products in this space.


Do you have an IoT project you need help with? Bluefin Technology Partners helps companies build amazing connected solutions. We understand the complexity and collaboration required between organizational disciplines in order to deliver an IoT product to market on time and on budget.  We provide the services needed to assess your market, manage your partners, and shepherd your project through successful launch.