America’s new favorite cash crop requires a good deal of security to keep it safe while growing. Cultivating the cannabis plant itself may go back thousands of years, but today farmers are looking at the most high tech options to protect their nurseries. That’s where the robots come in.
Using robots to patrol cannabis cultivation facilities saves money and is more efficient, says Todd Kleperis, CEO of Hardcar Security, which provides security services for the cannabis industry. “At night guards sleep, they play video games and spend time on social media. It’s fraught with human error,” Kleperis says. It’s also safer for the human security guards to use robots as backup in dangerous situations, he adds. “These robots can take a gunshot better than a human,” he says. The robots aren’t meant to replace human security guards, but mainly help detect if something is wrong in order to alert people that they should take action. While they currently can’t shoot back at a gunam or interact with an invader, Kleperis suggests that one day the robots might be armed with a pepper spray function.
Canndescent, a cultivation facility in Desert Springs, California, is now testing out a robotic security system to guard its outdoor cannabis garden. Canndescent’s robots are made by Sharp Intellos. The automated Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) will surveil the property’s perimeter, protecting the company’s cannabis plants and ultimately its investment in growing the crop altogether.
Meanwhile, drones could one day make cannabis delivery safer and more efficient, protecting couriers from criminal or legal interference as they run around town, dropping off cannabis products.
Moreover some growers are using automated trimming machines and in-greenhouse surveillance to help tend and keep track of their buds more efficiently. Some even use cameras and sensors that keep tabs on the environment of a grow facility at all times to know when and how the plants react and thrive among certain factors.
At Washington’s Smokey Point Productions, President Brian Lade uses automation to plant and feed his seeds. “This saves me from having a person mix the nutrients and do it manually,” he says. Even novice cultivators are turning to automation to help them learn how to grow altogether. That’s what devices like Seedo help with, allowing a person to simply plant a seed and wait for it to grow in an automated grow box.
From seed to consumption, what with high tech vaporizers and more, technology is changing the way we grow and engage with cannabis.