Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Three Reasons To Adopt AI Automation Technology In Your Grow Operation

Modern cannabis cultivators need to incorporate technology to stay competitive. Here's why.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The beauty of cannabis cultivation is in its complexity. Small adjustments to the growing environment can mean big payoffs come harvest time. It's a space for calculated creativity in order to get ideal yields under specific growing conditions.

© by Martin Deja | Getty Images

Yet, tweaking the process until perfect means a lot of record-keeping, mathematical calculations, and analysis. All of these meticulous details are close to impossible to analyze without the introduction of automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology into the grow room.

RELATED: How the Green Rush Is Accelerating the Revolution In Smart Farming Technologies

Modern cannabis cultivators need to incorporate technology to stay competitive. Arguably, the industry as a whole has reached a point in its evolution where automation is the only way forward. Most growers are already so far advanced in their cultivation practices that AI is the only feasible way to plan for the future, and pivot when necessary.

Grow room whiteboards and excel spreadsheets are increasingly a tool of the past. Without cloud-based, AI-driven platforms such as FolioGrow, there is no way to accomplish the level of analysis and precision needed to succeed in the industry.

Here's why it's due time to bring automated real-time grow analytics into your operation.

1. Calculate decisions based on metrics, not guesswork

Do you know your cost per pound, down to the penny? Do you understand the numbers behind the least most profitable strain in your portfolio, compared to your most profitable? Crunching the numbers is integral to get a competitive edge, but the level of calculated decision making required by large scale operations is no longer feasible by anyone but a mathematician.

Bringing an intelligent horticulture productivity platform into your grow room automatically translates the tsunami of information and sales statistics into actionable numbers. The technology shows cultivators in real-time how small tweaks to grow room conditions impacted the yield and potency at harvest. You can see exactly how profitable each product is.

RELATED: The Woman Who Invented Cannabis Tracking

These tech platforms allow you to dig into historical data to make smart decisions for your business without relying on "guesstimates." You can see exactly how valuable each strain is, as well as how productive each employee is, it paints a clear picture of what is working in your business and what areas need improvement.

2. Plan for the future with A/B testing

An excel spreadsheet is only as good as the person working with it. This means the thousands of data points logged into a spreadsheet about a new strain or cultivation technique are only valuable for future projections if you know what you are doing when analyzing them.

A built-in A/B testing solution is invaluable and removes much of the mathematical analysis, facilitating smart business decisions. Being able to compare the yield, potency, and costs of one strain against another, or what happens if you change one environmental input, is invaluable.

As a grower, this information is critical to see how minor adjustments to nutrients, light spectrum, CO2 level, temperature, or any number of other variables can affect production. Without intelligent analysis like this, your decisions for the future— from strain selection to cultivation practices—are guesses at best.

3. If you want commercial growth, automation is the way

Today, the largest commercial cultivation facilities are structured around a fully-automated setup.

The entire grow room operates not from manual adjustments but a control panel or, in some cases, a mobile phone. Many of the biggest names in cannabis are working to introduce robotics into the grow room, making cannabis one of the most technologically advanced crops grown today.

RELATED: There Is a Lot to Learn Before Investing in Cannabis

Commercial cannabis production needs technology to produce consistent and predictable yields. Small-time growers who have the time and passion for caring for every single plant in their tiny operation can still produce a great product - but the passionate cannabis project is not as scalable nor profitable.

The only way you can capture the full picture of your operation is with the introduction of technology. Measure, analyze, and improve based on hard numbers, not on conjectures and gut reactions. Choose a platform that automatically works with the minute details of your operation to improve revenues and to provide accurate forecasts. It's an easy way for all commercial growers to incorporate smart tech and automation into their operation, no matter the size of their company.