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What 5G Means for the Cannabis Industry

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted August 19, 2019

The entire world is on the verge of a huge upgrade...

The fifth generation of wireless communication will be hundreds of times faster and handle thousands of times more data.

With these speeds and capacity, 5G technology will birth a technological shift that's set to disrupt every industry on the planet.

Global IT firm Teralink Solutions says:

The biggest impact of 5G connectivity won’t only affect the realm of smartphones. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) infrastructure, for instance, have long been held back by the limited latency and download speeds of 4G. The more devices that are connected to a network and talking to each other, the bigger — and more noticeable — the cumulative impact of any latency will be.

5G is the next standard. It's not a fad, fashion, or passing trend. It's not something you're really even going to be able to avoid.

Wireless carriers will continue to shut down their older networks as they become obsolete. Verizon, for one, says it will be ending 3G services by the end of the year.

Current 4G services will remain available as the world makes the transition to the next generation. But sooner or later, 4G networks will be too outdated to use.

5G will, no doubt, replace today's generation of mobile technology. And the change is set to happen very quickly.

5G may end up being the most proliferated communication technology in human history (to date, at least). According to telecom giant Ericsson, in just five short years, 5G networks will touch over 40% of the world's population, covering 1.5 billion people.

But 5G is much bigger than better cell phones and mobile consumer services.

5G is going to change the world as we know it — in manufacturing, transportation, health care, defense, energy, education, mining, retail, utilities... the list goes on. There's nothing 5G won't touch — even cannabis.

The Future of Weed

In many ways, 5G innovations born out of the broader agricultural sector will overlap with cannabis.

5G speeds and connectivity will allow farmers to enhance, monitor, and improve agricultural operations and processes in multiple ways.

The next generation of wireless will, for example, make better use of remote sensors and drones for crop farms, which often cover very wide areas that are presently hard to monitor. Sensors, like the one seen below, will be able to monitor crops down to the individual fruit. 

With new 5G remote sensors and drones working together, farmers will collect, analyze, and automatically respond with increased precision to crop and soil conditions like moisture, fertilization, weather, and detection of pests and diseases — all in real time.

Such technologies are just as useful for outdoor cannabis production. The future of cannabis production will employ many more sensors to monitor the health of each individual plant and abate crop-specific problems such as mold. Outdoor operations will also use more drones to abate problems with individual plants.

And because cannabis is a relatively new industry (legally, at least), it's well positioned to adapt 5G technologies more rapidly than traditional agriculture.

outdoor8/19

But remote sensors and drones are only part of a larger shift that's set to further automate farming.

In the near 5G future, autonomous tractors will plow fields and sow seeds. Smaller machines will take soil samples to monitor for moisture, pests, diseases, and nutrients. Sensors and drones will actively monitor growth. And autonomous harvesters will reap crops.

5G will allow farmers to successfully plant, tend, and harvest crops without ever stepping foot in the field.

All these technologies will also find their way into the cannabis production business.

But there are a few other areas where 5G will create new opportunities that will be specific to the cannabis industry — like amid the industry's regulations.

Seed-to-Sale

Behind all the glitz and media headlines of the cannabis industry is a mountain of boring and tedious back-end compliance requirements.

State regulations require cannabis products to be tracked from “seed to sale” through the entire supply chain. This creates a chain of custody throughout the life cycle of the product. These regulations are meant to prevent abuse, ensure safety, monitor quality, and restrict access to certain groups, like kids and criminals.

But it also means growers and dispensaries must keep highly detailed records of all cannabis products. Anthony Sodd writes on BuiltInColorado.com:

If you’re growing cannabis commercially and you move a plant from one room to another, you are required to track that. If some of those plants are for medicinal use and others for recreational use, you are required to harvest them in separate rooms — and track that too. The list goes on. Now, imagine doing that in a grow operation with over 500 plants being almost constantly moved around. It’s a cumbersome and time consuming responsibility for the industry, and there’s really no fail-safe way to do it.

That's where 5G steps in.

The next generation of wireless will open the door to advanced seed-to-sale programs that will be able to monitor and track cannabis products with far great accuracy, and in real time.

And new seed-to-sale programs won’t just help growers stay compliant. They will also allow consumers to track their product all the way back to the grower to ensure quality and freshness.

From agricultural to regulatory, 5G is set to change the cannabusiness. But of course, there are massive infrastructure hurdles to get over for this kind of connectivity.

A report published in February by financial services firm Greensill Capital estimated $2.7 trillion will be spent on the rollout of 5G technology by 2020. $1 trillion of that is needed just for infrastructure upgrades.

That's why guys like Chris DeHaemer have been sounding off on the investment opportunities. 5G is virtually a guarantee for investors.

DeHaemer says, “5G is as close to a guaranteed winner as you can get. Every major company in the world is going to be pumping money into new 5G networks. It's not a fad. It's what's next.”

He has found a group of companies that control a major share of the infrastructure space that 5G networks are going to need. He says these companies control some 80% of the space major cell carriers like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and others are clamoring to get their hands on.

DeHaemer says, “It's like they have a monopoly on the hottest real estate of the 5G future.”

If you're wise, this is something you're going to want to check out. Remember, 5G is much bigger than just fast movie downloads. Manufacturing, transportation, health care, defense, consumer electronics and appliances, agriculture, shipping and warehousing, education... all of these and more will see innovation from 5G.

5G is the future. Invest accordingly.

Until next time,
Luke Burgess Signature
Luke Burgess

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As an editor at Energy and Capital, Luke’s analysis and market research reach hundreds of thousands of investors every day. Luke is also a contributing editor of Angel Publishing’s Bubble and Bust Report newsletter. There, he helps investors in leveraging the future supply-demand imbalance that he believes could be key to a cyclical upswing in the hard asset markets. For more on Luke, go to his editor’s page.

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