Drones may be key in the future of cannabis production

Published May 9, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Miguel Ángel Hernández 

The cannabis industry may be young but it’s expanding at lightning speeds as are the technologies that we rely on to grow. With a global market on the horizon, cannabis must advance and adapt so its fast-paced operations have all the support they need to succeed and in recent years, many leaders are looking at drones as a potential tool to help with production and distribution.

Some of the biggest cannabis companies in the world have already begun integrating drones into their production and distribution plans, but many are asking if it’s necessary, or merely a temporary trend to garner the attention of tech-loving enthusiasts.

In this article, we will answer that question by highlighting the modern role of drones in cannabis production and distribution, using real-life examples of how they’re already being used and the potential roles they may fill in the future.

Cannabis production with drones

Drones are already a powerful tool being utilized by cannabis producers, and one of the most common ways they’re helping is by conducting detailed aerial surveys. With a few cameras and sensors onboard drones can fly over fields of cannabis to instantly collect valuable data on things like soil conditions and plant health, making it easier for growers to efficiently form plans and make crucial decisions that contribute to the overall success of the producer.

Crop management isn’t easy, but now with drones, precision agriculture has become a reality, as this useful technology can do everything from applying pesticides and fertilizers to measuring crop inputs faster and even more effectively than humans. Drones can help farmers to optimize the efficiency of their operations while saving money and reducing waste in the process.

Drones are also great at detecting pests and diseases. By identifying these problems long before they become a noticeable issue growers are able to proactively implement strategies and measures to protect crops which is an essential part of maintaining consistently high yields.

Cannabis distribution with drones

Drones are also being used in the distribution of cannabis products. In areas where cannabis is legal, drones are being used to deliver products directly to consumers. This is particularly useful in rural areas where access to dispensaries may be limited.


In addition to direct-to-consumer delivery, drones are also being used for inter-facility transport. This involves the use of drones to transport cannabis products between production facilities and distribution centers. By using drones, companies can reduce the time and cost associated with traditional transportation methods.

The future role of drones in cannabis production and distribution

As the technology improves, allowing for more advanced applications, drones are expected to play an even bigger role in the industry from production to distribution, where they may eventually help by automating harvesting and improving processing speeds.

Drone can identify which plants or fields are ready for harvest and use robotic arms to remove them from the field, significantly reducing the time and physical labor that often goes into harvesting, making cultivation even more efficient.They may also be used to transport harvested cannabis plants to processing facilities, where they’ll be sorted, trimmed, and dried. Using drones for transportation could reduce the time and cost that are generally associated with more traditional methods of moving cannabis.

In conclusion

Drones are quickly becoming a valuable tool in both production and distribution operations all across the industry. From aerial surveys and precision agriculture to direct-to-consumer delivery, this technology can do it all, and by embracing it, the industry is sure to continue to grow and thrive in the future.

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