Recreational use of marijuana is legal in some places in the United States of America. Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the use of cannabis, but the Oregonian government legalized recreational use in 2015. Since the expansion of its legalization, the field of marijuana agriculture is becoming broader and requiring more technology for optimal function. This growth raises the question of the possibility of using drones in marijuana agriculture.
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from cannabis that has medical or recreational uses. It is also called weed, grass, herb, mary jane, pot, ganja, bud, and a host of slang names.
People commonly smoke marijuana as a joint, blunt, or pipe and use it to make tea or pot brownies. Most people smoke pot for the intoxicating effect due to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Because marijuana has been illegal for a long time, weed farmers had to plant in secrecy. They had to adapt to different mechanisms to ensure the cops would not catch them. These measures meant every marijuana plant was taken care of with watchful eyes and harvested with top-notch care.
Since the legalization of marijuana, the field of cannabis farming has gained a lot of recognition leading to competition. Now, farmers have to take care to ensure:
- That they get quality cannabis seeds
- Correct planting and tending practices
- Careful harvesting to preserve plant integrity
All these are measures taken in the bid to protect quality to avoid losing to their competition. Because of the flavor sensitivity of pot, careful human hands carry out harvesting processes. But because of the growth of the industry and increased requests, there is an increased need to use technology. The most common technology in marijuana farming is drone use.
Can Drones Harvest Marijuana?
Drones have many significant benefits in agriculture as a whole. Drones are an excellent addition to your marijuana farm because:
- Through smart farming or Precision, farming drones can scan many hectares of land in minutes
- Improves specificity in agriculture because of its near-infrared technology that maps areas that need attention
- It minimizes the use of pesticides by marking areas that need pesticide treatments and using pinpoint accuracy to apply the chemicals. It also has this same effect on nutrients and water.
All these effects are both time and money-saving because it reduces the amount of time and money spent on getting these processes done by humans effectively. The big question, however, is if these drones can harvest cannabis with the same precision.
Currently, the drone technology available cannot do the delicate work of harvesting marijuana. While drones have the potential to change the face of agriculture, their weed harvesting technique is not yet perfect.
Why? Because harvesting marijuana is tricky, and the product people want needs to have a specific flavor. Secondly, it is expensive to buy pot, so tender care is ideal. Drones can harvest some delicate plants, but an orthodox drone will chop off the marijuana plant.
However, there is an influx of people into the marijuana market, which in turn decreases the profit from selling pot. In Oregon, pot prices are reducing severely, and some growers are changing ships. This price collapse makes one question the necessity for tender loving care in cultivation and harvesting.
With the price collapse, using drones for a haphazard chop-off doesn’t seem like a bad idea anymore. However, this is not ideal, so the best option is for drone makers to upgrade drone technology to make it more precise in harvesting to continue quality assurance.
The Bottom Line
In Oregon, where cannabis sales are limited within the state border, and the market has too much competition, occasional drone use is okay. Nonetheless, the production of anything should be more about quality, so hand-harvesting needs to continue as much as possible. But, drone companies should improve drone quality for high precision marijuana harvesting.