hackathon

How Hackathons Are Bringing Data Solutions to Cannabis

“Hackathons are a great way to harness the knowledge, inspiration, and energy of the developers and coders who will shape the future of the industry.” – David Hazan, Producer of the Grow Up Cannabis Hackathon

The intersection between cannabis and technology continues to grow. As businesses deal with new challenges and work toward greater efficiency, cutting-edge technological innovation will become more necessity than luxury. Canada’s nationwide legalization, beginning October 17, will have cannabis businesses scrambling to meet regulatory demands, optimize their grows, and streamline their sales process. The second nation in history to legalize the substance will need all the help it can get as millions of citizens take to the streets to obtain the precious plant.

These reasons and more spurred the launch of a progressive new event, the Grow Up Cannabis Hackathon in Toronto, Ontario. Co-Founder of the Grow Up Cannabis Conference & Expo Neill Dixon is thrilled about the possibilities of the Hackathon, stating, “When we get that many young minds together in a room, they come up with some pretty wild things, so we’re very excited about what will happen here.”

We also spoke with Trellis CEO Pranav Sood about the company’s involvement in the Hackathon to learn about their goals in initiating the event. Trellis developed a progressive seed-to-sale management software which will serve as the basis for much of the work being conducted at the Hackathon. The inventory tracking system uses the data it receives to optimize operational efficiency in cultivation, extraction, and distribution.

For the Hackathon, the company is providing developers with a dummy-database simulated from client data. The hackers will then create visualization tools to reveal hidden insights contained within the data to help users implement more effective business practices.

Sood expanded on the insights he hopes to gain from the Hackathon: “It could be taking the data, doing some trend analysis, and then presenting that trend analysis in a different way. It could be predictive, where all the data indicated that you grow your plants in a certain stage for a certain number of days and that ends up producing higher yields. But, when you switch the number of days to two days more, you end up getting 30 percent more yield.” The Hackathon seeks to pull that value out of the raw data to create approachable management solutions.

Redefining operational efficiency won’t be easy, but it’s one of the main goals of the Hackathon and of Trellis’ involvement with the project. “It’s certainly going to drive not only the efficiency of the operations, but our hope is that it drives better quality products in the market, safer products in the market, and a more efficient mechanism for getting that product to the people that need it the most,” remarked Sood.

Most importantly, the Hackathon aims to reduce the negative connotations associated with cannabis. Sood is particularly passionate on this point, stating, “There’s still a lot of stigma around the industry and we’re trying to push the envelope in making it as mainstream as possible. We hope to open people up to the side of the industry that is very professional and very compliance-focused. This Hackathon presents a great opportunity for us to give talented developers this exposure to the industry and build a relationship directly with the community as we continue to expand our team.”

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