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Will Disruptive Technology Play a Role in the Marijuana Industry?

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On today’s episode of the Tech Talk Tuesday podcast, Ryan McQueeney discusses the intersection of disruptive technology and the budding marijuana industry, ultimately concluding that investors should remember what they’ve learned about investing in other forms of new tech as it becomes a bigger factor in the cannabis business.

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Marijuana is one of the hottest topics on Wall Street, with a number of Canadian cannabis producers listing on U.S. exchanges and witnessing massive gains as interested investors scoop up shares of these pure-play pot stocks. Notably, companies like Tilray (TLRY - Free Report) , Cronos Group (CRON - Free Report) , and Canopy Growth (CGC - Free Report) have seen their market values skyrocket in recent weeks.

But marijuana is, at the end of the day, an agricultural product. Sure, these producers often maintain state-of-the-art production facilities, but cannabis remains a living, growing substance which will see good harvest and bad harvests. This means that many of the lessons that Wall Street has learned about agriculture over the years should be useful.

However, the marijuana industry is also on the cutting edge of new advancements in healthcare and retail, and in many cases, it is adopting disruptive technology to help deliver better results.

Take Shopify (SHOP - Free Report) , for instance. This e-commerce platform, which is designed to help small- and medium-sized businesses build out their own online stores, has been selected by a number of Canadian provinces and cannabis producers looking to facilitate digital sales.

Elsewhere, companies like Eaze are looking to be the “Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) of weed” by connecting marijuana users with a variety of merchants, doctors, and distributors through one easy-to-navigate online portal.

There’s also LeafLink, a business-to-business platform which helps retailers maintain their inventory and juggle their complex relationships with producers. LeafLink also provides CRM tools much like Salesforce (CRM - Free Report) does for traditional sales environments.

And at the end of the day, something like LeafLink is a simple fix to a messy problem for marijuana retailers, as it dumbs down the difficult task of managing communications and purchasing from dozens of brands at once.

That’s exactly what investors should be looking for as the marijuana industry matures and evolves—and it’s hardly a revolutionary concept. New technology has already disrupted other segments of the retail, healthcare, and agriculture industries, so what makes cannabis any different?

Sure, the shaky regulatory environment is the simple answer to that question. But smart investors know from years of experience with other businesses that technology can and will make key processes more efficient, and as Ryan explains on this week’s Tech Talk Tuesday, it should do the very same thing for marijuana.

If you feel that we missed something, or if you want us to cover a different story, shoot us an email at podcast@zacks.com. Make sure to check out all of our other audio content at zacks.com/podcasts, and remember to subscribe and leave us a rating!

As always, thanks for listening to the Zacks Tech Talk Tuesday Podcast; we will see you next time!

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