Research and development (R&D) has historically been both time consuming and prohibitively expensive in the cannabis industry. A challenging regulatory landscape and overwhelming costs hinder innovation and create a substantial barrier to entry for smaller and midsize businesses (SMBs) looking to compete with industry giants.

A transformative shift is now occurring, however, thanks to precision technology from the pharmaceutical industry that is revolutionizing the way cannabis brands are able to approach R&D and production. Planetary mixing technology is empowering a broader spectrum of players in the cannabis industry and enabling them to test and develop high-quality products more efficiently and economically than ever before.

Breaking Free From R&D and Scalability Limitations in Cannabis 

The lack of in-house technology creates significant R&D challenges for SMBs. The ability — and capacity — to properly test various formulations, compare ingredient combinations, and dial in cannabinoid content and homogeneity is out of reach for most SMBs. If they do have in-house technology, it is often small-scale (double boilers or KitchenAid mixers, for example) and not scalable for production. A desired result might be reached during testing, but once production is scaled up using white-label technology, the result is not always the same. 

Outsourcing the work is also costly and inefficient. Relying on third-party R&D providers can mean endless back-and-forths with approvals, limited prototyping, and little control over the production process. And there may still be scalability issues for production. Are you using different white label manufacturers for R&D and production? Are those white labelers using different tech? If so, scaling up may be bumpier than you’d like.

Growth Hacking the Cannabis Industry With Pharmaceutical Technology

The use of pharmaceutical precision technologies like planetary mixers in the cannabis sector eliminates the middleman in the R&D process and significantly reduces both time and cost. It’s a game changer: Innovative devices that can mix compounds with precision allow brands to transition seamlessly from R&D to mass production, even on short timelines. With the right technology in place, creating new products becomes a much faster and far more efficient task. And the technology not only speeds up the process, but also improves the overall quality and consistency of the products. 

Standardization is king in the pharmaceutical industry, so planetary mixing technology is designed to yield a replicable result with each use. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are meticulously drafted, and recipes are carefully developed to work seamlessly with specific equipment, ensuring that each product is identical to the last. This level of precision is difficult to achieve with conventional in-house R&D tech that cannabis companies tend to use, which often results in significant variations once a product reaches the production stage. 

Precision pharmaceutical devices also allow for manufacturing at scale without compromising quality because the same technology is used for both R&D and production. Small-scale R&D units can seamlessly transition to larger production runs, with completely uniform mixing and no consistency variations that could affect product quality. This level of control over the production process is a significant step forward for the cannabis industry because it ensures that products maintain their integrity regardless of the scale of production. 

Manufacturing Efficiency and Cost Savings

The application of precision pharmaceutical technology like planetary mixers, supported by years of research and well-established formulas and procedures, will set new standards for quality and consistency in cannabis. But beyond improving product quality and consistency, this technology also provides significant cost-saving benefits. Smaller cannabis businesses can save money by reducing their reliance on advanced technicians and bypassing the traditional R&D middleman, along with their schedules and potential inconsistencies, to save time and resources.

Ultimately, the democratization of the entire go-to-market process is what sets precision technology apart. SMBs no longer need to depend on third-party R&D providers; they can now invest in the technology themselves and experience immediate payoffs. This shift in approach levels the playing field, allowing a more diverse range of cannabis brands to compete with industry giants on innovation, quality and efficiency. 

In the rapidly changing cannabis industry, the addition of precision pharmaceutical technology ushers in a new era of in-house innovation and production. Cannabis brands have the ability to streamline their operations, reduce costs and bring innovative products to market faster than ever before. The days of slow, costly R&D processes are fading away and being replaced by efficient, scalable and high-quality solutions. 

Marc Joiner leads brand strategy and business development for the MAZ® Mixer at Medisca, a global corporation that is bridging the gaps in healthcare with extensive and essential solutions in pharmaceutical ingredient supply, mixing technology, analytical testing, education, and more.

  • Marc Joiner leads brand strategy and business development for the MAZ® Mixer at Medisca, a global corporation that is bridging the gaps in healthcare with extensive and essential solutions in pharmaceutical ingredient supply, mixing technology, analytical testing, education and more.

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