By Chloe Aiello
A recall can be devastating for a cannabis grower ー but not if it has technology on its side.
Agtech company Artemis aims to mitigate or altogether prevent catastrophic recalls with seed-to-sale tracking technology for farmers who grow cannabis, fruit, flower, or vegetables.
"Even just a few months ago, we've had now three or four major recalls of product, just because of [tracking] not working yet and not having products like this on the market yet," Allison Kopf, Artemis CEO and founder told Cheddar on Tuesday.
Although problems like mold or contamination can affect any industry, there are some problems uniquely specific to cannabis and the onerous and complicated regulatory environment that governs it.
"We've got things like traceability issues, so product labeling and making sure you have the correct labels at the right time. We've had some fraud instances along with the actual labeling and testing at labs. So there's a few different things that are specific to our industry, but they're all related to an understanding of what's happening along the supply chain and that information share," she said.
Recalls have hit the cannabis industry hard in recent months. Canadian pot producer Aurora Cannabis ($ACB), for example, recalled more than 2,000 units of cannabis in February due to improper labeling and sorting, according to Marijuana Business Daily. Up Cannabis recalled more than 1,400 units in January over mold concerns, Daily Marijuana Observer reported. No matter what the cause, recalls can be devastating for a company's operations or reputation, Kopf said.
"It's difficult both for your brand reputation but also for your operation in general," she added. "What you can do if you're using Artemis is you can actually go in and see what workers were touching which product at which time, where it was moved from one area to another, so you can go in and analyze the full situation to see what contributed to the risk and stop if from happening again and also go through a full recall process."
Just last week, Artemis announced it raised $8 million in funding, led by two London-based investors with participation from New York's Empire State Development Fund. The funding coincided with a rebranding. Formerly Agrilyst, Artemis' new branding and name, which references the Greek goddess of the hunt, aligns with the company's growth ambitions and mission to transcend global barriers, Kopf said.
"Our new name Artemis was to expand into this enterprise into larger operations," Kopf said.