Driving Medicinal Crop Growth and Production

A Growing Market for Medicinal Crops

Physicians are increasingly seeing the medical benefits of treating patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, lupus, arthritis, nerve damage, and back injuries with medicinal crop treatment regimes. In part, the transition to medicinal crops from other pain relieving treatments is due to the safety of medicinal crops relative to that of opioids and NSAIDs[1]. Recent market research has anticipated that the medicinal crop industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21% during the 2018-2022 period[2]. As the demand for medicinal crops increases, there has also been a rise in contract testing organizations who can ensure the safety and quality of medicinal crops.

Unique Challenges Facing Crop Science

Like the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, medicinal crop producers need to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products and derivatives for patients. Plants can be contaminated by disease and mold making them unsafe for patients. This contamination could easily spread to the entire crop if the plants aren’t closely monitored.

To prevent this and other quality and safety issues, crop producers are relying on their partners, contract testing laboratories. These facilities can test for microbial and other contaminants like pesticides, residual solvents and heavy metals. They also offer services that test factors that impact product quality and production like water content, terpenes, and plant sexing. To provide these services, contract facilities perform assays across a wide variety of analytical instruments.

Driving Crop Science Workflows with the Platform for Science Software

The Thermo Fisher™ Platform for Science™ software helps growers and contract organizations capture, connect, and centralize information across processes, teams, groups, and labs. It provides lab managers and technicians with a holistic view of their operation. Lab managers can quickly scan or type in a barcode from a plant and trace it all the way back to its original seed, providing complete traceability with associated data from seed to plant. It also handles the complex tracking of samples (cultivars/clones/plants) that are being propagated and the associated metadata.

By leveraging Platform for Science software and its Marketplace, scientists can quickly and easily deploy preconfigured applications to support changing lab processes and cultivation of new analytical techniques.

A Cloud-Based Platform for Crop Science

For those organizations that do not want to manage a traditional in-house data center, the cloud has become a popular alternative. Deploying in the cloud reduces capital expenditure and operating expenses by providing the appropriate amount of bandwidth. For contract testing organizations, a cloud-based infrastructure offers the additional benefit of instant data and document sharing, speeding timelines and while still ensuring security.

Platform for Science software utilizes a cloud-based infrastructure enabling security and collaboration while accelerating business workflows. The ability to quickly create new, secure accounts with access to the platform, without having to invest in expensive IT infrastructure, is invaluable. The Platform for Science software deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS), provides a secure, flexible, and scalable solution that will grow with your business, and reduce maintenance overhead.


[1] Grinspoon, Peter. “Medical Marijuana.” Www.health.harvard.edu/Blog, Harvard Medical School, 15 Jan. 2018, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085

[2]  Maida, Jesse. “Global Medical Marijuana Market – Growth Analysis and Forecast| Technavio.” Www.businesswire.com, Technavio, 9 Mar. 2018, www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180309005278/en/Global-Medical-Marijuana-Market—Growth-Analysis