Designing an indoor garden can be complicated. Cannabis is a new industry and though growers can pull best practices from similar industries, the fact remains that setting up a commercial cultivation facility is complicated and hard to navigate for new entrants. From navigating regulatory requirements to finding an appropriately zoned facility to choosing the right equipment, nothing about this process is simple. As soon as one task is completed, another task needs attention.
Here at Surna, we do a lot of things. But there is one thing at the core of what we do that we don’t talk about much– our engineering services. Setting up a commercial cannabis cultivation facility inevitably involves engineers– to help design the space and pick out equipment, among other things. We’re very fortunate to have an amazing staff of experienced and smart people to design our equipment, design our clients’ facilities and help maintain products after they’re up and running. So, I decided to sit down with Marc Nathan, Surna’s engineering manager, to get his thoughts on the unique nature of engineering for cannabis cultivation facilities.
Last year, eight new states were added to the ever-growing list of medical and recreational marijuana markets. With that has come a lot of discussion around the industry and its legitimacy and impact. Here at Surna, we’ve seen this discussion play out over and over during the last few months so we wanted to share what we think of the industry and its current and potential impact.
Hydroponic systems are becoming increasingly popular in the industry as they’ve been shown to produce greater yields with less pest and fungal issues. We’ve been talking with many cultivators recently who are using hydroponics and need a nutrient cooling solution but are uncertain about how to go about it; so we’ve decided to share what we think are the best practices to grow big, healthy plants in a hydroponic system.
Every week we to put together a blog that we believe brings much needed information to our readers. We really enjoy being able to share all the wisdom we gather in our various daily activities here at Surna to a reader base who will appreciate and use it. However, today we want to do something a little different. This is your warning: we’re plugging Surna today because it’s, well, awesome. And we want to share with you guys why we think Surna is so awesome.
So, you’ve been working for months to get all your documentation together to get licensed, picked out a space for your facility, found investors, decided on your lighting, climate control, pest control and automation systems and you’re finally ready to start building. Well, hold on because the last– and possibly one of the most important– decision has yet to be made. Who will be your contractor?
Lately, it seems every other article we read is about growers having to dispose of large percentages of their crops due to testing failures. The recent tightening of regulations on pesticides and fungicides in Oregon has had a serious effect on cultivators as they try to figure out new ways to grow healthy plants without depending on chemicals. But this isn’t just an Oregon problem. More states are joining the cannabis market and, with that, comes stricter testing regulations. In fact, a new study by Steep Hill Labs shows that if California were to adopt similar testing standards to those used by Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP), nearly 83% of crops would fail. That is no small issue.
Here at Surna, we’ve been designing facilities for indoor cultivation for close to 10 years and we’ve been excited to watch as new states begin coming online and more people reach out to us for guidance in designing their cultivation facility. Over and over, we get asked about what kind of equipment grower’s need and our response is always “it depends”. This can be confusing sometimes but designing the ideal environment means thinking about your grow holistically and considering everything from your growing style to temperature and humidity parameters to the types of lights being used to power capacity and more. But, one of the most important indicators of what type of equipment to choose is the physical location of your cultivation facility. With so many diverse climates in the United States, cooling and dehumidification needs vary vastly from region to region. So, we’ve gone ahead and highlighted some of the major regions of the country and detailed options to consider when choosing a cooling system.