Two weeks ago, the Surna team headed to Las Vegas to exhibit at the 6th annual Marijuana Business Daily Conference and Expo (MJ Biz Con). We were delighted to participate again this year as MJ Biz is always a significant show, offering new entrants and veterans of the industry alike an opportunity to learn about the latest industry developments.
Cannabis is one of the North America’s newest and most promising industries. It is now medically legal in 29 states and recreationally legal in 8 states, with even more allowing CBD for certain medical conditions. A recent poll also shows that close to 60% of American support legalized cannabis and Canada is taking cannabis even further, introducing legislation to federally legalize the plant in 2018. All of this indicates a trend away from prohibition toward a regulated market. And yet, some are still wary of cannabis.
As cultivators and owners know, building out a commercial sized facility takes a lot of time, patience and money but can be extremely lucrative in the long run. Large-scale commercial facilities that are up and running are generating huge profits, mostly in cash. But this type of revenue takes time. To get to a place where a facility can sustain itself financially, owners first must go through the long and expensive process of licensing, permitting, obtaining land and/or buildings and, of course, choosing lighting and environmental control.
Last November, the City of Denver released new regulations concerning odor control for cannabis cultivation facilities. Previously, Denver’s Department of Environmental Health (DEH) only mandated odor control plans for facilities that received a certain number of complaints but that is no longer the case. Both existing facilities, as well as new ones, will require an odor control plan going forward or risk financial penalties for non-compliance.
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.