Solving the Challenges of Cannabis Production
Increased legalization and acceptance have exponentially increased the economic opportunity for cannabis growers, distributors, and retailers. This is an exciting moment for your cannabis cultivation business – whether you are new entrepreneur or an established grower.
In some ways, growing and selling cannabis is much easier now than a few years ago. You’ve probably never had to have a hillside conversation with a mobster cannabis distributor, whom you had hired to protect you from a motorcycle gang of competitive growers, because he accidentally set your town on fire in the process. This cannabis drama portrayed in the television series Weeds already seems absurd in today’s world of regulated corporate production and distribution.
However, today’s world of cannabis has a whole new set of problems.
Competition keeps increasing as small growers scale up and new businesses enter the market. The standard for consumer satisfaction keeps raising, with buyers developing a preference for specific strains and an expectation of consistency and high quality. Compliance with regulations and biopharmaceutical standards adds another layer of requirements to cannabis facility management. And scaled up production means increased overhead costs, especially for energy usage.
To solve for new problems, you need cutting-edge cannabis management solutions – cannabis data analytics that help you stay on top of every aspect of your grow facility operations and optimize both crops and profits.
Growing the Perfect Crop
Once you find the right strains and determine the most effective processes for growing them, you must replicate that process on a larger scale every day. Producing the perfect crop every time on a large scale requires a mind-boggling amount of logistics:
- Monitoring systems are needed for every aspect of the cultivation process. Soil sensors, temperature sensors, and relative humidity (RH) sensors are all a necessary part of environmental control. The data from these sensors must be continuously monitored and interpreted in an actionable way.
- The correct lighting, nutrition, and water schedules must be determined and consistently implemented for optimization of the crops.
- Plant stage and growth must be monitored for adjustments in the vapor pressure deficit and other environmental setpoints as needed for that phase of plant growth.
- The mechanical systems that maintain the environment, including the entire HVAC system, must be monitored, maintained, and repaired or rre-programmed as needed on a continuous basis. Your plants cannot afford downtime in the system.
Whether your cannabis cultivation’s end product is recreational or medical marijuana, or you are growing hemp for CBD infused products such as oils and soaps, you must comply with strict regulatory oversight. From seed-to-sale plant tracking to measuring the amount of cannabinoid, including THC, that determines your product’s potency, grow facility compliance is a large part of running your business.
State laws vary, but many states only allow indoor cannabis cultivation facilities. Indoors or outside, you’ll still have to comply with regulations related to agriculture, from chemical (fertilizer and pesticide) usage to waste runoff and disposal rules.
Controlling Costs - Especially Energy Costs
Cannabis cultivation facilities use tremendous amounts of energy. Cannabis energy efficiency is vital for giving your plants everything they need while making a profit.
With just a small grow house, knowing the exact amount of power that you need to produce optimal results is helpful. But for larger cannabis cultivation facilities, it is critical for survival. Using larger equipment than you need or having inefficient or malfunctioning equipment that result in higher utility bills can be financially devastating.
You may also have limitations, cost or compliance issues related to your power purchasing agreement, which is just one more issue that you must monitor on a constant basis.
Indoor cannabis facility energy saving is especially important, since energy, not nature, facilitates the provision of everything your plant needs.
Manually inspecting and controlling every aspect of your cannabis cultivation system is impossible. Even with some grow room automation and sensors in place, collecting and managing data through several separate systems is inefficient and impractical.
Solutions – Solving Problems with GrowFit Analytics
New challenges require a new way of thinking and operating.
GrowFit Analytics helps you conquer your cannabis cultivation problems. We take your business into the future of cannabis production with superior grow facility analytics.
- Gathering Data in One Central Location — GrowFit gathers data from all your sensors, monitors, and any metered or smart equipment that you have and brings that data into one central location. Even if you have multiple cannabis cultivation facilities, the data can flow into one place. Anything that can be connected — the internet of things — can be pulled into one system.
- Analyzing the Data – GrowFit Analytics doesn’t just bring you data. We help you set rules and tags for your data that will create readable, actionable information. Visual dashboards will let you see what is happening, where it’s happening, and why.
- Fault Monitoring — Analyzing your cannabis data includes monitoring and alerting for systems failures. Instead of only noticing that part of your HVAC equipment is malfunctioning after the equipment breaks down completely or causes deterioration of your grow environment, you’ll see alerts in the data as soon as problems start developing. This helps lower maintenance costs and decrease crop loss.
- Systems Optimization — GrowFit Analytics gives you the power to continuously optimize your grow systems, as the data that it pulls in helps you determine the best combinations of grow factors and to refine them for better results.
- Energy Savings — One of the most significant ways that GrowFit Analytics helps cannabis growers is in optimizing energy efficiency and reducing energy costs. Not only will data show you when equipment is malfunctioning to the point of affecting your environment, it will also let you when increased energy use is occurring to maintain the same results. For example, if one fan isn’t working properly, other fans may be working harder to compensate, and you’ll know that’s happening. If a vent problem is forcing your HVAC equipment to work harder, you’ll know.
Why GrowFit Analytics
GrowFit has over 30 years of engineering and analytics experience. As a subsidiary of ETC Group, we are part of a company that has been helping manufacturing and commercial building owners and managers commission and monitor their buildings for efficiency, environmental comfort, energy savings, and compliance for decades. Now, we are bringing our passion and expertise to your cannabis analytics.
We don’t just bring you data. We make insights actionable, success replicable, and real-time performance measurable with up-to-date and accessible reporting. Reduce your risk, minimize your costs, and maximize your ROI with GrowFit Analytics.