Improving the Industry’s Footprint: Part I discussed the need for environmental and economic reform within the cannabis industry. It’s clear that the environmental footprint of the industry can be drastically improved, but what is so interesting about the cannabis industry is that many of the environmental solutions are also sound business decisions that can actually improve the economics of the industry.
GrowSpan is on the forefront of this reform, and cultivating cannabis in a GrowSpan greenhouse can instantly cut costs, while also maintaining or improving bud quality.
Cannabis Greenhouses Reduce Lighting Costs
As profit margins for indoor grows shrink, the only way to combat this is to alter growing practices. Utilizing a cannabis greenhouse provides instant savings by reducing an operation’s energy consumption. To grow successfully indoors expensive lighting needs to be run at a minimum of 12 hours a day, and depending on the growth stage, will need to be run 18 hours a day. To maintain an indoor operation like this, a company needs a massive amount of energy and, in turn, money.
By implementing a greenhouse, cannabis companies can eliminate the use of the majority of their lighting. Greenhouses allow growers to utilize Mother Nature to their full advantage. Each day greenhouse growers use the sun’s energy instead of lighting. In many cases, operations are able to cut their lighting requirements by up to 90 percent. Just by growing in a greenhouse, the industry’s largest environmental burden can be essentially neutralized.
So producing cannabis in a greenhouse can significantly reduce one of the largest energy consuming aspects of the industry. Still, there are more savings and benefits to be had.
Many growers are hesitant to make the switch to greenhouse growing, because they think that they may loose control of their environment. This just isn’t true. Growing in a properly outfitted greenhouse provides the same amount of environmental control, and unlike a grow room, a greenhouse doesn’t depend on expensive venting and air exchange systems. Greenhouse growers have the opportunity to utilize natural ventilation, providing another avenue of energy savings.
Growing indoors allows for the use of automated systems and year-round growing, and the same is also true for greenhouses. Integrating an automated system into a greenhouse reduces the required day-to-day labor and can provide further energy savings by automatically turning off energy-dependent environmental tools and systems. Watering, lighting, light deprivation systems, heating, cooling and more can all be programmed into a greenhouse system. This ensures complete control over all of these growing factors, and when the right amount of water has been administered, automated systems turn it off and when plants have received the right amount of light, it is automatically turned off.
Maintaining or obtaining a year-round growing schedule is also an essential benefit of growing cannabis in a greenhouse. Growers are able to gain more harvests each year and increase their vegetation phase, allowing plants to grow stronger and healthier.
Growing in a greenhouse also eliminates the space and size restrictions often found in grow rooms. Growing indoors almost always creates a finite amount of growing space. GrowSpan provides gutter connected greenhouses, which allow cannabis producers to expand their growing space as business growers. The GrowSpan Series 1000 and Series 2000 provide a gutter-connected greenhouse option. With these structures, growers are able to add entire bays as needed quickly and efficiently.
The industry is going to continue to develop in the upcoming years. As more states choose to legalize medical and recreational cannabis, more and more growers will enter the cannabis arena, creating more competition. As this happens growers are going to have to make the transition to greenhouse growing in order to meet the demand for high-quality bud at a reasonable price. Simply by changing to a greenhouse cannabis operation, many of the environmental issues that face the industry can be rectified. On top of this, greenhouses allow growers to maintain or improve crop quality, while also reducing the amount of money that is required for production.