Since the start of legalization, the cannabis industry has expanded exponentially, introducing previously unimagined jobs like “cannabis public-relations rep” and “cannafluencer” to the world. But none of these progressive pathways for the plant would exist without roots planted in a highly efficient grow room. That’s always where a cultivator’s budget should begin.
Innovation continues to propel evolution. Updating outdated systems reduces errors, increases profit, and improves the quality and efficacy of the industry. In a grow room, that looks like less labor, longer-lasting and more potent product, and more time and money for entrepreneurs to come up with better ideas for their business.
Although innovation delivers benefits to every link in the supply chain, it best serves the industry when it takes place where the seed is planted. After all, the plant is central to the industry’s very existence, and high-quantity and -quality product is irrefutably essential for continued progression, destigmatization, and acceptance.
Keeping your grow room up to date with the latest technologies and systems provides quite a few benefits to cultivation operations, and those benefits will continue to trickle down and positively affect every aspect of the supply chain as products move closer to the consumers who purchase them.
Here are a few points to consider when deciding how to allocate your brand’s budget.
Grow room technology streamlines the cultivation process. A lot of today’s innovations center around speeding things up, like artificial-intelligence-assisted writing tools for marketers with too many overdue deliverables, inventory trackers for retailers with products flying off the shelves, and dry-herb vaporizers that heat up twice as fast as yesterday’s did.
For cultivators, streamlining the grow room is a great way to free up time and labor that’s getting sucked up by boring, repetitive chores. Tools like automated hanging systems, controlled environments, and trimming machines are becoming ubiquitous because they give growers a chance to think a little less about the menial and focus on bigger-picture items like branding, developing new strains, and collaborating with other businesses.
Automation also can help growers get the most out of their limited labor pools. Manually operating a grow room requires a lot of tender loving care—not to mention a good number of man-hours. Without automation, growers must pay close attention to growth cycles, ensuring their plants are fed, watered, and cared for. This means they’re constantly having to think about proper temperature, lighting, and humidity levels—and little else.
If that’s the case for you, it’s time to pass your worries off to machines. By introducing innovative technologies to your cultivation space, you’ll free up your time and your employees’ time and labor, and that’s especially important if you’re short-staffed and constantly struggling to meet deadlines.
Automated systems help eliminate errors and increase efficiency. Machines aren’t perfect, but they tend to be less susceptible to error than we humans. Automated grow-room technologies like rapid drying systems and pre-roll machines are designed to work quickly and eliminate error. In fact, many of them come equipped with systems that flag any missteps in the process to ensure you don’t end up with a thousand faulty vape cartridges or overdried flower before you realize something went wrong.
Automation removes menial tasks from employees, and this offers a few benefits beyond a less repetitive work shift. With more time on their hands, employees will be able to get creative and think outside the box. They can take on new tasks in the grow room, learn new skills to apply to your products, and help you and your brand refocus efforts in order to reach that next level of success for which you’re constantly reaching.
Innovation in cultivation processes and systems also can help your operation achieve a higher level of consistency. Machines are much more likely than humans to produce the same standard every time, which means the products you create will boast the same high quality harvest after harvest and batch after batch.
Genetic technology also is advancing by leaps and bounds, helping growers produce strains with higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. A broader range of potencies can help your products appeal to a broader range of consumers.
After you’ve optimized the growth cycle, the final step—storage and transportation—is equally important. All of the effort you put into growing high-quality plants can be rendered irrelevant if you aren’t packaging and storing products the right way. Packaging companies are providing growers with new ways to optimize and preserve the fruits of their labor by factoring in flower’s need to live in a perfect environment. From maintaining humidity levels to preventing outgassing and contamination, providing protection from temperature fluctuation, blocking harmful light, and preserving delicate trichomes, cultivators have many new options for ensuring their products make it from the grow room to retail shelves without sacrificing quality.
Jack Grover is founder and CEO of Grove Bags, a provider of cannabis packaging specifically tailored to create the perfect climate for cannabis preservation based on the plant’s unique physiology. Since 2016, Grove Bags has been committed to manufacturing packaging that preserves the plant at its highest quality via its proprietary TerpLoc technology.