Making the shift into cannabis production can be tricky, and often requires assistance from experts. For those growers making structural or lighting changes, or other modifications to their production practices, industry suppliers can provide valuable advice.
Here’s a look at how a few manufacturers have partnered with growers to make their transition into cannabis a smooth one, whether it’s through hands-on guidance or partnering with other industry leaders.
GGS Structures Inc.
GGS has been asked to design many greenhouses for cannabis, laying the structure plan out to maximize natural light in vegetative zones, while ensuring total blackout for flowers during their light deprivation stage. GGS systems are designed with polycarbonate sidewalls with automated rolling blackout side curtains. Inside walls are also equipped with blackout curtains in order to separate the flowering zones.
“At GGS, we work closely with growers to ensure the greenhouse is designed to provide the optimum environment for their crop; this includes supplemental lighting, heating, irrigation, and environmental control,” says Leigh Coulter of GGS Structures Inc.
Growers Supply recently completed a greenhouse project for one of the leading cannabis producers in Oregon. To deal with climate concerns and accommodate its constantly expanding business, the company chose to construct five GrowSpan Series 500 Commercial Greenhouses.
Growers Supply says it has worked with cannabis producers of all sizes and has experience working with companies that have gone through or are anticipating rapid growth. The GrowSpan greenhouses promote a healthy and profitable business from their first season.
“While other cannabis growers in the region lost large portions of their crop to the unseasonably heavy rains, the crops in the GrowSpan greenhouses thrived and didn’t experience any losses,” says Jon Kozlowski, Greenhouse Sales Manager for Growers Supply. “This protection, combined with the customized environmental control that Growers Supply provided, allows for crops to be grown and harvested year-round.”
The project had such an impact on the business that the company recently purchased two more GrowSpan greenhouses for its expansion in the upcoming year.
Cannabis growers looking for new options in lighting have another supplier to choose from. Lemnis Oreon, a Dutch manufacturer of LED grow lights for greenhouses, has reached an agreement with HybridTech LLC, an engineering company based in Oregon. HybridTech will be able to include Lemnis Oreon LED fixtures in its product offerings. Production of medical cannabis is likely to be a big part of its market reach. Lemnis Oreon’s LED grow-light fixtures are water-cooled and provide efficient light without heating up the greenhouse. This allows growers to use less ventilation, resulting in a higher quality yield at lower operating costs. The water cooling ensures that growers have complete control of the climate in the greenhouse and cultivation strategy. Recently conducted scientific research in the Netherlands, has shown that excellent production results can be achieved with the water-cooled LED bulbs, according to Lemnis Oreon.
“As an industry-leading greenhouse manufacturer, Nexus works with customers to improve their growing operation,” says Lynn Hackett at Nexus Corp. “Over the past six months, we have helped customers in New York, Illinois, Washington, and Colorado install vertical airflow fans (v-flow) for better air mixing, including humidity reduction, and lower disease incidence.”
In the winter months, v-flow fans pull the air from the greenhouse roof peak and bring the warm air down to the crop. This process reduces humidity and the time required to run the heaters. Since the humidity level is lower, there is less need for ventilation, which saves energy. In the summer, crops stay dryer and the air mixes better during blackout times. Crop disease incidence decreases in climates with high humidity. V-flow fans move air inside the crop canopy and improve the air circulation around the lower branches of the crop, which contributes to better plant growth.