Some say there’s nothing new in Cannabis cultivation. Plenty of farms claim to have unlocked the secret – and while many will even go so far as to protect their methodologies as proprietary intellectual property – in an agricultural segment that predates the dawn of Christianity by at least a millennium, there are very few new tricks. That is, unless we’re talking about indoor. Emerging from the high-pressure, sodium-lit recesses of forced guerilla growing, formerly illicit indoor Cannabis cultivators now get to benefit from advancements in controlled, closed-loop agribusiness that other commercial crops have been enjoying for years. We saw it at MJ Bizcon in Las Vegas in December – dozens if not hundreds of companies promoting bespoke cultivation equipment and products designed or retrofitted to suit the indoor Cannabis grower. For this year’s indoor issue, we spoke with some indoor cultivators and asked them what companies and products get them excited.
The first time I saw a Rhythm system was in 2017, and it looked like something out of the future. The company’s custom fertigation and cultivation management systems – designed and built specifically for the Cannabis industry – not only dial and automate some of the most important processes in a grow-op, but they look cool as hell while doing it. We’ve been watching this company for a while. And yes, we think they’re going to continue to do big things as the indoor industry continues to grow.
Grassroots Fabric Pots
Picking the right home for your mothers and daughters plays an important role in any garden, especially when growing in soil. Many of the soil growers we talk to swear by their Grassroots fabric pots and beds. The company’s fabric pots and beds allow for aeration and are built to last, leading to healthy root growth and minimized waste.
When it comes to lighting, the California-based Luxx Lighting comes up a lot in conversation with cultivators. That’s because the company was founded for and by growers.
“(That) puts them in a unique position to develop the most innovative fixtures on the market,” says Nick Ciufo, owner of Tao Gardens in Eugene, Ore., who also uses Grassroots Fabric Pots.
Luxx produces classically reliable, high-output grow lights, and is known for their high-pressure sodium and ceramic metal halide lights.
Ciufo’s Tao Gardens will be a testing ground for Luxx’s new 1000-watt double-ended ceramic metal halide light, which will be coming to market this year.
Finding the right blend of software is kind of like finding the right blend of nutrient inputs – it’s difficult, and when things don’t work together, it can be disastrous. Fairly new on the scene, Trym has created harvest management software that integrates with Metrc compliance software, as well as various cultivation management applications.
Jon Hudnall, Director of Operations for Doghouse Cannabis, was an early adopter of the software for his facilities in Oregon, Washington and soon to be Michigan. Needless to say, he swears by them.
“I really like the Trym software – they’re doing something a little bit different than most of the technology companies that are trying to get into the Cannabis space,” Hudnall said. “They’re doing task management and batch management stuff. Not only can you delegate to employees through the platform, but you can monitor how long it’s taking for each task. When they started, they were trying to do more environmental monitoring and controls, but by listening to growers, they discovered that we’re really concerned about labor.”
“We were an early adopter of the software, and it’s been awesome to watch them grow and keep improving their software. They’ve been listening to their customers and implementing those changes.”
For growers who’ve moved on from the traditional high pressure sodium and ceramic metal halide lighting to the world of LED, Fluence Bioengineering continues to be one of the most talked about suppliers. The company promises increased terpene and cannabinoid production, along with decreased energy expenditures – plus it introduces the potential for efficient vertical cultivation. Vertical cultivation plays a huge role in the future of indoor agriculture, as it allows for the ability to stack rows of plants atop one another, maximizing the efficient use of a grow’s footprint. Once regulations aren’t governed by plant count and canopy size, companies like Fluence will allow cultivators to stack ‘em high.
Story by TOM BOWERS @propagateconsultants
When it comes to creating custom soils and amendments, few companies come up in conversation as often as Colorado’s BuildASoil. By using organic inputs to create living soil blends – as well as soil amendments to fit a number of cultivation scenarios – this company provides sustenance and a significant part of the ecosystem for a number of the soil-grown flowers you’ll find on the shelf.