Technology systems

Technological systems in the cannabis industry

This article was originally published on Cannabis and technology today and appears here with permission.

Conversations about the evolution of the cannabis industry often focus on year-over-year industry growth, innovative new products, and growth in the legal adult-use market, but technology is often a major driver of change.

This is especially true on cannabis farms and grow facilities, like those at CULTA. In an effort to continue the conversation about technology in the cannabis industry and shed some light on how it’s being leveraged by growers, we’ll discuss some of the most important technologies we use on our own farm. in Cambridge, Maryland.

But first, a bit about CULTA and our farm. Founded in 2015, we are a Maryland-based vertically integrated cannabis company with partners including Cookies and Grass. We have both an outdoor and indoor grow facility and were the first organically managed outdoor farm in Maryland to be Clean Green Certified.

In 2021, we launched the state’s first cannabis tissue culture lab and have ambitious goals to improve our sustainability efforts. Now, let’s talk technology!

Fertigation and building management system

Although indoor growing allows growers to produce cannabis all year round and in a fully controlled and clean environment, there are a lot of moving parts to manage.

That’s why we use a fertigation and building management system specifically designed for indoor operations. Not only does this help us deliver the exact nutrient recipes to our grow rooms multiple times a day with incredible accuracy, it also monitors and controls environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, CO2 and intensity. bright.

We use Priva, which provides insight into our processes and cultures and allows us to view detailed graphs of our rooms, which helps us make better data-driven decisions.

LED lighting

At CULTA, we have aggressive goals to reduce our carbon footprint.

One of the first improvements we made to achieve this goal was to upgrade our lighting to LED. Not only does being able to control our lighting allow us to enrich the cannabinoid, terpene and flavonoid profiles of our plants (which makes our medical patients happy!), but it also helps us save a lot of money on our plant costs. operation. Plus, they’re a much better option for the environment.

When looking for an LED lighting supplier, it was important to us that they specialized in lighting for commercial cannabis growers, which is why we chose Fluence.

ozone generator

Healthy cannabis plants start with clean water, which is why we invested in a state-of-the-art ozone generation system for our crops. This system destroys any pathogens that may be in our water so that our plants only drink the cleanest water possible.

Dissolved oxygen helps keep root zones clean, healthy and free of pathogens. As a bonus, it also helps keep our irrigation lines clean and sanitized, which over time also reduces our maintenance and repair costs.

We use the DRAMM water ozone system, which is designed for greater efficiency and safety.

Environmental monitoring system

In addition to the Priva system, we also use an EarthScout environmental monitoring system.

We use this system to develop variety-specific irrigation, lighting and environmental strategies. Yes, you read that right — we use this system to create “recipes” for each strain we grow.

The system uses multiple sensors to monitor humidity, temperature, salinity, air temperature, and soil moisture, among other environmental factors. We have just started using this system, so we have no data to share, but we hope it will help us reduce our irrigation and nutrient costs by at least 50%.

Cannabis technology is constantly changing

The best thing about cannabis technology is that it is constantly evolving. New, innovative products are always being released month after month, and for every breakthrough product, there are ten more that have come and gone without much fanfare, making it hard to decipher what the future holds.

While it’s impossible to predict what the next big technological breakthrough will be, one thing is certain: it’s coming and it will change the way we do business.

“It’s amazing to see how quickly the cannabis industry has embraced technological growth, and it’s very exciting to think about the impending breakthroughs that could potentially change the industry forever,” said the senior director of the culture, Jay Button.