Over the last ten years, the medical marijuana industry has been on the rise. Dan Sutton, CEO of Tantalus Labs took advantage of this growth. He is currently working on building an energy-efficient cannabis greenhouse in British Columbia. The greenhouse is the product of years of research. Biologists, engineers, and cannabis farming experts put their heads together to design the facility. The facility may just be the blueprint for the future of the industry, which is why it will be an important model in cannabis consulting.
A Cannabis-Green Revolution
The energy-efficient cannabis greenhouse and a new age for agriculture
Sutton wanted to make something that no one had tried before. He wanted to take advantage of current technology in his new design. For example, plans include data-mining software, more efficient lamps, and improved irrigation systems.
Maria Gallucci for International Business Times notes that these new improved tools for growing could leak into the traditional agriculture industry. Gallucci even said that large businesses could implement Sutton’s new ideas to lower electricity usage.
“Cannabis is spurring an ag-tech revolution,” Troy Dayton, the CEO of a cannabis research firm in California, said. Dayton notes that this is all happening because laws about cannabis are getting less strict. This trend-setting tendency is what creates the model cannabis consulting firms will use to advise future business owners.
The Market in the Shadows
News of the energy-efficient cannabis greenhouse sheds light on a hidden market
Troy Dayton explains the market to International Business Times:
“The market is already there, it’s just moving from the shadows into the light. That’s why you’re seeing this incredible growth and why so many people see it as a once-in-a-lifetime [business] opportunity.”
As of 2020, 11 states are fully legal for recreational and medicinal use. Another 11 states legalized medicinal use and decriminalized recreational use.
Because the laws about marijuana were so strict in the past, the market was forced to stay hidden. Now that laws are loosening, the high level of interest in the industry is becoming clear.
In 2014, U.S. cannabis sales skyrocketed past $2.7 billion with only 3 states fully legalized at the time. It was a $1.1 billion increase from 2013.
How do Energy-Efficient Cannabis Greenhouses Actually Save Energy?
The new developments focus mostly on ventilation and interior cooling. They also made lighting improvements. Together, these three aspects make up a majority of the growing costs.
They are also working on automating the system. Sensors automatically determine the current air temperature and humidity and adjust the system accordingly. These automating systems are all energy-efficient and cut down on electricity usage.
One of the leaders in optimal environment automation is called Heliospectra. They specialize in lighting setups. They produced lights that can be customized to alter the intensity, spectrum, and the timing of artificial light rays.
Energy-Efficient Cannabis Greenhouses: Plenty of Room to Grow
Sutton explains that cannabis is a unique industry. This is because there is a lot more room for experimentation. Similarly, the cannabis industry has a much larger profit margin than traditional farming. For instance, traditional farmers may only experience a 10% profit margin, whereas cannabis growers could bring in close t0 an 80% profit on their product.
Secondly, new technologies are being developed for the cannabis industry because it has such a fast-growing market. Scientists are more likely to conduct research in a growing industry.
Michael Mayes, CEO of Quantum 9, a cannabis consulting firm, spoke on the topic:
For the newer generation that’s just getting out of college or new to the workplace, cannabis is a more interesting project than say a real-estate project, or a lettuce project…the ‘cool’ factor can drive innovation.
Young people enjoy the idea that they could be doing something totally different than anything previous generations have done before them. It makes the cannabis industry truly cutting-edge.