This article originally appeared in the March 2017 print edition of Cannabis Business Times. To subscribe, click here.
As more large-scale greenhouse operations enter the rapidly maturing cannabis industry, it is increasingly important to properly assess the benefits greenhouses may offer your business. Cannabis Business Times reached out to experts in the cannabis and greenhouse industries for these 21 tips – with more to follow in Part II of this special feature in the next issue – on navigating greenhouse options, optimizing structures and preparing for what’s ahead.
Conley’s Greenhouse Manufacturing
1. Choose the right structure for your location.
“Location is everything. ... In many urban areas, you may be required to have engineered stamped plans in order to build the greenhouse. You can’t just purchase any over-the-counter or catalog greenhouse and expect it to pass the requirements.
“In rural areas, you may not be required to have engineered stamped plans, but you still want your greenhouse to withstand [regional] wind and snow loads. Most greenhouse companies are familiar with what will work in your area. Make sure your provider warranties the house they sell you for snow and wind.”
2. Realize how location affects cooling.
“Many people do not take the conditions of their location into account. For example, in certain areas of Colorado, evaporative cooling is not needed because it rarely heats up to 90 degrees. However, in most of the rest of the state, evaporative cooling is absolutely critical for optimum production because of extreme heat or the solar heat gain in high elevation.
“In areas where temperatures do not reach high degrees, natural ventilation is sufficient. Simply having roll-up curtains to allow air in and ridge vents at the greenhouse peak to allow heat to escape is sufficient. ... In many coastal areas, the humidity level is too high for evaporative cooling to work effectively. A system of cooling air without creating more humidity works in these environments.”
3. Don’t skimp on control systems.
“It’s important to have the correct control system for your greenhouse and well worth the additional money to have all fans, heaters, cooling, lights, etc., working on one controller. Many times, no one will be in the greenhouse. You want to be sure that everything will function properly when no one is there. Additionally, it is well worth the money to have an alarm function on your controller that will alert you on your mobile phone or land line if there is a problem. This crop is one of the most expensive crops grown. It is not worth saving a few dollars to jeopardize [it].”
To read the full article in Cannabis Business Times' March edition, click here.