Available capital in MMJ creates sandbox for innovative technologies

The overall acceptance and technological development and innovations in horticulture might be sped up by the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in North America. There is a growing interest in horticultural technologies, know-how and products, and cannabis entrepreneurs do not hesitate to spend their capital. It seems like the entire horticulture industry, including flower growers and producers of edibles, can benefit from the know-how that the cannabis industry gains while experimenting with new technology.

Maybe it was for this reason that we ran into a few familiar faces from the cannabis industry at the GreenTech in Amsterdam last month. "The GreenTech in Amsterdam was a great event for us to get to learn and sit down with new companies and see new technologies. The exhibition also gave us a good chance to strengthen ties with our existing suppliers and relations", said Shane Hutto from Horticultural Solutions in Colorado, a turn-key supply company to the cannabis industry.

Hutto said that he was amazed by some of the new technologies on display in Amsterdam and that he couldn't wait to explore the potential of these in his own industry. "Think about the GreenTech-award winning deleafing robot from Priva. This solution is very interesting for us to see if we can automate the deleafing process in large scale commercial cannabis cultivation, which is a big labor input during a certain crop change."

According to Hutto, his industry creates a perfect sandbox for such new technologies as there is plenty of capital available. "A lot of money is made at the moment. Many growers and companies are willing to invest in technology to optimize their growth and efficiency in order to be prepared for that moment when a price drop will occur and the market changes."

Hutto explained that due to this situation, his customers are not only willing to experiment with technologies that have already proved themselves, but they also dare to take risks with newer groundbreaking technologies that require more capital input.

When Hutto just started in this industry, his company gained a lot of revenue from the sale of basic grow supplies like substrates and supplemental lighting, more recently his company had a lot of work with the sale and installation of total black out screen systems. This gave a boost to the growth of his company; the team from Horticultural Solutions expanded to a total of 4 employees and this month the company will enter their new larger offices and storage warehouse with showroom.

The new offices of Horticultural Solutions

"Growers are willing to invest in technology that can prepare them for the future; they are looking for labor savings, energy savings and supplies that can optimize their product", said Hutto. The latter two are a reason why his company is now also an official distributor for DryGair; the Israeli combined heating and de-humidification system that claims a total of 50% of energy savings.

Drygair unit in medicinal marijuana production

The DryGair units help growers to cope with molding mildew, which is a huge problem in cannabis crops. The system takes out the excess humidity and keeps the humidity at a stable desired level while it also decreases the amounts of energy needed to keep the temperature at the right levels. With this, growers have less expenses on heating and crop protection while their crops are healthier and stronger.

Rona Orlicky and Ziv Shaked of DryGair with Shane Hutto of HortiCultural Solutions at the GreenTech in Amsterdam last month.

The coming year, Hutto expects a lot to happen in his industry; things are going well, not only in terms of acceptance of new tech, but also in terms of regulations. Besides plenty of work in the states of New York, Maryland, Washington and Colorado, Hutto is very busy with projects in states where legalization is not yet finalized. "Medicinal cannabis cultivation will soon be regulated in more states as Ohio and Pennsylvania are working on applications. We already have a project scheduled in Pennsylvania and one potentially in Ohio as well. People are working on these projects already, even before the regulations are finalized."

For more information:
Horticultural Solutions Ltd.
Shane Hutto

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