Now that recreational marijuana is legal across Canada, the need for product has increased sharply. Based on corporate statements, the 10 largest cannabis producers in the country are planning to churn out 1.8 million kilograms worth of the plant by 2020.
Len Wong, a Toronto-based grower, is poised to meet the demand. The business executive brings more than 16 years of experience in the fields of cannabis genetics and organic gardening to the table. In 2019, he’ll be opening The Grow Depot in Toronto.
The Grow Depot will aim to serve cannabis growers in two primary areas. One, it will offer a wide range of products and equipment for the grower, including lighting and plant propagation, nutrition and health-related equipment. Second, it will provide in-depth cannabis consulting to growers through a team of genetic enthusiasts. "We will fill a demand by providing customers with years of growing knowledge and quality equipment" the company explains.
“I created The Grow Depot with my clients in mind,” says Wong. “My hand-picked team understands that each strain and growing location have different needs for lighting, food and water.”
At The Grow Depot, Len Wong will tap into his dedication to sustainability and his passion for the role organic gardening plays in the environment and with human health: “I focus on breeding superior cannabis strains with remarkable phenotypes, improving my strain selection along the way and cultivating high-quality, craft-style cannabis,” Wong explains.
The nature of the crop itself is one of the biggest differences between growing cannabis and growing other crops, says Wong. “Growing cannabis represents a cross between traditional horticulture and manufacturing pharmaceuticals or nutritional supplements.”
Cannabis requires tight environmental controls to maximize yield and potency, Wong explains. It is subject to pests and other contamination issues. “Cannabis growers need tightly-controlled growing environments with light deprivation, supplemental light, cooling, heating, humidity control, CO2 control and more,” he adds.
Thus, greenhouses can be ideal for cannabis growing, Wong says.
“Some people think that you cannot fully control a greenhouse environment. But we have technology that can create the right conditions. The industry just needs to be educated and see more of it in action.”
In cold climates like Canada, Wong explains that employing natural gas or propane heat increases CO2 levels, which is an added benefit. As with any gas-fired appliance, a carbon monoxide detector should be installed to ensure health and safety.
"In addition, by harnessing the free power of the sun, growers can save as much as 90 per cent on their electricity bills", the company explains.
Humidity is perhaps the biggest challenge, says Wong. "Cannabis is particularly susceptible to fungal disease. You have to have a good venting system."
"If all of the requirements seem overwhelming", Wong says, "The Grow Depot employs a team with more than two decades of education and experience".
“When we open in 2019, we’ll be ready to assist new cannabis growers” says Wong. “We know that a love of growing doesn’t have an off-season.”
The Grow Depot will aim to support all styles of cannabis growing, in addition to greenhouses.
For more information:
The Grow Depot