One of the challenges growers more and more need to decide upon, is if it is better to grow cannabis in a greenhouse than in an indoor farm: “It really depends on what one aims for”, Zuri, CEO of Fospan Worldwide, points out. Fospan is a Dutch-Spanish solution provider specialized in the cannabis industry, and also developer and exclusive provider of Magnus Light solutions. “There is not a univocal approach on growing cannabis. A greenhouse is less expensive than an indoor farm, it allows for big scale operations and can make use of the free sun. At the same time, it is easier to get pests and insects like mildew and spider mites when not closed. When closed, cooling is very expensive. Indoor may seem expensive but we see, especially in multi layer, it may have more advantages: when using water cooled lamps you can earn your investment on the lamps back by the savings of cooling as you move the heat away, and it is easier to manage pest prevention and extensive odor nuisance from the plants to neighbours."
Zuri continues: "Greenhouse and indoor growing both have their own advantages of course. When customers want to produce with full GMP compliance we see that due to these GMP requirements, growing medicinal cannabis demands specific processes and procedures as well as specific equipment. Magnus has specifically responded to this with the development of a series of GMP approved lights including watercooled."
According to Zuri, cannabis is a very delicate plant and it needs constant attention in many different aspects. “The main difference between indoor farms and greenhouses is that indoor growing can more easily and affordable being monitored and controlled, while greenhouses are harder to control as there are many external factors that affect the growth processes such as light, temperature control and contamination.”
He continues: “GMP is not always a necessity, but we see it becoming a demand in more areas. We wanted to stay ahead and be compliant and interesting to greenhouse, indoor and GMP” Zuri advises new growers that if you can go indoor, you should go for it.
According to Zuri, what is often forgotten at the beginning is that a lot of energy is needed to cool a greenhouse, thus making production sometimes extremely expensive. “There are many growers that are now converting to indoor farms as they saw the long-term advantages with their own eyes”. Zuri has a recent example “We developed a project where the grower built a greenhouse targeting the CBD market. This grower noticed that it was extremely difficult to control the greenhouse unless he would invest in very expensive solutions for cooling and humidification. The influence of sunlight which affected the temperature and humidity in his greenhouse and cost involved in climate and light control, made him finally decide to turn to indoor growth.”
As this example demonstrates, climate and light control can compromise the entire business to the point that growers need to rethink their farming processes. “I would even advise growers to go underground if possible”, Zuri says. It may sound strange, but according to him, constructing the facility in a basement, cellar or even a cave makes climate control extremely easy. “I believe this is an advisable go-to approach especially if a grower is located in warm countries.”
Zuri concludes: “We will always support any client in whatever decision is made. We provide them with suggestions and share our knowledge with them so they can make the best possible decision.”
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