As soon as the cultivation of medical cannabis was legalized, many growers dreamt of bringing their expertise and knowledge into this new venture. Unfortunately, the step from small to large-scale operations is not an easy endeavor. Many growers who tried the leap saw their entrepreneurial dreams fading inevitably as new and unexpected elements factored in cannabis cultivation. However, this is not the story of Bryan Robinson with Castle Ridge, as he made sure to have everything in place before venturing into this business.
“I have been growing cannabis for 22 years. One of the things that I struggled the most with at the beginning was exactly the transition from small scale to large scale operations.” The reason of this struggle lies on the fact that “going to a regulated market meant that a whole new array of technologies was suddenly available to growers around the world. This industry is very high-tech and new solutions come out almost every day,” Bryan observes. “The biggest challenge is exactly being able to incorporate new advancements and, at the same time, to make a better product.”
That is why it is important to rely on greenhouse companies that have a deep horticultural knowledge and are aware of the difficulties in the implementation of new systems.
“We have a license that limits our square footage. So, when we approached GrowSpan, we had a square footage in mind,” he says. “The most important thing for us is to keep a constant temperature throughout the greenhouse and be able to do it in a large scale.” According to Bryan, GrowSpan’s expertise proved itself to be crucial. “Their knowledge was very keen into the way I built the building, the way I put the plants within and the height I wanted them.”
The importance of climate control
With regards to climate control, Bryan points out that he is not the only grower who takes in high regard climate control. “Most growers in any agri-business are concerned of cooling. We are in Northern California and here the climate is pretty tempered. Our biggest thing is to remove humidity and to prevent humidity build up when there are humid mornings, for example. We wanted to use the least amount of electricity possible to get rid of the humidity.”
Bryan can count on a fully automated light dep commercial greenhouse, which is one of GrowSpan’s S2000 structures. He specifies: “It has all polycarbonate walls, it has a fully automated built-in fan system, and it also has wet walls so to keep the temperature cool to the point that we do not need any air conditioning.” This is a very important aspect for Bryan, as “We want to minimize our carbon foot print, so we decided to implement an indoor environment into our greenhouse, so that the use of sunlight would reduce our energy consumption.”
Thanks to GrowSpan, Bryan says that he has been able to achieve such a goal. “GrowSpan is very aware of what it takes to make a greenhouse work in terms of power consumption.” In order to make sure that his growing facility would keep working as expected, GrowSpan followed up on Bryan. “They make sure that what they built is to the standard that I want.”