Figuring out where to start when you’re planning a commercial cultivation facility can be exceptionally challenging. Commercial construction projects in and of themselves are long, difficult, and expensive—throw in the unique challenges and building requirements of cannabis cultivation and it can quickly feel overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion about how to do it, but there’s no definitive guide or set of Cliff’s Notes you can reference to learn the “right” way. One of the best decisions you can make to help smooth out the process, and ensure you’re getting what you need, is to hire an experienced engineering firm to help you design it.
If you’re a small-scale cultivator planning to get big, or a new mega cannabis start-up company in need of assistance in finding one of these rare, specialized cannabis cultivation facility engineering firms with years of success under their belts, we thought it best to help you on your journey to find one.
There are thousands of competent engineering firms in North America. Only a handful of them can really be considered qualified and experienced to design cannabis cultivation facilities. Unfortunately, many otherwise reputable engineering/mechanical design companies with decades of experience and expertise in commercial building projects believe they can take on the challenge of designing a commercial cultivation facility. In the process, they often find themselves leaving out, or not understanding, crucial requirements of cultivation and leaving the owner with a facility that doesn’t meet the needs of the plant. In most cases, this is with the best of intentions—unfortunately in some cases, attracted by the allure of profitable building contracts for cultivation facilities without any experience of building them, for the purposes of growing plants they know nothing about, they try to “cross over” and fake their experience and knowledge of growing cannabis.
In either case, the result is most often cultivation facilities with poor results that negatively impact the profit margins of the unsuspecting cultivation companies they design for. The companies who did not do their due diligence to investigate the engineers they hired before hand, then spend months and even years playing “catch-up” trying to correct all mistakes the engineers made.
“The internet is littered with the mishaps of people who used engineering companies that didn’t know anything about the delicate and demanding nature of cannabis environments, didn’t ask the right questions, and ended up designing facilities that were lacking critical infrastructure and functionality for their business” says Jamie English, Surna Inc’s. Director of Marketing.
These cross over engineering firms however, are easy to spot by experienced cultivators. Successful cultivators with years of experience growing cannabis acquire their licenses after legalization. Then they start making plans to expand their businesses. They do their due diligence and find engineering design companies with success and experience in building state-of-the-art cultivation facilities.
These cultivators know exactly what they need, know what to look out for and can ask all the right questions when meeting with a potential engineering company because they learned the hard way by first building their own small-scale facility in a converted house or neglected commercial building and convert everything themselves, from scratch. Since they are not design engineers however, and are cannabis cultivation experts, they hire the pros to build them a large-scale commercial facility from the ground up!
As of this writing, 11 states have legalized recreational marijuana and 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. And the list of new states working towards legalization gets longer every year.
Legalized cannabis in these states is now big business. As a result, not only are the original licensed cultivators planning to expand, but new start-up cannabis cultivation companies are forming to cash in on the Green Rush.
The business owners of these new cultivation companies are first and foremost entrepreneurs. And often, the cultivation of cannabis is just one venture among many. They have neither cultivation experience or the hands-on building experience of putting together profitable large-scale growing facilities.
As a result, they must find experienced, successful cultivators to run their new facilities. As importantly, they must do their due diligence and find a reputable, experienced engineering design company to build the state-of-the-art cultivation facility they need. Even better, their long-term success hinges on them finding an experienced engineering design company that specializes in building only cultivation facilities and has a proven track record of satisfied cultivation clients with stellar results.