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Anthony Giardino, cultivation manager at AtlantiCann

"Our operation really feels like a science laboratory"

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, there is a state-of-the-art indoor facility solely built to cultivate high-grade medical cannabis. “AtlantiCann is a joint-venture corporation formed with the intention to provide the medical market with the highest quality cannabis,” Anthony Giardino, cultivation manager with AtlantiCann, explains. “Instead of using multiple tiers, we have multiple small grow rooms with custom-designed climate and irrigation systems. This allows us a higher degree of control over the various stages of the growth so that the plant maintains optimal health throughout the cultivation.”

Highest standards
Everything in AtlantiCann's facility has been designed to meet the highest standards. “We had a team of engineers and cultivators, a very skilled and multi-disciplinary team. Everything has been made following the strictest GMP standards, and all the materials and processes were planned to optimal efficiency.” Indeed, as Anthony remarks, “We are backed by science, but we operate as a work of art. We combine technology with unique growing methods. We have our own formulas for fertigation, we made our own recipes, and make use of natural elements only. Our director is from Colorado, and he has worked for many years in cannabis. Our operation really feels like a science laboratory.”

The irrigation system
A very important part of the operation is played by the irrigation and fertigation system by Zwart Systems. “We use a day-tank system,” Anthony points out. “We are focused on the data in the substrates – that’s where it all begins. We also carry out leaf tissue analysis to validate that the injection rate is the same. The ability to formulate our own recipes allows us to tweak them when necessary. We see how the plant responds, and if we see anything different, we can lower some variables, in order to control everything in the root zone.”

“The Zwart Systems solution we use is a batch day-tank, combined with Argus control: in this way, if the pH or the EC are not in the proper range, we get an alarm on that, so that we can react immediately, allowing us to be very flexible. We have multiple tanks going to each room to ensure the possibility to have different options if something goes wrong.” However, the Zwart Systems irrigation solution is extremely reliable thanks to the great experience in the food and ornamental industry of the company. “They have seen it all,” Anthony says. “They have great insight on what’s going to work and what is not going to work. They have custom-designed our irrigation system to work exactly with the high standards we wanted to follow. One of the most important characteristics of this system is the reliability: we have three veg rooms and 6 flower rooms, and we harvest every ten days; thus far, we had 37 harvests, and the Zwart Systems units have never failed us: they are very well crafted with high value components, and that can totally be seen with how well they work in the field.”

This is especially important in an operation like AtlantiCann, where everything needs to be up to the strictest standards and most advanced cultivation methods. “We are built by cultivators,” Anthony remarks. “We focus on optimal efficiency, cost of production, and the highest genotypes we can cultivate. This is of the utmost importance in a market where consistent high quality is mandatory. Those growers who cannot operate at the best efficiency, will go through particularly hard times in the future. On our side, we are going to have 12 dedicated flower rooms to only produce high quality cannabis. Phase 2 is going to be 63,000 sq.ft., and we already received the Health Canada estimation. It is only a matter of time when this will go online too.”

For more information:
Zwart Systems
4881 Union Road, Beamsville, ON, L0R 1B4  
Local: 905-563-9606