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Dima Chernobilsky,, GrowDirector

"Product stability is the first challenge of cannabis growers"

As the cannabis industry got regulated, one of the first issues to arise was product consistency. In such a promising and competitive market, it is of the utmost importance for growers to provide their patients with a stable product whose effects are the same each and every time. “A number of growers are battling with the same issues,” Dima Chernobilsky, founder of GrowDirector, explains. “That is, to fill a grow and have a stable product. In order to have that, you need two things: genetics and environment.”

Genetics and environment
When it comes to genetics, it is crucial for growers to know which one specifically is better suitable for their operation and their growing environment. “But after that, it is all about being able to manage the environment and keeping it under control throughout the different stages of growth,” Dima says. “For instance, you need stable humidity, also considering that you need different levels of humidity according to the growth stage. If you are not able to control that, an uncontrolled humidity could lead to a pathogen outbreak that would ultimately force a grower to throw the entire cycle away.”

Dima Chernobilsky, GrowDirector CEO 

Everything under control
Of course, humidity is only one part of the whole picture, as the things to address when growing cannabis at scale are numerous. That is why a number of growers have decided to operate indoor facilities, where all the different equipment installed can be used to drive the grow in the most precise way possible. Yet, all the technology within said facilities hardly communicate with each other, and growers have to manage everything individually. “But not only that,” Dima points out. “Cannabis is such a valuable crop that the room for error is extremely little: a grower cannot afford to lose any crop.” That is why GrowDirector has developed a grow controller that can connect all the equipment within a facility to keep track of everything, allowing growers to constantly control the crop and to act immediately if anything goes wrong.

“GrowDirector can not only connect all the equipment, but with different sensors placed everywhere in the grow, growers can check the different aspects of the operation, and preset automation rules for any condition needed.” For instance, there are sensors in the water that registers the pH and EC and can be controlled automatically. “By placing sensors in the critical spots in a grow operation, growers can be sure that every small detail of their crop is recorded, controlled and sent to them in real-time.” Dima further explains. “But the peace of mind that such a grow controller would give you does not end with a mere controller for everything. On top of that, we are working on implementing a machine learning feature which would address issues by itself the moment they arise.”

Repeatable processes
At the same time, growing cannabis is not only about addressing potential issues but also about repeating successful processes. “As discussed, the stability of the product is paramount, especially when it comes to medical cannabis,” Dima remarks. “Therefore, it might happen that a cycle goes particularly well, and a grower wants to repeat that success. A lot of medical growers especially in US and Canada are small and medium-sized operations which can benefit the most from our technology. GrowDirector keeps track of everything and provides growers with reports about everything that has happened during the growing. In this way, they can easily repeat the same processes to ensure that every next cycle is always equally successful.” The purpose of the reports is not only for allowing growers to repeat those successful processes, but also to allow them to see if anything went wrong so that it can be addressed in the next cycle and prevent potentially dangerous mistakes. “We have plans to also provide our clients with a recipe book, not only for cannabis but for every crop,” Dima says. “This functions as a stepping stone to further understand how to optimally set up the growing environment. Then, if necessary, every grower can tweak it depending on their needs.”

In a cannabis industry that is getting increasingly diversified, indoor facilities represent a portion of the market that can be very profitable. “This also because, usually, they're set up close to the market they plan to tackle. Mainly, these are used for the production of flowers for the medical market. For such a segment, it is of the utmost importance to have consistent and reliable products. Therefore, growers have to increase their efficiency and cut the cost of production, because you will need much more input which will allow you to save money, and ultimately increase your profitability.” We have launched our v 2.0 of GrowDirector in US and Canada in August.

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