Resource Innovation Institute’s tips on increasing profits

US (CA): “Because of the unstable cannabis market, efficiency is key for growers”

Maximizing production or maximizing efficiency? “With the current unstable market in California, maximizing output is not the best strategy for growers. Instead, efficiency is more beneficial to be focusing on.” In their recent educational workshop, Resource Innovation Institute aimed to help cannabis producers improve the efficiency of their operations. From automation to upcoming changes in California’s energy code, there are many things to think about when it comes to increasing the grower’s profit. See the video below for the full workshop.

“Too much cultivation”

According to Autumn Shelton of the cannabis cultivating company Autumn Brands, the fluctuating Californian market is affecting growers. “Prices have always fluctuated, but not this much. Since Covid, the price of cannabis skyrocketed because the demand increased significantly. This year, however, there is too much cultivation and not enough retail to get it to the consumer. As a result,  some farms have had to let go of employees and some are shutting down half their operation during winter because they can’t sell their product. Now, more than ever, it is important for growers to be as cost-efficient as possible.”

So how can a grower improve their efficiency? “At Autumn Brands, we have been investing in new machinery to become more efficient, concerning our energy consumption as well. For example, we have been using Priva to manage our watering, cooling, and humidity. The software helps us to manage everything that goes on in the greenhouse and make changes according to the weather. Water-wise, we use a closed-loop watering system ensuring that no water is wasted. Having these systems in place helps us to focus on other important matters in our business. In addition, going 100% spray-free has meant that we are spending much less on pest control, and we are able to provide a product that is pesticide-free.”

Changes in the energy code
When it comes to energy, there are some upcoming changes that expanding Californian growers should take into consideration. California has an energy code that is designed to reduce wasteful and unnecessary energy consumption in buildings. The updated code will be in effect from January 1 2023 onwards. Anyone building a new production facility or adding to the one they have from that date onwards will have to meet the new requirements, explains Kyle Booth from Energy Solutions. For example, one of the upcoming greenhouse code changes concerns horticultural lighting of more than 40 kW of aggregate lighting load. The electric lighting systems used for plant growth and maintenance needs to meet the requirement of having a photosynthetic efficacy of at least 1.7 micromoles per joule. “From lighting requirements to minimum dehumidification requirements, it is important to consult the energy code to see if you are conforming to the new rules.”

For more information:
Resource Innovation Institute 

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