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Martijn Vernooij, Bosman Van Zaal:

“The cannabis market is maturing, with more serious projects being realized”

While still being a young and new industry, cannabis has come a long way. Martijn Vernooij, Technical Sales Consultant at Bosman Van Zaal, sees the cannabis market maturing and the projects becoming more serious. “In the past, it was a challenge for us to filter out the more serious people. Many would come knocking on our door without the proper knowledge of what it takes to set up legal cannabis cultivation. Now, there is a lot more knowledge, and people know better what they want.” Over the years, Bosman Van Zaal has been helping cannabis growers worldwide optimize their production, from CEA facilities in South Africa to HVAC systems in North America. “The growing cannabis market comes with a lot of regulations that keep evolving. We have a lot of industry experience, so we understand the challenges cannabis growers run into.”

Martijn Vernooij

From legacy to legal
Before joining Bosman Van Zaal, Martijn was a flower grower for 20 years. “With that cultivation experience, you get a pretty good idea of what large-scale cultivation is supposed to look like. But if you only have experience as a legacy cannabis grower, it’s quite a transition to take that production into something large-scale and legal. Years ago, it was a common issue for people to underestimate that,” Martijn says. Now that the cannabis industry is becoming more mature, Martijn is definitely seeing an increase in project quality. Still, the influence of the legacy growers should not be underestimated. “In my experience, if you combine someone who has the legacy experience with someone who has large-scale cultivation experience, they enhance each other, and you have a great team to start a project with.”

Becoming more efficient
Now that the projects have become of a higher quality, production efficiency has become a much more important aspect, Martijn explains. “During the ‘green rush,’ the facilities that were built had a very expensive setup, leading to production costs that went through the roof. Now that revenues have dropped, it is essential for growers to become more efficient. Therefore, we’ve been focusing on how automation can help growers. Automated systems can help streamline tasks such as watering and harvesting, saving time that you can use for other tasks.” Yet convincing growers to invest in high-quality efficiency solutions can still be a challenge. “There are lots of cultivation solutions on the market, so growers will sometimes opt for a more affordable option. Yet we’ve had it happen several times that they end up coming back to us to improve their situation. Sometimes going for the affordable, lesser quality option can turn out to be an expensive purchase in the end.”

Cultivation methods
Growing cannabis can, of course, be done indoors, in a greenhouse, or outdoors. It all depends on your location, scale, and financial resources. Martijn explains that the end product is important to take into consideration as well. “If you’re aiming to grow GMP-quality flower as the end product, then indoor is the best way to go. You have full control over the environment, and you’re not dependent on the weather. Yet growing indoors is expensive, so that can be a challenge. If you’re growing a product that will be extracted, then I would say go for a closed greenhouse, as that is a much more affordable way to grow,” Martijn says. For areas where land prices are high, vertical farming has provided a great solution. “Especially in North America, vertical farming has become a popular option over the years. In Europe, the cannabis market is just getting started, but we’re already getting some inquiries about vertical farms in Switzerland and Portugal.”

At the moment, Bosman Van Zaal is busy working with one of the licensed growers in the Dutch Closed Coffeeshop Chain Experiment. “We’re working on a hybrid facility for Aardachtig, which is part indoors and part greenhouse. In some of the indoor grow cells, they’ve already started production. Combined with high-quality genetics, Aardachtig strives to deliver high-quality recreational cannabis that is produced sustainably and organically.”

Bosman Van Zaal provides several specific solutions for optimal cannabis growing. Improved HVAC solutions enhance energy efficiency in cannabis farming. Utilizing LED solutions instead of HPS lighting systems further optimizes cultivation practices. And implementing plant-level tracking and tracing software tools, such as ISAL and Polariks, ensures precise monitoring throughout the cultivation process. Download the whitepaper to read more about it:

For more information:
Bosman Van Zaal
[email protected]