It’s 6:00 A.M., snow on the ground. The garage door won’t open automatically. You have to shovel out the snow and open it manually. You get in your car. It won’t start. You give your battery a jump and it fires up. On the way to work, a tire blows. You pull over, knowing you’re going to be late today.
What good is all this technology around us if it’s not improving our lives? That’s what the people at TriGrow and MMJ America asked themselves when they were considering partnering up.
Let’s take a closer look at how these companies are using technology to improve the cannabis industry.
- How did TriGrow’s working relationship develop with MMJ America?
MMJ America had realized that their traditional cultivation style made it difficult to scale their operations and deliver consistent high-quality product. They were looking for a solution that delivered scalability, quality, consistency, and a low cost of production; enter TriGrowTM Systems.
TriGrow works with Client Operators to address their individual needs and design a facility and solution that optimizes workflow, product flow, and labor and ultimately delivers a consistent end product.
- What inspired the creation of TriGrow?
TriGrow was created after seeing a need for innovation in the cannabis industry. Traditional indoor cannabis cultivation uses dated technology, lacks proper biosecurity and sanitation standard operating procedures, and are often not designed to optimize workflow or product flow.
Modern cannabis cultivation needs to adopt the same high-tech clean room approaches taken by plant factories across the globe.
Thus, TriGrow was borne to address all of these issues by delivering a consistent end product that is safe for patients/consumers and to provide reproducible experiences.
- What’s so unique about your system that makes it able to produce more weight per square foot when compared to other grow operations?
TriGrow uses highly efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. LEDs are multi-source lights unlikehigh-intensity discharge lights, which are point source lights. Because of this they do not concentrate the heat created at a single location, instead, distributing the heat across our 8’ fixtures.
Further, TriGrow introduces LEDs inside the plant canopy. By moving the light inside of the plant canopy, more flower is produced per square foot.
Lastly, TriGrow uses a vertical approach to cultivation, maximizing the output of flower per square foot of real estate.
- What can you tell us about your process of developing your proprietary nutrient blends to achieve specific flower attributes?
We had learned from experience that every time a fertilizer is measured out and used there was the potential for loss and error,so our guiding philosophy was simplicity with results.
We wanted a single part fertilizer that would afford ease of mixing, application, and deliver results. Through years of testing we have developed an easy-to-use fertilizer formulation that produces results for pennies per gallon compared to hobbyist fertilizer formulations still prevalent in the industry from the black-market era.
- How does your software promote the maximum yield possible?
TriGrow cultivates plants in a growth chamber-like apparatus called a VFU (Vegetative Flowering Unit).
Each VFU grows a single cultivar at any given time (a monocrop) allowing our clients to do what is best for that particular plant without impacting the cultivation of others.
Think about the cultivation of each cultivar in a TriGrow facility being like following a particular recipe. The recipe will differ if you want to grow Purple Punch or Wedding Cake, just as it would if you were baking a red velvet or a chocolate cake.
TriMaster controls all aspects of the GrowPlanand even alerts the manager as to what labor is scheduled each day.
- What do you think is the number one problem faced by large-scale cannabis grows today?
Consistency is a challenge in many facets of the industry, but I will examine only one particular example: chemotype consistency.
Cannabis is a highly-adaptive plant and exhibits a great deal of phenotypic plasticity. Imagine that an identical clone of Purple Punch was given to different growers: one who grows outdoors in California and the other who grows indoors in NY.Even though the plants have identical DNA the flowersproduced will show differences in appearance and chemical profile.
- When designing a new, industrial-sized cannabis grow, what’s the first thing the business owner should consider?
Efficiency.Efficiency from a process standpoint optimizing workflow, product flow, and biosecurity.
Efficiency should also be examined for the hardware: lighting efficiency, HVAC selection, and software integration all have huge impacts on the costs of production as well as yield potential and disease mitigation.
LED lighting efficiency now far surpasses any HID on the market. Water-cooled HVAC systems can be up to 25% more efficient than traditional HVAC systems and have the added benefit of independently controlling temperature and humidity.
- What’s your best piece of advice for ensuring a productive cannabis grow?
Rely on science and data over myth,lore, or art.
Unfortunately, the cannabis industry as we now know it arose from an era of clandestine cultivation where knowledge was closely guarded and what was shared was largely pseudoscience or rife with misinformation.
We are now in a place where legitimate research on cannabis cultivation has begun and people looking to ensure productive cultivation facilities need to apply replicable scientific and data-based decision making to their processes.