Cannabis Cultivation Site Design
Cannabis Cultivation Site design is a part of the planning process that is worthy of deep consideration. Some marijuana cultivation businesses have failed because of poor ergonomics and workflow systems that are difficult to change once the site is set up. For example, having trimming rooms on a different level of the building than cultivation rooms can result in workers spending way too much time transporting newly harvested cannabis around the building, clogging up the stairwells and elevators, and turning workflow into a congested mess.
Another case of poor site design is having water sources too far away from the plants. It’s worth installing extra sinks and water tanks in order to make water mixtures easily accessible to workers in each cultivation area. Having to travel more than 100 feet from the water to the plants gets prohibitive in terms of convenience, especially considering the weight and movement tendencies of water as it is being moved around.
You might have noticed from reading cannabis cultivation magazines that many indoor marijuana cultivation spaces use subdivided rooms, somewhat like individual train cars, that typically measure about 20 ft across and 50-100 ft long. This approach has some good logic behind it. When the rooms are divided, they can have their own temperature controls, pest treatment practices, and they subdivide the workflow into digestible chunks, so one room can be set up, treated or harvested at a time. Also, when they are rectangular in shape, then circulation fans can blow evenly across plant canopies, where square rooms often have hot spots in the center, which is inevitably where mold and pest outbreaks first happen. If you need to use square rooms, make sure the airflow is engineered to handle the canopy evenly.
Being an R&D oriented marijuana consultant, I also like divided rooms because they create a good foundation for controlled experiments. If, for example, you wanted to test the efficacy of a certain amount of Co2 injection, or a type of lighting system or nutrient regimen, doing this in one of your rooms, with another room containing the same strains but not variables, gives you reliable data on which to base system changes across the site.
A word of caution- ergonomics is often overlooked in commercial marijuana cultivation setups. It’s actually quite important, not only for the long-term health and happiness of the workers, but also to save money on labor costs (your greatest expense by far), and to make the treatment and testing of plants physically easy. Invariably, grow rooms get over-packed with plants, often with poor drainage management. In this case, peripheral plants always get neglected, and soil and runoff testing gets put on the back burner. Having all your plants on tables and all your tables on sliders or wheels helps mitigate this problem, and this design can also be very supportive of the pest treatment process, which is discussed in greater detail in the pest section listed at the bottom of this page.
One final word about the basics of design and setup is that you must take into account fire code regulations with regard to aisle widths, disabled access, emergency exits, frequency and spacing of egresses, trip hazards, and sprinkler systems. Check with local authorities for regulations that are specific to your business. To summarize, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Careful planning in your setup process will save you huge headaches down the road.
* Marijuana Business Documentation - Business Plans, SOPs, Tracking Systems, R&D
* Marijuana Grow Site Security
* HVAC for Commercial Marijuana Growing
* Energy Planning and Electrical Use in Marijuana Cultivation Sites
* Marijuana Water Usage and Management
* Choosing the Right Commercial Marijuana Grow Equipment
* Worker Safety for Indoor Marijuana Cultivation Businesses
* Pest Management for Indoor Marijuana Growing
* Marijuana Grow Site Sanitation
* Marijuana Nutrient Management
* Managing Supply & Demand in Marijuana Production Facilities
* Commercial Marijuana Quality Control
* Ongoing ROI Analyses for Commercial Marijuana Production