How to Become a Grow Room Specialist

Starting a successful grow room operation might seem easy, but it requires extensive planning and execution. First, you must obtain a license. Then, you will need to choose your systems and operational procedures. Finally, you need to plan construction, budget for ongoing expenditures, and devise the operational procedures and marketing strategy that will achieve sustained success for your business. In this article, we’re uncovering the steps to becoming a successful grow room specialist. In it, we underline the key components that lead to sustained success within a highly competitive cannabis industry. 

What to Know If You’re Starting a Commercial Grow Room

Starting a commercial grow room isn’t as simple as you might think. You can’t just put the plants in pots and start growing and selling. Before anything, you’ll need to apply for a license. Laws in each state vary as to the things you will need to apply for a license. Many states also have caps on the number of licenses they give out. In some areas, you will likely face some competition when it comes to applying for a license.  Below, we include some of the things you need to know about applying for a license to grow. 

Consult a Lawyer 

Unless you are versed in the legal implications of applying for a marijuana grow license, you should consult a lawyer before applying. Lawyers can guide you through the laws that affect cannabis in your state. Since cannabis is still illegal on a federal basis, you will need to take special care to abide by federal laws. Local cannabis lawyers are available from the National Organization for Reforming Marijuana Laws. 

Create a Development Team

Commercial grow operations are not single-person operations. You will need highly-qualified individuals on your team who have different specialties. The following professionals work well when trying to get your commercial grow license:
  • Physicians
  • Engineers 
  • Horticulturists 
  • Administrators 
  • Security managers 
  • Operations managers 
You don’t necessarily need to fill all of these roles to run an efficient operation, but your should consider at least a few of them to ensure you have a complete team of grow room professionals and an effective business plan. 

Commercial Grow Room Setup

HVAC Dehumidifiers 

While creating and maintaining an ideal environment for your cannabis plants, HVAC systems are one of the first things you will need to consider. You will need to look for a system that regulates your room temperature and eliminates humidity from the atmosphere so your plant doesn’t over saturate itself.  Industrial-grade dehumidifiers can run you anywhere from $2000-$5000 and a single commercial-grade HVAC system costs anywhere from $1500-$3500 depending on its features. Depending on the scope of your grow room operation, you might need a higher-grade HVAC system with added sterilization capabilities. 

Lighting 

Optimal horticultural lighting comes in different forms and you will have at least several sizes to choose from. LED lighting will be your best option for growing cannabis in an enclosed room. LED lights feature enhanced efficiency, output, and durability. They also emit less heat than other lighting units, which decreases the effect your lighting solution has on your room temperature. Lastly, LED lights can be optimized to provide the ideal spectrum of light output so you can adjust to your crop’s changing needs. 

Air Filtration and Odor

Keeping air clean within your grow room is often overlooked. Especially when growing in a traditional soil while HVAC units kick up dust and particulate matter, air filtration is essential. Air filtration systems for commercial grow rooms are fairly similar, but cannabis cultivators can benefit from using a filtration system that eliminates odors. These systems feature an activated carbon filter that absorbs the smell of the cannabis and other cultivation materials, such as fertilizer and nutrients.

Fertigation

Fertigation systems feature an added benefit of delivering the accurate amount of nutrients and moisture to your plants, which reduces labor costs. This lets you create a more consistent harvest over time. You can also monitor the pH level of both your water and soil to optimize your nutrient input. 

Control Systems

Marijuana control systems bring consistency to your crops and prevent unnecessary downtime by applying environmental parameters and alerting you of system malfunctions. While this is not an essential piece of grow room equipment, the control system saves you time and money monitoring and tending your crop because of the automation it provides.

Cost Expectations and Considerations

Depending on your grow room setup and its size, your cost can vary greatly. You must consider equipment, rent, construction, and any additional expenses that arise throughout construction.The typical costs average around $130-$250 per square foot but these prices can fluctuate depending on where you grow and how much of the facility you construct by yourself.   You must also consider other costs associated with cannabis growing. These costs can include licenses, labor, and growing materials like the medium, nutrients, and monthly utilities. Ongoing costs, such as labor and utilities typically vary from month to month depending on your needs and the external environment’s effect on temperature and humidity. If you are looking to cut startup costs, you should consider reaching out to a trusted cannabis grow room partner.

How to Start a Grow Room Operation Business 

Plan 

Passion for the industry and the growing process aren’t enough to start a successful marijuana grow operation. You need a team of experienced experts, support from your local community, and strong finances.  The most important aspect you can provide for your grow room business is a concrete business plan that helps secure investors and obtain the necessary permits and permissions from local governments. 

Production and Supply Chain 

To ensure the consistency and stability of your grow room operation, you will need to ensure your grow room operates smoothly at all times, across the supply chain. You should decide what systems you will use and the technology that you will need to support those systems. You will also need to create a stable process for cloning, breeding, trimming, drying, curing, packaging, and distributing your product. 

Business Operations

Decide on the daily operations for your business to ensure consistent output and standards of quality. What budget will you need? What procedures will your employees need to follow? TO run an effective grow room facility, you need to plan your operations specifically by setting your lighting, installing security, purchasing equipment, selecting a payment process, and define compliance procedures. 

Opening

After you have a license for your business, it’s time for the grand opening. Stock your inventory, build your vendor and supplier relationships, hire and train employees, and promote your business with a solid marketing strategy.  The post How to Become a Grow Room Specialist first appeared on The Weed Street Journal.