The legal cannabis industry has taken root across the U.S. as this once black-market drug has gained national recognition for its medicinal and recreational uses.
Business has been booming for The Grove, a medical marijuana dispensary just outside the Las Vegas strip. While many of its successes can be attributed to its attention to growing plants naturally and sustainably, The Grove sought to enhance its use of space to deliver even greater efficiency.
Montel stepped in to help The Grove managers designed the ideal grow operation based on their industry’s unique needs. After everything was said and done, Montel installed 29 42-foot long carriages spread across four rooms, increasing The Grove’s storage capacity to over 6,380 square feet with Montel’s powered mobile racking.
That’s a lot of extra space, but those outside the know might not understand what spatial economy means to cannabis growers. Let’s get an inside look at this “budding” industry and what maximizing cannabis storage truly means to grow ops in Nevada and beyond.
Always room to grow
Although it might not be as apparent in Nevada, the space requirements for growers and dispensaries can be crippling to business.
“With powered mobile racking, The Grove effectively doubled its on-site yield.” – Kevin Biernacki, Master Grower for The Grove
Take Colorado, for example. By the end of summer 2015, less than three years after the state legalized recreational cannabis use, warehouse space in the region had almost completely dried up, according to The Wall Street Journal. What little rental and ownership opportunities were available to interested parties increased rapidly in costs per square foot, driven almost entirely by the incredible demand from marijuana producers.
For its 16,000-square-foot cannabis storage facility, The Grove chose powered mobile racking installations to optimize space in its three flower rooms (1,392 plants each for a total of 4,176) and a vegetation room, with plans to expand operations by another three flower rooms. By installing powered mobile racking throughout its facility, The Grove will reach a capacity of more than 8,352 plants!
Let a little light in
Energy costs are another thorn in the sides of legal cannabis growers everywhere. A 2012 study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimated legal indoor marijuana operations are responsible for 1 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, about $6 billion worth of power annually.
Stopping this problem from overtaking revenue and hurting the environment, many grow ops like The Grove have made modifications to their facilities to detract from the problem, like utilizing 480 LED lights, as well as cycling between light and darkness to replicate natural conditions.
The Grove and other growers also develop and implement plans for reducing their energy intensity, or the amount of energy used per square foot. Mobile racking modules do just that – collapsible installations ensure no energy goes to waste lighting empty space.
All the bells and whistles
The Grove’s powered mobile racking installations carry more than plants, but also water reservoirs, fuse boxes, fans, hoses and other equipment.
Traditionally, prefabricated shelving might not have withstood the weight of all these different components. However, Montel’s mobile racking systems provide literal tons of holding power, and its highly customizable frame makes it simple for owners to organize their grow rooms as they please.
The future of legalization across North America
U.S. markets aren’t the only ones racing to capitalize on the “green rush” – Canada’s health minister Jane Philpott recently announced the federal government will officially legalize marijuana in spring 2017.
Canadian dispensaries and grow operations planning ahead ought to take note of the lessons learned by American businesses like The Grove. Powered mobile racking for cannabis storage removes spatial and energy impediments from the picture so entrepreneurs can reinvest revenue into their continued success rather than seeing their profits “go to pot.”
Montel would like to thank Shelf Image, the local Authorized Montel Distributor, for doing an outstanding job managing the project and performing the installation.