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3 Tips for Creating Sustainability in Cultivation

By National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) | Last updated: March 18, 2021
Key Takeaways

Maintaining an indoor grow operation of any size can be a difficult task for even the most experienced cannabis professional. Fortunately, Seed to Sale Show speaker and cultivation pro, Brandy Keen, has offered to share her top three most valuable insights on what it takes to create sustainability in cultivation.

"Indoor cultivation is undeniably the future of the cannabis industry and growers need to be educated on best practices to avoid high energy bills and reduce their environmental footprint . . . When optimized correctly, indoor grows do not require excessive amounts of water like outdoor grows."

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-Brandy Keen, Co-Founder and Technical Advisor, Surna, Inc.

Maintaining an indoor grow operation of any size can be a difficult task for even the most experienced cannabis professional. Fortunately, Seed to Sale Show speaker and cultivation pro, Brandy Keen, has offered to share her top three most valuable insights on what it takes to create sustainability in cultivation.

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Maximize the Budget You Have Rather than Compensating for the Budget You Don’t Have

Don’t skimp. If you don’t have the budget to build your large facility correctly, build a smaller facility that’s in your budget. Decisions you make at the design and construction level will impact your sustainability footprint for years to come. Ultimately, yields and quality will be higher in a smaller, correctly built facility than they would be in a large, poorly built facility, and operating costs will be lower because of the energy savings associated with proper design. And as much as you’d like to think that you’ll retrofit a poorly built facility later, the fact is you almost certainly won’t—it’s far more likely that you’ll scrap the poorly built facility in favor of a shiny new one. What a waste.

Choose the Appropriate HVAC System for Your Company’s Needs

Your mechanical (HVAC) system will be the single most important decision you make when you design your facility. It’s among the most costly purchases you’ll make, it’s more energy intensive than lighting, and its performance (the quality of your environment) is an absolutely critical component to your success as a cultivator. Understand how it works, understand how it’s designed, and understand why that particular approach is the best approach for your facility. Lastly, rely on a company who understands the unique needs of cultivation. An inexperienced engineer will ultimately create waste and cost in your facility.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Recycle your condensate. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it can reduce your water consumption but as much as 90%.

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Profile Picture of National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA)

Representing more than 1,400 member-businesses nationwide, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the largest cannabis trade association in the U.S. and the only association representing cannabis-related businesses at the national level. NCIA promotes the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry and works toward a favorable social, economic, and legal environment for that industry in the United States.

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