As the cannabis industry continues to mature, the technology to process and package it is evolving as well. Although many producers go through the growing pains associated with expanding markets and increased business, it is important to avoid taking shortcuts.
Machines that sort and process “traditional” commodities such as nuts or candy are abundant, and many cannabis and hemp producers are lured by the bargain that these after-market devices appear to be.
With a quick modification here or a tweak there, it may well be a bandage to try and keep up with increasing demand. There is no argument that it beats hand-sorting flowers, but is it really as big of a deal as it appears to be?
Investing in equipment made specifically for the cannabis business and its unique challenges just makes sense from a business standpoint. As automated cannabis harvesting, sorting and packaging is relatively new in the burgeoning cannabis space, most producers are hesitant to jump in with both feet.
But there are a few industry-specific companies out there that understand the cannabis business and work with growers and producers daily.
Companies such as GreenBroz and Green Vault Systems know about specific harvest and packaging needs. They produce some of the finest industry-leading equipment on the market today. They also offer the support and operational knowledge to help make your cannabis harvest successful.
The Pitfalls of Using Retro-Fitted Machinery
Whether grown as hemp or for either medicinal or recreational purposes, the cannabis plant is different and unique compared to any other agricultural commodity of its size.
Machines developed to weigh and sort products of similar size as the average cannabis flower. For instance, almonds or hard candies can withstand a bit of "banging around". This same process would be far too harsh for the fragile cannabis buds.
With cannabis, a different and more delicate approach is required to ensure the integrity of the flower and avoid losing any parts of it in the process.
If we look at similar multi-head weighing machine designed to weigh small and low-value commodities such as peanuts or jelly beans, their weight tolerances are suitable for the candy or snack food business. On the flip side, the level of imprecision that these machines offer would leave thousands of dollars worth of cannabis flowers untouched per batch.
Using a machine such as the GreenBroz Precision Batcher is one of the best ways to reduce waste and maximize productivity. The patented Air Kush Technology ensures the highest level of flower quality and full trichome retention throughout the weighing process. It is gentler than hand sorting and packaging.
The Precision Batcher also boasts the highest degree of weighing accuracy compared to any combination weigher currently on the market. Its ultra-tight tolerances are accurate to within .01 grams (.0004 oz). Operators are also able to set target weights to precise specifications with the user-friendly interface. This reduces the incidence of overpacking and increases the bottom line.
The Precision Batcher is an industry-born machine that came into existence after the partnering of GreenBroz Inc. and Green Vault Systems, two of the top cannabis serving companies.
The Dollars and “Sense” of Industry-Born Equipment
Along with the ease of use that the Precision Batcher adds, its return on investment is also worth noting. A cross-over machine might save hundreds or thousands of dollars upfront, but investing in an industry-born piece of machinery could earn its owner potentially tens of thousands of dollars per run.
That same cross-over machine might be set to batch 3.5 grams per package, but given the loose tolerances of such machinery, it may in fact sort and pack packages ranging from a low of 3 grams to a high of 4 grams. Maybe not that big a deal when talking about candies or nuts, but in the cannabis business, this is big money. Such a discrepancy can spell out the loss of large amounts in revenue.
Or worse, it might mean the loss of loyal customers because they're not getting what they paid for.
Let's pretend cannabis sells for about $780 per pound or $7.80 per gram. These numbers aren't actually that far off as these were the real amounts cited by the Colorado Department of Revenu in 2018.
With a machine like the Precision Batcher and its ultra-tight tolerances, you can be sure that all day long, you will get packages between 3.48 and 3.52 grams. In a 100-pound run of flowers, this tolerance could earn an additional $35,000- 40,000 at the above-referenced prices.
With increased revenues like that, the machine pays for itself rather quickly. It also allows the user to define the flower size per package. For example, you can set the Precision Batcher to include one large nug, a couple of mediums, and some smalls in every bag.
With this customizable option, your clients are sure to receive the same packaging and experience at any location!
As regulations and competition get tighter, these cost-differences can be the deciding factors between retaining customers or losing them due to inconsistency. It can also be the fine line between growing or closing your business.
At the end of the day, automation is the way of the future. And if you're considering automating your processes, then make sure to invest in a machine built specifically for the cannabis industry.
Learn more about other automation tools such as dry trimmers, trichome extractors, destemmers and more at GreenBroz.com.