Vertical Growing Poses New Cannabis Security Challenges
While the cannabis supply across the United States continues to grow with new states legalizing recreational and medicinal use, cultivators are getting creative on how to maximize more yield. Vertical growing isn’t brand new. It’s been used in the food industry for years as a way to drive profitability and output. In the cannabis space, a pioneer industry in the intricacies of indoor growing, it serves a dual role of increasing profits and doing it without needing more real estate.
But the challenges are abundant. Cannabis security aside, a successful grow operation incorporates ideal conditions from temperature to airflow coupled with proper lighting and pest control to keep with vertical growing best practices. “The main catalyst behind cannabis cultivation going vertical is the improved performance of LED lighting,” says Thomas Rogers, LED engineer of Exact Lux. “Cannabis growers are approaching us wanting the most powerful multi-tier or ‘vertical farm’ lighting systems possible.” High Intensity Grow Lights became the pioneer lighting in the cannabis industry but skyrocket energy costs. New LED options are driving one piece of the cannabis vertical growing puzzle making it an option.
Add extremely skilled staffing to that list of requirements and the expense grows exponentially. Now take the precision required for a standard grow and stack it on top of itself – not one, but maybe even twice or three times. Cultivators are now managing a dozen or more new micro variables that can derail yield. Light sources have to change, temperature management now becomes more pivotal than ever, and one hiccup in any system could be the difference in making or losing your yield.
This is where the challenges for us in the cannabis security space come in. Imagine walking into a beautiful cannabis cultivation center. Plants stacked three tiers high on slidable racks. Wait, did you just read slidable? Yes, you did. Cutting edge grow infrastructure like the GROW Mobile System vertical grow system from Spacesaver eliminates wasted aisle space and allows for multiple, moveable levels of growing area in the commercial cannabis grow facility, maximizing cannabis production and yield per square foot.
It’s great to be able to move your racks, but now imagine your security planning that was done based on your single level grow. Our ICRealtime camera placement is no longer accurate. New lighting may require the change of your cameras to avoid light pollution. Let’s not forget – with one slide of a rack, your cameras are completely out of line with your video monitoring. Video monitoring… a regulatory requirement that your facility has to satisfy. What’s the solution? More cameras or different placement? Oftentimes, both.
Determining the proper vertical growing security system upgrades or controls is key when DEM360 is introduced to a facility planning to do vertical growing. You want to increase your yield, but not your budget. Thoroughly determining your space design, limitations of such, and the end goal of your grow yield is critical in the cannabis security planning of your facility. It may mean moving cameras. It may mean adding cameras. What about the megapixel requirement? How is that impacted by LED lighting verses HID?
Don’t get us wrong. Vertical growing may be the future of the cannabis space. The adjustment of cannabis security planning is going to become the critical piece in securing these spaces with the same iron-clad precision as a single level grow.