This summer has been a busy one for Surna. We’ve been traveling to a lot of industry events around the country. Last month, we were in DC and Toronto and last week, we went to Oakland and New York for cannabis industry related events. Both of these events were a success for us. Not only did we get to meet more people in the industry, but we also attended some great discussions on a range of topics.
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At Surna, we’ve had a busy few weeks and we want to keep our readers up to date not only with what we’re doing but also with what we’re learning about this new industry. In the last month, we’ve gotten up close and personal with both the American and Canadian cannabis markets. On May 15, we traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) Lobby Days. Then last week we headed to Toronto to attend and exhibit at the Lift Expo. Both events were enlightening and gave us an even better understanding of the trends in, and future of, this exciting industry.
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Cannabis is one of the North America’s newest and most promising industries. It is now medically legal in 29 states and recreationally legal in 8 states, with even more allowing CBD for certain medical conditions. A recent poll also shows that close to 60% of American support legalized cannabis and Canada is taking cannabis even further, introducing legislation to federally legalize the plant in 2018. All of this indicates a trend away from prohibition toward a regulated market. And yet, some are still wary of cannabis.
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Last week, Canada finally released its much-anticipated marijuana legislation, making it the second country in the world after Uruguay to legalize marijuana for recreational usage. This is an important moment in the development of cannabis as a global industry and we are all watching Canada take on this new challenge. At Surna, we like to stay up to date on everything cannabis-related and have been watching these developments carefully. Now that legislation has been presented, we’ve put together 5 things you should know about how Canada got here and what recreational marijuana will look like for the nation.
As cultivators and owners know, building out a commercial sized facility takes a lot of time, patience and money but can be extremely lucrative in the long run. Large-scale commercial facilities that are up and running are generating huge profits, mostly in cash. But this type of revenue takes time. To get to a place where a facility can sustain itself financially, owners first must go through the long and expensive process of licensing, permitting, obtaining land and/or buildings and, of course, choosing lighting and environmental control.
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Last November, the City of Denver released new regulations concerning odor control for cannabis cultivation facilities. Previously, Denver’s Department of Environmental Health (DEH) only mandated odor control plans for facilities that received a certain number of complaints but that is no longer the case. Both existing facilities, as well as new ones, will require an odor control plan going forward or risk financial penalties for non-compliance.
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Biosecurity is quickly becoming one of the most important topics in the cannabis industry. Testing standards are getting stricter and rates of tainted crops are sky rocketing, causing supply shortages and significant financial blows to cultivators all over the continent. Crops with mold or fungus can be deadly to consumers—especially those with lower immune systems, like many medical users. The alternative for many cultivators is to use chemicals like pesticides and fungicides to combat mold but unfortunately, these still pose a threat to consumers, placing cultivators in a catch-22 situation. Should you risk mold and fungus by avoiding chemicals? Or should you introduce potentially harmful chemicals to your plants to ensure against mold and fungus? Neither is a good option. Not only do these options put consumers at risk but, with increased regulation, they also put cultivators at risk of losing significant profits from having to dispose of sub-par harvests.
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You’ve finally gotten your license and funding, picked out a facility, picked out equipment and pulled the trigger. Now what? Sometimes, the hardest part of setting up a facility comes when you’re ready to begin construction and have to get everything in order. You want to be sure that your new equipment is going to be installed and maintained correctly and efficiently, offering you savings on operating costs and the peace of mind that your plants are healthy and safe all hours of the day.
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Right now, cannabis in the United States is a hotly debated topic. Many people are anti-prohibition citing medicinal uses, economic growth, job-creation and removing its incentive from underworld criminals as reasons for creating a legitimate, regulated cannabis industry. Others see negative impacts of legalization, believing that cannabis is harmful and prohibition only keeps citizens safe. But more and more, the consensus is moving toward the former with a new poll suggesting 93% of voters support medical marijuana and 59% support full legalization. Elections in November highlighted this trend as four states adopted medical and another four voted in favor of adult-use programs. Now a record 60% of the United States’ population live in a state that has legalized in some form.
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Designing an indoor garden can be complicated. Cannabis is a new industry and though growers can pull best practices from similar industries, the fact remains that setting up a commercial cultivation facility is complicated and hard to navigate for new entrants. From navigating regulatory requirements to finding an appropriately zoned facility to choosing the right equipment, nothing about this process is simple. As soon as one task is completed, another task needs attention.
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