The City of Medford has had concerns over the growing of hemp in its city. The City Council has heard these complaints and is mulling over making hemp illegal to grow in the city. The code already states that growing marijuana is illegal within city limits. The article gets a little unclear as it states there is indoor cannabis grows in the city. It states there are no indoor grows of hemp in the city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Medford City Council is looking at code changes that would make growing hemp in the city limits illegal.
  • It already has a code that says that growing marijuana in city limits is illegal.
  • The concern seems to stem from the strong odor emitted by the flower according to the article.

Quote: “The city doesn’t have any language in its ordinance that restricts hemp production or processing, though the city passed a number of ordinances from 2015 to 2018 related to marijuana, with councilors expressing concern about the impact on neighbors, particularly because of the flower’s strong odor.” (Mann, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.journal-news.com/business/inside-the-change-how-hamilton-acres-works-the-front-lines-farming-tech/s7mXWc1IzHelM3g3jFWrQN/

medford, hemp, growing ban, cannabis

“A lot of people know that they are going to be selling their wares commercially and go for the bigger items first. You want to make sure that you are ready for commercial/industrial grade systems before you get them.”

Capacity is a massive divide between beginner growers and seasoned veterans of the industry especially if you are talking about commercial vertical farming systems. If you are just starting out then you will not know that there are things that can trip you up in the industry. A lot of people do not know how to cost out their product because there is no reason to do so in the beginning. If you are just dipping your toes into the water to see what kind of market and sales you can generate then it is better to run out of supply then to have too much of it. You may as well figure out what you need to know with small amounts of a product before you start increasing your overhead. If you have a lot of capacity to grow then you should be ready to grow to that capacity. Otherwise, you will have to sell it off or store your rack or shelving unit later. A lot of people know that they are going to be selling their wares commercially and go for the bigger items first. You want to make sure that you are ready for commercial/industrial grade systems before you get them.

If you know that you want a farming system and what type then the next thing to think about is how mobile you need that solution to be when you get it. There are tons of mobile products in the marketplace but you should know that the consumer items you find in places like Costco or Target will only handle around 800 lbs max. You can get industrial grade systems that will handle up to 2500 lbs per level. You need to keep in mind that making those systems mobile will remove some of the capacity that is available because they are mobile. In fact, if you make a rack mobile then you should only go up 2 or 3 levels high for stability’s sake. 

“The reason why is that wood can attract mold, pests, and other irritants that will ruin your crops. Metal does not have the same problem.”

Finally, if you are building a commercial vertical farming system then you want to make sure that it is made of metal and not wood. You might be confused about this fact because there are a lot of products out there that are made out of wood. However, it is not the best type of material for anyone who is trying to grow a crop. The reason why is that wood can attract mold, pests, and other irritants that will ruin your crops. Metal does not have the same problem. There are few animals to none that eat metal. Infestations are a massive problem when it comes to growing anything because you have to clear them out before you sell the product. They can also remain on the product which is not going to look good for you when you sell it to someone. Remember that word of mouth is very powerful in business especially when it is negative. No one wants to find bugs in their product. It will look bad on you and your processes if you ever think about selling the business or getting investors to help your business grow.

If you want a commercial vertical farming system that will scale with your business then have a look at the vertical grow rack there. If you want a more mobile version then have a look at this mobile grow rack. If you want a consumer version of those products then have a look at this grow light shelving unit. You can also call us at 503-308-6883 and ask us questions. We would love to help you and your business grow to the levels you want.

Forbes recently ran a piece for International Women’s Day on eight women who it believes are leaders in the field of cannabis. The people were picked because they created something out of nothing. They range from CEOs to people trying to teach people how to build successful cannabis businesses with a program partnered with Oaksterdam University and Hood Incubator.

Key Takeaways:

  • Forbes recently ran a piece on 8 women who are leaders in the cannabis industry.
  • The list included: Julia Jacobson of Aster Farms, Liz Jackson-Simpson and Angela White of Success Centers SF, Chrissy Hadar of Oregrown Industries, Marie Montarquet of MD Farms, Shelby Hartman and Madison Margolin of DoubleBlind, Sally Nichols of GirlVentures and Bloom Farm Distribution/Bloom Farms CBD.
  • The author says they were selected because they created something out of nothing.

Quote: “In honor of this day, even if I am a day late, I’m lucky to be able to share the enthusiasm and verve of the following women in cannabis who have faced adversity during their climb to success.” (Bobrow, 2020)

Link to article:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenbobrow/2020/03/09/international-womens-day-celebrate-eight-female-leaders-in-cannabis-2020/#4daa7f5332b1

An official from the Ohio Department of Agriculture warns new and experienced farmers that growing hemp could be a mistake if they are not prepared for the realities of growing the crop. James Belt, an ODA hemp inspection manager, ran down the points that make it difficult to grow hemp successfully. The points were numerous and included THC levels being too high because a selection of seeds was not properly vetted before growing them, harvest time differences between inspection and the window to harvest can cause too much THC to be produced, also that hemp needs to be moved often as to not develop mold, amongst other issues in the article.

Key Takeaways:

Hemp can be extremely difficult to cultivate as it needs to be moved often so it does not produce mold.
Farmers are required to report their harvest time 14-15 days before they intend to do so. If the grower harvests 14-15 days after the sample is taken then the crop will exceed the allotted .3% THC content rule according to the article.
The article also mentions that farmers have to be extremely careful of who they buy seeds from to make sure that they are not buying plants that produce high levels of THC.

Quote: “Belt believes it would be very risky for an inexperienced producer to attempt to grow the crop. He said he did not want to deter anyone from growing hemp but rather make sure potential cultivators know what they’re facing.” (Gartrell, 2020)

Link to article:
https://www.dailystandard.com/archive/2020-03-06/stories/39997/official-hemp-growers-face-obstacles

A truth of the industry that you have realized already, just by searching for this product, is that there is a lot of vertical cannabis shelving. The difference in the products is who the product is made for and, by extension, should be using it. A lot of the products, or most of them, are meant for beginner growers. They are meant for people who just realized they want to try to grow a product and want to take the plunge. It is also made up of people who live in places where it just became legal to grow cannabis as a product. There are very few of these shelving units that are scalable for future endeavors. If you have the green thumb for growing and the knack for making a profitable living off the business then you might want to avoid these products.

“A truth of the industry that you have realized already, just by searching for this product, is that there is a lot of vertical cannabis shelving. The difference in the products is who the product is made for and, by extension, should be using it.”

More of this truth is that you see more or less of the scalable vertical cannabis shelving units depending on whether you search for shelving or racking. If you search for shelving then you are going to see more consumer-level products. If you are searching for racking then you are going to see more of the scalable vertical cannabis growing products. Of course, there is a difference in price because of the capacity difference between the two types of products. A consumer-level product usually holds up to 800 lbs of product. An industrial vertical cannabis racking unit can hold up to 2500 lbs per level. It is also much wider and deeper. It usually has more room, level to level, as far as top to bottom airspace is considered.

You may be thinking that another difference is the mobility of the shelving or racks. You are only partly right. The fact is that most of the pallet racking, or industrial cannabis racking in your business, can have wheels installed on them even though they hold up to 2500 lbs per level. They can be just as mobile as the consumer versions which is a good thing if you have a large grow operation or you like to save time. If you like the idea of spinning the product so you can work on the other side of the rack or shelf then making your racking mobile is a good idea.

“A consumer-level product usually holds up to 800 lbs of product. An industrial vertical cannabis racking unit can hold up to 2500 lbs per level. It is also much wider and deeper. It usually has more room, level to level, as far as top to bottom airspace is considered.”

Another thing to consider is the legality of the rack. If you have industrial level racking in your business then it needs to conform to the standards set forth by your local government. If you live in an area with any type of seismic activity at all then you probably have seismic calculations guidelines you have to adhere to and show for your rack or shelving unit. If this is all new to you then you probably want to deal with a company that has dealt with this before and can help you get what you need in your business. You can have your racks or shelving units and have them be legal from the moment you open instead of waiting for someone to come and inspect your place of business and possibly shut you down.

The real question, as you can see, is how big of an operation you want or can sustain. If you are just a beginner then there is no shame in getting a smaller system until you prove to yourself that you have the chops to make it in this business. The cannabis business is a tough business and most businesses fail. In fact, they fail even though they may have backing money in large amounts. If you do find that you have the acumen and your business will stand the test of time then considering a vertical cannabis shelving unit, that can grow product on an industrial level, is a good thing.

If you are ready to get vertical cannabis shelving in your business then make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company that can handle the permitting process. If you need that in your business then give us a call at 503-714-3917. You can also take a look at this vertical grow rack or mobile grow rack by clicking the links. If you need a consumer-level product then look at this grow light shelving unit.

Heather Darby was a University of Vermont agronomist who tried to get farmers to diversify their products. However, most did not do it until hemp was reclassified last year. A massive rush to grow the product occurred as seasoned growers and new farmers entered the market. 1,000 people registered and 9,000 acres were devoted to growing the crop in Vermont alone. Most of it went unharvested as people were not prepared for the reality of growing the product. Darby mentioned, at the end of the article, how people are more level-headed about it now. People are focusing on niches in the industry instead of commoditizing the product by growing as much as possible. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Many people ran into the hemp market when it became legal to grow it when the rule change came into effect.
  • The article states that 1,000 growers registered with Vermont to grow hemp last year, in Vermont, which was double the year prior.
  • The total acreage of that was 9,000. However, much of it ended up unharvested because some of these people were not prepared for what it actually takes to grow the product.

Quote: “There were a lot of individuals who didn’t have any farming experience who thought they could make a business plan and implement a schedule. But farming doesn’t work that way. ” (Allen, 2020)

Link to article:
vtdigger.org/2020/03/04/q-a-uvm-agronomist-heather-darby-on-vermonts-hemp-gold-rush

Indoor gardening and urban indoor farming methods are still facing the power consumption problem. Australia is a place where the marijuana industry is new. They are not sure how much power is being consumed there making the product. They are also unsure how much of it is legal and how much is illegal.

Key Takeaways:

  • The article mentions that Australia has no idea how big the power draw is from producing marijuana.
  • They cannot specifically place the power draw just on marijuana either because people have started to grow crops indoors as well.
  • Australia is struggling to keep up while also moving toward renewable energy sources at the same time.

Quote: “There is no data on how much power cannabis growers in Australia are using. The only estimate is from a Deloitte Access Economics study from 2016, which placed indoor cultivation electricity consumption at $8.9m a year across the industry which had 2,291sqm under cultivation.” (Williamson, 2020)

Link to article:
https://stockhead.com.au/food-agriculture/indoor-farming-is-great-until-the-power-bill-is-delivered/

The sustainability of cannabis growth comes into question again because of the amount of energy consumed in order to make it. Rules and taxes have been made to encourage cannabis growers to find ways of generating their own power. However, an organization, Resource Innovation Institute is holding a conference to talk about it called the Agriculture Energy Solutions Conference.

Key Takeaways:

  • A group of leaders within the cannabis industry is meeting together in San Diego to talk about how to stem the use of power as it relates to producing cannabis.
  • Energy consumption from the production of the plant has been high which has caused taxes and other incentives to try to get companies to produce their own power.
  • Several people are scheduled to speak on a wide range of topics within the cannabis industry as well as the power consumption problem.

Quote: “Key considerations are the carbon and energy implications of indoor controlled environments. Drawing from the experiences of early models, the conference objective was to explore energy solutions for all forms of indoor agriculture but a core focus for good reason was on the exponentially growing cannabis sector and the implications of increased energy demands and use.” (Miller, 2020)

Link to article:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-warming-meets-indoor-agriculture-162526718.html

The Kankakee City Council approved a conditional use permit for a company in Illinois. The permit allows DAM Good Farm Inc. to open an indoor marijuana growing facility. It will make use of the 7500 sq feet. The owner of the business tried to open a dispensary in the same area but received blowback from the people in the area and some council members. He eventually relented and shelved the plans.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Kankakee City Council approved a conditional use permit for DAM Good Farm Inc.
  • The approved property is 7500 sq ft.
  • The owner of the business, Adam Baumgartner, had previously attempted to open a dispensary in the same area but was rebuffed by the neighborhood and council members in the area. He decided to shelve the production after the opposition took place.

Quote: “Baumgartner already has an industrial hemp growing license from the State of Illinois as he has an outdoor hemp farm in nearby Reddick, in Kankakee County.” (Provost, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/council-oks-indoor-pot-facility/article_902bb05c-5cfd-11ea-a872-fb40636dbd79.html

“You can see the University of Massachusetts article where they talk about this fact in the sources below. Treatments do not protect the wood from water but it does protect it from the pests, fungi, and other things that like wet wood. The treatments are designed to protect you from microscopic or visible pests destroying your product according to that article.1

Looking for garden beams for your vertical grow rack? It is not easy to find because there are not a lot of companies that deal with your type of business. If you try to go to other companies then it might be confusing what you need for your business. There are a lot of choices as far as beam length. The truth of the matter is that you probably do not need the capacities that the longer beams can give you. The beam we will link to in this post has a capacity of 2,700 lbs. Keep in mind that this is the capacity for two beams as you will need two to form the shelf level. The capacities we talk about here are for two beams and not one. If you try to use one beam then you will have an incomplete shelf level and it will not hold 2,700 lbs.

The garden beams you select should be made of steel or some sort of metal. The reason why is that steel or metal does not attract bugs that eat a wood made product. Insects can bring a variety of bacteria and such with them. Therefore, you want to avoid contact with them on your product. Steel and metal also do not attract mold, spores, and/or mildew like wood does. In general, if there is a pest associated with wood then you are going to avoid it by using metal or steel. Pests can ruin your product and make your overhead much higher. You may as well get as much product as you can out of your harvests by using metal or steel. If you have more product then you have the potential to sell more which is what we all want.

“The truth of the matter is that you probably do not need the capacities that the longer beams can give you. The beam we will link to in this post has a capacity of 2,700 lbs. Keep in mind that this is the capacity for two beams as you will need two to form the shelf level.”

Also, remember, you are working around water on these garden beams. Wood tends to absorb water even if you use pressure-treated wood. It also releases that water over time which causes the inner twisting and turning of wood and cracks or distorts it. You can see the University of Massachusetts article where they talk about this fact in the sources below. Treatments do not protect the wood from water but it does protect it from the pests, fungi, and other things that like wet wood. The treatments are designed to protect you from microscopic or visible pests destroying your product according to that article.1 Metal garden beams do not have this problem. The beams we carry also have a powder coat on them. A lot of places mention that they have it too but they never tell you what it does. If you have wondered why you should care then you should know that the powder coat gives the metal, or steel, an extra layer of protection against corrosion, rusting and scratches. Steel and metal also do not interact with water as fast or the same way that wood does. If you get galvanized steel then you have a product that uses zinc to make sure that the interactivity is lessened to an even greater degree. The zinc reacts to the water instead of the steel which means that the steel stays stronger for an even longer amount of time than normal steel. The zinc will corrode or rust first which leaves your steel strong.2

Finally, there is the initial permit process you have to think about and the subsequent inspection processes. You might get away with wood beams in an inspection depending on where you are located. The inspector will not be happy to see it, however. In fact, there are many times where that means that you cannot grow as high in your business. It all depends on where you are located but containment of fires is an issue with products that reach towards the sky. Many of the codes are written in a way where wood-based products are not allowed to store products as high because of their flammable nature. It is something to keep in mind when you are selecting what garden beam you will use in your business.

If you need more help selecting a garden beam for your business then give us a call. You can dial us by calling 503-714-3917. If you are ready to get a steel or metal-based garden beam for your business then click that link and have a look at that product.

Sources:

Contributors, H. S. W. (2000, April 1). How does pressure-treated lumber work? Retrieved from https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-

improvement/remodeling/question278.htm

Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood: Building and Construction Technology: UMass Amherst. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https:// bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/articles/wood-myths-facts-and-fictions-about-wood/

Tampa Steel. (2020, January 31). What Is Galvanized Steel?: Does Galvanized Steel Rust?: Tampa Steel. Retrieved from https://tampasteel.com/what-is-galvanized-metal/