Wisconsin Growing Company wants to open a new 5,000 sq foot indoor growing facility for hemp. They have said that they want to cultivate 20 to 30 plants in the space. They will view it as a testing ground to grow better plants for when the warmer weather comes around. It will use that it has learned from this facility on their 30-acre farm later in the year.

Key Takeaways:

  • A Wisconsin company wants to have an indoor growing facility in Milwaukee.
  • The space is 5,000 square feet and it plans to have 20 to 30 plants there.
  • The company wants to grow hemp in the indoor space.

Quote: “Wisconsin Growing Co. wants to grow 20 to 30 plants within about 5,000 square feet it’s leasing at 3728 N. Fratney St., said Sam Santana, who operates the company. Wisconsin Growing has applied for a city permit to remodel space on the building’s ground floor.” (Daykin, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/real-estate/commercial/2020/03/05/indoor-hemp-growing-operation-planned-milwaukees-riverwest-area/4962725002/

wisconsin, hemp, indoor farming

“Therefore, you want to make sure you know your profit/production ratios before you scale up. Jumping in head first can work but it is not recommended.”

The first thing to ask yourself if you are going to get a mobile grow shelving unit is if you are a beginner grower or a professional grower. The difference is that one of them is dipping their toes into the water and the other knows the business and all the pitfalls already. The latter has decided to stick it out and really try to grow a business in the industry. There really is no problem with being either one of these two types of people. In fact, it is a pretty normal cycle of being one or the other. The reason is that you have to decide if you are going for consumer-level grows and profits or the industrial level grows and profits.

Of course, everyone would like to have big profits and big amounts of products. However, that is not always a great idea because your business processes may not be able to handle it yet. A weird thing for us to say but we would rather have a long term relationship with you than have a short term one. If you really needed a smaller grow then you could get this shelving kit here. If you are a serious business with your feet on the ground and ready to hold your ground on that spot then you should look at more robust solutions such as these vertical growing racks or mobile racks. There is no shame in testing the waters and limiting your spending until you know, for sure, that you are ready to grow to that level.

“Mold, mildew, and pests are a problem if you use wood. They will be attracted to the wood and they may cause you problems. You are far less likely to get these problems if you stay away from racks or shelving units made of wood.”

What is the big difference between commercial and consumer level products? The sturdiness of the product is one thing. Many of the consumer-level products are made to hold around 800 lbs. The industrial level products can handle 2500 lbs per level. If you have two or three levels then this really starts to add up and you can see how the profit levels and production levels change when you move up from consumer-level products to the bigger more robust solutions. Of course, your cost also goes up. Therefore, you want to make sure you know your profit/production ratios before you scale up. Jumping in head first can work but it is not recommended. You should wait until you know your market and how many sales you can, dependably, pick up every week or month. Therefore, an honest answer about which business you are is essential to picking the right rack for your business.

You should also consider that a lot of consumer-level products are made of wood which is extremely bad for what you are doing. It seems like a great idea because it is organic and like the environment where the plant comes from but that same thought process brings you to what the problem is if you take it out far enough. Mold, mildew, and pests are a problem if you use wood. They will be attracted to the wood and they may cause you problems. You are far less likely to get these problems if you stay away from racks or shelving units made of wood. Wood is also not as strong as metal which means that you can hold less product even at the consumer level. You are better off selecting a product that is made of metal or steel in either case.

If you are looking for mobile grow shelving then you have to make sure you are choosing one made of steel. If you want a consumer-level product then look at this cannabis shelving unit. If you are an industrial level business then look at this mobile grow rack or this vertical grow rack.

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 503-536-7218. 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

Hydroponics, urban gardening, and vertical farming are becoming increasingly popular in many places. The University of Illinois Extension has gotten behind it as well by offering information on how to DIY create a hydroponic garden. The article says that these types of gardens can produce up to 30 to 40 percent faster. They also say it uses up to 10 times less water than traditional farming methods. It also says pest and insect exposure is significantly less because the farms are usually housed indoors.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hydroponic farms can grow products 30 to 40 percent faster than traditional methods.
  • Less water is used to create the product. The article says the method can use less water in amounts up to 10x less.
  • The article also states that exposure to insects and other pets are decreased.

Quote: “The use of hydroponics has been documented as far back as the first century when Roman Emperor Tiberius grew off-season cucumbers under what was described as transparent stone. Indoor hydroponics systems can be constructed with items such as a five-gallon bucket with lid, net pots, a growing medium, an air stone and an aquarium pump.” (Walker, 2020)

Link to article:

https://jg-tc.com/lifestyles/over-the-coles-indoor-hydroponics-provide-growing-alternatives/article_6936e6e5-dc31-551c-a7ba-8dd1262d2087.html

The United Kingdom has its hopes up that vertical farming and indoor gardening can help ease the pinch that their residents felt last year during the heatwave. The article notes that 30,000 heads of lettuce a week head to be imported just to keep enough on shelves in the region. It is a growing trend as many people and countries are starting to realize that they may have to look at other methods of supplying produce other than the traditional methods currently available.

Key Takeaways:

  • The United Kingdom has been more concerned with food security and being able to feed themselves with the EU exit and weather patterns that have made growing produce more difficult.
  • Vertical growing and indoor gardening have been looked at as possible solutions to this problem.
  • The article notes that 30,000 heads of lettuce a week had to be flown in from California during the heatwave in order to keep food on shelves.

Quote: “The supply lines from farm to fork that many of us take for granted can be more fragile than we think, as illustrated by recent weather events in the UK.” (Wade, 2020)

Link to article:
https://www.theengineer.co.uk/high-hopes-for-uk-vertical-farming-startup/

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  503-536-7218. 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/