It’s easy to get excited about the potential success of any cannabis venture, especially when all you hear about is how the “Green Rush” is already booming.
Though it can be exciting to see so many headlines about the bigger multi-national public cannabis companies doing well, the truth is that there are plenty of smaller companies working hard to get there someday, plus a lot of failed companies too that didn’t even get that far.
Certainly, market forces play a part – the Canadian marijuana economic sector is still adjusting to the legalization of recreational marijuana at a national level, which changed much of the business equations like price, supply, and demand. Even the medical growers and their customers have been affected.
But some of the other reasons for success or failure in this world are often due to internal business conditions, such as consequences from poor decisions.
Consider the following steps for what NOT to do when designing a marijuana grow facility.
- Lose focus on the plants. It’s easy to turn your attention to the ‘business’ side of things, everything from sales projections to compliance with local laws. But growing great plants is still the heart of what we do, so you need to remain focused on creating conditions to make them grow thoroughly and consistently, including soil, safe growth mediums, water and light. Hiring growers with advanced botany skills could be a great asset, more than someone who likes weed a lot.
- Jump the gun. It’s tempting, especially in a competitive environment, to find ways to harvest as soon as you can or even take shortcuts to get the plants ready for market a little faster. But this does affect the quality – these batches may not be as potent or have as many terpenes as expected. If word gets around that your flower seems like it has become weaker lately, this can damage your reputation for years.
- Piece together equipment. If you have employees at the marijuana grow facility who have amazing mechanical skills and can repair anything, great! But machinery from a variety of different companies may not be designed to work well together and could be difficult to remember who built what when repairs are needed. At best it could reduce efficiency, at worst incompatibility. Because many products, machinery and fixtures have dropped in price in the last few years, it’s possible to get several products from the same brand.
- Don’t automate. It’s easy to rely on your growers and grow staff to use older, proven methods like actually touching and trimming the plants. This makes a great story for your promotional materials. But there are some advantages that can be experienced with modern automatic equipment, including devices to measure moisture, proper fertilizer mixes, and temperatures at a marijuana grow facility.
- Assume the community will welcome you. Although marijuana is definitely more normalized and accepted, there are still some critics who wish it wasn’t so. People may like it in theory but also may not be comfortable having a shop or a grower next door.