Greenhouse Operation Merges Mother Nature & Technology

by | Dec 18, 2020

Written by Kristina Etter

A freelance writer and journalist based in Colorado, Kristi is a seasoned pro in cannabis industry content creation and reporting. Her career includes two decades of corporate IT roles at major firms like Maytag Appliances, Wells Fargo Financial, and DuPont Pioneer, which provided her with a unique perspective on the intersection of technology and cannabis.

Agriculture, regardless of the crop, is a recipe that blends all of Mother Nature’s glory – earth, air, and water, sprinkles it with a little technology, and folds it all together with the passion and care of dedicated farmers. Although these are the key ingredients to a quality cannabis crop, finding the right combination at a commercial scale can be challenging.

Located in Santa Barbara, California, the Glass House Group is one of the most rapidly growing, privately-held cannabis and hemp companies in the U.S. Operating under the roof of a massive 13-acre greenhouse is a model in merging everything nature has to offer, with the technology and tools created by humans.

In this episode of A Tech Moment, we welcome Graham Farrar, President, and Chief Cannabis Officer, to discuss the nuances, benefits, and challenges of operating this massive facility to produce high-quality, sun-grown, ocean-grown cannabis.

Decoding Quality Cannabis

Farrar has an extensive background working in the technology sector and brings a whole-systems approach to his cannabis operation. He explains that even in agriculture, he uses an inputs/outputs methodology to cultivate a quality crop.

He explained that growers must understand and manipulate the inputs to find the exact ratio necessary to produce the output you need. And from the looks of his facility, Farrar and his team have unlocked the mysteries of the cannabis code.

Sustainability Isn’t Magic

Anyone can grow cannabis on a small scale, but managing a commercial facility comes with substantial challenges. A quality crop of this size requires a significant amount of resources; finding the sweet spot between environmental regulations and a quality crop can be daunting. However, using the sun’s power, enhanced at the right time with LED lighting, Farrar’s operation has a leg up on other indoor cannabis operations.

Plus, by utilizing state of the art water reclamation systems, Glass House Farms recaptures much of the water they use, as well. Farrar explains with all the resources cannabis needs; there’s a fine line between too much and too little. Farrar’s mission is to walk that line, not just for his bottom line, but to achieve the three major principles they believe in at Glass House Group:

  1. Quality
  2. Consistency
  3. Efficiency

Farrar goes on to explain this means “doing it well, doing it well all the time, and doing it well, all the time, efficiently.”

Maximizing the Benefits

While maintaining an environmentally-friendly, legally-compliant, successful cannabis operation has its difficulties, Farrar explains the benefits go far beyond their profit margin. As most cannabis enthusiasts proclaim, the simple act of combining professional experience with a passion for the herb ranks at the top of his list.

Watch the interview now to see the impressive facility in Santa Barbara, or tune into your favorite podcast channel and listen today!

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