How Canivate Growing Systems is combating environmental and safety issues in cultivation
Commercial cannabis cultivation faces a range of issues fraught with environmental and safety implications. This includes its substantial use of energy and water, and toxins such as mold, mildew and other pathogens. Added to this are serious odour emissions that have entire communities protesting.
Addressing these issues is Vancouver-based Canivate Growing Systems Ltd., which has developed a technologically advanced proprietary facility design and automated growing system called The Canivate Way for the commercial cultivation of cannabis and hemp.
A key element of the company’s IP is the building envelope. Its initial facility in Southern California is expected to be the industry’s first fully sealed growing environment. It was developed to prevent the infiltration of pathogens and other contaminants, while providing extreme odour control. While most producers deal with toxins through irradiation—using radiation to kill the pathogens—Canivate has no need for this.
Canivate’s innovative approach also saves water and power, decreasing the environmental footprint and lowering operating costs. Further, its automated growing system increases crop yields, which will result in a much lower consumer cost. The Canivate Way creates, in effect, a perfect ecosystem and microclimate for USDA organic equivalent, naturally cultivated cannabis and hemp.
How does the team know that its IP will work, given how different it is from standard practices? “There is a proven method to take your concept to execution,” says Canivate CEO Ingo Mueller, who has led several companies in taking ideas to market. “It is a process of turning a concept into a development-ready plan, and then engineering that to a solution. By the time you get to an engineered outcome, you know that your technology will work.”
In fact, Mueller says that the IP being used has been successfully executed in other industries. Says Mueller: “We have done our due diligence. We know that our first facility in southern California will meet or exceed our expectations. That’s exciting.”
The Canivate facility is designed to improve and optimize the ideal cannabis grow light spectrum by providing sunlight through a proprietary cladding system that allows up to 95 percent of the full light spectrum, which is significantly greater than the glass or polyethylene that is commonly used for greenhouses. When supplemental light is required, proprietary advanced LED lighting—designed by members of the Canivate team including former NASA scientists responsible for growing plants on the International Space Station—delivers an optimal light spectrum and intensity for amplified growth. This provides a complementary light spectrum that measures light from the sun, providing precise environmental control with the lighting system to optimize the Daily Light Integral (DLI) regardless of season, specific to growth cycle.
The first Canivate facility is set to be completed in fall 2020.