While in the District of Columbia last month covering the first weekend of legal marijuana in the nation’s capital, HIGH TIMES stumbled upon an interesting piece of technology at the Comfy Tree Cannabis Expo that will undoubtedly revolutionize the scope of home cultivation.
This magnificent new tool is called the ROOT System, which is essentially a plug-and-grow smart device that allows cultivators ranging from little to no experience to the seasoned veteran to bring several plants to life in a contained space under the guidance of a smartphone app.
Unlike traditional home grows, the ROOT system is capable of showing even the most novice grow enthusiast how to successfully cultivate a cannabis crop without forcing them to sacrifice much area in the home and without having to succumb to the unattractiveness of most do-it-yourself units.
“We developed this system originally while we were students,” co-creator Brielle Pettinelli told HIGH TIMES. “My thesis work was actually kind of looking at different industrial applications for hydroponics, and my original goal was to shrink it to a manageable system for the consumer, which at the time was incredibly difficult to find on the market. We ultimately wanted to create the ultimate growing machine that people could put in their homes easily.”
To truly understand this advancement in home cultivation, it is necessary to consider the unit a self-contained farm, of sorts, complete with an adjustable LED light source to mimic environmental changes and an irrigation system.
But while Mother Nature has never been one to alert growers when it's time to feed and water their plants, the ROOT system creates a failsafe by sending messages to their iPhones that inform them when their crop is in need of care.
The developers are currently in the process of fine-tuning the app in hopes of making it more community friendly, a place where ROOT growers can share their experiences.
“Our app is going to give you step-by-step instructions based on more input,” Pettinelli said. “If you’re new to it, your kind of going to get a step through tutorial of each stage of the grow cycle and how you should be going through it, with status updates to make sure your plants are healthy and happy.”
This concept is, of course, perfect for legal communities like DC, where the law permits the cultivation of up to three plants but space for a personal garden is not necessarily available.
Both Pettinelli and co-creator Eric De Feo said they believe they have reached their goal in developing an elegant grow solution with the capacity to fit into a person’s life regardless of their level of expertise or financial situation.
Although the ROOT system, which retails for $299, is not yet available, the company is currently taking pre-orders and expects to start delivering units sometime before early fall.