Just off the Las Vegas strip with daily summer heat that gets well over 100°F may not sound like the prime location to grow first-class cannabis, but there is a 42,000 square-foot facility that has ingenious solutions to grow the best cannabis around. The facility named Cannabiotix is home to 27 unique strains and is devoted to sanitation and water conservation in order to adequately quench the thirst of their plants—even in the case of a drought. On Episode 10 of Growing Exposed, we show you how water grows weed.
Inside The Cannabiotix Veg Room
Before entering the veg room, Cannabiotix requires you to suit up in quarantine and take an air shower to prevent the spread of outside contaminants, pests and fungus. All plants are top-fed and kept in coco/perlite mix and are hand-watered. Every strain requires different food levels, so automating feeding schedules is not an option.
The most labor-intensive stage is in the growth cycle and requires around four to five workers watering and tending plants every day.
Being in the desert requires some serious cooling and water systems, but thankfully Cannabiotix is well on top of that issue. They have built a large system involving an air separator that delivers air through a dehumidifier that reclaims excess water out of the air and sends it to water chillers outside the facility. The water is filtered using Hydrologic ARCS systems and is de-chlorinated, sanitary and ready for re-use.
Every four to five weeks, Cannabiotix is pulling 400-500 pounds of cannabis. In the flower room, which contains 460 lights for flowering, Cannabiotix harvests full plants to hang-dry, traditionally for about five to seven days, before trimming the buds by hand.
This method is unprecedented in the commercial market as people want faster results and less labor cost. However, David Lloyd of Cannabiotix believes the quality they get from hand-trimming and hang-drying greatly outweighs any of the monetary benefits of mechanical trimmers.
How Water Grows Weed
Cannabiotix reclaims all their water from a system made by a company called Hydrologic from Santa Cruz, California. But what is so important about water purification and filtration in cannabis cultivation?
Rich Gellert is the owner of Hydrologic Purification Systems, where they create the best water systems in the world. Hydrologic manufactures out of a 20,000 square-foot facility in Santa Cruz and creates units like the ARCS system used by Cannabiotix. ARCS stands for “Automated Reclaimed Condensate System,” which takes all of your air conditioning and dehumidification water and reclaims it as very pure, 0 PPM, pH neutral and sterile water.
How did Hydrologic come to be?
Gellert was a grower and wanted a reverse osmosis filtration system. He bought one he found on the shelves, brought it home and realized it was poor quality. So he returned it to the store and found out it was all the distributor carried.
So, he went and built his own system, brought it to the same store where he bought the original one and showed it to them. They wanted to buy some, and his business took off from there!
Gellert explained: “When people start to grow with RO water, they can never go back to tap water as there are so many unknown contaminants.”
Water quality around the world varies greatly, especially when you’re on city water. When you remove chlorine and chloramines and other biocides you can then start with pure water.
Before we left Santa Cruz, we took a look at a second garden which reclaims its water with dehumidifiers called Utopia Farms. Utopia Farms is a small facility growing their award-winning staple C Banana strain.
“Welcome to flavor town,” said Jesse Bower of Utopia, as he pulled back the curtain before checking out one of the many flowering rooms.
Growing Exposed Reveals The Importance Of Water
“We have come to rightfully view fresh water as our most precious planetary resource. We all want to live on a green planet and to live on a green planet, we have a wet planet. To maintain our wet planet, we have to conserve our precious fresh water,” explained David Robinson, as he gave his insight on water conservation in the growroom.
Cannabis producers are often very environmentally-minded people.
So, we see a trend toward building grow facilities with an eye for water conservation and an eye for water reclamation. Plants actually transpire 99 percent of the water they take up; they pull an unbroken chain of water from the root zone and transpire it out into the atmosphere.
Therefore, when gardening in contained environments like indoor gardens or greenhouses, through the use of dehumidification technology, we can reclaim this water. Watch Episode 10 of Growing Exposed: Water Grows Weed below.