Sustainability is ingrained into the ethos of GoodGood and our philosophy of how cannabis should be produced. In reality, high taxes and low wholesale prices in California force us to optimize every aspect of our cultivation facility to keep costs down and improve margins. Optimizing a grow for sustainability often requires a substantial upfront investment, but in our experience, the ROI is well worth it. Not only for our business, but for the planet as well.
Continue reading to learn more about the three ways we reduce our environmental footprint in celebration of Earth Day.
WE REDUCE OUR WATER CONSUMPTION
Water consumption is always an immediate concern for California cultivators and especially those located in Southern California desert climates. Cannabis has been shown to consume more water than most other commodity crops. According to MJBizDaily, “On average, researchers found, a cannabis plant consumes an estimated 22.9 liters, or 6 gallons of water, per day during the growing season.” For those growing year-round indoors, these numbers can rise to staggering amounts.
At our cultivation facility, Yellow Dream Farm, we do everything we can to conserve and recycle as much water as possible. This brings our operational costs down, but it also means we contribute less to the vast problem of water scarcity in California. Out of plain necessity and our core sustainability ethos, maximizing water efficiency was top of mind in building out our Adelanto facility from the beginning.
For example, once our cannabis plants are well-watered, we recirculate the output through condensate water coming from our A/C units and dehumidifiers. On top of that, we make use of our runoff water by re-filtering and re-purposing the nutrients. This makes for happy, healthy, and strong plants in need of less pesticides.
“It wasn’t a matter of, oh we have to do this, it’s just we need to grow sustainably, we need to grow efficiently, and we need to give back to this planet. That’s the reason why we’ve chosen to grow this way.”– GoodGood CEO Jeffrey L. Garber
Read our feature in Cannabis Business Times to learn more about our water recirculation process.
WE REDUCE ENERGY PRODUCTION WITH LEDS
Much like water supplies, the cost of lighting for indoor grows can reach staggering levels. According to the Guardian, “The $3.5 billion industry is one of the nation’s most energy-intensive, often demanding 24-hour indoor lighting rigs, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. That’s where energy-efficient LED lighting comes in.”
Our Adelanto-based grow facility is fully equipped with the latest in LED lighting technology. Not only does this cut our energy consumption, but it also allows us to utilize LED spectrums to pinpoint which is best for the plant at all stages of the growth cycle. So far, we have found that our overall energy consumption is down by 30% compared to when our old lighting system was in use.
Energy-efficient lighting is just the start. The growth of the cannabis industry means there are plenty of companies providing automated grow equipment and technology to help reduce the footprint of indoor facilities. For example, we utilize GrowLink technology to help us automate and scale our own operation with sustainability in mind.
WE EMPLOY VERTICAL FARMING TECHNIQUES
Vertical farming is another powerful way to streamline your grow, not just for output and profit, but for sustainability as well. Vertical grow techniques allow businesses to scale production without having to build-out additional physical square footage. We were able to double our output simply by implementing this particular practice already in other agricultural industries.
Vertical farming improves the sustainability of our cultivation facility in two ways. First of all, it allows us to further conserve water and reduce consumption by up to 95%. That’s because the technique relies on hydroponic and aquaponic systems where the water flows in a closed-loop to avoid any run-off. On the other hand, vertical racking reduces our environmental footprint by simply taking up less space. Instead of building out additional grow rooms and sucking up more energy, we can double our harvest without the need for additional lighting and HVAC units.
YOUR CUSTOMERS PREFER SUSTAINABLE CANNABIS PRODUCTS
Sustainability is a core pillar of everything we produce and that will never change. With that said, do consumers really care about buying sustainable cannabis? The answer is 100% yes. An NYU study looking at all CPG industries confirmed that “mainstream branded products that are sustainability-marketed enjoy a 39.5% price premium compared to conventionally marketed branded items.” From our experience, the average cannabis consumer is no different.
Want to learn more about how you can implement sustainable growing practices in your own facility? Read our Founder and CEO, Jeffrey L. Garber’s op-ed in Marjiuana Times.