Isn’t technology great? Today you can summon a car, food, weed, or just about anything with your index finger. Tech has played an important role in the cultivation of cannabis, too. Just as with regular farming, growing marijuana has gone high-tech (pun intended). In fact, technology isn’t just good for cannabis itself, it’s improving the environment and reducing the cost to producers. That means more effective cannabis-based treatments that more people can afford. How? Let’s take a look.

Greenhouses aren’t new, and in areas where marijuana has had a hard time being cultivated outdoors they’re practically required. Sure, cannabis is a hardy plant but there are lots of factors when growing outdoors. A greenhouse presents a completely controlled environment where growers can manipulate variables like light, heat, moisture, soil composition and more. Now that states are legalizing, cannabis cultivation is moving from the basement to sophisticated greenhouses that maximize yield and can better serve customers with perfectly-attuned strains for their needs.

Growers in places like Massachusetts can’t rely on the outdoors to grow due to low temperatures in the winter. Greenhouses provide a cost-effective way to grow while using grow lights and heaters to help plants thrive. Grow lights are obviously one answer to light issues, and modern LED-based lights are a dream compared to bulky, inefficient lights of yesterday. Back in the day you had to have essentially street lights, with complicated electrical setups that sucked up a ton of juice — which were sometimes used to tip off police to growing operations. Now, LED lights are far more efficient than bulbs with gas in them, and can adjust their spectrum based on the different stages of cannabis growth. Amazing, and a vital component to growing any plant. Plus, with full lighting controls, growers can now shut off lights and force flowering. This has enabled year-round growing for everyone.

Sensors used to be finicky and complicated to set up, but today there are all sorts of solutions. Why do you need sensors? A high-tech greenhouse is likely to monitor things like humidity and CO2 levels, and can then adjust accordingly. Using a set of connected humidifiers, dehumidifiers, vents, heaters and more, growers can largely just “set it and forget it.” Although to be fair, set up does require knowing what your plants need and what your greenhouse can accommodate. The practicality of these systems is obvious: fully automated climate control takes the worry out of growing no matter what outside conditions are. Throw in some properly insulated walls and you might even be able to grow marijuana in Antarctica!

Anyone who has let a houseplant die knows they need one thing to be happy: water. Too much water, however, can cause rot and fungus to set in, ruining a crop. Again, sensors play a role in monitoring, but also there are automated watering systems that provide exactly what plants need and when they need it. This will maximize yields without burning out the plants or threatening to create rot.

All of these technologies combined make it possible for modern growers to automate more of their growing operations than ever before. That means growing operations, once set up, can reduce labor costs over time. It also means more consistency and better yields overall with every element delivered with scientific accuracy. If you have a strain that needs more humidity, no problem! Want to force flowering? Do it from an app! What a time to be alive.

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