A cultivation technologies company, urban-gro delivers systems, solutions, design services, and technologies for commercial cannabis cultivators. Customers include some of the largest commercial cannabis cultivators in the world, the company says. urban-gro helps its customers achieve sustainable scalability through innovative technologies, resulting in lower operational cost, increased economic yield, and reduced environmental impact.
Q&A with Entrepreneur & urban-gro
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions cannabis industry?
People underestimate the level of technological sophistication and equipment required. It takes serious expertise to run a successful commercial cultivation facility. Margins are shrinking as more cultivators set up operations and more states are inviting production within their borders. Harvested crops need to pass testing for pesticides and acceptable levels of molds, heavy metal and microbials to ensure safety for patients and consumers. Cultivators must address water management, light levels, power consumption, temperature, humidity, and pest control. And that’s before handling local municipal and state compliance regulations. Thus the efficiencies gained through technology and know-how can protect ROI.
How is your business innovating?
We take pride in being technology innovators offering cutting edge technology solutions. One of the best examples is our Soleil® Wireless Sense and Control Technology; one of the first solutions to bring the Internet of Things to cannabis. As the industry’s first High-Density Internet of Things (HD-IoT) solution for the cannabis market, it combines low-power wireless sensor networks with cloud analytics. This enables cultivators to have real-time insight and control over their grow from anywhere with an internet connection. What’s more, it delivers data with the scale, precision, and resolution. It's designed to further automation and machine learning.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
We're serving an industry that's never wholly existed before. Therefore, we are all breaking new ground every day. Based on this fact, our customers have a knowledge and experience gap when it comes to growing cannabis in a large scale facilities. This is because it’s never been legalized and regulated at this scale until recently. Those who grew cannabis before did it on a small scale or outdoors while those with agricultural experience are new to the nuances of the cannabis plant. Indoor growing at a commercial scale requires them to operate different systems and embrace new best practices.
What is your favorite aspect of working in this industry?
With this industry and our business growing so fast, we have issues come up that we never anticipated. We see it as an opportunity and enjoy tackling it head on. I am excited about how we can help our customers overcome their challenges, too. We're part of building out some of the largest facilities. It’s also exciting to see new states approve production. There are so many cultivators, and would-be-cultivators, who are applying for licensing, that are now coming to us for our experience to help them succeed.
What inspires you?
Only a year or so ago, cannabis looked to agricultural and horticultural industries. Now advances in cannabis cultivation technologies have shifted the center of innovation. Our industry is now the crucible that is generating significant advances in ag-tech. We are part of a new wave of discovery. The margins in cannabis afford more R&D. It is transforming how cannabis is grown--and very soon crops in general. We can see our technology translate back to traditional food production.