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Cannabis Extraction Facility Upgrades

Upgrade your Facility to Increase Profitability

CE + C provides engineering support for upgrades to cannabis facilities.

We offer personal attention and custom solutions that meet the unique needs of your business.

to learn more.

Upgrading a Cannabis Facility with CE+C

With more than 70 cannabis projects across the US, CE+C brings both depth and breadth of experience. The company is a subsidiary of an engineering firm formed in 1985, giving you the stability and resources of a larger, well-established firm. Our engineers are passionate about the cannabis industry and Ben, our principal engineer, is well-known in the industry and sits on the National Fire Protection Association’s 420 committee, which develops standards for cannabis facilities across the nation. We offer personal attention and custom solutions that meet your specific needs.

From your first phone call with us to the follow-up we do on the completion of your project, you will find us enthusiastic and communicative; we ask questions to make sure we understand your business and your goals. Every facility we design is unique and tailored to meet your business goals.

If you think your business deserves the very best, give us a call today. We would love to hear about your project!

Successful businesses grow and adapt in order to remain on top. This is a continuous process that requires a regular check-in of your facilities and improvements to industry best-practices. In the cannabis industry, regular check-ups are even more important as the sector is young and growing rapidly, with frequent technological improvements. We recommend annual check-ups on the health of your business.

Why Upgrading Grow and Extraction Facilities is Important

cannabis plants in grow facility

There are a number of reasons for upgrading your existing cannabis facility. Here are a few possibilities:

Your through-put is gradually decreasing
Your equipment is no longer supported by the manufacturer
Your energy expenses are eating into your profit margin

There are many other reasons, but the ones above may give you a jumpstart on your own list. The bottom line is, could something be working better in your facility? If the answer is yes, read on.

Outdated Cannabis Facility Equipment

As you consider what upgrades to make to your cannabis facility, think about these three decision factors:

Equipment Age

How long have you had the equipment that keeps your business profitable? If the answer is more than three years, you may be ready for an upgrade. Look at your records to see if you’ve experienced any reduction in the output of your processors. If so, the cause may be worn out extractors nearing the end of their useful lives. That’s a signal that it may be time for an upgrade. Even if your throughput is good, new equipment will drastically increase your output for the space you have available.

Manufacturer Support

Another thing to check is whether your equipment manufacturer still supports your specific model. As the industry grows, companies consolidate and often cease to produce or support older models. As a result, there may not be parts available for repairs, or even technicians who are trained to service your machines. You don’t want to wait for a production stoppage to find out, so make sure you check into this every year. Order spare parts on wear items!

Potential Yield Increase

Finally, with technology improving so quickly, your throughput might be greatly increased with new equipment. If that’s the case, you need to calculate what level improvement to your yields would justify the purchase of new equipment. It’s a complicated equation and only you can decide what payback period works for your business.

Changes to Cannabis Facility Codes

We expect that the NFPA 420 committee (on which one of our principals sits) will be releasing new fire and life safety codes for the cannabis industry in Q4 2023. National energy codes update every 3 years, and your State, County, and City agencies operate on their own schedules. Clearly, codes are something to pay close attention to.

Make sure you reference the NFPA’s list of all codes and standards.

CE+C is experienced in code and regulations, and we can help you permit your facility.

Changes to code can mean improved standards, which often means that upgrades are more expensive. Depending on how codes are written, sometimes small changes to your facility can trigger the need to comply with an entirely new set of regulations. If you know you want to upgrade, doing it prior to code changes can put off some costs until the future. Alternately, you may want to delay upgrading until the codes are out and you can see what the experts have to say about the latest safety protocols.

We’ve worked with over 65 cannabis facilities. Contact us to learn how we can help you.

How to Upgrade a Cannabis Facility

Planning an upgrade is the perfect time to make a holistic assessment of your business. Step back and look at the big picture.

Where are your major costs?

energy consumption
equipment maintenance and repair
insurance
staffing

There may be areas where you can find additional savings through efficiency. For example:

if you switch to a different solvent, could you increase your throughput?
are you able to switch to a CO2-enriched grow environment for faster-growing, larger plants?
are you putting every square foot of your facility to the best possible use, or could some functions be performed in a less expensive location?

Answering these questions can give you a better picture of what upgrades will be of the most benefit. When you look at ways to finance your upgrades, you can consider tangible benefits like payback periods for increased production or energy efficiency. It’s also important to think about less tangible benefits including better security or improved work environments for your staff, as they also contribute to the long-term health of your business.

Prioritize the upgrades by their importance to your business.

Some upgrades may be necessary, as in the case of failing equipment.
Others will help you improve your profit margins by increasing production or decreasing costs.
Still others have softer benefits, like treating your staff to a high-end espresso machine in the breakroom to show your appreciation for their hard work.
Cannabis grow and processing facility, Washington

In the end, the choices will be unique to your goals and the way you do business.

CE+C Tip: When you’ve made your priorities clear, then you can look at what you can finance. If you have $100,000 of desired upgrades, but your bank will lend you only $70,000, you’ll know immediately which projects have to wait until next time, and which can be acted on right away.

Now you’re ready to go!

How a Cannabis Facility Upgrade Expert Can Help

You are the expert about your business and know what it takes to make you successful. Working with an expert gives you the tools you need to meet the goals, priorities, and values that you have set for yourself.

When you hire a qualified cannabis industry expert, their first task will be to understand your business. They will ask questions, and they will listen and clarify until they have a complete picture of what you want to accomplish. They may also do a physical assessment of your facility to make sure they have an accurate understanding of its condition.

An architect will evaluate the suitability of your structure to support your goals. They can help you estimate how much space is necessary for particular functions, e.g., growing 70 plants, and how much would be ideal.

A mechanical engineer will advise you about clearances needed around your equipment, ventilation to keep you up to code, grow room specific requirements, and plumbing such a a drip irrigation system for your grow, among other things.

An electrical engineer will guide your power distribution, adding power to support new equipment, lighting design, and security systems.

Structural engineers make sure your building is safe and built to code.

A fire protection engineer deals with life safety issues and can be your advocate in the permitting process with fire marshals.

Ready to work with CE+C?

Call us today: 206.385.3417

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