Why Upgrading Grow and Extraction Facilities is Important
There are a number of reasons for upgrading your existing cannabis facility. Here are a few possibilities:
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Outdated Cannabis Facility Equipment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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!