What is a Grow Op?
Before we delve into the specifics of planning a grow operation, it is important to establish an understanding of what a growing op actually is. According to Google, a grow operation is an enterprise or facility engaged in the growing and selling of marijuana. Commonly referred to as grow op, grow space or grow room, these facilities can vary in size, requirements and production capacities.
a grow operation is an enterprise or facility engaged in the growing and selling of marijuana.
Although there are all sorts of options for running a marijuana grow operation, they can be broken down into two categories: commercial and residential.
A residential growing op can usually be set up one of two ways. The first is by retrofitting a room in your place of residence. Necessary provisions must be taken into consideration concerning lighting, irrigation and air ventilation. This requires careful research because each residential space comes with a distinct set of challenges.
The second way you can set up a residential marijuana grow up is by purchasing a prefabricated tent which houses the plants. Prefabs are useful because they drastically reduce set up times. They usually come equipped with the necessary furnishings to hang lights and hydroponics systems, as well.
Usually, a commercial grow op is a substantial operation simply because of the grow area it spans. Whether it’s an indoor facility or an outdoor venture, hundreds if not thousands of plants need to be managed. On the other hand, a residential growing op is more manageable and requires less equipment.
Growing Cannabis Indoors
One of the easiest ways to minimize exposure to these factors is by launching an indoor grow operation set up. Growing cannabis indoors requires a secure, enclosed facility that has the necessary space to accommodate windows, doors, walls and a roof. This means you have more control over important circumstances like lighting, temperature and hydroponic systems. It also decreases your chances of having to rely on harmful pesticides to fight invasive insects!
How to Start a Grow Operation
Before taking any actionable steps toward your growing op, it is crucial to be knowledgeable of any specific rules laid out in Michigan marijuana laws. Launching a grow operation prior to obtaining the required licensing can result in fines, as well as other legal action. Because each state has varying regulations relating to the growing and cultivation of cannabis, it is advised that you contact your state’s governing agency to acquire the applications needed to become a fully licensed grow operation.
Once you’ve handled the legal side of things, the next step is planning out what you want your marijuana grow op to look like. Creating a list of materials needed for growing cannabis indoors helps keep you on schedule and aligned with your budget.
Grow Operation Set up
All plants require water to survive. Supplying your plants with pure water helps them grow and increases yield.
If you plan on growing cannabis indoors, you can rely on a modest greenhouse tent or an entire warehouse facility. The real planning needs to involve factors like grow room ventilation, lighting and hydroponic systems. Selecting the correct grow op supplies can have a huge impact on your overall output.
First and foremost, determine how many plants you want to manage in your growing op. This will help you determine how much space you will need. If you are planning a significant grow operation, say about 200 plants or more, it is crucial that you find the ample space to house them.Be sure to learn that the space you are choosing can be retrofitted with the necessary grow op supplies that will help keep your plants healthy.
Once you have decided where you want to launch your grow op, you’ll need to draft a monthly utility plan that helps keep you on budget. Understanding how much you’re spending on utilities will come in handy and can help you adjust selling prices accordingly down the line. Whether it’s heat, light or water, you need to implement systems that make the most use of your growing op space.
How to Grow Cannabis Using Organic Soils and Nutrients
Once you’ve located the right area for your commercial grow op, it is now time to consider what grow medium you want to use. Dirt and manure have been a steadfast go-to for years, but with new grow op supplies on the market today, it is important to know the choices available to you. One popular brand among growers is organic soil. Containing live microfauna and microorganisms, organic soil has the extra power needed to break down nutrients. This eliminates the need for harmful growth additives and makes absorbing nutrients easier for the plant.
When growing marijuana indoors it is also worthwhile to consider growing plants in hydroponic soils. These are usually constructed from a blend of peat, coco or sphagnum and help retain water and reduce costs. However, before you pick what soil to use in your growing op, it is important to factor in what type of commercial grow op water treatment system you will use.
Marijuana Grow Op Commercial Water Systems
All plants require water to survive. Supplying your plants with pure water helps them grow and increases yield. For this reason, you shouldn’t be stingy when it comes to choosing a water treatment system. Consider industrial water treatment services to get an understanding of what is in your water.
From there, give some thought to purchasing a commercial hydroponic system. Many of these systems are capable of ultrafiltration, deionization and reverse osmosis. Installing a hydroponic system in your marijuana grow op means your plants will be provided with clean, filtered water. It also means you can manage watering times.
Something as simple as choosing the proper commercial hydroponic system can have profound effects on the day-to-day of your grow op. Providing plants with high quality water pays off in the form of larger harvests and healthier plants. Installing a commercial hydroponic water treatment system is an absolute must when it comes to growing marijuana indoors.
Growing Op Lights
Equally important to your grow operation set up is the lighting system you use. Depending on the space you’re working with, you can either choose to have lights installed or install them yourself. Lighting systems can be fitted into the ceiling of your commercial grow operation. If you’re working with limited space, you could also choose to hang lights above the plants. Just be aware of the space between your plants and the lights. You want to leave ample room as to avoided burning and singeing the plants.
When it comes to picking a lighting system for your marijuana grow op, energy consumption should be your main concern. Again, because you are launching a commercial grow op, you want to maximize the output of your grow op supplies.
Chances are you will be running your lights for the majority of the day, if not all of it. Having an energy efficient lighting system will help curb costs and reduce your eco-footprint down the line. The second factor that must be considered when choosing a lighting system for your grow op is the quality of the light itself. Sure, you may be able to successfully grow plants using a standard LED light, but there are many more options available to you.
If you’re planning on using cannabis seeds, growing clones, seedlings or young plants, then fluorescent lighting is the way to go. On the contrary, when plants enter the flowering stage, they will need a wider range of types of light. Generally, picking an LED lighting system that also produces infrared and ultraviolet waves has been proven to promote plant growth.
Grow Room Ventilation
One of the last major factors that need to be considered before a marijuana grow op is ventilation. Airflow is generally measured in cubic feet per minute. Understanding the volume your grow op occupies is pivotal when picking the right grow room ventilation.
Taking the time to investigate the right air filters for your grow op setup is also a must. Carbon filters have been proven effective when it comes to removing heavy and impure particles from the air.
Dehumidification, cooling and air flow can tremendously impact a plant’s growing cycle, also. Too much humidity can lead to mold, while too much cool are can stunt growth. For these reasons, it is advised that you include a network of fans in your growing op. Having an intake fan, exhaust fan or network of oscillating fans can help supply your plants with fresh air.
Depending on the size of your commercial grow op, you may want to consider utilizing a ductless mini-split air conditioner. Their compactness is great for a smaller growing op, because the system can heat or cool individual rooms in an energy efficient manner. Other grow ups rely on entire HVAC systems to provide grow room ventilation. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this method, it is not the most practical when it comes to energy.
If you are already making the necessary plans to launch a grow op, it is worth considering a commercial water treatment system that can double as a dehumidifier. Chilled water treatment systems help keep temperature and humidity levels stable while save up to 40 percent more energy than a traditional HVAC system.
How to Grow Cannabis: Recreational & Medical Marijuana Michigan Laws
In 2018, the state of Michigan voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Over the years, it has become increasingly easier for a medical marijuana patient to receive prescriptions. While the state already allows the creation of a marijuana business for medical use, growing weed recreationally is a different story. With medical marijuana becoming more popular among patients and Michigan recreational marijuana use increasing, now is the time for you to take your slice of the pie!
While it is possible to launch an outdoor grow operation, it may not be worth the headaches that come with managing it. Aside from legislative parameters outlined in Michigan marijuana laws, other factors can delay or prevent cultivation. Along with legislation, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency also needs to be considered.
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency establishes Michigan as the national model for medical and recreational marijuana production. The agency seeks to stimulate business growth through safe cultivation practices. In order to start your marijuana grow op, it is pivotal that you check with this agency, as well as the state.
Creating a Profitable Growing Op
The cannabis industry is undergoing a boom. Demand for recreational and medical cannabis is skyrocketing. Making the decision to start your own grow op is one that must be made with careful discretion.
It is important to remember that the success of your marijuana grow operation hinges on the grow op supplies you use. Whether you’re launching a residential or commercial grow op, you need to have ample space and resources.
Of those, water is among the most important. There is an extensive list of water treatment services and products that can positively impact your growing op. No matter if it’s ultrafiltration systems, reverse osmosis systems, deionization systems or commercial water filters consult a reputable water treatment company.
Consider growing cannabis indoors with a marijuana grow operation. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Marijuana Grow Operations
by Nick Gromicko, CMI®
A marijuana grow operation is the cultivation of marijuana, sometimes illegally, for the purpose of sale and distribution. Indoor grow operations can be found in places such as houses, apartments, commercial businesses and abandoned factories. There are thousands of illegal marijuana growers in the United States, but the problem is considerably more serious in Canada.
Facts and Trends
- In Canada, marijuana grow operations are becoming so common that many police departments have given up trying to fight them. From 1994 to 2004, the number of marijuana cultivation offenses more than doubled, and Canadian law enforcement estimates that there are currently 50,000 grow operations in the country.
- In the Canadian province of British Columbia, marijuana growth generates an estimated $7 billion annually.
- Most of the marijuana grown in Canada will eventually be sold in the United States, where it is worth more.
- Grow operations can be found in any type of house and community. Homes with grow operations are not necessarily cheap rentals or suspicious-looking, crumbling old homes in ramshackle communities. Newer homes in upscale communities are increasingly used to hide grow operations. Marijuana cultivation can be so lucrative that the entire cost of the house is paid for in a short period of time.
- Although it may seem like a serious risk for a current grower to hire an inspector to examine their home, it does happen, if rarely. Many grow operations are not temporary, and the growers have an otherwise normal household. Drug dealers need their homes to be inspected, too.
Why should inspectors care about grow operations?
Learning about the typical problems created by grow operations will enable inspectors to recognize defects. If an inspector can recognize that water damage, for instance, was a byproduct of a former grow operation, they may waste less time in the attic searching for the source of water leaks.
Common indications of marijuana grow operations:
- heat and humidity. Water that is fed to plants will transpire and evaporate from the containers into the surrounding air. Cannabis plants also require warmth. Excess water vapor and high temperatures can lead to the following defective conditions:
- water damage. Water damage caused by grow operations will likely appear uniform throughout the room, unlike the generally localized damage caused by water leaks. Even normal house plants can create enough water vapor to damage shingles, and a large marijuana grow operation may cause a considerable amount of water damage.
- large mold accumulations. Mold grows fast in humid environments. It can be a health concern, as well as a source of structural decay.
- lack of snow on roof in winter due to high temperatures indoors because of the use of grow lights, etc.
- unusually high amounts of steam coming from vents in winter.
- improper electrical connections. Grow operations, even relatively small ones, require an enormous amount of electricity for lighting. Some utility companies will report suspiciously high levels of consumption to police. In order to avoid this possibility, growers will often illegally bypass the electric meter to gain access to electricity without any record of the theft. They accomplish this by tapping electricity from the power lines before they reach the meter. In the accompanying photo, Romex cable has been attached to large fish hooks that were used to tap utility lines at the pole and illegally deviate current into the home. Inspectors may encounter other types of inventive yet improper or dangerous electrical connections.
- high electricity bills. Energy auditors, many of whom are inspectors, may come across a house that uses far more energy than seems necessary. Inspectors may also be given utility bill information from energy auditors.
Other indications for InterNACHI inspectors and neighbors:
- skunky marijuana odor. Other odors may also be apparent, such as those from mothballs, air fresheners or chlorine, which are used in an attempt to mask the marijuana smell;
- unusual garbage strewn across lawn. Items used for growing marijuana, such as wiring, PVC piping and nutrient containers, may be discarded and left around the house;
- humming sound. electrical equipment used for the growing operation can create sounds similar to transformers;
- windows covered in dark plastic or newspaper;
- perpetually illuminated rooms;
- extra security, such as guard dogs and fences.
Marijuana Grow Operations by Nick Gromicko, CMI® A marijuana grow operation is the cultivation of marijuana, sometimes illegally, for the purpose of sale and distribution. Indoor grow