Under a mercifully mild sun, a group of people gathered yesterday afternoon at a pair of nondescript new buildings located on the outskirts of the desert in California, to celebrate the grand opening of a state-of-the-art, 9,600 sq. ft. cannabis cultivation facility. The gathering that were invited numbered a few hundred at most, the assemblage included the crew and families and friends, assorted media, local government officials, members of the industry, and a Boy Scout color guard.
Before a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in the shade of one of the buildings, guests and reporters were taken on early afternoon tours of the facilities, which feature the latest technologies controlling every aspect of the cultivation operation. From massive air conditioners to motion and vibration sensors to huge walk-in bank-styled safes that double as panic rooms (just in case), the facilities are built to sustain a very high level of production, with the goal of producing around 225 pounds of high-grade cannabis every month, with every flower hand-trimmed.
Wait a minute! Hand Trimmed you say? A state of the art facility that costs $8 million to build with brand spanking new buildings and they are going to hand trim their flowers? Look I’m for every hand trimmer, bud trimmer, out their trying to make a buck, but the grow room in one of the buildings had row after row of beautiful young cannabis plants standing straight in their light-drenched pots. And you are going to hand trim every flower?
There is a big uptick in automated bud trimming machines since it is not only harvest season, but farmers are looking for security, privacy and most of all the net results of production efficiency to keep up with the joneses. The nightmares and frustrations they encountered when they needed hand trimming crews to trim their yield was met by every challenge imaginable.
And here we have a new state of the art cultivation facility reverting to what most growers are phasing away from. Just by doing the math, the labor costs that they will run into, and the sight of other countless grow operations that are setting shop outside their buildings as of now who may just see these guys phase from innovators to a company who didn’t get it when they speed by them. The competition is going to be fierce, and when it counts the most, others may have the extra advantage when it comes down to production! Which is? Yes, Automated bud trimmer operators, operating automated bud trimming machines.
“Our budget right now is $15 million, and we have some tax issues coming up in a few years that we’re going to have to deal with,” the CEO of the facility said. “But over the next five to ten years, we face the prospect of tax revenue that should take this city to the next level, where we can clean up our roads and gutters and really make the city beautiful. Well, you’re going to need to save every penny for that one.
Anyways a reception followed, but the meaning of the ribbon-cutting ceremony was already set in stone as the commemorative plaque the company plans to place in front of the facility to mark the occasion. Thursday was nothing less than an historic and deeply significant occasion—for a company to work hard and set-up shop in 5 months, to become the first locally licensed cultivation facility in Southern California; for city officials, whose hopes for a bright future for their beleaguered city are being rekindled by cannabis; and for the industry, which wins big every time a city steps forward as boldly as this one has to embrace the plant. Looks like I have some convincing work ahead of me, hopefully we can save them some $$ with a few tweaks before its gets any uglier, Starting tomorrow.
Michael Garay ~