Facility Design; the seed to success

Published on 25/02/2021

Outside of licensing the most important first step in successful cultivation is facility design.  Facility design is not just about placing a bunch of rooms inside a box, it directly impacts the efficiency in which your facility will operate for years to come. Facility design does not start with a building, nor does it start with architects or plumbers or electricians. Facility design starts with your crop strategy. The way you want to grow your plant dictates directly how much space is allotted to clone, mom, veg and flower.

Available funds are a big driver in decision making when designing a new facility.  Some focus on the short-term goals and opt for the cheapest way to build.  Others look for long term success and dial in on systems and expansion possibilities.  No matter which road you travel there are a few rules to abide by when starting out.  From those the biggest mistake is made when designing with blinders towards the future.  When occupying a space, one must design with a forward look, even if the initial goal is only to build into half the facilities’ size.  Proper routing, processes and central locations for clone/mom and veg become stumbling blocks in efficiency if not properly executed.

A second failure is to not engage experts in the design phase.  This hails back to the remark in the beginning of this article about starting with a crop strategy.  We have seen many facilities being built without the input of the growing staff.  As a matter of fact, the growing staff is often an afterthought when the facility is close to completion.  Most growers end up working with the tools that ownership has given them, but the mistakes made will follow your hindered OPEX through the years.

Operating in the “we’ve always done it like this” vacuum is a living thing in this industry.  Due to the illicit nature of our industry many growers, to no fault of their own, have not been exposed to modern agriculture and the options and tools it provides. There are however many options available to scale and successfully manage large scale indoor, outdoor and greenhouse facilities.

Climate computer systems, fully automated irrigation systems, labor registration systems, norm time labor management and Integrated Pest Management are just a few that make a huge impact.

At the end of the day, you only have one chance to build it right, and that is the first time. The magic is in people that understand both the growing and the design side.  Find a reliable partner before embarking on your facility to sustain success from day 1.


Solving the previously mentioned challenges requires partners with the right expertise. Cultivators has been formed to meet the demand for reliable partners that deliver custom-tailored businesses instead of products. Cultivators commits to successful project and growing business. Therefor we work in partnership with our customers do deliver results. In other words, we are not in the industry to sell hours.

Cultivators is all about growing business, by providing knowledge, people, and network for successful business. Since 2019 Cultivators offers a multidisciplinary, geographically dispersed team in Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Our team supports cultivators, and horticultural ancillary businesses, but also processors, retailers, and cannabis product developers, in areas of cannabis pre- and post-harvest and cannabis law.

A near-global recognition of benefits of cannabis has resulted in countries amending their regulations in the pursuance of therapeutic use and research. As a result of such actions, substantial growth has been observed in the cannabis industry. Few industries have been shown to grow as rapidly as the legal cannabis industry, and even less face the complex legal issues. Successful businesses within the industry are characterized by a broad comprehension of aspects within the sector, such as legal, regulatory, operational, and financial considerations.

Just as a well-thought-out planning and sound knowledge allows for a prosperous harvest, likewise a company needs to be aware of the environment it is conducting business in. Many companies within the cannabis industry have not been allowed to develop due to early unforeseen impracticalities. Ninety percent of the startups seem to fail in their first year, an infamous business statistic, still being maintained by not understanding the market, poor business plans, lack of financing, expanding too fast, inadequate employee training, etc.

Problems like these could have been prevented or nipped in the bud by modern consultancy methods. Cultivators works on the principle of project based and/ or committed consultancy. Our focus is not on building greenhouses, not doing projects, but growing your business.

Supporting in every part of business from initial business idea, production and sales of your cannabis product. A solid cultivation system is driven by safety, quality and consistency of the final product. Therefore we closely cooperate with the best suppliers in the industry committed to success.

We provide our knowledge, people, and network so you can succeed.

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