Today, the majority of commercial cannabis producers are operating energy intensive indoor cultivation operations. Many are predicting that as time continues, and the market becomes more competitive these facility types will become a thing of the past as cannabis operations move toward more traditional commercial horticultural practices, such as automation and cultivation in greenhouse structures.
“Operators who embrace these practices now will have a sustained competitive advantage compared to indoor cultivators,” says Aaron Bluse of Colorado-based Altitude Organic Brands. After searching across the State as to where to locate their future facilities, Bluse found Crowley Development, LLC, which is based in Crowley County, Colorado.
Location, location, location
When conducting site selection for cultivating regulated cannabis, an operator must consider factors other than natural environment. An operator must also consider the local government and the agencies they will be interacting with.
“I can’t emphasize the business-friendly mindset of the Crowley County Commissioners enough,” says Dean Hiatt, owner of Crowley Development, LLC and Falcon Builders, LLC.
Hiatt, with his experience and knowledge of government has helped the county commissioners craft legislation and tax incentives to bring greenhouse growers to Crowley County. Falcon Builders has a team of experienced workers currently constructing several greenhouses in the county. Crowley stands to benefit substantially from the increased job opportunities, revenues and growth in its community.
Eliminating Unnecessary Production Costs
Greenhouse operations naturally use less power by taking full advantage of natural sunlight for there primary lighting source. Greenhouse cultivation is the standard for the production of almost all other high value horticultural crops. The cost of operating HID lighting and providing cooling to an indoor cultivation facility accounts for 25% of production costs, according to data provided by Bluse.
Altitude Organic has begun working with Crowley Development to implement its long term vision for cultivation operations in Crowley county. The dispensary chain cites not only the economic drivers, but the reduced environmental impact and ability to work within a community as reasons for selecting Crowley County in its mission to put the Planet and People First.
“We in the industry have to limit our power consumption in a meaningful and lasting way, and by focusing our expansions into greenhouse structures in areas with good usable sunlight, I believe we are taking a step in the right direction,” says Altitude Organic Vice President of Horticulture Jon Ahr.
Grow more than cannabis
Due to increasing land acquisition costs and an ever-changing political environment many operators are beginning to look for alternatives when it comes to starting out or expanding their cultivation operations.
“Altitude Organic sees Ordway and Crowley County as among the the most efficient operational sites in the country, boasting over 3,200 hours of sunlight a year, a pro-business atmosphere, and an ability to expand quickly,” says Bluse. Crowley is definitely pro-opportunity, and local officials are betting on this wave of agricultural activity to add to its community.
“There’s a strong horticultural and agriculture history in the county,” Bluse says. “Being able to provide jobs in the industry that are well above the current wages available is far more rewarding to our organization than the cost savings achieved.”
There is still plenty of room for more operators to take advantage of the opportunity presented by Crowley County. “Right now, we have enough room for up to 75 additional greenhouses,” says Hiatt. “When you look at tax incentives, the pro-economic base that’s running the county, and the benefits to the operators, expanding into Crowley County is a win-win-win for everybody.”
For more information Dean Hiatt can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org or 719/645-5549.
Brought to you by Crowley Development LLC.
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