Cannabis for medical treatment has been legal in the Garden State for over a decade. Guzzo Architects designed and built one of the largest marijuana growing and distribution facilities in New Jersey during 2016. With the recent legalization of marijuana in the state for both medical and recreational sales, it is hard for the current dispensaries to keep up with the demand.
Marijuana is Legal in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana through a referendum in 2020. Now the Cannabis Regulatory Commission has permitted certain dispensaries to sell to adults 21 and older. Only a handful of businesses passed the criteria for personal-use sales. Regulators only approved companies who have shown they have enough supply for medical patients, as well as the expected flood of new customers.
Can I grow Marijuana plants in New Jersey?
Private citizens cannot legally grow their own marijuana plants. Only companies with the appropriate permits are allowed to cultivate marijuana. These businesses go through licensing procedures and follow strict regulations. So, the only way to legally grow marijuana in New Jersey is to build a facility that meets state standards.
Cannabis Growing Facilities
Plants need proper lighting, water, and ventilation in order to flourish. An effective design for growing facilities is key for planting, pollinating, and harvesting. For example, indoor grow rooms need to be optimized for better production control. Creating the proper indoor environment is key to a successful growing facility. Light, air, temperature, irrigation, and layout are key components to optimize working, growing and distribution.
Grow rooms have huge electrical demands to maintain their proper environment. On average, grow rooms use 2,000 to 3,000 kWh per pound of product. Power outages could disrupt an entire crop by depriving plants of light, so the need for back-up generators are critical.
Lighting is one of the most important components of a facility. A large amount of artificial lighting is required to replicate the 12 to 18 hours of sunlight needed.
There are several lighting options for grow rooms:
- High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
- High-Pressure Sodium (HPS)
- Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH)
- Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
Commercial-grade systems are able to deliver the right amount of water to produce a consistent quality of crops. However, different facilities have different irrigation needs depending on budget and growing style. For example, drip irrigation provides water to the soil slowly and efficiently. Likewise, hydroponic set-ups use less space to fertilize and irrigate plants.
Temperature and humidity affect the growth of your plants; so, indoor facilities have the advantage of a controlled climate. AC units and dehumidifiers are needed to control the temperature and humidity in the air. Airflow distributes CO2 and blows the moisture away from plants.
The ideal marijuana growing facility is set up with modular sections so there will be a harvest done every few days. There needs to be space for trimming machines and harvesting. When designing a marijuana cultivation facility, plan to put the trimming room in an easily accessible location from the grow rooms. However, cannabis drying and storage need to be away from any humid areas. The size and location of the harvesting space will depend on the scale and needs of the operation.
Marijuana Growing and Distribution Facilities in New Jersey
The handful of growers cannot meet the demand for personal-use marijuana. So, marijuana growing and distribution facilities are in high demand in the New Jersey area.
Due to the high cost of real estate in our area— site selection, initial planning, design and approvals are all a critical part of the process. With our experience, Guzzo Architects can help you manage the process and find the right solutions. Give us a call and let us know how we can help.