Canadian CANNAINVESTOR Magazine July / August 2017 - Page 119

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Indoor operations require the use of artificial light, and elaborate heating and cooling systems, all of which ultimately increase the demand for electricity in a significant way. As a result, the interest in greenhouses, which offer a lower operating cost and smaller carbon footprint, is growing among industry stakeholders.

Recently, British Columbia based Tantalus Labs became the 45th licensed producer in Canada. Tantalus is known across the country for utilizing greenhouses for commercial cannabis production. Tantalus’ greenhouse, cleverly nicknamed “SunLab”, utilizes sunlight to fuel cannabis growth instead of exclusively artificial lighting.

The SunLab is not simply a greenhouse. In addition to having a translucent roof and walls that enable sunlight to fuel growth, the SunLab also utilizes two 54,000 cubic feet per minute HAF fans per bay to generate airflow that is 15 to 20 times that found in a traditional indoor grow environment. Tantalus describes this airflow as a cornerstone of its quality assurance system which prevents disease, strengthens plants and increases yields.

Dan Sutton, the Founder and Managing Director at Tantalus estimates that the SunLab uses 90% less energy than a traditional indoor environment. This enables Tantalus to achieve a costs of goods sold somewhere between 1/3 and ¼ of what traditional indoor growers are spending.

Traditional indoor growers may insist that the lack of environmental control in greenhouse grows leads to less harvests, inferior product and more risky results. Sutton says those criticisms are largely unfounded but admits that until Tantalus’ cannabis hits consumers’ coffee tables he won’t be able to disprove his critics, noting “the proof is in the product.”