MedMen — Los Angeles, California
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MedMen is a growing company based in Los Angeles, California. The company currently manages two indoor cultivation facilities; one in the Sun Valley area of Los Angeles with 4,100 square feet of canopy, and a second facility in Utica, New York. The company is also managing construction of a new greenhouse cultivation and production facility outside of Reno, Nevada that measures 45,000 square feet and is expected to open in the summer of 2017. A similar greenhouse project is slated to start construction in Desert Hot Springs, California in the summer of 2017.
A Little History
With modern greenhouse technology and precision controls, we can rival and surpass the operations of indoor grows.Damian Solomon
When we build cultivation projects, we select locations based on many factors, such as the availability of natural resources like sunlight, water, and elevation. We prefer to build high-technology glass greenhouses. However, in a warehouse-retrofit situation, we can optimize indoor operations by incorporating modern agricultural technology.
With modern greenhouse technology and precision controls, we can rival and surpass the operations of indoor grows. Because greenhouses use natural sunlight as the primary source for lighting, they use up to 70 percent less electricity.
We choose strains based on customer demand and qualities such as aroma, flavor, yield potential, and shelf-attractiveness. We understand the importance of meeting customer demand and are always looking at new strains to trial in our R&D trial section. Currently, we have a set of eight core strains we are working with.
Our designs are based on commercial hydroponics, using our proprietary nutritional recipes. Each plant receives roughly 1.5 liters of irrigation spread over 5 to 6 irrigation cycles per 24 hour period.
- For propagation, we use composted peat plugs.
- For both veg and flowering, we use Grodan stonewool blocks.
- However, we are currently working with Riococo to develop new coconut coir transplant blocks specifically for use with cannabis.
We do not use pre-blended, hydroponic store fertilizers. These range in price from $25 to $50 per gallon. We produce our own fertilizers at a cost of $0.40 per gallon, using our own proprietary hydroponic nutrient recipe for all life stages.
We use a variety of tools to help control the insect pest situation:
- Beneficial insects (Bioline is a great resource.)
- Sticky cards for monitoring
- Weekly scouting by our IPM technician
Maintaining the proper climate within the growing environment also helps keep away foliar pathogen issues. Monitoring and controlling plant/leaf temperature, especially in the hours before “sunrise” is a key tool for controlling mildew and molds.
Editor’s Note: Check out our related article on Integrated Pest Management!
- For propagation, including clones and tissue culture, we use the Fluence RAZR series LED fixtures.
- We use the SPYDRx LED fixtures for vegetative.
- We use the SPYDRx PLUS fixtures for flower.
With the LED lights, we’re using 40 percent less electricity compared to HID.
Some facility designs feature automated moving benches. All our inputs into the system are automated to reduce labor needs. Irrigation is based on drip irrigation, so each plant gets the same amount of water every time. The black-out screens are also automated and controlled very easily by the push of a button.
An automatic benching system used for orchids.
There are very few tasks performed by hand in our facilities. We are always looking for ways to incorporate modern robotics in our facilities.
The MedMen Vision
This is the industry to be in if you want to innovate and leave a lasting mark.Damian Solomon
Since we are working with a biological process, we have faced the normal agricultural challenges like pests and disease, nutritional issues, and even labor. However, by incorporating Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), we can find issues early and mitigate them quickly to reduce any economic loss.
It’s proving difficult to find suppliers and manufacturers from commercial agriculture that are willing to participate in the emerging cannabis industry, especially those from Europe that specialize in controlled environment agriculture.
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Want to get in touch with MedMen?
You can reach MedMen via the following methods:
- If you’re interested in following the Medmen, take a look at the MedMen Website.
- Want to learn about the advantages of greenhouses? Check out our article on shopping for greenhouses.
- Curious about LED Lighting? Fluence Bioengineering produces the LED lights for MedMen.
- Construction has already begun on the MedMen’s new facility in Nevada. Click here to learn more about it!
- If you’re interested in learning more about pest management, check our article on Integrated Pest Management.
Do you have any questions or comments?
About the Author
Hunter Wilson is a community builder with Growers Network. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2011 with a Masters in Teaching and in 2007 with a Bachelors in Biology.