Episode 9: Passion For the Plant with Redbud Roots

Episode 9: Passion For the Plant with Redbud Roots

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Joe Zeller and Dante Metaluno provide a deep dive into the cannabis industry. Listen in to hear their success story of Redbud Roots, from the importance of genetics and quality to the strategies they use to rise above the competition. Learn about their specialties in cultivation, extraction, processing, packaging, sales, brokerage, white labeling and small batch production. Explore their thoughts on the effects of federal regulation, marketing of certain strains and the evolution of the Emerald Cup. Gain an inside look into their process of creating SOPs, their data-driven approach, and the unique staffing structure they have implemented to create more accountability and engagement among their team.

  • Discover how Joe and Dante have navigated Redbud Roots from 6 employees to over 150
  • Find out how Joe and Dante implemented a staffing structure to increase engagement and pride in their work
  • Learn about the importance of SOPs in cannabis production and the use of data to make decisions
  • Uncover the team's focus on quality, and their passion for the product
  • Understand the success story of Kim, and the evolution of the Emerald Cup
  • Discover the unique terpene profile of the strains produced by Redbud Roots

“We are cultivation, extraction, processing, packaging. We have a diverse sales team. We do a little bit of brokerage white label and try and find a skew that matches almost every product that somebody can want to purchase at this point. Lean towards the craft side of the market.“(Joe Zeller)

“It's that positive attitude appreciating what we get to do. And that's why I speak on the passion of just the joy of working with the plant, going into a grow room on a gloomy Michigan afternoon. If that doesn't turn you up a little bit, then you should be somewhere else.“(Joe Zeller)

“It’s all about quality and a product that you're proud of, a product that you'll gladly show up to any event with and say, this is mine. This is what we made. Step up the quality.” (Dante Metaluno)

Redbud Roots on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/redbud-roots/

Show Links

Pipp Horticulture Website - https://pipphorticulture.com/

Pipp Horticulture YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4nNnNCiwS5k5GX7BaXIrbA

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This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

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Screenshot 2023-03-06 at 9.30.08 AM

Pipp Horticulture Acquires Grow Glide Assets

Pipp Horticulture Acquires Grow Glide Assets

Growing Stronger Together

Pipp Horticulture Acquires Grow Glide Assets

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This acquisition solidifies Pipp’s position as a leading provider of Indoor Commercial Mobile Vertical Grow Racks, Greenhouse Structures, and In-Rack Airflow Systems in North America.

Walker, Michigan – March 6, 2023 –During the past 6 years, Pipp Horticulture has emerged as a leading provider of indoor mobile vertical racking & in-rack airflow solutions throughout North America. The complexities of scaling an operation in this space have kept the competitive landscape lean, but in addition to Pipp Horticulture, Grow Glide, found its lane delivering quality systems at scale and developing a voice within this community.

“Following five years of both brands working hard to deliver higher value to their respective customers, we are pleased to announce that Pipp Horticulture and Grow Glide are now operating together and perfectly positioned to push the industry forward into what is bound to be a very exciting future.” – Craig Umans, President & CEO of Pipp.

Pipp will utilize the key strengths of each organization, and the expanded product offerings will become available to the most discerning cultivation facilities worldwide. Customers will receive value through Pipp Horticulture’s experience, made-in-USA production, and dedication to world-class customer service together with Grow Glide’s unique design features and use of cutting-edge technology. We couldn’t be more excited about this acquisition enabling us to offer the best of the best and deliver previously unimagined value to the most exciting marketplace – indoor vertical farming!

“The team from Grow Glide is thrilled to be joining Pipp Horticulture. By utilizing our knowledge, experience, and resources, we’ll be able to deliver even greater value to cultivators around the world. This represents a significant step forward for the indoor cultivation industry as a whole, and we’re honored to be at the forefront of this evolution.” – Darin Siples and Travis Schwartz of Grow Glide. www.growglide.com


About Pipp Horticulture 

Pipp Horticulture is an industry-leading provider of vertical farming and space optimization solutions. We work with commercial agriculture professionals globally to design, install, and optimize operational spaces throughout cultivation, post-harvest, manufacturing, and distribution facilities through the implementation of vertical and mobile rack, cart, and ventilation systems. The Pipp team merges over 40 years of commercial mobile storage experience with horticulture industry experts with over 50 years of operational experience in commercial agriculture and seed-to-sale production. Pipp provides expertise, insight, and network connections far beyond our mobile systems in support of our mission to augment financial performance and mitigate risk for our partners. For more information, please visit www.pipphorticulture.com.


About Novacap 

Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading North American private equity firm with over C$8B of AUM that has invested in more than 100 platform companies and completed more than 150 add-on acquisitions. Applying its sector-focused approach since 2007 in Industries, TMT, Financial Services, and Digital Infrastructure, Novacap’s deep domain expertise can accelerate company growth
and create long-term value. With experienced, dedicated investment and operations teams as well as substantial capital, Novacap has the resources and knowledge that help build world-class businesses. Novacap has offices in Montreal, Toronto, and New York. For more information, please visit www.novacap.ca.

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Episode 8: USA Made, Michigan Raised

Episode 8: USA Made, Michigan Raised

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Del Rockwell and Michael Williamson explore the ever-changing cannabis industry and discuss the history of Pipp Horticulture, a leader in the racking space for cannabis cultivators. From discovering the benefits of modular racking systems to metal corrosion resistance to understanding the importance of voting with their dollars, in this episode, Del and Michael provide an in-depth look at the industry and the products driving it forward.

- Learn how 45 years of experience in the industry has led Pipp to develop products specifically for the cannabis space.

- Del talks about Pipp’s customer-centric approach and how they have embraced the cannabis industry and its culture. He also dives into how they have developed products for both horticulture and retail.

- Learn about the process of product development, from prototyping to third-party testing. Del also provides insight into his own learning process and talks about enrolling in Bruce Bugby's Horticulture and Cannabis course.

- Hear more about the knock down racking system and other exciting products that Pipp is developing for indoor cultivation.

- A great discussion on the challenges of the cannabis industry, such as taxes and pricing, and how partnerships have helped companies succeed.

- Advice on entering the cannabis industry, emphasizing the importance of having face-to-face conversations and listening to customers.

“We definitely got to drink from the firehose when it came to learning, and I think for the company as a whole, we absolutely tried to learn as much as we could. We wanted to listen to everybody that would try to impart a little bit of information or knowledge on us and try to combat it from that relatively humble perspective.” (Del)

“At the end of the day, are customer centric, and we view ourselves as customer centric almost to a fault. At times, it feels like, yeah, we'll do just about everything. We definitely want to listen to and hear out whatever system it is that they want to use.” (Del)

Pipp Horticulture Website - https://pipphorticulture.com/

Pipp Horticulture YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4nNnNCiwS5k5GX7BaXIrbA

Pipp Horticulture Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pipphorticulture

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Pipp Horticulture LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/18333737/

Pipp Horticulture Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/pipphorticulture/

Pipp Horticulture Twitter - https://twitter.com/pipphort

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

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MJBizCon 2022

Pipp Horticulture 2023 Trade Shows

Pipp Horticulture 2023 Trade Shows

The Ultimate Vertical Grow System - Pipp Horticulture

See You Soon!

The 2023 trade show season is in full swing, and we can’t wait to see you! Stop by our booth at an upcoming show for FREE swag and to learn how Pipp’s Mobile Vertical Grow Racks can help elevate your grow operation. Read on for a list of the 2023 trade shows we will be attending!

February 27-28 in Las Vegas, NV

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Indoor Ag-Con is the largest indoor agriculture trade show and conference in the USA for indoor vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture.

Find us at Booth #723 at the Caesars Forum

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March 10-12 in Boston, MA

The 2023 New England Cannabis Convention, a.k.a. “The Annual Meeting of the East Coast Cannabis Industry,” is back! Featuring a sold-out exhibit hall showcasing hundreds of companies spanning the full spectrum of the cannabis and hemp industries, plus five full programming tracks running all three days, with over 120 expert speakers covering all the relevant topics and news for the New England markets.

Find us at Booth #112 at the Hynes Convention Center

Attend Our Speaker Session!

This year we will be hosting a speaker session at 2 PM on 3/11 with Director of Cultivation Michael Williamson & Cannabis Operations Specialist Anders Peterson!

During this session, the team’s learning objectives will include “space planning & design layout, important factors to understand before you start, understanding environmental control needs in a multi-tier indoor cultivation facility, and genetics & key traits to consider in a multi-tier indoor cultivation facility. We will also discuss labor optimization topics such as improving safety, ergonomics, and productivity.”


June 1-3 in New York City

New York and the entire tri-state area are becoming one of the largest cannabis and hemp economic sectors in the country. Attend the 3-day CWCBExpo and stay for the special networking and Cannabis Week events in New York City – where business gets done!

Find us at Booth #515 at the Javits Convention Center


June 13-15 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

GreenTech is the global meeting place for all professionals involved in horticulture technology. GreenTech focuses on the early stages of the horticulture chain and production issues relevant to growers. GreenTech offers two yearly exhibitions.

Find us at Booth #05 164VF at the RAI Amsterdam


June 29-30 in Berlin, Germany

ICBC Berlin is Europe’s longest-running and biggest B2B trade show and conference. Europe’s premiere cannabis business networking environment, the event attracts 350+ sponsors and exhibitors and 5000+ attendees from 80+ countries.

Find us at Booth #337-339 at the Estrel Berlin Hotel

July 15-18 in Columbus, OH

Join us to learn best practices and foster business connections so you and your business can perform better, grow faster than ever, and be prepared for the future.

AmericanHort, the leading national association for the green industry, will host Cultivate’23—the premier event for the entire green industry. Cultivate attracts thousands of industry professionals and visitors from all over the United States and the world.

Find us at Booth #2019 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center


August 15-17 in Las Vegas, NV

Cannabis Conference is the leading event for professionals from plant-touching cannabis businesses drawing in thousands of attendees from throughout the U.S., Canada, and nearly 30 other countries.

Find us at Booth #717 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino

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November 28 – December 1 in Las Vegas, NV

Connect with 1,400+ exhibitors while walking the 280,000+ square feet expo, hearing insights from 180+ speakers focusing on content with six pre-show forums. Connect with countless networking opportunities at MjBizCon.

Booth # Coming Soon!

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Pipp Horticulture at Culta in Maryland

10 Do’s & Don’ts for Your Grow Room

10 Do’s & Don’ts for Your Grow Room

Pipp Horticulture at Culta in Maryland

Let’s Get Started!

Are you new to the industry, looking for tips for your upcoming grow room, or considering converting your single-tier setup to a multi-tiered vertical farm? Below we have put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts to follow for your grow room, so you don’t have to! We’re here to help make sense of all the available information and help you better understand the best practices to implement in your grow room.

1. Canopy Footprint

Do: Know Your Canopy Footprint

When first considering starting your own grow room, you must understand how much space you have. Do you have enough veg space to feed your flowering rooms? Can you meet your production goals? Most of the equipment in your grow room is sized based on your canopy footprint per room, while cultivation KPI metrics are also based on the canopy footprint. You can gain canopy square footage without sacrificing quality using mobile vertical grow racking systems. Learn more about gaining canopy square footage without sacrificing quality!

Don’t: Just Think About Plant Count

While plant count is essential, it can vary. The canopy footprint (or total bench area) will never change; it is constant. You can start thinking about canopy footprint instead of plant count or how many pounds per light.


2. Utilities

Do: Ensure You Have the Proper Utility Infrastructure to Support Your Build-Out

Ensuring you have the proper utility infrastructure to support your build-out will help avoid delays with adequate planning. If you need the appropriate utility infrastructure, engage with your local utility to estimate the timeline and cost of upgrading the utility services to your facility. You’ll want to write this one down, as this can be one of the most common delays for a new build!

Don’t: Assume

Assuming your new property has enough power, gas, and water to run your multi-tier grow facility will only cause delays. Your building will likely need the appropriate utility services to support your new facility. Run estimates! Running estimates before purchasing a new property can help estimate your utility usage and begin the utility upgrade process earlier than later. Running calculations will ensure limited delays for your new grow room. 

3. Budget

Do: Budget Appropriately

Cultivation facilities can be expensive, especially when new to the industry. Investing in the appropriate technologies (high CapEx) results in lower operating costs (OpEx). Lower production price means you will remain competitive as a cultivation business in market compression. Investing in vertical farming can also be a higher upfront cost. However, this higher upfront cost compared to single-level growing sets you up for success with a lower production cost for your facility’s life. Read more about the pros and cons of vertical farming!

Don’t: Cut Corners on Your Build-Out

Growers will forever be sacrificing yield, quality, consistency, and efficiency. To survive in today’s indoor cannabis market, you must invest in efficient technologies and reduce your cost per pound. The right facility design and budget can ensure you remain competitive for years to come.


4. Multi-Tier Growing

Do: Consider Multi-Tier

The time is now to convert to vertical farming, especially in a multi-tier facility set-up. Multi-tier vertical farming can significantly increase production capacity and utilize square and cubic footage. It is an overall more efficient strategy for indoor cultivation and allows for fixed cost absorption. Before converting to multi-tier vertical farming, learn about vertical farming cannabis grow systems!

Don’t: Assume Multi-Tier Growing is Cost-Prohibitive

Investing in multi-tier may be a higher upfront cost to get started. Still, the ability to produce more products in a smaller overall footprint is inherently more efficient and cost-effective. 

5. Working With the Right Team

Do: Assemble the Right Team

Hire an experienced cultivator! Engage consultants, architects, engineers, and contractors with experience designing and building an indoor cultivation facility. Building an indoor plant environment requires unique considerations that even the most experienced professionals could overlook. 

Connect with the Pipp Horticulture team when considering a team to help invest in Vertical Farming!

Don’t: Go the Cheaper Route When Hiring

“You get what you pay for” isn’t a saying for any reason. Don’t assume you will automatically start making large amounts of money initially. Your return on investment will take time, and hiring the right team at the beginning will help make those profits faster. Investing in the right team will pay off in the long run!

6. Environmental Controls

Do: Invest in Your Mechanical System and Airflow Design

Investing in your mechanical system and airflow design can often be the most significant limiting factor for success and profitability for indoor cultivation facilities. Practical and consistent air circulation is a must for any grow room, especially in the vertical farming setting. Knowing your watering rates and desired setpoints can help you decide which system and design you want to invest in. Long-term success is limited to good environmental controls. 

The patented Vertical Air Solutions (VAS) inner canopy air circulation system is designed to work with an HVAC system specified for your vertical farm size and growing methods. The VAS system lets you control environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, airflow velocity, and CO2 levels, optimizing plant health and finished product quality.

Don’t: Invest in Easily Upgradeable Systems

When just getting started, think about what systems are easier to retrofit once you start making money. If the budget is limited, try and figure out how to save money on these systems up front and set goals to upgrade after specific revenue benchmarks. 

7. Lighting

Do: Invest in LED Horticultural Fixtures

Since adopting Horticultural LED fixtures, the cost per fixture has dropped dramatically. Almost every facility built today uses LED lighting due to its efficiency per joule, spectrum, and form factor. Plus, you can often offset the cost of these fixtures with utility rebates from your local utility. LED lighting can help indoor cannabis operations by optimizing plant growth at every stage of the plant life cycle. Learn how vertical farming technology can improve your indoor cannabis operation!

Don’t: Spend Time and Money with HPS Lighting

HPS technology can be inefficient at converting electrical energy into usable plant light. All the heat generated with HPS lighting requires more cooling capacity to remove. With vertical farming adding multiple tiers of grow space, investing in LED lights will be crucial to maintain temperature.

8. Employee Considerations

Do: Train Employees on Your Systems

It’s essential to train your employees to know precisely what they need to do daily. Especially with vertical farming systems, Vertical Farming requires different training than single-tier systems. Limit the number of specialty tasks per employee, and have them master a job before training them on a new one. Walk before you run! Labor is the highest cost of producing a pound; a good team who feels confident in their job and cares about the plant will result in a profitable and successful business. Make their day-to-day more comfortable; an employee who enjoys coming to work will do a better job.

One element that the Pipp Horticulture team has thought of to help allow cultivators to access the upper levels of our multi-tier Vertical Grow Racks with ease and safety is our ELEVATE® Platform System. One person can set up the entire system, and the ergonomic design reduces worker stress and the risk of injury or fatigue.

Don’t: Assume Everyone Knows the Process, Even If They Say They Do

Employee errors cause injuries and failures due to a lack of training. Grow facilities should constantly update their SOPs and ensure their employees are up-to-date on the latest procedures. The cannabis industry is a fast-paced environment, and things can change overnight. Have a method to help track employee performance and mold that dedicated and professional team to achieve specific goals and success! 

9. Cleanliness

Do: Keep Your Facility and Grow Rooms Clean

A clean facility means healthy plants resulting in greater yields. Design an easier-to-clean facility, and plan out drains, sinks, and systems to allow for more efficient cleaning procedures. Reasonable environmental control and airflow reduce your risk for pathogen proliferation. The worst feeling a grower can experience is failing a lab test and not being able to sell a harvest batch that they just spent 3-4 months and tons of money growing. 

Pipp systems are designed for easy cleaning and sanitization. Grow Racks have an E-Coat base layer, providing complete coverage and negating the Faraday effect, while a powder coat top layer provides anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Pipp also made the inside duct work more accessible by removing the end caps. Learn more with our Vertical Farming Tips: Cleaning and Sterilizing with Vertical Air Solutions blog!

Don’t: Be Lazy

Cutting corners results in poor yields, airflow, and unhappy plants. Dirty facilities without proper reset and sanitization protocols increase their risk of failing lab tests and often reduce their yields. Growing quality indoor cannabis is not guaranteed; the more work and care you put into your plants and facility, the more you will be rewarded.

10. Balance

Do: Keep in Mind Every Parameter, Metric, and KPI in Your Grow Room Regarding Balance

Balance is the key to successful grow room design and operation. Is your watering rate balanced with your dehumidification capacity? Do your lighting levels balance with your CO2 levels? Energy in = energy out. Growing indoors is all about energy balance; within every system and plant to ensure success.

Don’t: Narrow Your Focus

Every system and growth parameter within your grow room works harmoniously and synergistically. If you just think about your fertilizer solution or irrigation strategy, you need to consider how that affects every other parameter to avoid throwing things out of balance. Balance your plant process flow, labor needs and timing, genetics rotation through production, and growth parameters. Balance is the key to success. 

In Conclusion

Working with the Pipp Horticulture team saves money when considering a new grow room. Pipp Horticulture continues to grow and improve daily with over 50 years of experience. It has quickly become the industry-leading provider of Mobile Vertical Growing Solutions with installations in over 2,500 grow rooms worldwide. We have engineered various cost-effective solutions that can exponentially grow your production without increasing your square footprint, allowing cultivators to grow up to 5x more by maximizing their cubic grow space and creating more efficient workflows. Moving forward with Pipp Horticulture means working closely with our in-house professional engineers, CAD designers, sales support, and experienced cannabis operators. Let us help you maximize your production capability, reduce operating costs, and increase your overall revenue per square foot!

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Episode 7: Harvested by Hand, Crafted by Culture with CULTA

Episode 7: Harvested by Hand, Crafted by Culture with CULTA

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Jay Bouton is the Senior Director of Cultivation at Culta, Maryland’s vertically-integrated craft cannabis brand. Today, Jay joins the show to share his role at Culta, the inspiration behind the name, and their work at Culta. Jay expounds on the Cravo system, the maturation time of crops, and why he considers Workplace of the Year to be the highest honor achievable.


*Medical cannabis is for certified/qualifying patients only. You must be at least 18 years old to view content.

00:31 – Michael introduces today’s guest, Jay Bouton, who shares the inspiration behind the name Culta, what it means to say that Maryland is a ‘limited license state,’ and the concept behind vertical integration  

06:57 – Jay paints a picture of the history behind the building infrastructure that Culta currently uses 

10:18 – An indoor, outdoor and greenhouse grower 

14:03 – The Cravo system explained 

20:04 – Jay speaks to the Indoor growing they are doing at Culta 

22:01 – Flowering rooms and average maturation time 

31:04 – Grower of the Year, Product of the Year, & Workplace of the Year 

36:33 – A collaboration with Dartmouth 

37:57 – Genetics and Pheno-hunting, explained 

42:36 – Traits Jay looks for in a cultivar 

52:28 – Selecting an equipment vendor 

55:54 – Partnering with Pip Horticulture 

58:51 – What the future holds for Culta 

1:03:51 – Michael thanks Jay for joining the show and sharing his story 

1:04:45 – Advice Jay would give to those looking to enter the cannabis industry 

“We’re the second largest employer in town now. And, as we keep on growing, I know we’ll become number one. There’s more opportunity that Culta can offer a lot of the people from Cambridge than The Hyatt or these other companies. There’s much more room for growth. You’re being educated everyday at work. We’re growing the people just as much as we’re growing the plants.” (09:51)  

“With outdoor, we’ve gone through two hurricanes. We’ve gone through a drought. We’ve gone through five straight days of rain. So, we have an idea of where everything’s gonna go, but you honestly have to see how that season treats you before you can really decide if this is an extraction year or a flower year.” (16:53)  

“It’s kind of humbling to know that, no matter how good or big we think we are, in the grand scheme we’re a smaller, middle ground company. But that also allows us to really focus on what matters.” (31:48)  

“What we’re most proud about is The Workplace of the Year in the cannabis industry. Being Grower of the Year is awesome. Being Product of the Year is awesome. But being recognized as the employer where employees would much rather be, that makes us prouder than anything.” (33:15) 

“We won’t put anything out there that we wouldn’t smoke ourselves.” (1:03:22)  

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Mobile Vertical Grow Racks

6 Pros and Cons of Vertical Farming

6 Pros and Cons of Vertical Farming

The Ultimate Vertical Grow System - Pipp Horticulture

Creating a Future with Vertical Farming

The world is changing every day faster than ever before. We must think creatively to stay ahead and on top of the rising changes. Businesses must rapidly adopt efficient and future-proofed strategies to achieve their goals. According to the World Health Organization, about 147 million people, 2.5% of the world population, consume cannabis. With this rising demand, converting to Vertical Farming is even more critical. Converting to a vertical farm can provide a higher production capacity (or output), a smaller overall footprint, and a more efficient workflow.

Every decision has pros and cons, and creating that list is “a simple and effective way to reduce uncertainty when there is more than one viable way to proceed.” Below we have put together six pros and cons of Vertical Farming to help ease the decision-making!

Pros of Vertical Farming:

1. Maximize the Grow Space

Space is well-spent in any facility when it comes to going vertical. Instead of relying on single-tier grow tables, cultivators can now take advantage of the tall ceiling heights of commercial warehouses and add multiple growing spaces to significantly increase their production capacity and utilize more of their facility to generate revenue. Pipp Horticulture’s Vertical Grow Racks allow growers to maximize their space and are vital to any successful operation. Combined with Pipp’s Mobile Carriages, grow facilities don’t waste an inch of space, allowing for easy movement of vertical racks to create high-density grow rooms. These products can be used through multiple stages in the plant life cycle to increase operational efficiency.


2. Increased Genetic Offerings

Typically, when a grow facility has converted to Vertical Farming, you can grow more plants with a larger canopy footprint than you did before! Increasing your ability to store and grow multiple strains of cannabis that you haven’t been able to with single-level grow tables. Vertical Farming designs allow you to house a wider variety of genetics to rotate into your production schedule and grow more strains per harvest without sacrificing yields or needing a bigger building. A larger production footprint and a more extensive genetic library allow growers to offer a greater variety of products to meet the demands of this constantly evolving market.
Vertical farming may seem like more work with the increase in space, but having a more controlled environment means more consistency and a lower failure rate. Pipp Horticulture and its divisions, GGS Structures, Vertical Air Solutions, and Greenhaus Industries, offer all the products necessary to create the ultimate vertical grow system! From Vertical Grow Racks and Mobile Carriages to trays, carts, and other essential accessories.
Elevate Platform System

3. Location, Location, Location.

When considering vertical farming, you don’t always have to assume you have to start your operation in a remote location at a large facility to maximize your growing space. With vertical farming, consider finding a place closer to dense urban areas or your distribution center to reduce your footprint. It’s the same thought as eating local organic, sourced fruits and vegetables. Reducing your “food mile” to reduce your carbon footprint to help improve the environment. Imagine your growing facility across the street from where you distribute your product. Converting and utilizing indoor vertical farming can maximize your square footage and cubic footage within any grow facility.

Cons on Vertical Farming:

Mobile Carriages for Vertical Grow Racks - Pipp Horticulture

1. High Cost at the Beginning

When it comes to cost, it’s always risky to spend all that money upfront, unsure of the future outcome. Converting to Vertical Farming is costly, and investing in quality grow equipment, advanced climate control systems, vertical grow racks, etc., can add up quickly. However, this higher upfront cost compared to single-level growing sets you up for success with a lower production cost for your facility’s life.

Although all new additions can get expensive, working with Pipp Horticulture will help ease the stress and worries of converting. The Pipp team has over 50 years of experience and has quickly become the industry-leading provider of Mobile Vertical Growing Solutions with installations in over 2,000 grow rooms worldwide. Our Mobile Vertical Grow Racks allow cultivators to maximize their production capability, reduce operating costs, and increase their overall revenue per square foot by as much as three times! We even have a team of in-house professional engineers, CAD designers, sales support, and experienced cannabis operators to help provide support before and after equipment installation to ensure operational success. 


2. Adjusting to Change

Converting to Vertical Farming will bring changes in different areas, including other climate conditions on each tier, utilizing various new equipment, for example, new grow lights and HVAC systems. Adjusting to change also might result in needing to grow your team and knowing each member of the current team understands the latest updates and procedures. But if there is one thing a successful grower is accustomed to, it is change. Similarly to changing from HPS to LED, going from single to multi-tier cultivation requires a change in mindset and SOP’s. The result is a more sustainable and efficient operation with increased production capacity.

Pipp Horticulture is here to help you at the beginning of these changes!Pipp’s in-house professional engineers, designers, sales support, and experienced cannabis operators help you with each process step. We provide professional installation across North America, and all products are proudly made in the USA!

3. Regulatory Challenges

With any new industry, regulatory hurdles always exist to overcome as these rules become established and understood by all parties involved. Each state has specific cannabis industry regulations to comply with, such as production capacity limits or building codes. These regulations will be different, for example, if you’re trying to operate in Michigan vs. California. Understanding these regulations can be difficult while trying to convert to vertical farming with new operations and equipment to learn. 

Pipp Horticulture’s team can help during the converting process; we understand the nuances and can share our experiences from the hundreds of new builds we have been a part of. Listen to our interview with Brent Barnes, VP of Cultivation & Genetics at Claybourne Co. located in Paris, California; explain how the Pipp team helped create a custom design for their specific fire protection services. 

Pipp Horticulture

In Conclusion

As we just covered, Vertical Farming can bring high costs, new process changes, and new regulations to follow within your state of operation. These specific downfalls can be overwhelming initially, but in the end, they significantly improve your thinking processes toward the future. Every challenge brings new efficiencies you would have only discovered by taking that first step. Vertical farming is the way of the future, providing a more controlled environment to increase the quality and amount of plants, with the ability to grow multiple crops simultaneously and all year round.

Ready to convert to Vertical Farming? Check out this blog to learn five things you must know before converting to vertical farming.

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Episode 6: Blue Collar Craft Cannabis with Freedom Green Farms

Episode 6: Blue Collar Craft Cannabis with Freedom Green Farms

Episode 6 Podcast


Drew Nowak is an Alumni of Western Michigan University with a degree in Engineering Management Technology. He is also a former NFL offensive/defensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs. He is currently the Founder/CEO of an Adult Use cannabis grow facility in Northern Michigan, Freedom Green Farms LLC. Today, Drew joins the show to discuss process flow, design and the importance of attention to detail. Drew expounds on the origins of the name ‘Freedom Green,’ the value he places on efficiency and sustainability, and how Drew has cultivated an incredibly trusting culture within his organization.

00:00 – Michael introduces today’s guest, CEO and Founder at Freedom Green, Drew Nowak, who shares his background as an NFL player and the work he’s currently doing in the cannabis industry 

02:03 – Process flow, design, and engineering 

03:50 – Biggest challenges in starting Freedom Green 

04:49 – The origin story of the name ‘Freedom Green’ 

06:12 – Growing more with Pipp Horticulture 

09:25 – Drew’s leadership style and what differentiates Freedom Green from other cannabis companies 

10:59 – Attention to detail 

12:30 – Investing in efficient systems and designs 

15:46 – Drew’s expectations for sanitation 

17:17 – The incredible variety that Freedom Green offers 

19:26 – Advice Drew would give to those looking to enter the cannabis industry 

20:29 – What the future holds for Freedom Green 

21:11 – Michael thanks Drew for joining the show and lets listeners know where they can learn more about Freedom Green 

“Process flow is really important for us. We just didn’t want to be restricted for any reason, whether it was pallets of dirt, soil, whatever, individuals, movement, transplanting, anything like that. So it was really valuable for us to make sure that this room was wide.” (02:12)

“We really wanted to be proud Americans with the name. But also, the ‘Green’ aspect is important. Our motto is, ‘Sustainably made, simply clean.’ We try to make everything as efficient and wasteless as possible.” (05:27)

“What I feel is very valuable is how we empower our employees. We give them responsibility. We give them the ability to work. We’re not breathing down their backs. And, by doing that, we’ve created comfortability in the workplace and confidence in their abilities and what they do. We trust them tremendously to do the right thing.” (09:54)

“I want people to be able to eat food off the floor in here. That’s our expectation on sanitation. I joked earlier that we clean ninety percent of the time and work on plants ten percent. There’s no excuse for our environment.” (16:01)

“We want to grow for the people. It doesn’t matter what I like. It doesn’t matter what you like. It matters what the people want. So our goal is, tell us what you want and we’ll grow it.” (17:59)

“Right now, we still need to figure out and be the best that we are in the space. It’s hyper-competitive in Michigan but we’re gonna stay in our lane. I’d rather pick one thing and be the best at one thing than do ten things and be average.” (20:38)

Freedom Green – https://freedomgreenfarms.com/ 

Freedom Green Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/freedom_green_farms/

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Turning Square Footage Into Cubic Footage with Claybourne Company

Turning Square Footage Into Cubic Footage with Claybourne Company


Now Is The Time to Go Vertical

Vertical Farming has paved its way into the cannabis industry rapidly and is continuing to excel every day. Combined U.S. medical and recreational cannabis sales could reach $33 billion by the end of 2022 and reach 38.8 billion by the end of 2023, according to MJBiz FactBook. The time for multi-story grow operations is in more demand than ever to keep up with the increasing cannabis sales. California, in particular, has been in the legal cannabis market for medical patients since 1996, and in 2016 recreational use became legal. As of November 16, 2022, total cannabis tax revenue from third-quarter returns is $242 million. 

Claybourne Company is one of the top California cannabis brands in Perris, California. They produce top-tier cannabis with special attention given to each step of the production process while using their proprietary techniques to maximize each harvest’s potential maintaining quality and consistency. 

The move to vertical farming took time and effort. Claybourne Co.’s decision to convert to vertical farming came from many different angles, including the overall cost, future environmental impact, quality of service, and turning square footage into cubic square footage to have a greater return on investment.

Claybourne Company Vertical Farming

When the grow operation decided to convert into a multi-story build, the Pipp team helped plan everything exactly how the Claybourne Company requested. We helped work on a custom design to accommodate Claybourne Company’s required fire protection designs.

The grow facility can now hold up to 1,944 plants and increased the grow facility to 40,800 sq. ft. of the total canopy with an average of 63% of room utilization by implementing Pipp Horticulture Mobile Vertical Grow Racks. 

When asked about a greater return on investment, Brent points out, “The less floor space you take up and the square footage of canopy you have, the greater the return on investment.” When your grow has multiple tiers growing simultaneously, the cost of production is much lower, “and in agriculture, a lot of what we do is based on the cost of production.” 

Listen as Brent Barnes, VP of Cultivation & Genetics, talks about working with Pipp Horticulture and how shifting to vertical farming has benefited the company.

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Episode 5: Curaleaf’s Johnstown Cultivation Facility

Episode 5: Curaleaf’s Johnstown Cultivation Facility

Episode 5 Podcast


Ronnie Richardson is a Cultivation Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the alternative medicine industry. Ronnie works at Curaleaf, a leading international provider of consumer products in cannabis with a mission to improve lives by providing clarity around cannabis and confidence around consumption. Today, Ronnie joins the show to discuss best cultivation practices, the Ohio cannabis market, and what makes cannabis ‘craft.’ Ronnie shares his journey to the cannabis industry, advice he would give to those looking to break into the industry, and how he curated his leadership style.

00:00 – Michael introduces today’s guests, Cultivation Manager at Curaleaf, Ronnie Richardson, who shares his background in cannabis 06:35 – Ronnie speaks to the Curaleaf facility, staff, and global presence

09:44 – What Curaleaf is doing differently to maintain a high level of quality

13:10 – The ‘Ohio Tenth’

15:58 – Curaleaf’s most popular products and how they decide what to grow

22:03 – Where Ronnie curated his mature leadership style

32:35 – Passionate people helping people through cannabis

41:01 – Ohio: A non-combustible state

47:05 – Restrictive products in the cannabis industry

50:47 – The importance of HVAC systems and what makes cannabis ‘craft’

59:07 – Ronnie’s educational and career journey

1:07:29 – The early days of Curaleaf and the different brands under the Curaleaf umbrella

1:13:27 – What the future holds for Curaleaf

1:15:15 – Advice Ronnie would give to those looking to enter the cannabis industry

1:17:28 – Michael thanks Ronnie for joining the show

“Everyone in the back comes from different walks of life across the board. But the one common denominator is that everyone is passionate about cannabis. We have a team back there that’s very like-minded in that regard. Everyone is passionate about the same thing. They love cannabis and they see the medical benefits that it provides for its patients. They take a lot of pride in what they do back there, and it shows in their work.” (06:07)

“It’ll definitely be more of a hybrid approach. There’s always going to be different things growing in different states. It would be really challenging to standardize the same amount of strains across the board.” (21:23)

“Everything starts with your people. There’s a lot of value in the people in your organization. Without great people, you don’t have an organization.” (24:09)

“When I started learning about the endocannabinoid system, it really intrigued me. And I wanted to learn more about it. And I wanted to be part of changing that stigma around it.” (38:17)

“A lot of people ask, ‘What makes cannabis craft? What dictates it? Is it because you’re hand watering your crop? Is it because it’s organic? What makes that craft? For me, it’s just cultivating with intent. It’s about putting that quality above the quantity aspect.” (51:50)

“Whether it be a medical-driven state or rec-state, the same amount of care and passion goes into cultivating the same thing.” (1:09:20)

“Curaleaf is on a mission to be the world’s leading cannabis company through education, accessibility, and customer satisfaction through high-quality products backed by science.” (1:13:38)

Curaleaf Website - https://curaleaf.com/

Curaleaf Instagram - 


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