Maricann Group’s ‘Green’ Approach – An Investment in Our Future
May 8th, 2018
Exclusive, News, Top News
The cannabis industry is expected to reach $50 billion by 2026, according to Cowen & Co., driven by the legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis across a growing number of states. While the industry has environmentally-friendly roots, the modern cannabis industrial complex has had a negative environmental impact. Investors looking for exposure to the industry may want to seek out licensed producers taking a ‘greener’ approach to the market.
Maricann Group Inc. (CSE:MARI) (OTCQB:MRRCF) is taking a ‘green’ approach by minimizing its carbon footprint through both energy efficiency and water conservation, which also happens to translate to a far lower cost per gram than the competition due to less external energy and water inputs than traditional grow operations require. The same facility design can be replicated anywhere in the world and yield the same results, setting a global standard for how the cannabis industry should operate when it comes to cultivation and production.
Cannabis Isn’t a Green Industry
Cannabis may have environmentally-friendly roots, but cultivation is energy intensive, water intensive, and generates a tremendous amount of waste.
Most cultivation facilities use large 1,000-watt lamps that soak plants in a blue hue during the vegetative phase, while a yellow light showers the vegetation during the flowering phase. That’s not to mention air conditions, dehumidifiers, HVAC systems, and other power-hungry technologies. Evan Mills, a University of California scientist, estimated that the cannabis industry represented one percent of all electricity usage throughout the United States.
Since most U.S. electricity is still generated by coal power plants, the sharp increase in electricity usage is exacerbating carbon emissions by burning of fossil fuels. Many U.S. states and countries around the world, such as those that signed the Paris Climate Agreement last year, have committed to reducing their carbon footprint, but it will be difficult in areas where there’s growing demand for electricity from cannabis cultivators.
Some growers, especially in Canada, have moved their operations outdoors to reduce energy consumption by harnessing the power of natural sunlight. The problem is that outdoor growing operations are far less efficient when it comes to water usage. In California, outdoor irrigation systems are responsible for sucking many streams dry, and these same trends could ring true in other areas that permit the outdoor cultivation of cannabis.
Finally, the cannabis industry generates a tremendous amount of organic waste. In Washington State, the legal cannabis industry contributes more than 1.7 million pounds of organic waste to landfills each year. The problem is that many regulators force cannabis cultivators to keep track of their waste to the nearest gram, which makes composting exceptionally difficult. In fact, many industrial composters have been discouraged from composting.
Maricann’s Green Approach
Maricann Group has set its sights on mitigating these issues by creating what it believes to be one of the most environmentally-friendly cultivation operations in the world. According to management, the company’s newest cultivation facility will be designed to achieve from 88 percent efficiency to net zero, which means that the vast majority of the facility is expected to generate no carbon emissions. The figures are based upon the assumptions made by the company associated with recycled water and heat.
The company’s innovative cultivation facility is designed from the ground up to maximize energy efficiency.
With an R38 building envelope, Maricann believes it is setting the standard when it comes to energy efficient grow facilities. R-values represent resistance to the flow of heat, which means that higher R-values provide greater insulation value. By comparison, most buildings have R-values of between R2 and R10.
The roof of the production building is also rated for solar panels (the cultivation building cannot house solar panels due to the glass ceilings), which creates an opportunity to generate off-grid electricity to offset at least a portion of its energy requirements with a fully sustainable source.
The company’s grow facility has taken the best of what classic greenhouses have to offer with a completely-sealed food and beverage and pharmaceutical-grade facility. The glass roof provides natural sunlight to the plants without compromising strict control over the indoor environment.
With its own natural gas well on site, the company’s raw fuel costs are estimated to be 40 percent less than the overall market, while the CO2 generated from the boilers and co-generation plant will be captured and used for cannabis plants. The in-house CO2, hot water, and electricity generation are expected to provide a significant environmental and cost advantage compared to the competition, while costs are much more predictable without relying on external sources.
Maricann has also developed innovative ways to conserve water, one of the main costs that are incorporated into running any growing operation. The water that is used for cultivation is largely provided by an on-site well that pulls 50,000 liters per day. The facility is equipped to recycle it’s water, which provides Maricann with 70% of their water reclaimed. This helps further reduce the company’s reliance on external water sources and dramatically improves the efficiency of water use compared to traditional cultivation operations. The goal is to avoid depleting local water sources, while simultaneously minimizing well water uptake.
Maricann’s state-of-the-art design has dramatically reduced labor requirements and improved ergonomics associated with traditional agricultural operations. Through a partnership with Rockwell Automation, they have created a fully automated system. In fact, only 26 employees are needed on the cultivation side of the business versus 200-300 employees it would take to run a conventional grow operation in a similar sized facility. These enhancements are expected to allow Maricann to manage their production costs a lot more effectively and with a lot more predictability. The facility was modeled after an FDA approved facility in Colorado with some important enhancements to further improve automation and labor efficiency, such as production lines that have become the de facto standard in food and beverage operations.
By removing ergonomic hardships for it’s workers, the company’s automation systems help streamline and increase its production and maximize labor efficiency.
Maricann Group Inc. (CSE: MARI)(OTCQB:MRRCF) represents a leading innovator in Canada’s cannabis industry. While many companies are simply trying to maximize production, the company is taking a smarter and eco-conscience approach to benefit the environment while reducing costs. The company aims to replicate its Langton facility abroad, starting in Europe, to create a new global standard in eco-friendly and efficient cannabis production.
In the short-term, the company recently announced that it has received all of the necessary approvals from Health Canada to begin cultivation in Phase One of its its new Langton, Ontario facility. The move could pave the way to near-term revenue and value creation for shareholders.
Management believes that its facility will set a new standard for the industry. Looking into the future, facilities based on their design will be the only facilities growing cannabis to minimize the environmental footprint and produce exceptional products in a food and beverage or pharmaceutical-grade facility.
In addition to these efforts, the company’s 95%-owned German subsidiary, Mariplant, recently commenced its hemp operations in April aimed at producing isolates of CBD and CBG, representing diversification from THC-related products. The company also announced a definitive agreement to acquire Haxxon AG, a producer of feminized high-CBD cannabis plants, to further solidify its position in the European market where CBD-related products have become increasingly popular.
For more information, visit Maricann’s website at www.maricann.com.
Cautionary Statement with Respect to Forward Looking Information
Certain statements in this document, including statements with respect to expected energy efficiency, future emissions, costs savings and other statements may be forward-looking statements which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “desires”, “will”, “should”, “projects”, “estimates”, “contemplates”, “anticipates”, “intends”, or any negative such as “does not believe” or other variations thereof or comparable terminology. No assurance can be given that potential future results or circumstances described in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or will occur. By their nature, these forward-looking statements, necessarily involve risks and uncertainties, including those discussed herein, that could cause actual results to significantly differ from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the view of the Company with respect to future events, and are based on information currently available to the Company and on assumptions, which it considers reasonable. Management cautions readers that the assumptions relative to the future events, several of which are beyond Management’s control, could prove to be incorrect, given that they are subject to certain risk and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those projected. Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current expectations include, among other things: uncertainties inherent to energy utilization, future emissions and costs estimates; the ability of competitors to emulate or surpass the Company’s approach; fluctuations in operating results; the impact of general economic, industry and market conditions; the ability to recruit and retain qualified employees; fluctuations in cash flow; increased levels of outstanding debt and obligations under a capital lease; expectations regarding market demand for particular products and the dependence on new product development; the impact of market change; the impact of price and product competition and other risks and uncertainties outlined in the Company’s continuous disclosure documents filed under its profile at www.sedar.com. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
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