Lean Processes and Manufacturing
Stream-“Leaning” Your Cannabis Business
The Hunter Green Consulting Group doesn’t just specialize in application assistance and regulatory compliance matters. In fact, those are not the core services we provide. Instead, while those services are available and important, Hunter Green’s specialty is our knowledge of the market, the production methods, architectural and construction strategies, along with connections for the most advanced machines and fixtures to help your business become as lean and efficient as possible. The industry doesn’t have “mega-players” on the growing and production side of things. Yet. There are large players in several states, particularly in California and Colorado where the regulations are more open to outside investment and large facilities. However, there are few true large interstate players, at least for now.
For marihuana businesses that want to position themselves for long-term success, it starts up front, with designing, building and implementing lean manufacturing principles. Whether it’s the Six-Sigma, Traditional Lean Manufacturing Model, or a Lean Sigma production protocol, these can help drive your growth and ability to scale-up as future profits and growth require. How can that be done in this industry, even before your facility is open? Here are some examples.
Hunter Green works with industry friendly architects who understand the inherent challenges and needs for each sector of the industry. Take a cultivation or grow facility as an example. While you may only need a cookie cutter, metal, or prefabricated structure on the outside, the internal lay-out of the facility can lead to substantial efficiencies, if done properly. How your grow rooms, trim rooms, hanging rooms, and finishing rooms are laid out can cut down on the number of employees needed to monitor the operation at any given time, and can also increase the speed and efficiency at which plants can be transitioned from seed to sale in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
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As part of that facility plan, choosing the right fixtures, and setting out the best lighting plan and fixture plan can produce enormous efficiencies in terms of fixed utility cost and production cost. Hunter Green has connections with LED lighting manufacturers who can provide lighting products that will substantially reduce energy costs, and are capable of producing white and yellow light for plant growth, while also achieving sub-405 nanometer wavelength necessary to kill bacteria and mold on exposed plant surfaces. Reducing both energy cost as well as the likelihood of catastrophic bacterial or mold-based event for a crop could be the difference between success and failure.
For processors, layout of your factory floor, equipment choice, and filtering processes, as well as determining cost-effective extraction for your finished goods is critical. Using a butane or ethanol production, coupled with production efficiency, the larger you are, the clearer those choice become. Further, having an efficiently set up facility, where the extraction-to-chemistry-to-distillation/infusion chain can be run precisely and with as few employees as necessary is important. The size and type of machinery you choose to use will also have an impact. For example, you may be able to run a faster pass through with a 5L extraction machine, but if you can triple the final output of extract by using a 25L machine, at only twice the time per pass, you have an efficiency ratio of 3:2 on the 25L machine. Over the course of time, in a business that is seeking to increase scale and produce goods quickly, that difference can be substantial over time.
At Hunter Green we have worked with clients who have needed consultation and advice about these and many other issues. In an industry where tax write-offs are limited by IRS Rule 280E, efficiency of scale is imperative. Most places you could seek advice don’t have the practical experience or knowledge of the industry that we do. Limiting costs and expenses, from the beginning of your business plan, is critical. Ensuring that your decisions are also compliant with the regulations, while also making sure that you are lean and efficient, is what Hunter Green Consulting Group can offer you.
Lean Processes and Manufacturing Blog
What considerations before designing your facility’s HVAC System will help avoid additional costs and challenges as you aim for scalability in your grow?
One of the biggest questions our clients face in the design and construction of a cultivation facility concerns the HVAC system and which type of system choices will provide the most efficiency, potential for scaling the operation up and be the best financial option to meet the facility’s needs now and later. This is an especially important consideration in Michigan, where we have the joy of four true weather seasons every year, but also the challenges of maintaining as close to a homeostatic environment as possible to ensure that the agriculture being produced is consistent, manageable and does not yield unwanted results as the end of the maturation cycle in all seasons.
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