Our Favorite Features of AMA’s New Cultivation Facility
This week Alternative Medicine Association (AMA) successfully moved its cannabis plants into its brand-new, purpose-built cultivation and production facility in North Las Vegas, Nevada
With over 67,000 square feet and state-of-the-art features, this new space allows AMA to produce five times the amount of cannabis flower than what was previously being produced in its original facility.
So, what’s new and exciting, you ask? Read on for what we consider to be the most interesting aspects of our new home!
It sounds like something from Star Wars, and considering the science behind it, maybe it could be! During the propagation process of producing young cannabis plants (or “clones,” as we say in the industry), many cultivators will isolate plants and place them under individual domes that maintain specific growing conditions ideal for plant growth. When implementing this method, the plants need to be switched out from dome to dome to change the air inside, a process called “burping.”
Here at AMA’s new facility, an entire room devoted to this process—the Clone Room—was built to eliminate the need to switch the plants out periodically, as well as cut down on the materials and manpower needed to isolate each plant under its own dome. Likely the most unique aspect of the facility, this room is designed to maintain 90-95 percent humidity needed throughout the propagation process. Using a room instead of individual domes to achieve this not only eliminates labor, but also reduces risk, advances plant health and allows us to grow more plants, increasing production even more.
We not only expanded our operation horizontally with the move to our new facility, but vertically as well. Our two-story facility features cultivation-specific rooms on both levels, which means a lot of plants will be moving up and down within the building on a daily basis. To increase efficiency, we added a lift to the building, allowing us to move large amounts of plants easily between the two levels. It’s a convenient way to further increase production.
There are a lot of important factors to consider when attempting to grow a quality cannabis plant. One such factor is water treatment—and we’ve taken our process to a whole new state-of-the-art level in our new facility.
Firstly, we have increased our storage capacity for additional reverse osmosis water, with enough space to store enough RO water to last a few days, should something happen to our main supply. This stotrage is important, as it’s difficult to produce RO water as fast as we use it. Secondly, we are utilizing a UV filter in the irrigation room to kill pathogens and bacteria, which results in water that is much more sterile—and thus a higher-quality product.
Thirdly, and maybe most exciting, we have implemented an automated dosing system with a digital interface, allowing us to fine-tune nutrient programs for specific plants. Many growers do this by hand, so by automating the process with specific nutrient recipes and doses, we can increase consistency of specific plants. The system is also adaptable and customizable, allowing not only AMA a sophisticated way to feed the plants, but also the brands we have forged strategic partnerships with. For example, our partners at DNA Genetics will have the ability to use specific nutrient recipes they have already developed. This technology is still quite new to the cannabis industry, as it wasn’t commonplace until around 2018.
We believe automation is going to drive the future of the cannabis industry, which is why we have double-downed on it in our new facility. All grow rooms are set up with drip automation, meaning we can feed each plant exactly the amount of nutrients it needs to reach the exact moisture content needed. We can exactly measure the water and air content, meaning we are driving each plant’s growth with actual data instead of subjective opinion. This level of refinement is further testament to our commitment to consistent quality.