December 26, 2018

TriGrow Systems: Innovations in Consistency

From Washington to Massachusetts, TriGrow Systems harnesses high-tech innovation to bring consistency to cannabis grows across the nation.

In a recent Cannabis Technologist Webcast, executives Trek Manzoni, Senior Vice President of Brands and David Kessler, Vice President of Horticulture, outlined some of the driving innovations behind TriGrow Systems' success. As an end-to-end cultivation solution for commercial cannabis, TriGrow is an obvious example of where the industry is headed in the very near future. Through their focus on some of the core challenges in the industry, including on consistency, costs associated with experimentation and issues of scalability, TriGrow is aiming to take cultivation to new heights.

Consistency, from Coast to Coast

One of the primary challenges TriGrow Systems is aiming to solve is the issue if consistency between one crop and the next. Even within the same conventional commercial operation, there can be dramatic changes in gene expression between harvests, or from the development of microclimates in the grow room. A Bubba Kush grown in one season, may not be the same caliber of product produced in the next. It’s a challenge for the consumer, looking to replicate his or her experience and for the brand, seeking to replicate successes.

TriGrow is both a software system and a hardware unit, designed entirely around the need to improve issues of consistency. The individual small-scale grow units micromanage the environment, from humidity, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and more. The purpose-built TriGrow software system pulls tens of thousands of different data points from each unit, which all feed into specific algorithms. The algorithms are where the magic happens.

The attention to data and analysis allows a cultivator to replicate the conditions between one plant and the next, one crop to the next, and from one operation to another. Using this unique combination of software and hardware, two growers located on opposite ends of the country could replicate nearly identical characteristics from the same strain.

It’s no secret that the number of strains available today is by no means an accurate portrayal of the various genetic and phenotypic expressions on the market. TriGrow uses careful genetic analysis of DNA and testing for specific strain characteristics to optimize genetics between each harvest. By replicating the growing conditions, down to smallest of details, TriGrow can produce the same product over and over again. No surprises.

Ease of Experimentation

The benefits of the data collection and microclimate control do not end there. TriGrow's software and grow units also allow for a vastly superior method of research and crop experimentation. What would once take multiple crops to achieve, is now completed within a single crop rotation.

Based on their small controlled growing units, cannabis plants which are genetically identical can be manipulated through slightly different maturation schedules, nutrient additives, temperatures, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and any other adjustments a grower might consider. With a handful of plants, each undergoing a slight variation, the grower can simultaneously experiment with phenotypic expression in a way never before seen in the industry. The vertical farm units make it feasible to dedicate a space for experimentation, but which allows for multiple research projects at the same time.  

Scalability, without Disruption

A final piece to the TriGrow Systems innovative model is their decision to stay out of operations. According to Manzoni and Kessler, this was an early decision and a very conscious one. They understood in the startup phase of TriGrow that the company faced two pathways to the future. The first was to apply their technology as an operator, owning and managing their own growing operations. The second option was to give others the technology, in a way which allowed TriGrow to continue focusing their entire attention on crop innovation.

Very clearly choosing the second option, instead of trying to split their attention and financial investment between growing and discovery, TriGrow decides to focus on advancing technology in the cannabis industry. It’s this singular focus which allows the company superior scalability. Without substantial investments in infrastructure and real estate on a state by state level, they can expand their company nationwide much more quickly.

Each operator running a TriGrow warehouse also can scale their business without interruptions to harvest schedule. Additional units are easily added to a system without much disruption. With a little forethought, it’s easy to install 100 units today, with plans to expand to 200 units later - and do so without shutting down production. Unit by unit, TriGrow allows quick and seamless scaling by its operators.

As TriGrow Systems continues to grow, they remain committed to consistency and experimentation. Through the development of TriGrow Brands, a national and global portfolio of cannabis companies, they are a one-stop shop for a complete commercial operation. Their end to end format also guarantees seamless purpose-built solutions, which unlike other piece-built production lines, avoids hiccups during integration. Their approach is a novel one within cannabis.