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"Consultant Shane Hutto on MMJ in horticulture: "It's here to stay"

"Everybody that now enters this industry is a newbie"

2015 has been an important and groundbreaking year for the development of the medicinal marijuana industry in the U.S. and Canada. "By far it has been the busiest year in my career," said Shane Hutto from consultancy agency Horticultural Solutions. The Colorado based cultivation adviser shared his technical and practical experiences with many who entered this emerging industry last year. "It's all about our high tech approach that we utilize to provide custom solutions to each project."

In 2016, Hutto also expects that he and his team will have plenty of work to do as the legalization of medicinal marijuana continues to spread over the country, slowly but surely. "Cannabis is here to stay, it's not just a trend. I expect to double our business and realize the urge to expand our team as soon as possible."

Hutto explained that everybody that now enters this industry is a newbie; they either have been growing on a very small scale in the past, or they are completely new to this. Many of them do not yet know how to exploit a professional cannabis production on a commercial scale. "This brings us a lot of work, we are approached to set up cultivation in large commercial settings, help them with irrigation and climate strategies or are hired as the head grower to manage their operations."

As well as this, Horticultural Solutions serves as an intermediary between suppliers of professional and advanced horticulture technology and the cannabis industry. "We help investors and growers to set up a complete state of art production greenhouse, whether it's retrofitting an existing operation with blackout systems, or realizing a completely new state of the art operation, we bring together the right parties and deliver a complete project, turnkey."

Horticultural Solutions completes 1 or 2 new cannabis projects each month. Most companies that they deliver services to are growers with an average acreage of 0.5 acres. "But we are also involved in larger projects; we are busy with a 7 acre greenhouse in Wilcox, Arizona, and more recently I was hired by Costa Farms in Gould, South Florida as their managing Cannabis grower.”

Hutto is involved in many more projects across the U.S. and Canada. He explained that many hire them because of the fact that he combines his extensive knowledge on this type of cultivation together with his approach based on commercial vegetable cultivation. "This is what sets us apart from many others in this industry. We have designed cultivation strategies and production settings that are based on the similar technology and settings like commercial greenhouse tomato cultivation; including pipe rail heating, advanced dehumidification, cultivation gutter systems, hydroponic substrates, drip irrigation and climate screening strategies. Also for the vegetative stage we have designed a complete propagation system with Dutch container benching systems. Thanks to this scientific approach we are unique in an industry, where most have still not figured out where to start when it comes down to achieving results in professional large scale production."

Also in the coming year, Hutto expects that more will approach him to help set up new, or expand existing, operations as the legislation continues in the U.S. and Canada is just coming round the corner. "When a new state approves medicinal marijuana, it mostly takes two more years before you can eventually obtain a permit and complete the building. That is why we are currently very busy in the states that were approved in the past. But on the other hand new states are added quite frequently and it's expected that Maryland for example will be added soon for permits. So definitely yes, plenty of work coming up for us in the future."

Horticultural Solutions will be exhibiting at the Indo Expo Trade Show in Denver, Colorado on January 30 - 31.

For more information:
Horticultural Solutions Ltd.
Shane Hutto
[email protected]