Indoor Harvest Corp is pleased to announce the initial results of the technical pilot for our aeroponic system and the next steps in the ongoing Cannabis Production Pilot Project with Tweed, the leading producer of medical marijuana in Canada.
On December 18, 2014, Indoor Harvest entered into the Pilot Project Agreement with Tweed (through its parent company, Canopy Growth Corporation, formerly Tweed Marijuana Inc.). The Pilot Project tested the production of cannabis using Indoor Harvest's high-pressure aeroponic system and recorded growth rate, phytocannabinoid production, water usage, fertilizer usage and labor required to operate the aeroponic system. As part of the agreement, Tweed and Indoor Harvest will share any intellectual property resulting from the Pilot Project, and Tweed was given options on design-build services as well as certain manufacturing rights from Indoor Harvest.
The initial aeroponic Pilot Project took place between March and August 2015. A sativa dominant strain, Ghost Train Haze, was selected and 8 plants were grown in a 4' X 8' X 2' system using a "Screen of Green" cultivation method, in which plants are cropped and trained to produce a higher yield from a single plant. The Company's patent pending aeroponic system showed a significant increase in growth rate during the vegetative stage, as compared to more traditional production methods such as drip irrigation using coco.
Fertilizer usage was reduced by as much as 68% with the system averaging 8 gallons a day under high pressure sodium and 9 gallons a day under LED, operating drain to waste. As tuning of the system progressed, average water use was reduced to approximately 5 gallons per day drain to waste. The Company believes that through additional tuning, more water savings for drain to waste and under recirculated operation can be achieved, and water use could be reduced by as much as 98% overall. Under 2,000 watts of high-pressure sodium lighting, the aeroponic system produced 3.1 pounds of dried flowers and under 1,040 watts of LED lighting produced 2.8 pounds of dried flowers in its initial test. The Company believes that with additional tuning, yield can be increased.
Mr. Chad Sykes, Chief Executive Officer of Indoor Harvest, stated "According to MJCharts.com, Ghost Train Haze sells at a nationwide average of approximately $15.70 per gram in the United States. Under LED lighting, in a system that has not been fully tuned, that would be over $19,000 worth of what is considered in the industry as a premium grade medical product in one harvest, produced on our $8,500 system that can be used by anyone who has the legal right to use our system to grow the product."
"We wouldn't have gotten these great results if not for the extremely talented R&D team and growers at Tweed. Working together, we have already made a few fascinating discoveries along the way, and we will be continuing to work together to turn these discoveries into what we hope ultimately will be patentable claims," further stated Mr. Sykes.
On September 28, 2015, the Company and Tweed mutually agreed to extend collaborative research and development for an additional two years. The Company is now in the process of providing specifications and costs to build out 1,700 sq.ft. of aeroponic production space at the Tweed facility in Smiths Falls for the purpose of an economic pilot. As part of the design build process, the Company will be incorporating prototype testing of our advanced racking system with integrated proprietary HVAC and LED lighting systems that incorporate the Company's patent pending aeroponic process.
The aeroponic system being tested eliminates mediums and their associated contaminates, provides the ability to feed and water plants with unmatched precision, and incorporates highly efficient HVAC and LED lighting systems. Based upon our preliminary engineering estimates, we believe that this combined system could potentially yield savings of up to 80% for medical cannabis producers currently utilizing more traditional hydroponic cultivation methods such as drip irrigation or flood and drain. Our goal is to create a platform that produces the finest medical cannabis, using the least amount of resources, while reducing the impact on our environment. This is why the Company believes that this system will prove to be the future of indoor farming of medical cannabis and indeed of indoor farming of all kinds of cultivars such as microgreens, leafy greens and herbs.