JWC’s (CVE:JWCA) GrowthSTORM: The Technology Driving Market Advantage
James E Wagner Cultivation Corp (CVE:JWCA) (OTCMKTS:JWCAF) President and CEO Nathan Woodworth explains the company’s innovative GrowthSTORM system. Woodworth stresses that the company’s high density, low-cost GrowthSTORM system provides the best way to control the whole plant growth cycle. GrowthSTORM is a multi-part system that uses aeroponics and hydroponic techniques and advances to achieve “the most optimized outcome possible.” When the plants are fully rooted, they are moved to special GrowthSTORM baskets, which are specifically engineered for cannabis growing. The baskets are used for the whole life cycle of the plant and allow it to form complex root systems. Once the plants have reached full production size, they are moved to a low density array until the flowering cycle is complete. JWC’s latest innovation is the Dual Droplet System, an adaptation that distributes a large complex nutrient solution droplet and a small narrow band nutrient solution droplet. In combination, the droplets create an averaging effect which optimizes delivery and uptake of nutrients. Finally, the plants become flat trained, ensuring standardization of yield per square foot and optimizing the quality of the final product. The highly automated system is run through the GrowthSTORM management software. Using the GrowthSTORM system, the facility’s eight grow rooms are each capable of producing 30 to 50 kilograms per cycle, with less than one percent crop loss. The company is currently growing 29 strains with four unique phenotypes, which will only be grown using GrowthSTORM equipment. Woodworth explains that the resulting product has standardized yields, quality, and medicinal content, which can only be achieve with the complete control of the plant growth cycle that GrowthSTORM provides.
Nathan Woodworth, President and CEO: We learned very early on that efficiency is not always about speed. Sometimes the best way to win a race is slow and steady.
We want to produce all buds that look the same, smell the same, feel the same, and have the same amount of active components to a very narrow degree.
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The degree of standardization that we can achieve with this system is proof that we have discovered a way to control the total plant growth cycle. We’ve created a high-density, low-cost system which results in a 98 percent success rate after 11 to 14 days.
GrowthSTORM is a multi-part process, constructed around the core technology of aeroponics, but opportunistically using a wide variety of hydroponic techniques and advances in order to achieve the most optimized outcome possible. We’re able to fit over 50 clones per square foot, meaning that this area here will allow us to clone all of the thousands of plants required to fill the full Phase II area of our facility, which is almost 50,000 square feet of flowering space.
Once the plant is fully rooted, it’s moved to one of our special GrowthSTORM baskets. That gives the root mass the ability to form a complex array of roots all the way around. Now, this basket is one that has been engineered specifically for cannabis, and it is one of the GrowthSTORM-specific pieces. It remains in this material for its life cycle.
Once the plants have reached their full production size, they’re remoted into the low-density array. This is the system that they will inhabit until they are completed the flowering cycle.
The dual-droplet system, our newest adaptation, distributes a large droplet with a complex nutrient solution and a very small droplet at about 10 microns, with a narrow-band nutrient solution. These two droplet sizes in combination create an averaging effect, which optimizes the delivery of nutrients and the uptake through the root system itself.
The last step that the plants must undergo before entering the flowering room is an intensive screen training. What we do is, we bend a branch like this, and we create a curve so that that apical branch comes out to here. And from here on out, one day after training, this plant is a flat-trained plant. This allows us to standardize the yield per square foot, and optimize the bud morphology and the quality of the final product.
James West: Nathan, I’ve noticed that your system is extremely automated, which suggests there must be a heavy IT component to this whole operation.
Nathan Woodward: We’re a tech company, and of course, in the modern world, any good technology requires a robust software in order to back it up. Every transaction that occurs with a plant, every sanitation activity, every compliance-related access activity, all of it goes through the GrowthSTORM management software.
This is our state-of-the-art custom flowering room area. There are eight grow rooms in this area, each one capable of producing between 30 and 50 kilos per cycle. We have less than 1 percent crop loss, which means that every room like this, we are about 50/50 to lose one plant in this room.
Right now, at this facility, we have 29 strains in-house. We went through an intensive, you know, selection process. We came out of the process with four unique phenotypes, and all four of these bear the GE marker, which means that they will only ever be grown in the GrowthSTORM equipment. By the end of 2020, I hope to have about 50 strains in production.
We’ve standardized yield, we’ve standardized quality, we’ve standardized medicinal content. And that can only be achieved when you do have complete control over the entirety of that system.