Contaminants like bacteria, insects, mildew, and mold pose risks to all commercial cannabis producers, particularly those who work in an indoor growing environment. No matter how careful you are to keep everything sanitary, these pests are a constant threat.
Worst of all, pests can even come inside with your best employees, particularly when those employees work part-time at other grows or have gardens of their own at home. Because getting rid of pests and pathogens is costly and difficult, it’s important to prevent them from being introduced into the facility in the first place.
The good news? You can design your indoor cannabis grow, or tweak your current facility layout, to give your plants a fighting chance. Thoughtful facility layout can reduce the risk of contamination and save time and money in the long run. Here’s how.
Doctors and nurses scrub in before entering sterile areas, and a well-run cannabis facility should adopt similar procedures. After all, you’re growing and processing a product that will be inhaled or consumed, so you need to do everything you can to ensure its purity.
To help ensure that employees don’t introduce pests into sterile areas, provide clean scrubs and shoe coverings for every shift and require employees to change their shoes and clothing upon entry. Provide locker rooms or, at the very least, a wall of Day Use Lockers to store “outside clothes.” Locate a handwashing sink near the facility entrance and insist that employees wash their hands upon entry.
Don’t move tools and supplies like buckets, cutters, and bins from one area to another. Store them in each room and sanitize them frequently to prevent contamination. Bins or trays used to move plants from one area to another (for instance, to move harvested product from a flowering room to the post-harvest processing area) should be sanitized before and after use.
Be sure employees can wash their hands when they move between rooms. Provide a hand-washing sink in each room with soap, hot water, paper towels, and a trash can.
If staff aren’t required to wear or change shoe coverings between rooms, the next best thing is to provide a mat for them to wipe their feet. Install mats at every entrance to every room and clean them frequently.
By educating employees on best practices and by providing convenient ways for them to follow those practices, you’ll establish a cleaner grow and a better product.
If you’d like to learn more about optimizing space and reducing costs in your cannabis facility, contact Spacesaver for a free, no-obligation consultation. We can answer your questions and connect you with your local Spacesaver cannabis consultant.