PlanNet capitalizes on increasing demand for data center tech aimed at marijuana cultivation
The expanding legalization of recreational and medical marijuana is creating demand for data center technology in cultivation operations, as one solution provider — PlanNet — is discovering.
The Lowdown: PlanNet, a California-based professional services technology firm, recently made several presentations at Data Center World on the use cases of data center technology in cannabis cultivation and distribution operations. The use cases reflect how the growing number of states that legalized recreational and medical marijuana is spurring entrepreneurial investment and creating a greenfield opportunity for technology solution providers.
The Details: The cannabis use cases presented by PlanNet include using IT systems for managing cultivation operations, water and electrical systems, lighting controls, and power backup systems. The same systems used for managing the power and cooling systems in data centers are directly applicable in cannabis cultivation.
The Impact: As PlanNet discovered, data center technologies and practices are helping to minimize equipment disruptions, contain operational costs, minimize crop failures, and speed time to market for cannabis growers. In some cases, cannabis growers that invest in data center technologies save hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational expenses.
Background: Currently, 10 states allow recreational use of marijuana, while 33 states have legalized it for medical purposes, and more states are considering joining the movement to decriminalize the plant’s use. The legalization movement is creating thousands of new businesses that specialize in growing, distributing, and retailing marijuana. In published reports, the U.S. cannabis industry has generated $6.6 billion in sales, and that number is projected to reach $24.1 billion by 2025.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, the average cost of starting up a regulated dispensary is $775,000, with an annual operating cost of $1.9 million on income of $3 million. At those revenue and cost rates, technology that improves productivity and decreases costs will be attractive to cultivators.
The Buzz: “We’ve found that as the cannabis grow industry is expanding, it’s looking to our extensive critical facility knowledge and expertise to scale,” according to Jim Strano, vice president of Critical Facilities & Design at PlanNet.