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GRow Journal: Wet Cement and Power!

August 12, 2021

The summer has been flying by at Pharmhouse Wellness, and we’ve been busy next door, too, continuing construction on the grow facility. Every grow I’ve had before this was a DIY experiment. Grow tents in my basement were upgraded to bedrooms fully equipped with grow equipment. Eventually, I moved my caregiving operation into a barn that my Dad and I sectioned into individual grow rooms. You’ll be glad to know this is different—so much planning and thought have gone into this project. We’ve been designing the building and its components while working through municipal-related permitting for the past 12-24 months.

One of the first steps in construction was to saw cut the concrete flooring to make way for underground electrical and plumbing. The primary electric source from the pole outside of the facility had to be upgraded by Consumers Energy about a week ago. We have 800 amps of three-phase power. Coming from a 200 amp panel, on single phase, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around just how much power we have now. For sure, we shouldn’t have a shortage of electricity, and cannabis is a plant that thrives on light and water.

The underground plumbing will allow us to water our plants and capture the runoff that leaches from the pots. The end goal is to filter, recirculate and re-water our plants with this solution. But, with the current budget being a little tight and some time constraints, the plumbing system you see here will be capture and reservoir-based. Thus, water will drain back to municipal infrastructure, at least in the short term.

With the underground plumbing and electrical in place, we re-poured concrete to seal the infrastructure back below ground. My mom, Patti, as you may know, has been a big supporter along the way. She stopped down on the day they were pouring cement and wrote our business name in the concrete as it was drying. We did this on the concrete slab that supported our greenhouse at the flower/hydroponic farm I operated. And now we have it here at the grow facility. As the years go by and I look there, I’ll see it and remember being with Momma as she etched our family name there. 

A primary goal, both at the provisioning center and the grow, is to be a good neighbor. I need to respect those in the area who have resided here and been doing business here long before me. I’m still the new kid on the block.

One thing I know for sure is that cannabis, especially good cannabis, emits an odor. Over the years, the skunky ganja smell has actually become one of my favorite smells. Call me weird, but I enjoy the scent of a dead skunk on the side of the road! People come into Pharmhouse Wellness and say, “Ooh, it smells so good in here.” I can’t even smell it anymore because I’m around it all day. But for those with more sensitive noses, I’m trying my best to trap and contain the smells from these fruiting plants inside the building. 4” insulated metal panels are being installed as the walls on each grow room. Combined with the spray foam insulation and activated in-line carbon filtration, these measures should go a long way to avoid making West Weathy smell too much!  

Fingers crossed ya’ll. Construction has certainly had its challenges along the way. Rising prices, supply chain-related delays, municipal snags. Honestly, it’s been a minefield to navigate. But with your continued support, hopefully, we can keep this train rolling down the tracks, wrap up construction, and have plants growing later this autumn.

~Casey