Canivate developing automated growing system for cannabis


Vancouver-based Canivate Growing Systems has announced the development of a proprietary advanced facility and automated growing system for cannabis, called The Canivate Way.

“Retailers will finally have reliable access to consistently high-quality products that establish a new standard for clean, green, and pure products.”

The Canivate Way aims to drastically reduce the amount of energy and water required to cultivate cannabis while eliminating the need for agricultural toxins. Canivate also claims this new system can also increase crop yield and quality. The startup’s first facility and campus will be based in Southern California, and the complex tensile membrane component of the structure, one of the company’s proprietary components, will be built by Pfeifer FabriTec.

The new facility and growing system are touted as an entirely new category of growing environment for cannabis, using systems and procedures that deploy technologies spanning automation and robotics, micro-environments, and nanotechnologies, all managed through IoT technology. Canivate claims this allows its facilities to use up to 90 percent less energy, 90 percent less water collection, 40 percent less fertilizer, and 50 percent fewer labour costs compared to traditional indoor operations.

“I have seen the future of cannabis cultivation and it is Canivate,” said Sevan Derohanian, CEO of Commercial Grow Supply. “Retailers desperately lack access to consistently high quality and ecofriendly product from their suppliers. Canivate has reimagined how growing systems should work, creating an optimal environment for amplified plant growth, higher crop yields, cultivated in a sustainable way.”

All stages of the production cycle will be automated to reduce crop loss, reduce operating expenses, and enable increased crop yields of consistently high quality, which it said would result in a substantially lower price per gram, the company said.

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Canivate’s business model precludes it from cultivating the crops itself. Instead, the company identifies customers before locating and building a facility, and then leases the facility and growing system to an independent operator.

“Canivate’s proprietary facility design, automated growing system, combined with our decreased carbon footprint, is a disruptive innovation in the sector,” said Ingo Mueller, Canivate’s CEO. “Our focus is to deliver world-class facilities built by a world-leading design [and] engineering firm to some of the best brands in the business, starting in the US, then in Canada and, ultimately, globally. Retailers will finally have reliable access to consistently high-quality products that establish a new standard for clean, green, and pure products.”

Founded in 2017, Canivate aims to foster clean cultivation for cannabis and hemp products in Canada and the US, with plans to eventually take its model global. The company closed $10.7 million in funding in May led by Gravitas Securities and Canaccord, most of which will be put towards construction costs. In previous funding rounds, the company raised a total of $3.6 million.

The California campus, which will include multiple facilities, an R&D building, and a retail dispensary, is anticipated to house the industry’s first fully-sealed growing environment. The facility is being developed to block pathogens, pests, and other contaminants while producing extreme odour control and energy efficiency gains. The facility is set to be completed in late fall 2020.

Image courtesy Canivate

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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