Years of experience, trial and error, and knowing your limitations Play a role in the real-world success of a cultivation facility but AI is becoming a valuable tool in helping us make more informed decisions about cultivation and efficiency.

Can AI expedite your success? AI can help you make informed decisions…but it can also lead you astray in certain areas. As cultivators around the globe grind DAILY to optimize facilities, fine-tune SOPs, and grow flower people really want to smoke…Chat GPT is happy to point you toward obsolete practices, outdated solutions, tired genetics, and some funny ways to measure success. However, with its flaws, AI can stimulate deeper conversations and help make more informed decisions. The challenge is to determine what is great and what is ridiculous when you ask Chat GPT for perspective. Master that, ask great questions and always follow with context and you can get the growbot to do some really good work.

We thought it would be fun to ask the GrowBot/ChatGPT to design a cannabis cultivation facility.

Disclaimer: The image above is an AI-generated image using the Adobe Firefly engine. This does not represent our racks or actual cannabis plants. The Growbot is a fictional character.

What would the GrowBot call this facility?

Green Leaf Gardens

Bud Haven Cultivators

Herbal Harvest Cannabis

High Yield Farms

Blissful Botanicals

Elevated Gardens

Natures Nectar Cultivation

GrowBot, layout the steps to a successful cannabis cultivation facility in an emerging market.

  1. Research the emerging market: Begin by thoroughly researching the market where you plan to establish your cannabis cultivation facility. Understand the legal framework, regulations, potential customer base, and competition in the area.
  1. Develop a comprehensive business plan: Create a detailed business plan that outlines your vision, target market, marketing strategies, financial projections, and operational procedures. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your success and help you secure funding if needed.
  1. Secure necessary licenses and permits: Obtain all the required licenses and permits to legally operate your cannabis cultivation facility. This may involve working closely with local authorities, ensuring compliance with regulations, and meeting specific standards for safety, security, and quality control.
  1. Find a suitable location: Identify a location that meets your facility’s requirements in terms of size, zoning regulations, access to utilities, and proximity to your target market. Consider factors such as land availability, cost, and transportation logistics.
  1. Design and construct your facility: Collaborate with architects, engineers, and contractors to design and build your cultivation facility. Ensure it meets all legal requirements, including proper ventilation, lighting, security systems, and workflow optimization. Consider sustainable practices to reduce operational costs.
  1. Procure equipment and technology: Source high-quality cultivation equipment, including lighting systems, irrigation systems, HVAC, and security systems. Incorporate advanced technology like environmental monitoring systems and data analytics tools to optimize yields and resource usage.
  1. Hire and train a competent team: Assemble a skilled workforce, including growers, technicians, and administrative staff, who understand the nuances of cannabis cultivation. Provide thorough training to ensure they follow best practices and maintain quality standards.
  1. Cultivate and harvest your crop: Implement your cultivation plan, ensuring proper care, nutrient management, pest control, and monitoring. Regularly evaluate and adjust your cultivation techniques to optimize yields, quality, and efficiency.
  1. Develop distribution channels: Establish partnerships with licensed distributors, dispensaries, or retailers to ensure a smooth route to market for your cannabis products. Adhere to all legal requirements related to packaging, labeling, and testing.
  1. Create a strong brand and marketing strategy: Develop a compelling brand identity that resonates with your target audience. Build an online presence, utilize social media platforms, host educational events, and engage in community outreach to raise awareness and promote your products.
  1. Monitor financial performance: Regularly track and analyze your financial performance, including revenue, expenses, and profitability. Make informed decisions based on data-driven insights to optimize operations, manage costs, and drive growth.
  1. Stay updated and adapt: Continuously stay informed about industry trends, legal developments, and emerging market dynamics. Adapt your strategies and operations accordingly to maintain a competitive edge.

Alternatively below is a different response to a very similar question:

  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance:
    • Understand and comply with local, state, and national regulations regarding cannabis cultivation. Obtain all necessary permits and licenses.
    • Stay informed about changes in legislation that may affect your operation.
  • Business Plan:
    • Develop a detailed business plan that outlines your goals, budget, and timelines. Include a comprehensive financial plan covering startup costs, operational expenses, and revenue projections.
  • Location:
    • Choose a suitable location that complies with zoning regulations and provides easy access for transportation.
    • Consider factors such as climate, water availability, and energy costs, as they can impact your cultivation operation.
  • Facility Design:
    • Design an efficient and scalable facility that meets the specific needs of cannabis cultivation, including proper ventilation, lighting, and climate control.
    • Plan for security measures to protect your facility and comply with regulations.
  • Equipment and Technology:
    • Invest in quality cultivation equipment, such as grow lights, irrigation systems, and environmental controls.
    • Consider implementing advanced technologies like automated monitoring and control systems to optimize efficiency.
  • Genetics and Strain Selection:
    • Choose cannabis strains that align with your target market and cultivation goals.
    • Work with reputable breeders or genetics providers to ensure the quality and consistency of your plant genetics.
  • Cultivation Techniques:
    • Familiarize yourself with various cultivation methods, including hydroponics, soil, and aeroponics. Choose the method that aligns with your resources and goals.
    • Train your staff on proper cultivation techniques and practices.
  • Quality Control and Testing:
    • Implement rigorous quality control measures to ensure the consistency and safety of your cannabis products.
    • Regularly test your products for potency, contaminants, and other factors in compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Staff Training:
    • Hire skilled and knowledgeable staff with experience in cannabis cultivation.
    • Provide ongoing training to keep your team updated on the latest industry trends, techniques, and regulations.
  • Community Engagement:
    • Foster positive relationships with the local community. Address any concerns they may have and be transparent about your operations.
    • Consider participating in community events and education programs to build a positive image.
  • Marketing and Distribution:
    • Develop a strong brand identity for your products and implement effective marketing strategies.
    • Establish distribution channels that comply with legal requirements and reach your target market.
  • Compliance with Sustainability Practices:
    • Consider sustainable practices in your cultivation processes, such as energy-efficient lighting and water conservation, to reduce environmental impact.

Our thoughts:

Okay, that’s what we thought. Some really good high level advice that is gereneic, defendable and obvious…but for the most part spot on in that we do have to think about each of those items in detail.

Alright GrowBot. What are the top three states to build a cultivation facility to most likely have financial success?:

1. California:

  • California has one of the largest and most mature cannabis markets in the United States. It legalized medical marijuana in 1996 and recreational use in 2016. The state has a well-established cannabis infrastructure, a large consumer base, and a diverse climate that supports outdoor cultivation.

2. Colorado:

  • Colorado was one of the early adopters of cannabis legalization for recreational use, starting in 2012. The state has a well-regulated market and a history of successful cannabis businesses. It has been a pioneer in establishing regulatory frameworks and has a supportive community for the industry.

3. Oregon:

  • Oregon legalized recreational cannabis in 2014 and has since developed a robust cannabis industry. The state is known for its favorable climate for cultivation and a strong emphasis on sustainability. However, it’s important to note that Oregon has faced challenges related to oversupply, which could impact market dynamics.

Our thoughts:

Those states have challenges and advantages. Go big or go home I guess. Or go to an emerging market?

GrowBot, who are the Top equipment providers in the commercial cannabis cultivation space?

  • Cannabis Benchmarks:
    • Known for providing pricing and market information for the cannabis industry.
  • Medicine Man Technologies (now Schwazze):
    • Offers consulting and equipment solutions for cannabis cultivation.
  • GrowGeneration:
    • Specializes in providing cultivation equipment, tools, and accessories for both small and large-scale cannabis cultivation.
  • AEssenseGrows:
    • Focuses on precision automated aeroponic systems for cannabis cultivation.
  • Heliospectra:
    • Provides advanced LED lighting solutions designed for horticulture, including cannabis cultivation.
  • Can-Filters:
    • Specializes in air filtration systems for controlling odors and ensuring air quality in cannabis cultivation facilities.
  • GreenBroz:
    • Offers harvesting and processing equipment for cannabis, including trimmers and sorting machines.
  • Argus Controls:
    • Provides advanced environmental control systems for indoor cannabis cultivation.
  • Urban-Gro:
    • Offers cultivation equipment, environmental control systems, and services for cannabis growers.
  • Hydrofarm:
    • Known for providing a wide range of hydroponic and horticultural equipment, including products suitable for cannabis cultivation.

Our thoughts:

Surprised we didn’t see… PIPP/GG, Fluence, Current Culture, Trollmaster, GrowLink… too many to list! Not cool, GrowBot. 🙁

GrowBot, what media would chat GPT choose?

  • Coco- natural sustainable

Our thoughts:

I wish the GrowBot would have fired a question back at me to clarify my goals. Maybe I have reasons to optimize rockwool…or rockout some TLO Soil.

GrowBot, What commercial nutrients would you use?

  1. GH Flora Line
  2. Advanced Nutrients
  3. Canna

Our thoughts:

This is cool. I watch disc golf (don’t tell anyone) and Canna regularly sponsors holes at professional tour events so I always root for them. Not sure I would run Canna for 10,000sf of flower canopy through.

GH, specifically the flora line…interesting.

Advanced nutrients is making a push to commercial.

Front Row changed the game in a lot of ways, Athena takes massive market share and has guided people to growing FIRE across the globe with salts.

GrowBot, what cultivars would you choose for this facility?

  1. OG Kush
  2. Girl Scout Cookies
  3. Blue Dream
  4. White Widow
  5. Northern lights

Our thoughts:

Would love to clarify greenhouse, indoor single-tier, indoor multi-tier, or nursery?

That said, get that Josh cut, get that forum cut, get that real deal blue dream and Northern Lights #5 and you might be onto something. Classics done well are worth celebrating and paying a little more for. 

GrowBot, put together a Proforma for 20,000sf facility?

1. Revenue:

– Average yield per square foot: 1.2 pounds (based on industry standards)

– Average selling price per pound: $2,500 (may vary depending on the market and strain)

– Number of harvests per year: 4

Annual Revenue = (20,000 sq ft * 1.2 lbs/sq ft * 4 harvests) * $2,500/lb

2. Operating Costs:

– Rent/Lease: $10/sq ft annually

– Electricity: $0.12/kWh

– Labor: Estimate based on local wages and staffing needs

– Supplies and Equipment: Estimate based on projected needs

– Licensing and Regulatory Fees: Estimate based on local requirements

– Security System: Estimate based on facility size and requirements

3. Gross Profit:

Gross Profit = Annual Revenue – Total Operating Costs

4. Net Profit:

– Deduct taxes, insurance, and other applicable costs from the Gross Profit to calculate the Net Profit.

Our thoughts:

Nice try on the Proforma GroBot… but this is unacceptable. How about we toss you a few guidelines?

GrowBot can you…

run a proforma for 20,000 of cannabis canopy? be detailed. assume the cost of production is $400 per pound. assume we yield 65 grams a square foot. assume 5 cycles a year. assume we sell our product wholesale for $1000 per pound.


Like most things it’s about finding the right tool for the job and using that tool to the best of your ability to achieve your goals.

  1. Buy good tools.
  2. Surround yourself with people that will help you optimize those tools.
  3. Build a better business.

And along the way you can Ask the Growbot but keep in mind AI is not a magic wand, and doing your own research is highly recommended.

Additional AI-generated images.

AI cannabis image

AI-generated image using the Adobe Firefly engine

AI-generated image using the Adobe Firefly engine

Some additional resources on machine learning for cannabis, genetics, AI predictive modeling automation.

White paper 1

White paper 2 

White paper 3

White paper 4