Are You Ready for the Cannabis Boom?

By Michael Greenblatt
President
Surface Technology, Inc.

A recent report from Marijuana Business Daily, entitled “Marijuana Business Factbook 2020”, has projected that legal cannabis sales in the U.S. could triple between 2019 and 2024 to $37 billion – making marijuana one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.

The recent elections have opened the door in many states to increased demand for cannabis – which means there will be an increased demand for licensed, best-practice growing facilities. Here are the states that have legalized recreational and medical marijuana:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington

The following states have passed legislation or voted to legalize adult-use cannabis (on top of medical use) but haven’t yet opened retail locations:

  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont

Twenty-one additional states have passed legislation that legalizes medical marijuana.

Although some cannabis stocks have been up and down recently, a few multistate operators have shown what’s possible from the investment side. The need for cannabis grow rooms will continue to increase rapidly.

What Are the Key Components to Ensure a Successful Cannabis Grow Room?

If you are already in the business of cultivating cannabis, or if you are considering taking part in this ever-burgeoning business opportunity, here are some of the most critical aspects of a successful operation:

  • The right lighting
  • The right grow medium
  • The right water
  • The right nutrients
  • The right flooring system

What Constitutes Best-Practice Flooring Systems for Cannabis Growing Operations?

When it comes to cannabis cultivation, hygienic surfaces, temperature, and lighting are essential to creating the perfect growing conditions. Many marijuana growers choose to repurpose older, unused industrial facilities that often come with deep flaws in their floors and walls.

With potential risks to security and production distruptions, often, the only opportunity to properly address the critical floor surface, is during initial buildout.

Upgrading to the right floor and wall system can enhance your yield and provide other benefits too.

You must be sure that the flooring professionals you select are experts at planning and installing high-performance flooring and wall systems specifically designed to improve the performance of cannabis growing and processing facilities. They must offer numerous VOC-free, odor-free, and emission-free coating systems that will not disrupt your operation or adversely affect the plants.

The contractor needs to ensure they can install a seamless, polymer floor, and wall system that includes the following features:

  • Highly reflective surfaces to enhance the available light
  • Antimicrobial surfaces to protect plant and human health
  • Smooth, seamless surfaces that are easy to clean and maintain
  • Chemical and thermal shock resistance to increase the lifespan of your floor
  • USDA and FDA compliance
  • Moisture resistance
  • Slip-resistance to increase safety
  • Non-porous and waterproof

To protect your vulnerable plants, be sure their system will seal off the gaps and crevices where microbes, fungi, and insects can hide. Ask them if their anti-slip texture will help ensure your growing room floor is safe when your employees are tending plants, monitoring plant development, and harvesting buds.

Many firms claim to offer a wide variety of commercial and industrial flooring solutions for cannabis growing operations. Some will perform better than others.

Painters vs. Industrial Epoxy Flooring Professionals

One of the biggest challenges you may face is determining if your prospective flooring vendor is a dedicated polymer flooring professional with Cannabis industry experience rather than a conventional commercial painter. There is a difference – even if the commercial painting contractor you are speaking with is a well-respected and experienced firm.

“Ask them specifically for details on their experience with installing epoxy floor coating,” stated Michael Greenblatt, president of Surface Technology, Inc. “This is a much more technical process that requires the unique expertise of an industrial epoxy flooring professional to install the surface properly.”

The correct industrial solution is a floor coating that is designed specifically for your use. Cannabis processing facilities can select from a wide range of specialty epoxy coatings. Your professional floor coating installer can create your epoxy floor to be skid resistant, hygienic, electrostatic dissipative and conductive, and much more, depending upon your requirements.

Epoxy paint is essentially latex paint with a small amount of added epoxy for increased durability. This product is best left for DIY home garage projects and is never an appropriate choice in Cannabis growing facility settings.

Epoxy floor coating is a much more technical process that requires a flooring professional’s expertise to install properly. The exact materials used vary depending on the type of flooring system required. Every floor system installation requires careful planning to ensure the finished floor achieves essential performance characteristics. Floor coating systems require the proper preparation of the underlying concrete and subsequent layers to ensure the products bond correctly and the coating is successful.

Measurable Benefits, Impenetrable Protection

Floor coating systems are used in cannabis and an array of industrial facilities, including chemical processing, food processing, electronics, aviation, pharmaceuticals, and warehousing. These systems protect concrete floors and products in the facility and provide a safe working environment for staff. They are seamless, easy to clean, and non-toxic. High-gloss flooring options can even save you money on your electric bill by reflecting light so that fewer indoor lights are needed.

The critical performance characteristics of a professionally-installed flooring system for your cannabis grow rooms include:

  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Impact-resistant
  • Chip/flake resistant
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Anti-slip (safety)
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antistatic
  • Hygienic
  • Long-lasting

Final Thoughts

Since you are looking for the best flooring solution for growing cannabis, your needs and requirements are unique. Don’t settle for a cookie-cutter flooring system.

The right floors can increase safety, reduce maintenance, protect sensitive equipment, and provide the long-term durability you require to make the most out of your facility.

Greenblatt smiled when asked what recommendations he had for Cannabis clients looking for a good flooring system installer. “Find a flooring contractor you can trust,” Greenblatt said, “and make sure they’re using high quality, industry-leading products and that they warranty their work. The most important thing is the quality and performance of the finished floor – not the brand name of the product.”

Surface Technology’s President, Michael E. Greenblatt was featured in Central Penn Business Journal for his work in Marijuana Industry Flooring. Read the full article.

Michael Greenblatt was also interviewed about Specialty Floors in the Cannabis Industry by digital publisher MarketScale for its regular series called “This Week in AEC.” Listen to the podcast.

About Surface Technology, Inc.

Surface Technology is a licensed, deadline-focused, national epoxy flooring contractor, providing industrial flooring, coating, and lining systems. We have successfully installed over 50 million square feet of high-performance flooring since 1988. Our highly skilled tradesmen average more than 20 years of experience installing resinous floor systems – the highest in the industry!

We can complete projects anywhere in the United States. We work with facility owners, design-build firms, construction management firms, and general contractors to provide industrial flooring solutions for projects ranging from 3,000 to more than 500,000 square feet. We are fully qualified to handle industrial floor coatings in Divisions 7 and 9 of the CSI MasterFormat® list. Surface Technology is bonded up to $2 million.

Surface Technology has been recognized by national publications, trade associations, and construction professionals as a performance and quality leader among commercial flooring contractors. Our expertise in delivering high-performance floor systems for industrial projects across the country is unsurpassed.

That’s why high-profile companies rely on Surface Technology to protect, restore, and enhance their facilities’ most critical workspaces.

Michael Greenblatt
Michael E. Greenblatt

Michael E. Greenblatt

Founder and President Michael E. Greenblatt is an independent, nationally recognized industrial flooring and coatings expert with more than 35 years of industry experience.

As a former executive for leading polymer flooring manufacturers, Michael has been a pioneer of highly effective new applications and installation techniques in building custom industrial flooring, coating, and lining solutions. The Surface Technology, Inc. project engineering team, under Michael’s leadership, collaborates closely with clients to design the ideal solution for each custom set of application requirements.

For more information, visit www.SurfaceTechnologyInc.com or call 1-800-PROJECT