Knowing your Growing

by Josh Pringle

One of the best parts of our day is when the phones start ringing and the “buzz” starts around the office. A flurry of conversations, quotations, and technical questions not only get our team excited about business, but also about the gas-measuring problems customers ask us to solve. No matter how many times we say to ourselves “now we’ve heard it all...” we hear about another customer application that is completely new to our team.

However, there is one application where the customer’s phone call starts off exactly the same every time.

“Good afternoon. Thank you for calling CO2Meter. This is Josh. How may I help you?”

“Hello. I need to buy a CO2 meter,” says the voice on the other end of the call.

“Great. What are you doing that you need a CO2 meter for?” I ask.

“Um...I'm growing plants in a greenhouse,” replies the customer, sounding a bit hesitant.

“Are you a cannabis grower?” I ask.

“How did you know?”

Putting politics aside, CO2 in indoor growing applications, no matter which plant, is something that needs to be monitored. In some applications, like mushrooms, the organism decays or at minimum is stunted by excess CO2. In these applications our customers utilize our devices to monitor the CO2 levels and activate ventilation fans to exhaust excess CO2. In other applications, like cannabis, the plant actually wants more CO2 than ambient air can provide so our device measures the lack of CO2 and triggers a CO2 generator or the release of CO2 from a tank to spur growth in the plants.

But it is exactly those generators and tanks that are becoming an issue in growing operations. Local fire marshals and building inspectors have begun to require the monitoring of CO2 for safety in legal cannabis growing operations.

The first side being the safety of the owners, employees, and customers of grow rooms, dispensaries, and alike. Much like in the bar and restaurant business the use of CO2 indoors can be hazardous to someone’s health if a CO2 leak occurs. While asphyxiation because of CO2 leaks has been detailed in our newsletters for years here is a quick refresher: CO2 is a heavier gas than oxygen and drives the oxygen level in an enclosed space down to levels that can cause a person to pass out and die.

Local Fire Marshals in cities like Denver and Colorado Springs have begun to require licensed cannabis operations to install a CO2 monitor for safety in each grow room. The device is meant to be set at levels that will ensure that asphyxiation does not occur. However, some localities require strobe lights and certain alarm levels while others require just the basics. The RAD-0102S meets or exceeds the required codes.

While these localities are also generating revenue from these requirements the vast majority of regulations we have read through are clearly designed for employee and customer safety.

And much like the never ending stream of new applications we hear about there are always new codes and city ordinances that we haven’t heard about. Please contact us and let us assist you in meeting the code requirements of your town.

More importantly though, do you know if your town or state has code requirements for your operation?

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