The benefits of growing your own supply are pretty obvious: cost savings, no need to navigate dispensaries, control over what pesticides you use, and the satisfaction of overseeing your own little garden. And given the more permissive legal landscape surrounding home growing in North America, it's likely that you'll soon be able to do so legally (especially if you're a medical patient.)
Here are 3 automated growing systems poised to remove the barriers to entry for wannabe-home growers.
San Francisco-based Cloudponics claims this automated, Internet connected in-home growing system allows even novices to grow as much as 8 oz. in 3 months with a system that's "completely self-sustaining". The Cloudponics app, available for IOS or Android, monitors the entire grow process and automates everything from water and light to nutrition: with that kind of help, your small grow can, apparently, "run by itself for up to 3 weeks without needing a water refill."
"People are searching for the most efficient, cost-effective and convenient ways to integrate legal cannabis into their lifestyle, and with the GroBox our goal is to be a part of that process," writes CEO Pepijn van der Krogt in a press release.
The system includes odor-removal technology and an automated door lock. Available for pre-order on cloudponics.com: the full system is expected to retail for $2490, with the first units expected to ship this summer.
" iDro is a smartphone-connected, fully-automated hydro system to help anyone grow high quality cannabis," says Fredrik Lindseth, the 23-year-old Colorado College graduate who co-founded iDro with a classmate, economics major Jeremy Harlam.
With iDro, the customer buys the product (for around $500), takes it out of the box, then puts seeds or clones into the system. Then, the customer tells the app what's growing - from Blue Dream to Girl Scout Cookies. That's when the app takes over.
"We upload a set of growth parameters for the strain, which we've developed by talking to experienced growers and via partnering with local clone shops and seed shops to talk to growers at those locations and ask what they've had the best success with. Using that information will allow "growers [to] get the highest quality harvest they can hope for," Lindseth tells Civilized.
"With a series of sensors in the system, we automatically monitor the growth environment: let's say the nutrient level is thrown off. The sensor recognizes that, and turns on small dosing pumps that pump the proper level of nutrients from the nutrient cartridge it into the water reservoir."
While they're still in development, iDro has developed a functional prototype that's gone through a full growth cycle. If all goes well, they'll soon be marketing the system to a broader market with the promises to "ensure that every 2 and a half months, you'll have at least 4 ounces of cannabis."
"Instead of presenting users with every growing option under the sun, we offer a Good, Better, and Best option in terms of the hydro setup, then provide info as you need it with each phase in the grow cycle - information that's relevant and timely to the grower," says weeGrow CEO Mason Levy. Using the app, growers record five essential factors: light, CO2, nutrients, water, and temperature. The app tracks these, as well as the number of plants, and provides information on how to optimize growth.
"The goal is to make it easy," says Levy, "like having a personal grower in your pocket."
The app also links users with a community, meaning "you can connect with other people in the same part of the grow process, interact and compare notes," says Levy.
"I would describe weeGrow as an education and teaching platform. It's all about community and education."
weeGrow has been in the app store by invitation code since November.