If you ask Mike Roberts, plants belong outside.
Unfortunately, not all plants are treated equally in the public eye.
“Attitudes are changing about cannabis, but at the same time, you can’t just pop ‘em in your front flower bed and expect everybody to be okay with it,” says Roberts, an Alberta construction manager who recently participated in the Leaf Forward cannabis accelerator program. “I respect that, because I’m part of my community and we’ve got to respect each other. That’s kind of what this is all about.”
This is Sero: the secure and energy-efficient greenhouse solution for the cannabis home grower.
Sero greenhouses are made of steel and polycarbonate sheeting; a composition Roberts says mirrors the structural requirements laid out by Health Canada and the DEA for pharmaceutical storage cages in pharmacies across North America.
Size-wise, each Sero greenhouse can comfortably accommodate the four cannabis plants that Canadians will be permitted to grow under the federal government’s Bill C-45.
In the interest of discretion, Sero greenhouses sit just below the height of an average city fence, rendering them not easily visible from outside property lines. They also come equipped with standard 6” duct vents to allow for the use of carbon filters to mitigate the smell from budding crops.
For Roberts, providing Canadians with these kinds of optimal conditions to grow their own cannabis once recreational legalization rolls out across the country next July is what Sero is all about.
“Part of the idea is to get plants back out where they belong: outside. And I’ll tell ya, they do really well in the sun. Surprise, surprise: plants like it outdoors,” says Roberts, who built the first Sero greenhouse on his property in suburban Calgary.
Growing cannabis indoors is far from ideal for a host of reasons, adds Roberts – from hefty power bills to concerned landlords or property owners.
“The only reason right now anyone grows indoors is because it’s been illegal. What else do you grow indoors? Name me one thing. You can’t,” he says.
“That said, I have a 10-year-old daughter who’s out in my backyard all the time, along with all the neighbors’ kids. So it’s all about finding that method of responsible growing ... Sero is the answer that kind of bridges both worlds, in my mind.”
So far, Quebec is the only province to outright ban home growing, in spite of the federal government’s recommendations that Canadians be permitted to grow up to four plants on their properties after July 1, 2018.
Meanwhile, Roberts says he’ll start taking pre-orders in the coming months. Shipping will be available across the country come spring, with the intent being that Canadians will be able to assemble their Sero greenhouses well ahead of the government’s summer deadline. While a price-point for the structures is still up in the air as the company finalizes manufacturing, Roberts ballparks the 4x8 model at $3,500.
“It can be a very rewarding experience, growing your own cannabis,” says Roberts. “You spend all grow season doing your thing and then, at the end of it, you have this great product. It was a good experience for us and I’d like other people to be able to experience that same thing.”