Wait, I have to get a permit?
Yes, you are going to need to hire an architect, and an engineering team. Many people struggle to get off the ground in MJ industry, it all starts here. Hire a team who has experience in the city or county where you are developing your facility. Also, a few guys with some experience designing these wouldn't hurt. Get “Permitting Dates” from the engineer and the architect before you hire them. Get real deadlines to manage your budget better. You can make more money tomorrow, you can't make more time!
More lights, more money, let's pack this thing out.
The biggest mistake we see. You have to leave room for working. Yes, every foot is valuable BUT if you have dedicated work areas or appropriately sized aisles it will benefit the entire garden in the long run. Don't make your trimmers work under grow lights. Your garden management team will need to do transplants, your products need to be dried and also stored when finished. If you can't keep the place under 80 degrees, turn lights off and add AC. We produce more off of 150 indoor flowering lights at 75 degrees than we do on 200 indoor flowering lights at 85 degrees. HVAC is often your biggest expense in build outs and the least concerning to newbies.
I'll design the garden myself and the grower can figure out how to make it work later.
Most people pick somebody they met through a friend who has been growing for 20 years and gets 3 pounds a light, they call themselves, “Master Growers” or “Expert Cultivators.” When you hear this, RUN! In the industry, we call these guys “Craigslist Killers”. Business owners find them on Craigslist and before you know it they have killed all hopes of having been successful in this industry. Running 30 plants in a basement isn't the same as managing a 1,600 plant count commercial facility. The learning curve is steep! A good Gardener will know about needed space for Veg, Flower, and working areas. He should know something about “Rotation” as well, this keeps labor low and employee turnover to a minimum.
What does having a “Compliant Garden” mean?
In Colorado “Compliant Garden” means a lot of things. You will need at minimum one ADA bathroom, a safe room, cameras at every door and aisle. Some cities, for example, Aurora Co., require certain screens to cover HVAC outlets so crazy people don't break into your facility while you are away. This is common because doors have sensors and it's hard to have motion sensors in a garden due to fans and plant movement. They just drop in from above! You are going to need METRC software link to track your plants and you'll have to buy clones (don't buy seeds day one!) from someone already licensed in the state. No more ordering seeds from anywhere and growing them in Colorado, MED (Marijuana Enforcement Division) will shut you down!
It's marijuana, how could I possibly fail?
95% of the original license holders in Colorado are no longer in the industry. There are a million pitfalls, these are just five quick ones before you plant your first clone. Don't underestimate the amount of competition in the industry! You need experts, you need networks, you need advice.