March 27, 2017: 2:19 PM CT
Automation is taking hold in many areas of cannabis cultivation, and soon it will come to the home.
Seedo Homelab is a self-sufficient automatic grow device designed to grow seeds or clones to full harvest in an airtight ecosystem, letting you sit back and relax while it does all the hard work.
“Seedo does everything and makes it really easy,” Uri Zeevi, CEO and co-founder of Seedo, told Extract in an interview.
Zeevi expects to have the product available for presale in the fall of 2017, and the company is soon launching pre-orders at a price of $1,600. After pre-orders, price-per-unit will be $2,400.
And it’s not alone in the market. The LEAF, another automated grow box, retails for $2,990 and is expected to hit the market sometime in early 2018.
Some of this technology is already available on a larger scale. More than two-thirds of commercial cannabis cultivators surveyed in Cannabis Business Times’ 2016 “State of the Industry Report” said they use automation technology for temperature control. More than half of cultivators said they use automated humidity-control technology as well.
Seedo resembles a modern mini-fridge and is operated through a mobile app. It is designed to simulate each specific plant’s ideal growing conditions through an automated lighting system, mineral delivery and built-in carbon dioxide cartridges.
So who needs this?
Zeevi got the idea to develop an auto cultivation device in 2014. He noticed an increasing public interest in home cannabis cultivation but found most people who tried it ended up having considerable difficulty actually growing cannabis from seeds to harvest.
Cannabis is relatively expensive in Israel, where Zeevi’s company is based. Still, he found that most people were willing to fork over about $27 dollars for a gram of store-bought medical cannabis rather than have to deal with the headache of growing it themselves.
“Our farmers don’t need to wake up at 4 a.m. They can wake up at 10 and check the app, then go back to bed if they want,” Zeevi joked.
Seedo can grow any type of greens, including lettuce, kale and wheatgrass, as well as fruits and vegetables. It can also grow fresh flowers and herbs like parsley and dill. And, of course, it can grow medicinal herbs like cannabis.
Since it’s not a cannabis-only grow machine, Seedo plans to market the device everywhere.
Cannabis is currently legal for medical use in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Eight states and D.C. have legalized the drug for adult use. Some of these states allow adults to grow their own cannabis at home.
Many people are able to grow their own marijuana without automated technologies, but home cultivation does require time commitment and regular care. Some would-be cannabis growers are also put off by the plant’s strong odor, while others have difficulties with proper lighting and watering cycles.
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