The coronavirus pandemic is having a severe disruptive impact on the cannabis industry throughout North America. While restrictions vary from market to market, many cannabis cultivators have been forced to reduce operations or halt them entirely to comply. Some that have shut their doors may unfortunately be shutting them permanently.
With social distancing being part of the mandate in virtually all of the US, Canada, and Europe, the problem isn’t necessarily the growing process. Most greenhouses and indoor facilities can provide employees plenty of space in their grow rooms. The problem is during harvesting. Crowded trim rooms with dozens (or more) employees sitting in close quarters are not feasible in the current climate. It almost doesn’t matter whether or not it’s allowed by law. Hourly-wage employees in many places are not showing up for work, and are difficult to replace. If someone does get sick while they are working at your facility, that introduces new problems.
We at Mobius Trimmer have been promoting automation in the cannabis harvesting process since we launched the Mobius Trimmer M108 in early 2018. We’ve always said automation should be considered for any position that is repeatable, dangerous, introduces potential product contamination points, or creates inconsistency.
If you already have a largely automated harvesting workflow in place, your business might be able to continue operating without much change (depending on the market).
If you still have a largely manual harvesting and trimming process, it’s not too late! We are continuing to rapidly fulfill orders for cultivators that need our equipment to continue operating.
Many businesses that haven’t yet embraced automation are now re-examining their processes to see how they can protect and continue operations during this difficult time, but also how they can ensure their businesses’ continuity in the future. Could the coronavirus signal the death of hand-trimming? It might be a catalyst, but it’s been a long-time coming.
The back-lash against machine trimming largely exists because the quality of machine-trimmed flower never matched up to hand-trimmed flower. That is no longer true. Product trimmed with the Mobius Trimmer M108S is indistinguishable from hand-trimmed product, provided the M108S settings have been optimized for the specific product being trimmed. The M108S also offers a level of consistency not possible when using a team of hand-trimmers. In addition to machine-trim quality concerns being overcome, could consumers’ views of product being touched by human hands also be changing? During these times, would it actually be beneficial to say that the product was not touched by anyone?
If you haven’t considered automation before, now is the time.
Mobius is ready to support your business operations, continuity, and success during this challenging landscape. Get in touch to schedule a pressure-free consultation with a Mobius Harvesting Automation Specialist.