Your Weekly Industry Buzz: Vertical & Aquaponic Farm Expansions, Cannabis Greenhouse in Hawaii, & Hydroponic Knowledge

Your Weekly Industry Buzz: Cannabis Greenhouse in Hawaii, Vertical & Aquaponic Farm Expansions, & Hydroponic Knowledge

Your Weekly Industry Buzz: Vertical & Aquaponic Farm Expansions, Cannabis Greenhouse in Hawaii, & Hydroponic Knowledge


Aloha Green is Good to GrowAloha Green is Good to Grow

Aloha Green Holdings received the green light from the Hawaii State Department of Health to proceed operations within its second production center on Oahu. According to an article in Cannabis Business Times, the purpose-built cannabis greenhouse is the first of its kind in Hawaii and it will allow for a 400 per cent increase in production capability. “By bringing our state-of-the-art greenhouse online, Aloha Green is able to meet current and future patient demand for safe lab-tested cannabis medicine,” says Tai Cheng, COO. “Aloha Green’s goal is to provide value-priced medicine to qualified patients. Greenhouse-grown cannabis will use significantly less electricity than indoor grown cannabis. These savings are being passed on to the patients. The cost of living is already high in Hawaii, and the cost of medicine should not force patients to make the hard choice of whether to seek relief from their symptoms,” adds James H.Q. Lee, CEO.


American Herbal Products Association and ASTM International Sign MOU on Cannabis StandardsAmerican Herbal Products Association and ASTM International Sign MOU on Cannabis Standards

American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and ASTM International have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on standards for the cannabis industry, states a press release on ASTM’s website. Under the agreement, ASTM will coordinate standards development activities for the cannabis industry while AHPA will gain benefits such as recognition of its technical contributions and regulatory recommendations. “We are thrilled to now be contributing to standards development through one of the world’s top standards organizations,” says Jane Wilson, director of program development at AHPA. “AHPA has provided and will continue to provide much-needed expertise in this fast-growing industry,” says Ralph Paroli, PhD, the committee’s new chairman and the director of R&D in measurement science and standards at the National Research Council of Canada. “AHPA’s support for this new committee will help expedite international standards development, identify gaps, prevent duplicative efforts, and more.”


Bowery Raises $20M to Build Vertical FarmsBowery Raises $20M to Build Vertical Farms

Indoor farming start-up Bowery has raised $20 million to open a second vertical farm and continue investing in its technology platform. The Series A funding was co-led by General Catalyst and GGV Capital with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures). This brings the Bowery’s total funding to $27.5 million, with previous investments made by First Round, Box Group, chef Tom Colicchio, and Blue Apron CEO Matt Salzberg. “Our goal is to locate these farms in a way to provide the highest quality food to cities where it has traveled a very short period of time compared to the traditional agriculture supply chain where it can be two to three weeks from when our food is picked to when it reaches us,” Irving Fain, co-founder and CEO, said in an article.


Matt Andrus Takes on New Position at ArborjetMatt Andrus Takes on New Position at Arborjet

Matt Andrus has taken on the new appointment as horticulture technical specialist at Arborjet. In his new role, Andrus will be responsible for helping to conduct research studies, promoting sales, and providing consultations. With the recent surge in home gardening, Arborjet identified an opportunity to provide ecofriendly plant care solutions. Matt’s background and extensive field experience supports these efforts. “I take great pride in the innovative work that our research and development team has done for Arborjet, and I look forward to building on those efforts in my new role,” he says. “I’m excited to continue to educate the community and help in driving those new market opportunities forward for our team.” Prior to his roles at Arborjet, Matt was the head propagator and manager of six large greenhouses. In addition, he started a rooftop garden business. Matt also teaches public and private classes about various cultivation techniques. He studied at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming and has also received risk assessment, wilderness first responder, and outdoor educator certifications from the Wilderness Medicine Institute.


Pentair and Urban Organics Open Second Aquaponics FarmPentair and Urban Organics Open Second Aquaponics Farm

Pentair and Urban Organics have opened a second commercial-scale indoor aquaponic farm in St. Paul, MN. The 87,000-square-foot facility will annually produce 275,000 pounds of fish and 475,000 pounds of organic produce. “The world’s population is growing, and with it, the demand for fish protein is quickly surpassing sustainable natural fish production,” says Karl Frykman, president of Pentair Water, in a press release on “We joined forces with Urban Organics to help accelerate the development of large-scale modern aquaponics as we believe it can provide a real commercial option to help solve this growing food dilemma.” Water filtration technology developed by Pentair allows Urban Organics to raise plants in warm water with high nutrient levels alongside fish in cold water with low nutrient levels, thus taking advantage of the colder Minnesota climate and saving energy. “Our collaboration with Pentair has helped us achieve our vision of creating a new model for urban agriculture that ensures access to healthy foods while using less than two per cent of the water consumed by traditional agriculture,” says David Haider, co-founder of Urban Organics.


Lumileds Officially an Independent CompanyLumileds Officially an Independent Company

Lumileds is officially operating as an independent company. The change comes after funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management and Philips completed their previously disclosed transaction. As announced in December 2016, Apollo and Philips agreed to a transaction where Philips would sell 80.1 per cent interest in Lumileds to certain funds managed by Apollo and retain the remaining 19.9 per cent interest in the company. “We are fortunate to have Apollo and Philips’ support as Lumileds embarks upon our next chapter as an innovator of high performance LEDs and a leader in advanced lighting solutions,” says Mark Adams, CEO of Lumileds. “Lumileds has over 100 years of innovation as a pioneer in the lighting industry,” says Robert Seminara, senior partner at Apollo. “We look forward to working with the Lumileds Team in support of what we believe will be a very successful future.”


Bright Agrotech Works to Close the Hydroponic Knowledge GapBright Agrotech Works to Close the Hydroponic Knowledge Gap

Being a modern farmer requires equal parts adaptability, creativity, perseverance, and customer service. In addition to growing fresh, flavorful food, a farmer is also a marketer, plant scientist, plumber, salesperson, community educator, social media manager, and everything in between. The problem? A lot of today’s most passionate growers don’t have the skills or experience needed to start or scale a hydroponic farm with confidence. That’s where Upstart University comes in. Upstart U makes hydroponic learning accessible to anyone with an internet connection. With 30+ multimedia-rich courses, engaging student forums, and free educational articles, Upstart U can empower you to build, operate, and succeed with your own modern farm. If you’re ready to learn from industry experts about everything from business planning to nutrient management, enroll today at


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