Autumn Karcey, founder and President of Cultivo, spoke at our recent event.
Autumn talks about best practices related to large scale cannabis facility design and construction, including design strategies to eliminate the presence of pathogens and bugs and, therefore, the need for pesticides. Marijuana growers can learn a lot from industrial agriculture, which has been around for decades, as they scale from garage and bedroom grows to more sophisticated operations. The goal is to design and develop facilities that can meet upcoming government standards and requirements, similar to those used to produce medical grade pharmaceuticals and industrial agriculture, to produce safe, effective medicine for patients.
Over the past thirteen years, Autumn has worked in most aspects of the cannabis industry including permit acquisition, retail management, staff augmentation, cultivation, and facility design for cultivation and retail operations.
As a leading medicinal cannabis cultivator and dispensary operator for many years, it was important for Autumn to create optimal indoor environments in which cannabis can be grown in a healthy, stable, consistent manner, free of pests and pathogens without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals. Autumn combined her background of indoor cultivation and facility design methodologies in order to create a truly innovative environment that is rare in this industry.
Autumn takes a logical, consistent, and scientific approach when she designs cultivation sites. She combines the use of modern clean room technology, state-of –the- art agricultural equipment, along with custom fabricated equipment, specialized irrigation, and sensor systems to create world class facilities. To date, Autumn has built, designed, and consulted on over 100 cultivation facilities globally. In addition, Autumn has consulted on the licensing, staff augmentation, talent acquisition, design and construction of over 25 dispensaries around the U.S.
As a case study, Autumn’s largest design consisted of a 315,000 square foot facility in Nova Scotia with a projected budget of over 34 million dollars USD. During this project, Autumn worked with PhytoSciences Inc. and their team of 30+ PhD research scientists, led by Pritesh Kumar, to optimize their laboratory designs for manufacturing and Quality Control. In addition, Autumn oversaw the design all cultivation, processing areas, environmental systems, irrigation, and custom equipment.
Autumn has been operating a full-service facility design firm for the last 13 years. As of January 2015 Autumn founded Cultivo, Inc., where she is responsible for permit acquisition, cultivation R&D, onsite construction consulting, and design of cultivation facilities and dispensaries. Together, Autumn and her team of industry specific professionals — comprised of engineers, cultivators, and scientists– work to provide aid and understanding of indoor, greenhouse, outdoor cultivation environments, and retail operations.
Overall, Autumn’s goal is to help educate lawmakers, patients, and scientists in order to implement standards and protocol for future facilities by maintaining the highest standards of quality assurance in order to deliver pharmaceutical grade cannabis to the scientific community for research and development, as well as medical patients.
In addition, to Autumn’s expertise in facility design and construction of cultivation facilities, she is extremely passionate about providing assistance to programs providing aid to the homeless, US Veterans, Women’s shelters, and the LGBT community. Autumn has helped fundraise for a little over three years and continues to dedicate her time to these efforts.