The Latest Technology to Optimize & Automate your Cannabis Grow Room

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Matthew: Hi. I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday look for a fresh new episode where I will take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com. That’s www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com. We’ve talked about CBD or cannabidiol on the show many times. Just to review thought, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound from the cannabis or hemp plant that has many benefits. Now our friends at Treatibles have put together a one list chew that can help your dog or cat become more calm and balanced. Valerie wrote in to tell us about her experience with Treatibles.

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Because of the high value and profit potential of cannabis cultivation we’re seeing brilliant entrepreneurs come into the space to help cannabis cultivators protect and optimize their harvest. One such company is SmartBee Controllers. SmartBee is creating automation and controls for the cannabis cultivator that are so impactful that SmartBee is becoming the most important tool for many cultivators. Here to tell us how to optimize and automate your cannabis grow is Skye Hanke, CEO of SmartBee Controllers. Skye welcome to CannaInsider.

Skye: Hey how’s it going?

Matthew: Glad you’re on the show today. To give listeners a sense of geography can you tell us where you are in the world?

Skye: I’m in Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley. All of our products are manufactured in Las Vegas and so we’re pretty much a West Coast type of company although we do have friends all over.

Matthew: That’s rare to find things manufactured in the U.S. anymore so that’s interesting. How’s that work?

Skye: It works out really great. We have a really great assembly team and engineering team that we’ve built over the past several years. Some really great minds and we found some really great people to put together our products and send them out to all of our growers.

Matthew: Before we dive into SmartBee Controllers can you tell us about your background and how you got into the cannabis space?

Skye: I have been growing for about 20 years now. I started more on the professional level around ’99 and just taken my time and efforts and put that into what I love which is growing plants. Growing these plants and through that have been through various ups and downs and learning experiences and have now taken those learning experiences and put them into a set of requirements for the software and hardware that really solved my problem which was knowing what was growing on at my grow when I wasn’t there so.

Matthew: Let’s back up a little bit. Can you tell us about what cannabis cultivators and business owners should be thinking about but aren’t? I mean when I talked to you a couple weeks ago it’s obvious that you have a different frame of reference on how to look at a grow and I’m always interested in helping guests use your lens or your way of thinking or your pragmatism that you bring to a grow. So if you were to walk into a typical cannabis grow that’s now using a SmartBee Controller what would your first ideas be when you’re looking at it in terms of it’s not optimized because of what?

Skye: Well a lot of people don’t know what’s happening over time. They don’t know how their appliances are actually working when they come on, when they go off. If they’re effectively controlling environment and because we do the data logging it really allows the user to understand the different outliers that could be happening in their facility. What’s happening over time is very key to understanding how to modify or dial in your space. For instance we like to preach simplifying process and creating efficiency and I walk into a lot of grow facilities that have just inherent problems in design where they’ve tried to scale a garage grow into a commercial type of scenario and it doesn’t translate well.

A lot of the key things that you’re doing in a garage grow are meant for stealth and not necessarily for health. You’re trying to cover the smell so you put your room under negative pressure inviting disease in. You use wood instead of inert hard surface type materials like aluminum or steel and so you’re inviting disease into these places and there’s so many variables. All of them have their place right so if you can prevent disease, if you can keep your environment dialed in at the right levels, if you can keep your humidity on point knowing that there are mechanical failures that are inherent in this very abusive environment that we have as indoor gardeners. You want to make sure that all of your variables are being taken care of and so there’s so many small components that need to be working in concert with one another and traditional grow room control systems don’t allow for that concert to take place.

They all operate independently. It’s like if an orchestra was all playing different; every instrument was playing a different song. They’re all playing music but they’re not coming together to create something that’s greater and better and so when everything plays together and is integrated you get a better solution and you understand the inner dependencies between your systems, you understand if there’s deficits in your control strategy that could be costing you money over time that you don’t even know about. If you know when to water and at what volume to water in order to get the wet up that you want in your medium and know when to water because you’ve dried down enough and you’re not letting the onset of stress take place. All of these things are really key to having a successful garden is simplifying your process and creating efficiencies. That’s really kind of what we strive for here.

Matthew: There may be some growers out there that we could say are confident to use a kind word. They think well my temperature won’t be an issue or humidity or electricity are not a problem. What would you say to them? Would you say hey these are mechanical devices and you can’t control them? I mean what are your words of wisdom there?

Skye: What I would say is I have a lot of buddies of mine who are growers who do really great without it and I have buddies who did really great without it and once they started using it got better. It’s one thing to get a couple pounds a light or a gram a watt but it’s difficult to consistently achieve that through growing seasons unless you have a really good formula that just takes care of everything but most often there’s one or two components which are not ideal and if you think about it from the perspective of potential lost yields. If you have the potential to get three pounds a light but you’re content with getting two pounds a light you’re kind of just being complacent. Not striving to do better, not trying to learn how you could do better. How you could dial in your space more.

It’s like a boat that has a hole in it. If it’s sinking slowly you’re like oh it’s just sinking slowly but over time that water you’re taking on is potential lost yields and if you can recapture that money and keep it in your pocket instead of having to get reimbursed for it it would be a lot better. So why waste your time and money if you don’t have to. If you can create efficiency and get better yields and have protections in place that prevent you from walking into a room full of straw or a room full of wilted plants why wouldn’t you do that? Why wouldn’t you do everything you can to get the highest quality medicine that you could? So I don’t know. There’s so many different variables but I’m more than happy to go through some of the specifics if you would like.

Matthew: I want to give listeners a sense of the physicality of the SmartBee Controllers that is what your product line is exactly if you were standing in front of a listener and you had all your product line there. Can you just walk us through that so they can understand what they physically look like and do?

Skye: So what I could do is I could kind of give you the basics and then I can walk you through the individual products that make up the system.

Matthew: Great.

Skye: What I like to say is we integrate all of your grow room systems into one software application that allows you to remotely monitor and control your grow anywhere you have an internet connection. It data logs from all of the sensors that are deployed in your garden and gives you a picture over time of what’s happening in your garden. Patterns begin to emerge in the data that shows you the health or not health of what’s going on in there. We have several different sensors. We have a light, temperature, humidity sensor. We have a light, temperature, humidity pro sensor that includes the ability to plug in a par sensor that gives you light intensity, temperature, photoactive radiation, and humidity and then we also convert humidity and temperature to VPB within the software. We have water content sensor modules which allow you to track root zone temperature and root zone water content so that you can decide when and at what volume and frequency to water at so that you prevent over watering.

So our light, temperature, humidity sensors they hang in the canopy of the plants and it essentially gives the user temperature, humidity, and light data right where the plants are at versus being on the wall as a lot of old style controllers are. Not necessarily right where the plants are. They wirelessly transmit back to the hive gateway which is the decision making rules engine for our system and then the hive will send our smartplugs and smart control commands to turn on or off based off threshold set points that the users define within the software. You get to control your irrigation based off water content. We have two set points for irrigation. We have onset of stress set point which is the lowest water content you’d want your plants to have before an emergency irrigation would be initiated and then we have the over watering set point which this allows timed irrigation in the event that the water content is too high to receive any irrigation.

And so what it does is once you begin to use your gardener’s intuition to understand okay my plants don’t look as good at this water content versus this water content. You can set these parameters. You kind of survey the system first. Take your methodology and your medium and apply a little bit of thought to the readings that you’re getting and then you can assign rules to that. It allows you to set up to the second timed irrigation within the software and so we have all of these appliances that can be assigned to different rooms. One system can control multiple rooms or control groups so that you don’t have to buy more than one. It kind of all puts it into one spot. You can create different rooms within the software and add different sensors and outlets to that room and define specific appliance types that you’d like to control with that grouping.

We control your lights, your exhaust fans, heaters, CO2 emitters, CO2 burners, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, irrigation pumps, irrigation solenoids. Pretty much all of the main components for a grow facilities operation and then we provide you with when all of those devices or outlets come on and off so that you can see how the devices that are made to control the environment and the irrigation; you see when they all come on and off and you understand if they’re doing what you want them to do based off the sensor data so.

Matthew: So when you turn on the software for the first time after implementing the SmartBee Controller devices around your grow what are you looking at when you see the dashboard for the first time?

Skye: It asks you to set the time based on where you’re at. It asks you to create a room so that you can start assigning sensors to that room. Our comprehensive user guide and startup guide go through the steps and we also act in a very consultative way. All of our sales reps here have grown in the past or in some form still grow and they are able to help provide context of use to the users if need be. A lot of times there’s a mix of different types of users. You have the commercial guys who are really looking to dial in their space and then you have the guys who have done a bunch of reading and kind of are starting off and they want something that’s going to give them a tool to do it better right from the beginning.

So we wanted to make the system’s user experience very friendly to novice or professional. We wanted to take some familiar grow room cues from different devices that they would be familiar with based off of traditional controllers and put them all into one software. So we give you a daytime and nighttime high and low set points all in the control pages. So when they first get there they can go through and see all of the different controls, how they can set their thresholds with those controls, and it really gives them just a professional tool to do better faster, to have more consistency across all of their systems, and to ensure that they’re operating it.

Matthew: So Skye is there one piece of feedback you get consistently from new customers that have implemented SmartBee where they’ve implemented it, they have it in their grow room, they’re comfortable with it, and they come back to you and say Skye this has helped me so much, this one feature, this one aspect that I didn’t have before. What’s their feedback there?

Skye: Well we get a lot of feedback. Sometimes it’s more like context of use like hey I really wish it would do this and then what we do is we can add those into our product roadmap and try to add those features sets in if they make sense to our decision making process for the system. One thing that we hear often is your system saved my harvest twice this year. It let me know my AC was out and I was able to turn lights off and fix the problem before it cost me huge. I’ve heard that from several customers. Like oh it saved my room three times this year, it saved my room twice this year. So mechanical failures are inevitable within our environments and so if you have something go out and you don’t know about it you can walk into a real disaster.

I just talked to a guy who lost 160,000 dollar crop because his air conditioning went out and it went out in the middle of the night and no one knew about it and so he’s a new user. So that’s one main thing is crop loss can be huge. If you don’t know something is happening it could ruin your day and your month because as we all know the overhead doesn’t stop if you lose a crop. You still have to keep paying all the bills and sometimes those bills are expensive. So saving your grow, giving you piece of mind knowing that if something is going wrong you’re going to know about it. It sounds email notifications.

We’re in the process of building a whole new cloud platform that has a notifications refactor that’ll do push notifications in addition to email notifications into our native app and then it also allows for the system to take action. So it doesn’t just let you know about it; it actually takes action based off your thresholds and so sometimes I’ll look for my notifications to see what’s going on. Sometimes what I do is I have two levels of lighting control and that’s what I recommend most often so that you have an overheat protection at a lower temperature and so it takes some of the heat load off of the equipment and so if you know it’s hot outside that heat outside can affect inside temperature and the performance of the appliance that you have in room.

Here in Southern California it’s going to be 110 today. It broke records yesterday and air conditioners have to work extra hard so one AC going out can mean a complete crop loss if you don’t have any type of redundancy in place. We preach a lot of redundancy with our sensors. We want to make sure that you have a couple levels of protection that if one sensor were to go down you would have backups in place and make sure that you’re not left without any protection. If you put your internet connection on a battery backup our hive has a battery backup onboard. It can still send out emails if you lose power. So the other day I was shopping with my kids and my wife and I got an email that my hive had lost power and two minutes later one of my neighbors called me and said hey did you guys lose power too and I was like yeah we did and it let me know before I could even get notified from anybody else that we had lost power. Sure enough an hour later I hadn’t had a chance to get there yet and the power came back onboard and it emailed me and let me know about it.

Notifications are huge. We’ve just added some new notifications for critical environmental events. So in addition to having thresholds that control devices and turn devices on and off we also have alerts that if it goes outside of a threshold range for alerting purposes you’ll know about it. If it gets to 90 percent humidity you should know about it even if your devices are trying to reduce your humidity you still want to know if something is really far outside of your ideal or optimum range. So it’s really important to know that this protects your investment from crop loss, it gives you a tool to understand if your systems aren’t working properly, and it tells you how to fix them so all of that kind of adds up into one cohesive system.

Matthew: Just a quick interruption to this interview to let you know that Skye and his team over at SmartBee Controllers have extended a 10% off discount code to CannaInsider listeners. Simply use the coupon code CannaInsider. That’s CannaInsider for 10% off your order at Somewhere in the checkout there’s a field where you can just put that in there and get 10% off. Now back to your interview.

How about redundancy? You mentioned that and I think it’s something we don’t always think about too much but we should be thinking about more. So if you have your AC connected to the electrical grid should you ideally have a generator backup in case electricity goes down or natural gas or something like that?

Skye: You know air conditioning systems typically fail because they’re not using filters, they have leaks in the system, a fan motor goes out. There could be a number of different reasons why an AC goes out but all that happens when an AC goes out is there’s nothing working against the heat load that is essentially your lighting. Your lighting systems in LA are classified as heat lamps by Building and Safety and so you have 3,500 to 4,500 BTU’s of heat being produced by these lamps and if your AC isn’t working you’re just heating up the rooms and it could get up to 140 in there if you don’t have any air conditioning. Heat rises really fast, stresses out your plants, it can force them to dry down really fast so if they’re drying down and for some reason you don’t have an overheat production on your lights your plants use all the water that they have in their root zone transpiring trying to cool off so what happens is they wilt and they wilt and then once they wilt they dry out because of the heat and it turns into straw.

Redundancy is key. Having backup systems in place. If you only need one super big dehumidifier to dehumidify your room think about using two slightly smaller ones for the same space knowing that if one goes out one will still be able to keep up enough to not have it completely degradate the stress level on your crop. I was just talking to one of the owners of or not owner but managers at Quest Dehumidifier and we were talking about how redundancy with systems can really be beneficial because it buys you time. I was talking to these other guys that have an extra AC in their room that’s set just to a slightly higher threshold so that if one of their systems stops working this other one picks up the slack. It’s things like that just having extras there so that when things go down there’s some type of mitigation of the damage that’s caused if that makes sense.

Matthew: That makes sense. You mentioned before how a lot of grows will have a sensor on a wall maybe not so close to the plant or the plants their trying to monitor. How are the SmartBee Controllers different in that way?

Skye: We have a hook on top and we try to drop either like a ratch string poley or some type of a string hook to where you can hang the sensor right in the plant canopy so you know exactly what the temperature is right at the canopy level. We know what the temperature is right there at the canopy; right where the lights are shining down on the plants, right at the canopy level and then that gives us really good information to what’s going on at our plant level. If our plant level and our leaf temperatures are getting into the 80 plus range you’re going to start seeing terpenes boiling off at the low temperatures. You’re going to start seeing airier flowers. You’re going to start seeing what can sometimes look like nutrient lock out or burn and sometimes it’s just a matter of light sensitivity.

I mean if the plants are not at a comfortable temperature they’re going to be sweating and they’re not going to be growing and you really want them to grow and be happy and at the right temperature and humidity level and if they’re not you’re going to see it in reduced yields and reduced quality.

Matthew: Are investors in cultivation facilities often asking or demanding that the growers have something like this in place before they invest?

Skye: They wish they had after the fact. A lot of times these investors are going in blind just trusting whoever they think they know who’s a good grower and sometimes these guys have done really well with the twelve lighter and they get put into 150 light grow and have no idea how to manage or schedule all of the tasks that need to be put into action and so our system is really great for investors because it gives some common ground for the growers to fix problems and dial in a new space that may be larger than they’re comfortable with. They may be perfectly suited for the size of it but give the investor information that they can both look at and say okay here’s what’s happening, here’s why I need to get this piece of equipment because the assumptions that were made in the facility about cooling or dehumidifying are not sufficient for the job and here is why.

CR humidity level is sitting at 65, 70 percent and our dehumidifiers are on all night long but without being able to reduce it. That’s a problem. So it just shows that you’re undersized for the job that needs to be done and so if the investor can look at that and go okay I can see that and make decisions based off of data rather than just anecdotally from their head grower or master grower that seems to be the term going around quite often. So that’s kind of where I see investors benefiting is them being able to see the data and make their own assumptions off the data as well as having their head grower look at the data and make his own assumptions and then they can come together and make informed decisions based off of what’s actually happening.

Matthew: Skye you have a lot of knowledge locked up in your head and I want to unlock it and share it with listeners so I’m going to ask you to explain a few things and talk about why each is important and why cannabis cultivators should be thinking about each. So here we go.

Skye: Okay.

Matthew: First one what is vapor pressure deficit and why should we care?

Skye: Vapor pressure deficit is in its simplest definition it is the pressure that’s being exerted on the plants based off of the combination of temperature and humidity and so at different temperature and humidity crosshairs you get a different atmospheric pressure and that atmospheric pressure can force the plants to transpire and drink water and use water. It can also be make the plant not need to drink water and so it’s a tool is what it is. It’s a tool that you can use to manipulate the crops growth pattern. You can use VPD to try and prevent disease from growing. Higher VPD can make it not ideal for disease to thrive. You can use it to make your plants drink more if they’re not drinking a lot. You can make it so that they grow in a more generative way.

By making them drink faster; I think of it like a body builder and the meal plan. They want to grow fast, they want to put on a lot of mass, and in order to do that they have a very structured meal plan and if you miss a meal in that meal plan it slows down your growth and doesn’t keep you in that ideal kind of what it is it a pattern or phase or push towards the success that you’re looking for and feeding plants is the same way. If you’re working them out regularly you’re kind of; they have really healthy roots and they’re able to be fed in a very consistent way often but not too much. Just enough where they’re able to use the nutrients in the water and they want to be fed again and they’re getting pushed and driven to perform.

This VPD can become a very big tool to aid in that. Think of VPD as the weight the body builder uses to work out and the feeding schedule is the meal program and if they’re both dialed in you’re going to get performance and you’re going to get gains. So that’s kind of how I would describe it I guess cause it’s kind of a complicated thing to explain. The different temperatures.

Matthew: No that’s a great analogy.

Skye: Yeah different temperatures and different humidity’s there’s a different VPD. There’s a different ability for the air to hold water vapor and that’s more what it is. It’s how much water vapor can the air hold at any given temperature.

Matthew: Okay.

Skye: And then that combination and the amount of water vapor that’s being held is what puts pressure on the plants to push water vapor out their stomata and drink water up from their roots.

Matthew: How about root zone temperature and how we should think about that in contrast to say other types of temperature in the grow room?

Skye: Well you know roots are very fragile and they don’t recover from damage well. So it’s better to keep them healthy from the beginning because it’s like adults can eat junk food easily but babies can’t and it could be really dangerous for a baby to eat a lot of junk food versus an adult because they have a little bit better ability to process and filter out some of the bad stuff. So with roots you want to keep your temperature very consistent so that they don’t become damaged. You don’t want to feed them too much because you don’t want them to become damaged. You want them to thrive so you have to grow them slowly and through a very consistent type of feed. You don’t want to jump them up too fast in intensity of the nutrient. You want to harden them off and help them to stay healthy and one of those ways of doing that is to not let the root zone get to hot and so usually a fluctuation of 10 degrees in the root zone can be really stressful on a plant.

So sometimes knowing what your temperature is in your root zone you can use pulse irrigations; very short irrigations with colder water to lower root zone temperature slightly just to keep it within an ideal range and keep them not being damaged in any way.

Matthew: What about EC? What is EC and why should we care about that?

Skye: So EC is essentially electrical conductivity and it’s a measure of nutrient strength in whatever you’re feeding your plants. If you’re using Hydro it’s hugely important. With a lot of organics they’re using teas and it’s very buffered but in production environments that are using hydroponics EC is greatly important. You don’t want to go to high because it can cause lockout and excess salt buildup in your medium which can stress your plants out and cause deficiencies by having too much nutrients and making it difficult for the plant to process that salt. Too little can cause a reverse osmotic effect where it starts pulling nutrients out of the plant because there’s more salt in the soil then is in the plant and so it even compounds the issue of nutrient lockout even more.

You water with too heavy a nutrient for too long you get a bunch of salt walls built up in your medium and the next thing you know your plants are looking deficient and people start giving them more nutrients and really they just need to flush it with some lower salt water and try to just give it a very consistent feed in the middle type of range. I like to stick within the I would say 1.3 to 1.8 EC range for most of my favorite plants.

Matthew: Okay. Let’s get into some practical and tactical questions about SmartBee next. How easy is SmartBee to set up and do I need a consultant to help me?

Skye: SmartBee is pretty easy to set up. We do have a full staff support department that helps to do remote access set up and some of the more networking things where we can log into your computer remotely and configure your router for you for a small fee and then we also try to as workers of the company help the customers to really understand how it all works and how it applies to them and there’s a hundred ways to do it right and more often than not I’m seeing different variations of growing and it’s really all about how it applies to you. We set up the system to be agnostic of growing style so that any user can come grab our system and find value in it using it for their specific methodology.

I don’t like to tell people how to do things. I try to just learn myself and to also give information to other people and so I have learned things from certain growers that do things in a totally different way than I have but our system in general is very simple to use and we offer support as much as possible in order to help people to get it better. We do installations and trainings for larger facilities and just really try to help people to have a good experience with our system and see the value in it that we do.

Matthew: Can a home grow benefit from the level of automation that SmartBee provides?

Skye: Yeah I think so. If you think of a home grow you maybe have four lights in a bedroom or in a garage and you’re trying to grow your own medicine but it’s not a profit center for you it’s medicine for you and so you have a day job most likely. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what’s going on at your facility or at your house when you’re not there? It’s the same reason why a nest thermostat is so good for people. It allows them to turn on their AC before they get home and just have remote access to something that means something to them to their comfort level, to their ability to manage decisions so I see it being valuable even for a four lighter, a two lighter. It’s cost effective considering what it gives you.

Matthew: In terms of the cost for an installation I know it’s going to vary wildly depending on the size of the grow and the level of granular detail that’s needed and so forth but is there any ideas you can give us in terms of cost for maybe a certain size of grow to get up and going with SmartBee?

Skye: So if you have a four light grow facility you’re probably going to be somewhere in the 2 to 3,000 range with all the bells and whistles and if you’re in a 150 light facility you maybe you spend somewhere around 15 to 20,000 dollars but it’s all dependent on the level and granularity of the sensor data that you want to get. So you can start small and just add additional sensors and add as you grow so as you’re phase building in you can buy different products that you need and outfit the different spaces as they come online. For larger facilities we do full installation and training services and that typically is around 1,000 dollars a day and we can fly out and go through all of the systems, setting it all up, doing all the networking side of things. So that’s kind of where we go.

But for the home guy usually over the phone with the customer support that’s offered; the basic customer support that’s offered for the first 90 days with phone calling in we can help get a customer set up using the system. As far as the remote access side it’s usually less than an hour and the only reason that fee is charged is because we’re supporting other people’s hardware that isn’t our own configuring other people’s routers isn’t necessarily the business we’re in but we wanted to make it available for people who may not have another resource for it and we wanted to be trusted to help them do it right so that’s kind of why we wanted to offer that service. For the small guy usually we can handle it over the phone and for the big guy we’re more than happy to fly out or drive to you and offer you more integrated service.

Matthew: Skye I like to ask guests a few personal development questions to give listeners a sense of who you are personally. With that is there a book that has had a big impact on your life or your way of thinking that has maybe changed your lens of how the world works or has benefited you in some big way that you’d like to share?

Skye: There’s no one book that’s helped. I think it’s just a matter of a lot of trial and error and a lot of just working and finding solutions and through finding solutions some are good at solutions and some are bad and you try to learn from mistakes and always be improving and learning more. There’s so many good books and so much information and you just have to go out there and find it and make it your mission to find more information about each different topic and try to become very educated on the different things that mean something to you in your life.

Matthew: How about is there a tool web based or otherwise and other than SmartBee that you consider indispensible to your day to day productivity?

Skye: I really like the sharing that happens on Instagram. You get a snapshot into everybody’s; all these different ideas and it just is a platform that I find helps people to grow and come together and share ideas in a non confrontational type of way. So I find that pretty valuable starting conversations with other growers. There’s nothing more I like to talk about than growing and it seems that that’s a chosen platform for people to communicate and talk about things that matter to them.

Matthew: Last personal development question. I get emails every day from people that want to get into the cannabis industry and they’re not sure how to do it but they have skills from other domains and so forth. What do you think are some of the most important skills are to develop to get into the cannabis industry?

Skye: Well there are jobs for all types of people and if you have a skill set that maybe was applicable in one industry and you want to try to apply that to the cannabis industry I think that would be one of the best ways to get in is use what you know. If you want to be a grower you need to start growing. If you’re an organizational type and you want to do building brands or planning events or any of those things are all very useful in this industry because that’s what people are doing. They’re trying to build brands. They’re trying to educate other people on their products and why they’re better than the next guy. There’s so many different areas that they could go into. It’s really just a matter of meeting people and finding where they fit in.

I know that we’re looking for software engineers and we’re looking for people who see the value in our products. Some of our sales guys have told me oh we’ve worked other sales jobs before but we’ve never believed in a product like we believe in this one and so there’s always an opportunity where you least expect it. You just have to go out there and find it.

Matthew: Is SmartBee looking for more investors still at this point?

Skye: I think we have the intention to get some investment into a second round some in the beginning, first quarter of next year.

Matthew: Okay.

Skye: But we’re entertaining different things.

Matthew: If there’s any investors listening that would want to find out more about that is there any way you should direct them or is it too early?

Skye: Yeah they could reach out to our CFO who is

Matthew: Okay. Skye as we close can you tell us where listeners can learn more about SmartBee Controllers including any social media as well as your website?

Skye: Yeah we are putting out a bunch of new Instagram posts regarding tips and best practices for creating efficiencies in your garden. So we also show and share experiences from some of the other users of our systems because really what it comes down to is it may work well for me but how does it work for this guy or this guy and seeing how it’s applicable to everybody can really I think generate a lot of benefit to see how other people use the same product right. So I would say check Instagram. Check our website. We’re going to be launching a new website shortly that will probably have a lot more information on it and you can always give us a call. Our phone number is on the website and if anybody calls and asks us any questions we’re more than happy to answer their questions and try to give them information about it. So our phone number is 888-936-9277 and you can ask for Skye or you can talk to any one of our knowledgeable sales reps.

Matthew: And can you give your website one more time?

Skye: It’s

Matthew: Great. Skye thanks so much for coming on CannaInsider today and educating us. We really appreciate it.

Skye: Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Matthew: Matthew: If you enjoyed the show today, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes, Stitcher or whatever app you might be using to listen to the show. Every five star review helps us to bring the best guests to you. Learn more at www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com/itunes. What are the five disruptive trends that will impact the cannabis industry in the next five years? Find out with your free report at www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com/trends. Have a suggestion for an awesome guest on www(dot)cannainsider(dot)com, simply send us an email at feedback(at) We would love to hear from you.

Please do not take any information from CannaInsider or its guests as medical advice. Contact your licensed physician before taking cannabis or using it for medical treatments. Lastly the host or guests on CannaInsider may or may not invest in the companies or entrepreneurs profiled on the show. Please consult your licensed financial advisor before making any investment decisions. Final disclosure to see if you’re still paying attention. This little whistle jingle you’re listening to will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Thanks for listening and look for another CannaInsider episode soon. Take care. Bye-bye.

Skye Hanke is the co-founder and chief product officer at Smart Bee Controllers.

Smart Bee is creating the cutting edge in automation and cannabis grow management technology solutions.

Smart Bee is offering a 10% discount
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Key Takeaways:
[3:04] – Skye talks about his background and how he got into the cannabis space
[4:35] – What should cultivators and business owners be thinking about in a grow
[10:49] – Skye walks through the make up of the SmartBee Controllers
[15:44] – Skye describes the dashboard of the SmartBee Controllers
[18:01] – Feedback from existing customers using SmartBee Controllers
[24:14] – Skye talks about the need for a generator as backup
[27:13] – How are SmartBee Controllers different from other sensors
[28:44] – Do investors require SmartBee before investing
[31:21] – Skye explains Vapor Pressure Deficit
[34:56] – Skye explains Root Zone Temperature
[36:34] – What is EC
[38:24] – How easy is SmartBee to implement
[40:14] – Skye talks about using SmartBee in home grows
[41:36] – Costs for setting up with SmartBee
[44:17] – Skye’s book and web tool recommendation
[46:24] – Skills to develop to get into the cannabis industry
[48:24] – Contact info for investors wanting to invest in SmartBee
[48:42] – Contact info for SmartBee Controllers