Cannabis flower grows outdoors

Maximizing Cannabis Growth with Direct Air Capture Technology

Carbon dioxide has long been negatively associated with the escalating climate crisis. Excess CO2 in the atmosphere is indeed accelerating global warming and contributing to many of the problems scientists are facing today and have been warning about for years. 

But COalso has an important and beneficial role to play in food production, beverage manufacturing, in the development of medicines, building materials, and e-fuels, as well as accelerating growth and increasing yield in most vertical farm and greenhouse growing environments. 

As indoor growers expand operations to meet the needs of a growing global population, access to CO2 can help enhance growing operations and output.  

The same can be said for cannabis manufacturers and growers, where CO2 is quickly emerging as a critical resource to meet explosive demand as legalization takes hold across the U.S. and the world. 

 Direct Air Capture (DAC) Technology 

As demand increases, Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology has the potential to alleviate the procurement and supply challenges facing cannabis growers while, at the same time, enabling cannabis companies to take full advantage of the positive attributes offered by CO2 in growing environments. 

Analyses of cannabis growing environments have revealed that cannabis plants grown in the presence of elevated CO2 levels produce more successful, faster, and predictable cannabis crops featuring larger flowers, higher bud density, and improved flower production. 

The evident and obvious benefits have prompted cannabis growers to pursue enrichment strategies using CO2 with increased frequency. That, combined with the sheer number of cannabis growers entering the market, is creating increased demand for CO2 supply. 

Cannabis growers are now finding themselves in competition with monolithic beverage companies and medical institutions that also rely on CO2 as part of their daily operations and whose higher volume requirements tend to earn priority attention from suppliers. 

DAC is related to carbon capture but different in many ways. Unlike carbon capture, which usually happens at a plant, factory, or wherever the point of emissions may be, DAC technology allows CO2 to be captured from the ambient air anywhere, including on-site at cannabis growing facilities. 

Once installed at a cannabis facility, DAC units can remove CO2 from the atmosphere where it can be stored in the same kind of cylinders that would be delivered by an external supplier. At any point, it can be accessed and deployed to enhance the enrichment and growing process. 

Generating CO2 onsite not only circumvents the need for cannabis companies to deal with supplier costs and delivery headaches, but it is also a more sustainable and eco-conscious method of using CO2

Most providers source CO2 from fossil fuel production. That, combined with the use of trucks needed for transport, weighs negatively on the environment. 

Much attention has been doted on carbon capture in recent times as a potential tool to mitigate the climate crisis, in large part due to major government investments, commitments from oil and gas companies, and the emergence of many climate tech startups, some backed by high-profile, deep-pocketed investors. 

DAC, however, is where the real carbon capture commercial opportunities lie for many industries in need of CO2, including cannabis manufacturers. 

Direct Air Capture Technology Final Thoughts

It’s early days for both the legalized cannabis industry as well as DAC technology. But the potential for a long and fruitful marriage between the two is obvious. 

By deploying a carbon capture strategy, cannabis growers can enjoy more consistent, predictive, contract-free, and fulsome crop growth and ultimately achieve commercial success as legalization accelerates around the world. 

Main Photo by Cannafornia


  • Camille Hanna is Business Development Director of Skytree, a pioneering climate tech company dedicated to combating climate change through innovative CO2 capture and reutilization solutions.

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