Houdini Lab

The Role of Engineering in the Marijuana Industry

In the rapidly developing cannabis business, there are a huge variety of job options accessible, one excellent illustration of which are employment in engineering. Businesses such as indoor growing operations, extraction production, food manufacturing, and retail management are all examples of industries that demand the services of engineers. The cannabis industry is a complicated entity that combines the complexities of each of these entities with the stringent standards and regulations that are required by specific state laws.

After working as a hardware designer for GE for several years, Michael Kadonoff decided to transition into the cannabis industry. He is now the founder and CEO of BrainGrid, a high-tech agriculture sensory program that provides real-time monitoring and automation of cannabis cultivation operations. BrainGrid was developed by Michael Kadonoff. Since he graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he is aware of the pressing need for appropriately trained personnel in the sector.


Anecdotal growth practices, erroneous “potcom” hype, and a lack of awareness [with] production costs pose a risk to the cannabis industry’s long-term survival, according to the author. In an email sent to CannabisTech, Kadonoff made the following statement: “These are not just growing pains; they are happening in all segments of the cannabis market.” “Regardless of one’s line of work or area of interest, the ability to provide reasoning and procedures that are objective, critical, and pragmatic is what will differentiate opinion from reality.”




What exactly is it that engineers do?

Engineers solve issues by applying their knowledge of mathematics, physics, and logic at the most fundamental level. There are several subfields to choose from while looking for a job in engineering. The following is a short list of important areas of engineering speciality that are important to the cannabis industry:



Engineers of Computer Systems


Engineers skilled in both software and hardware are becoming increasingly important to the sector as the pace of technological change quickens. In the modern world, technology reigns supreme, and computer engineers are in high demand. This is true whether they are writing code for a brand new mobile app, programming sensors to monitor plant health, or building software to analyze lab data.





Engineers Specializing in Mechanical and Electrical Work


Mechanical engineers assist in the design, creation, and maintenance of the complicated mechanical systems used in indoor growing. These systems are essential to the industry. The majority of the time, the structures themselves consist of high-tech irrigation plumbing, ducting for ventilation, and intricate HVAC systems. Furthermore, lighting systems and other power requirements present additional difficulties and challenges that can be solved by engineers.





Engineers of the Chemical Arts


In the cannabis industry, as in other food, pharmaceutical, and biological sectors, chemical engineers play an important role in ensuring both safety and efficiency throughout a number of different stages of the production process. In the cannabis sector, the use of chemicals is necessary for a number of different extraction methods and laboratory procedures. Chemical engineers contribute to the design of production processes and assist with troubleshooting.




According to the Opinions of Many

A prime example of the growing demand for engineers in the cannabis market is the high-tech company AEssenseGrows, which focuses on grow automation, agricultural improvements, and lighting solutions. AEssenseGrows is a prime example of the increased demand for engineers in the cannabis sector. According to Phil Gibson, AEssense’s Vice President of Marketing, the company has approximately 30 engineers working for them, which is approximately 25 percent of their entire employees worldwide. Gibson also noted that during the next three years, they anticipate hiring two to three times as many engineers as they currently employ.


When asked for some words of wisdom that he would share with upcoming interns and college students, he responded by saying, “Indoor farming has a wonderful future with the technology developing more complex from a ‘control systems, environmental, and a power technology’ aspect.” There are a lot of wonderful chances to bring together people from different functional areas to work on resolving known problems and preventing future problems.



A Different Point of View


During a conversation with Dylan Wilks, founder and CEO of Orange Photonics, a portable cannabis analyzer, I received what may have been the most eloquent response to the question of why engineers should examine the prospects in the cannabis industry. Wilks, who is an Optical Engineer and comes from a family of engineers, recalled how his grandfather worked on projects such as perfecting the periscope during World War II. He also recalled how there is a lot of push for engineers to enter the field of defense. Wilks is a third-generation Optical Engineer in his family.


Wilks made the statement that the cannabis industry is the polar opposite of the defense industry. “Why utilize skills to destroy things when here in the cannabis sector we get to help people and still have a fantastic, high-paying engineering job?” this is a question that is often asked of those working in the engineering field in the cannabis industry.


Today, Wilks and Orange Photonics has a total of 5 engineers working for them, including himself. In addition, they have one intern working for them right now, but they have claimed that their staffing needs have increased over the course of the past year. In addition, he forecasts that the requirements for personnel will increase by a factor of two or three within the next three to five years. He made the statement that “engineering is the basis of our business.”


The cannabis industry is expected to continue to expand at an exponential rate as the laws continue to shift and the stigma associated with its use is gradually lifted. Opportunities for highly qualified, professional engineers to work in a wide variety of engineering specializations are growing in tandem with the expansion of the industry as a whole. It doesn’t matter if you want a profitable profession or something more intrinsic, like helping people find health and wellbeing; for many graduating engineers, the cannabis sector may provide the best of both worlds in terms of career opportunities.