Sweet Dirt Completes Maine’s Largest Cannabis Greenhouse
Sweet Dirt, a Maine-based, vertically integrated cannabis company, has completed its 32,800-square-foot cannabis greenhouse. Located in Eliot, Maine, adjacent to the company’s manufacturing site and medical cannabis store, the new greenhouse — the largest cannabis greenhouse in Maine — was completed in just under one year. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for state and local officials, environmental leaders and other guests is set for 10:30 a.m. ET, Thursday, Jan. 21.
With eight flower and propagation rooms, two drying rooms, and an operations support facility, the greenhouse will employ 25-30 full-time cultivation, pest management and irrigation specialists and yield up to 12,000 pounds of cannabis annually. This hybrid greenhouse helps to maximize efficiency by utilizing the greatest light source available (the sun) and insulative building materials to help maintain interior environmental conditions. Sweet Dirt is embarking on a mission to offset its energy use impact through the use of renewables like biodiesel, biomass and on-site and community solar programs.
“Seeing this beautiful new greenhouse – constructed in under a year and at the same site as our former cultivation site, which was tragically destroyed in a fire in June 2019 – is so cathartic and also incredibly energizing,” said Sweet Dirt co-founder and Head of Cultivation Hughes Pope. “In what is now a huge blank canvas, we will soon be growing over two dozen varieties of cannabis — many of which will be heirloom or rare genetics.”
A focus on the creation of its proprietary soils and organic growing practices have earned its medical affiliates the MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmer and Gardeners Association) ‘Certified Clean Cannabis’ (C3) designation achieved by fewer than 1% of all licensed cannabis growers in Maine. The company is working towards extending MOFGA’s C3 certification to its adult-use cultivation practices.
“The buildout of this large-scale, next-generation greenhouse has been a tremendous undertaking and its completion is critical to our ability to meet market demand for clean cannabis,” said Jim Henry, chief executive officer. “We look forward to streamlining our cultivation processes in the new facility, while also staying true to our roots – growing organically and striving to do so in a sustainable way.”
Sweet Dirt designed, installed and constructed the greenhouse, jointly, with Power REIT, the property owner. For the project, Sweet Dirt used local contractors American Security Alarm Inc., Cantwell Excavating, Daniels Electric and Thermo Dynamics Inc., and also Maine-based greenhouse manufacturer, ArchSolar, and greenhouse integrator, Higgins Agriculture.