How To Grow Hemp In The USA: A Beginner Farmer’s Guide To Growing Hemp Using Vertical Farming Technology

image of cannabis hemp plant leaves. how to grow hemp indoors on vertical grow racks.

Learn How To Plant And Grow Hemp In 4 Easy Steps

In a time such as now, when the entire world is focused on protecting and conserving the environment, it’s no surprise that hemp is getting as popular as it is. The plant, which has been cultivated all over the world for centuries, comes with numerous benefits. 

Today’s article will break down how to grow hemp indoors in the USA using vertical farming technology. Before that, however, let’s run through the basics. 

Woman reading a book on how to grow hemp using vertical farming

What Is Hemp?

Hemp is a class of cannabis that was traditionally grown for industrial purposes. Although hemp is chemically quite similar to ‘real’ marijuana, it lacks THC, the psychoactive component that gets you high. It is chock full of CBD instead. 

Other than CBD extraction, hemp is used to make fibers, which translates into a wide range of applications- from biodegradable shoppings bags, to socks and even toilets. The hemp industry is one of the fastest-growing in the economy today, with a market size value of $5.66 B by 2020. It is estimated to reach $27.72 B by 2028. 

Scientist examining a hemp plant leaf in an indoor grow using vertical farming

Why Grow Hemp?

Hemp is a powerful, resilient crop. It grows vigorously and requires much less water, fertilizer, and herbicides than other plants. Hemp is an annual plant; it takes about 90-120 days to grow from seed to mature plants, meaning you can grow numerous cycles throughout the year. 

Hemp has tens of thousands of uses, and feeding cattle may soon be one of them. Research is currently being undertaken to see whether hemp can be used to make livestock feed without cannabinoids ‘leaking’ into the milk and meat. The crop is a raw material for numerous industries, including fashion, paper, textile, and pharmaceuticals, and is therefore in high demand.

If you’re a farmer looking for a profitable, low-risk venture, hemp farming may be worth your consideration. The plant has reasonable demands in terms of nutrition and maintenance, making it an ideal venture even for the beginner farmer. What’s more, advancement in technology has made it possible for farmers to maximize their production without having to source for more space. An excellent example of this is vertical racking technology

Image of cannabis plant leaves and cannabis oil.

What Is Vertical Racking Technology?

Vertical racking technology is a new trend in agriculture that will be with us for the foreseeable future. Designed to maximize productivity even in the smallest room, this technology uses grow racks stacked vertically, allowing you to utilize as much space as possible between floor and ceiling. This, ultimately, means safely growing more crops in the same space.

Our vertical grow racks are made from 14-gauge steel, giving them the strength and capacity to hold soil-filled pots, lighting equipment, and even fans. If you’re considering using vertical grow racks to grow hemp in Wisconsin, Texas, and other parts of the USA, this article will give you all the information you need. 

Here Are A Few Advantages Of Vertical Farming

Vertical farming technology has a host of advantages over traditional farming techniques. As mentioned above, this system maximizes production capability, which translates to greater output per square foot. This, in turn, points to higher revenue per square foot- by up to 3 times. 

Vertical farming will also help you save money. Normally, to double your output, you’d ideally have to have twice the space. Leasing or purchasing this space would be expensive; you would also need to double the size of your staff. Investing in vertical grow racks will allow you to increase production without spending too much money.

Our high-density vertical racking systems can also be customized to fit your unique indoor grow operation. Whereas some people are cultivating their hemp in warehouses, smaller-scale farmers may be using smaller spaces. We offer free floor plans and customized drawings to ensure all our customers get the best value for their money when they purchase our products. 

The main goal of our vertical grow racks is to help maximize production. When you increase your harvests, you’ll be able to keep up with the ever-growing demand for hemp. This will ultimately help you compete with other businesses, grow a loyal customer base, and cement yourself in the industry. 

Now that we’ve delved into why you should use vertical grow systems, let’s talk about how to grow hemp using these systems.

image of a vertical grow rack system used to grow cannabis hemp plants indoors vertical farming.

How To Grow Industrial Hemp

Growing hemp isn’t complicated. As we’ve mentioned above, the crop requires less maintenance than most crops produced at a similar scale. If you’re just entering the world of hemp growing, there’s no need to feel intimidated. 

Our high-density vertical racking systems are designed to hold growing pots, thus can be used right from the germination stage. Hemp requires temperatures of about 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate. 

Germinating Your Hemp Seeds:

  • Soak the seeds in water for 7-12 hours.
  • Provide temperatures of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Using a germination tray, place the seeds 1 inch in moist soil or seed-starting biomix. 
  • Leave to germinate. 

Male hand planting hemp cannabis seeds in a grow tray

Caring For Your Hemp Seedlings:

Like any other plant, hemp seedlings may require a little bit of maintenance and care. Remember, the processes you follow at this stage determine the health and productivity of the plant in its final stages. Everything adds up. 

Once your hemp seeds germinate:

  • Provide temperatures around 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep humidity levels at around 65-70%. There are various products in the market that will help you manage humidity levels in your grow room.
  • Use high output LED lights or fluorescent grow lamps to illuminate the seedlings for 18-24 hours each day.
  • Mist your seedlings with water-soluble, nitrogen-rich fertilizer until they’re ready for transplanting. 

A hemp cannabis plant seedling under a hydroponic light. how to grow cannabis indoors with grow racks and vertical farming.

Transplanting Your Hemp Seedlings:

Once the roots of your seedlings have spread to the sides and bottom of the germinating tray, it’s time to transplant them into bigger containers. Place the seedlings in 4-5 inch containers filled with rich, organic soil. Wait for them to outgrow these containers and then transplant them into the final pot or fabric grow bag. 

Most hemp seedlings take 7-10 days to outgrow their small germination containers and then the 4-5 inch pots. When planting hemp, transplanting at the right time, in addition to providing optimum conditions during this period, will determine the quality of your final crops. 

image of hemp plant being transplanted. how to grow hemp plants indoors on vertical grow racks.

Planting Hemp Using Vertical Grow Racks

Vertical farming is here to stay. It has been proven to maximize production and increase revenue. It also allows farmers to make full use of all the space they have. If you’re keen on growing hemp in California, an indoor vertical growing system offers a great shot at success. 

Our high-density mobile racks allow you to go high without compromising on light, and more importantly, access to all plants. We have a patent-pending on a retractable mezzanine walkway that will allow you and your staff to access all tiers of your grow operation. Our products all have an 8-bend design for extra strength, thus can easily support all your equipment. 

4 Tips For Starting A Vertical Hemp Farm

If you’re wondering how to grow CBD hemp using vertical farming technology, these tips should give you some insight on what to do and what to expect:

1. Go For The Best Quality You Can Afford

When you’re looking at vertical farming technology, think long-term. Will the products be able to support all your plants, lighting equipment, fans, and more? For this reason, you can’t compromise on quality. Remember, you also have to guarantee your safety and that of your staff. You should therefore spring for the best quality vertical grow racks you can afford. 

cannabis hemp plants growing indoor on vertical grow racks in the united states

2. Start Out With 2 Tiers

Although we have the capacity to go as high as a customer’s needs would dictate, we would advise you not to go beyond two tiers- at least not on your first grow operation. The more tiers you have, the more work there is to do. If this is your first time with vertical farming, it may be a little overwhelming for you. After you’re more confident and comfortable with the process, you can extend your farm.

3. Proper Spacing Is Key

When planning out a vertical grow rack, it’s important to ensure your racks are well-spaced out. This way, all plants have access to air and light. Spacing will also allow you to easily reach all plants when feeding, watering, and pruning. 

4. Think About The Wastewater From The Get-go

What size do you project your grow operation to be a few years from now? Keep that goal in mind when designing a grow room, even if your first operation will be at a smaller scale. Account for that goal when planning the drainage system. 

Remember, with an indoor hemp growing operation, you will have to deal with all the wastewater yourself. This is why you need an efficient and scalable wastewater management system from early on. 

Is It Legal To Grow Hemp In Florida?

For a long time, hemp has been seen as a grey area as far as anti-cannabis laws are concerned. This leads us to something you must be wondering about: is it legal to grow hemp in Texas and other states in the USA? 

According to the Farm Bill of 2018, hemp is considered legal at the federal level. That said, different states have different laws. For example, while Florida legalized hemp farming in the state in 2019, other states like North Carolina are trying to ban smokable hemp– that is, hemp that is grown for its CBD. 

All in all, what’s most important to note is that you WILL require a license to grow hemp in all American states. You will also need to get annual registration from the DATCP. If you’re looking for more information on how to grow hemp for profit in the USA, here are more helpful resources for you. 

legal concept with gavel. is hemp legal in florida and the in the usa?

Creating An Indoor Hemp Farming Operation You Can Sustain

Although it’s tempting to maximize the number of tiers to increase profits, it’s important not to go beyond a level you and your space can sustain. Such an operation is subject to the law of diminishing returns, meaning at some point, increasing tiers wouldn’t translate into higher productivity. Be keen not to go beyond this threshold point. 

Now that you know how to grow hemp for CBD, are you more inclined to get started on your journey? 

What ideas do you have for your operation? Would you like to consult on whether your indoor space would be ideal for setting up a hemp farm? Please contact us to get a free quote. 


3 Ways For Using Cannabis Vertical Grow Racks Effectively   

using vertical grow racks for hemp and marijuana indoor grow

Using Cannabis Vertical Grow Racks Will Boost Your Grow Operation

When the Farm Bill was passed into law in 2018, growing, consuming, and trading in cannabis became legal in most American states. Today, only five years later, the American cannabis industry is worth more than $60B; in 2020, the industry grossed $17.1B in sales alone. 

Cannabis isn’t regarded anymore as the ‘gateway drug’ that would lead teenage kids into heroin addiction. Today, the plant has proven therapeutic value- many people suffering from insomnia, appetite disorders, chronic pain, and other medical conditions use it to manage their discomforts.

If you’re looking to join the world of cannabis cultivation, this article should answer some of the questions you may have. We will also delve into vertical farming and using cannabis vertical grow racks to maximize your cannabis production. 

Before that, however, let’s talk about a few things you should know when getting into cannabis farming. 

Image of lab tech Using Cannabis Vertical Grow Racks. Learn vertical grow rack costs and vertical grow rack systems.

3 Marijuana Growing Tips Every Beginner Should Know

Cannabis is a relatively simple plant to grow. It doesn’t demand more care and maintenance than is reasonable and grows faster and more vigorously than most cash crops. It would, therefore, be manageable even to beginner farmers. However, before starting a cannabis farm, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

1. Growing Indoors vs Outdoors

Cannabis grows well both indoors and outdoors. The option you choose will depend on the climate in your region, plus the kind of setup you’re looking to create. An indoor grow operation, for example, would allow you to control all the conditions your plants grow in, including temperature, humidity, and light. This ultimately gives you more control over the quality and quantity of your harvest. 

2. What Is The Best Soil For Growing Cannabis?

Although there are many different mediums in which you can grow cannabis, it would be a good idea to use soil if this is your first grow operation. Pick out a quality potting soil that’s rich in soil bacteria and organic matter. 

Silt, in particular, has been proven to be one of the best soils for growing cannabis. It has excellent water retention, fairly good drainage, and holds nutrients well. Dark, crumbly, silty loam soil would therefore be ideal. 

Farming hands full of dirt from planting cannabis plants of vertical grow rack systems in Canada.

3. Choosing Pots For Your Cannabis

The containers you choose to grow your cannabis in (especially in the early stages) will play a huge role in the health and integrity of your plants. After germinating the seeds, you should transplant the seedlings into small 4-5 inch containers. 7 to 14 days later, when the roots have grown to the edges and bottom of the container, you can finally transplant them into the final containers. 

Although plastic and clay pots have been around almost forever, fabric grow bags are quickly becoming the preferred method within the industry. These grow bags offer your plants’ roots proper aeration. This aeration facilitates evaporation of excess moisture, protecting the plants from overwatering. 

 Although the plant does relatively well on its own, growing cannabis is an intricate process. There are many dos and don’ts, and it would be impossible to mention them all here. If you’d like to know more, look out for our upcoming comprehensive guides on cannabis cultivation. 

Image of various cannabis plants in pots. Buy indoor grow racks and vertical rotating shelves for your hydroponic system.

Using Cannabis Vertical Growing Racks In Your Indoor Farm

Vertical farming is a concept that has taken the agricultural world by storm in the past two decades. Using a vertical grow rack system allows you to have multiple layers of plants growing simultaneously. This helps increase production and revenue by up to 3 times. 

By installing mobile vertical growing racks, you create a flexible growing operation- you can move your plants whenever you need. There are a number of benefits that vertical grow racks will bring to your cannabis farm. 

1. Make Use Of All Your Space

If you plan to set up a cannabis grow operation in your garage or a warehouse, you understand how limited space can really hinder the potential of your operation. By allowing you to stack your plants in multiple layers, vertical grow racks allow you to make use of all the space that typically goes to waste. This system results in increased output and ultimately higher profits. 

2. Make Use Of Your Resources

A good grow room set-up requires a lot of lighting, air conditioning, fans and human labor. 

These resources are quite expensive. If you have a large indoor grow room, using vertical grow racks will ensure you’re getting the most value out of them. A vertical grow rack system will allow you to produce more cannabis and make more profits, which will help shoulder the costs of running the operation. 

3. Provide Optimal Conditions For Your Plants

When growing only one tier of cannabis, many farmers make the mistake of cramming their indoor grow rooms with as many plants as they can. This often leads to overcrowding which makes access to the plants difficult. It also means that the plants will be competing for light and air supply, ultimately resulting in stunted plants. 

Indoor grow racks have more than enough space between tiers. They are also strong enough to hold multiple lights and fans. Therefore, using a vertical grow system will allow you to increase your production without compromising on access, light, and airflow.

Image of cannabis plants growing indoors on a movable vertical grow rack system.

Using Vertical Cannabis Grow Racks: The Top 4 Options

If you’ve never engaged in vertical farming before, you’re likely to be confused about what to buy. There are many different products to choose from. In this section, we’ll break some of them down. 

1. Tabletop Caster Units

Tabletop caster units were specifically designed for use in rooms that don’t have enough space for a vertical grow system. These tabletop units have caster wheels that allow you to move them from room to room, making them ideal for a more flexible operation. They come in different heights, thus can accommodate multiple tiers of plants. 

Image of Tabletop Caster Units for growing cannabis indoors.


2. Mobile Carriages

In indoor farming operations, a lot of space is often wasted on empty aisles. Mobile vertical growing racks are another product designed with flexibility and productivity in mind. These systems have racks that slide horizontally on rails, filling up the space that would typically be an aisle. 

Our movable vertical grow rack systems come with an axle that allows workers to open up the aisles whenever they need. This makes it possible for them to access all plants easily. 

Product images of Mobile Carriages for growing cannabis on a vertical grow rack system.

3. Retractable Elevated Decking

A question that most farmers ask themselves before installing a vertical farm is: how do workers access the upper levels of vertical grow racks? As we’ve mentioned above, our vertical farming systems are all designed with accessibility in mind. 

One of the products we are most proud of, our retractable elevated decking, allows you to access the higher tiers of your indoor farm. This decking can then be rolled away when it’s not in use. (patent pending)

Photo of Retractable Elevated Decking for vertical grow racks for marijuana and hemp farming.


4. Vertical Grow Racks

The last of our products are vertical grow racks. As we’ve already mentioned, investing in a grow racks indoor system will help you maximize space and increase your yields. Our vertical cannabis grow racks are made using 14-gauge steel with an 8-bend design and are thus very strong. They also go up to 21 feet high, allowing for dual-level access. 

If you’re looking to set up a vertical grow rack system in your indoor grow space, we have everything you need. We are aware that in this industry, no one size fits all. We, therefore, offer free draw-ups and designs to fit every unique grow operation. 

This way, we ensure that all our customers are satisfied with the products they purchase and can get the most out of them. 

Photo of put plants growing on vertical grow rack systems from MMI Agriculture USA.

Setting Up A Profitable Vertical Cannabis Farm That You Will Love

You’ve made it this far, so you must really care about vertical farming…and rightfully so. Vertical farming has revolutionized cannabis farming and is the surest way to get higher yields and more profits. 

When getting into vertical farming, it’s important to go for a setup that’s ideal for the space and equipment you have. Don’t overcrowd a room with more plants than you can handle, especially if you don’t have a proper watering and wastewater management system. Remember to provide your plants with all the necessary nutrients. 

We hope this comprehensive guide to vertical farming technology has provided you with the information you need to get started with vertical grow systems. If you’d like a quote or a consultation to assess your own grow space, feel free to contact us