Jul 3, 2023 - Business

Tampa company hopes to grow indoor farming industry

The Magical Grow cabinet

Photo courtesy of Magical Grow

At his office in Tampa, Garyn Angel opens the door to a sleek black block the size of a refrigerator. He picks a pepper from a small tree inside and offers his colleague a bite.

What's happening: The Cannabis activist and entrepreneur began selling his Magical Grow machines this month, which he claims to be the most advanced AI grow box on the market.

Why it matters: Hydroponic systems like Angels' could soon be the future of farming as climate change takes its toll on the industry, costing our nation's farmers billions of dollars.

  • Brick Street Farms in St. Petersburg uses a similar method on a large scale to grow acres of food in each of its stacked shipping containers.
  • Systems like Magical Grow present an alternative to home gardens, especially in places like Florida with extreme heat and storms.

Between the lines: The system could also be a game changer for home-growing marijuana, as Florida's Supreme Court considers adding a recreational cannabis measure to next year's ballot.

How it works: Cameras and sensors in the Magical Grow cabinet automatically adjust LED lights, an HVAC system, watering and nutrient dosages according to what plant is inside.

  • For medical cannabis growers, the system ensures an exact, consistent strain, which Angel says eliminates inconsistencies that can happen with mass-grown marijuana.

What they're saying: "All you have to do is show up, plant, prune and water," Angel said. "This is as close to a robotic garden as you could possibly get."

By the numbers: There are similar indoor grow systems that use AI or other smart technology, like Gardyn, AeroGarden, Hey Abby, Lettuce Grow and Vivosun. Those typically run you anywhere from $200 up to $900.

  • If you hope to get your hands on Magical, it'll set you back about $4,000.
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