Using aquaponics to scale sustainable production of medical cannabis
How do aquaponics work and how can this be used to support a more sustainable future in agriculture? What are some environmental issues from the medical cannabis industry that we should know, and how can we best support it to move in a healthier direction?
Sharing his wisdom here is Warren Bravo, the Co-founder and CEO of Green Relief. You'll hear about how he pivoted from leading his family business to become the largest cement contracting company in Canada to co-establishing his licensed medical cannabis company; how he developed their aquaponic system to be able to scale sustainable production of the plant; how sterile systems like hydroponics compare to aquaponics and soil-based growth; and more. Let's dive in.
[2:20] What inspired Warren's passion for nature.
[3:02] What Warren learned that made him want to go into sustainable agriculture.
[5:45] Warren talks about how most agriculture today is genetically modified from their original version.
[7:00] How Warren got involved with the medical cannabis industry and sustainable agriculture.
[9:12] Warren explains what an "ebb & flow" concrete floor is in agriculture.
[11:55] Warren: "I learned a long time ago not to sweat over things I can't control. In the construction world, you can't control whether things happen, and the cannabis world is very much the same."
[12:41] What aquaponics are and how they work.
[15:35] Kamea: "What do we know about the difference between plants or crops grown from sterile systems like hydroponics compared to ones with rich micro-biotic populations?"
[16:10] Warren: "Hydroponics lack essential nutrients because you're using a commercially fertilized blend of liquid nutrients."
[19:05] Warren's biggest struggle in growing Green Relief.
[20:42] How Green Relief developed its aquaponic system.
[23:14] Warren: "If you're not using or have an eye on sustainability over the next number of decades, then you're going to be a dinosaur in agriculture. It doesn't matter who you are or how you're growing, you have to be better than what you're doing now."
[24:22] Warren shares how to support the medical cannabis industry to be more sustainable and more generally, how to champion sustainable agriculture going forward.
Warren Bravo is the co-founder and CEO of Green Relief–a licensed producer devoted to bringing innovation and social responsibility to the medical cannabis field through the use of aquaponics. After graduating from Mohawk College in Hamilton, Warren became the third-generation of Bravo to join the family business–Bravo Cement Contracting. In 2013, Bravo took a leap of faith, leaving his family business to establish Green Relief with co-founder Steve LeBlanc. Today, their mission today is to help patients improve their quality of life while furthering the science of medical cannabis and sustainable agriculture around the world.
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Inspiration: "The interaction with my patients and clients on Twitter."
Note to self: "I don't actually have to tell myself anything. It's just through osmosis through the people I see at work here every day."
Health practice: "I go to the gym three times a week at minimum."
Sustainability practice: "It is an everyday occurrence at Green Relief... Every day, we're working towards zero carbon footprint."
Element of hope: "I think people just have to endeavor to do things differently and better and not be so averse to change."
Closing words: "Follow your passions."