'Algorithms Manage Everything': One Israeli company's mission to make marijuana growing effortless

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The state-by-state legalization of cannabis has made thousands of strains legally available.

Many cannabis users still find growing their own weed appealing — and others may have the need to grow cannabis due to a lack of nearby dispensaries.

Cannabis cultivation is a meticulous process that involves more than just planting a seed or a clone and watering it regularly.

It requires special lighting, constant temperature, humidity, nutrition and many other factors to create a high-quality crop.

Luckily, there are solutions that make growing weed easier, even in the comfort of one’s home.

One of these solutions is Seedo, a special pod that takes care of the entire growing process and can be controlled through an app on a smartphone. For a better understanding about Seedo Corp SEDO 7.14%, Benzinga spoke with the Israeli company’s CEO Zohar Levy.

From Lettuce To Cannabis In One Decade

Seedo did not start as a platform for growing cannabis, and at first it wasn’t developed for home use.

In 1999, Michael, a technologist, and Jacob, an agronomist, joined forces to develop a system that would allow growing vegetables in large 40-foot containers.

They succeeded, although the price of the crop was too high to make it a marketable idea.

In 2012, Michael and Jacob got back together to reduce the size of the technology they developed in order to make it useful to grow cannabis at home. In 2013, when Levy joined the company, the first prototype of the Seedo pod was built.

In the following years, the device went through a number of improvements and several prototypes.

In July 2017, the first commercial Seedo was ready and the company started accepting pre-orders. Shipping started last year with first 50 machines delivered in November 2018.

The company has already sold 3,000 units in pre-sale.

How Does Seedo Work?

Seedo does not require any intervention from the user throughout the growth cycle.

“The machine is fully autonomous. Algorithms manage everything,” Levy said.

All the user has to do is plant the seed or clone, pair the device with their smartphone and select the strain they planted.

“You can grow up to five plants without any intervention,” he said.

Seedo is best used when the door to the device is not opened so the environment inside is not affected by any external factors. With more than two plants, there is a need to open the door from time to time in order to trim them.

In addition, the user has to replace air and water filters — as well as cartridges with minerals and nutrition — every several months.

Back To Containers

In addition to setting up mass production of cannabis pods for home growing, Seedo is also going back to its roots and redesigning the original containers with an approach that would allow growing cannabis on an industrial scale, Levy said.

“Our advantage is you don't need real estate. You just need an open space to put the containers.”

Once the system is up and running, it would allow just about anyone to grow cannabis for commercial purposes, since the technology is powering the entire ecosystem, he said.

“We are aiming to start mass production at the end of 2019 and we'll start deliveries in the first quarter of 2020."

An Investment From Cannabics

In addition to developing the technology for cannabis cultivation, Seedo has also established a partnership with Cannabics Pharmaceuticals Inc OTCCNBX that focuses on cannabis research and identifying cannabinoids that could potentially treat and prevent the spread of tumors.

Cannabics issued a convertible loan of around $1 million to Seedo last year, and in January, it converted the loan into common stock.

The partnership between Cannabics and Seedo is intended to create a synergy between both companies’ algorithms. The idea is that Cannabics can use Seedo’s machines to grow cannabis under the same conditions and study the changes, and therefore speed up their research process, Levy said.

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