In this new series we’re handing over the microphone to you, the cannabis professional. Your company, your facility, your work, but most importantly: your story. To kick the series off, we’re in Switzerland at CarbonActive. This market leader in ventilation technology for indoor facilities is looking to become the go-to stop for turnkey facilities.
But let’s take a step back first. Because it always starts with a man and an idea. The man is Marc ‘Monty’ Montandon, and the idea was solving ventilation issues once and for all. “I’ve always been interested in the cannabis industry and throughout the years, I’ve gained a lot of expertise about indoor growing in general and ventilation in particular” says Monty. Sensing a business opportunity, he started his own company in 2004. Seven years later, CarbonActive was founded as a spin-off of parent company Eye-Catching.
“We’ve started simple over at CarbonActive: high-quality ventilation tech, air conditioning and monobloc construction” says Monty. “But we soon found there was demand for consulting too. That’s why we added cannabis consulting to our portfolio in 2013, and started assisting in the planning and implementation of cannabis growing facilities soon thereafter”. The expertise gained in the past decade led to an ambitious plan: the creation of turnkey solutions for professional cannabis growers.
“It’s something I’m especially proud of since it shows just how far we’ve come as a company” says Monty. “When starting the project back in 2020, there were a lot of uncertainties. Don’t forget: we were good at ventilation, but other areas of growing were relatively new to us”. Swiss legislation made things a lot easier for Monty and his team, who spent the past two years testing, improving and perfecting their ideas in their own facility.
Armed with skills and knowledge of all aspects of growing, CarbonActive intends to become the one-stop shop for all professional cannabis growers. “We’ve got it all covered” Monty says, before summing up: “obviously there’s ventilation, but also lighting, nutrients, analysis and so on. And it’s not just a single solution either: for everything I just mentioned, our customers can choose from a variety of options for their facility. It’s actually why we partnered up with Plagron! I believe their quality nutrients are a great choice for every professional grower."
“There’s a good reason we believe strongly in this modular approach. Imagine a matrix of data and metrics keeping a growing facility in perfect balance between quality, time and costs” explains Monty. “There is a logical relation between all subjects involved when looking at quantities, specifications and long term maintenance. The matrix allows us to do things like instant health checks on buildings, or manage to have a complete proposal ready in a single day. Speed is definitely important to us: we can have a turnkey facility project fully operational within just 15 weeks after the first payment is made.”
CarbonActive’s holistic approach covers not just the installation phase, but the operational phase as well. Monty: “When we need cabling for example, we can just calculate for the material. But what about cable management and cable maintenance? Over the years we learned that, from a business perspective, these are very important aspects in the total operation. Making money is all about avoiding surprises. That is why our installation costs may look high at first, but customers’ running costs will definitely be on the low end.”
Out of the many options customers can choose from, there’s one that deserves special attention. And of course, it’s all about ventilation. “That’s where we come from, so I guess it’s only natural that it’s where we really go the extra mile” Monty says. “We’ve developed our own special pumping system for humidity and temperature. How it works is a company secret, but it results is that it is about 40% more energy efficient. That’s huge, especially considering today’s prices.” He continues: “another thing I’m really proud of is that we’ve developed an unique light and ventilation system that can go up and down, ensuring it’s always at the same distance from your plants. No matter how big they’ve gotten.”
The company has high hopes for the near future. Monty: “with legalisation around the corner in many European countries, we hope to be the number one in every country where some form of large-scale cannabis cultivation is legal. We’ve got prospects coming over to visit our site in Switzerland daily, and I believe we’ll soon be the go-to name for both current and future professional cannabis growers.” Are you one of them and has your interest been piqued? Check out CarbonActive’s website or contact them directly. And if you want a private tour by Monty first, make sure to watch this video.