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Cannabis Owners Insist on Sustainable, High-Performance, Food-Grade Coatings Ahead of Incoming Regulations

Marijuana Floor Coating Project

Gloucester is a coastal city on Cape Ann, in Massachusetts, famous for its fishing heritage. This is reflected in the harbor-side Fisherman’s Memorial, with a statue and names of those lost at sea. Today, it is embracing the burgeoning cannabis industry with a large, new indoor growing facility that covers 38,000 square feet of concrete flooring.

This case study very much reflects the purpose-built nature of these facilities which are controlled environments to maximize crop growth and return on investment. Unlike greenhouses, which also employ strict protocols on lighting and the actual growth mediums used, cannabis production buildings are often totally enclosed which also helps to limit odors and any potential security issues as occurs with open plantations.

Problem

With human consumables being produced, the client wanted to have the buildings coated in such a way as to meet possible future health requirements as may eventually be imposed by the US Department of Agriculture. If an upgrade was to be required on an untreated floor at a future date, this could be highly disruptive and, potentially costly, particularly in terms of lost revenue while food contact grade coating was applied and production halted for a number of days, as would likely be required by a conventional coating.

Also, problematical is the issue of keeping concrete flooring scrupulously clean and disinfected which can be harsh on the material. Furthermore, concrete flooring has virtually no flexibility and often cracks result from either heavy use or foundation work that makes small settlement movements.

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Solution

Castagra’s Ecodur was chosen for its performance characteristics as well as its green credentials. It is VOC-free, BPA-free, solvent-free, non-toxic and highly stable. It permanently retains its flexibility and repairability for the lifetime of the coating which can extend, in interior use, to many decades.

Made from renewable castor oil and naturally occurring gypsum, it is essentially polymerized soft rock that has nearly triple the adhesion of most conventional epoxy coatings, and its grip on concrete and steel is particularly aggressive. Pull off tests on steel have shown 1,000 lbs of pull is required before it lets go.

On the food contact safety requirement, self-imposed by the client, Ecodur is already ANSI/NSF-61 rated for safe contact with human drinking water and is currently being used in frozen food storage buildings as well as water and wastewater facilities, drains and canals.

Cannabis Floor Coating

Application Results

With an interior coating environment, the new concrete floors were already dry and were completely made ready with a final sweep clean. Ecodur was manually applied to average depth of 30 mils. Tack free state was achieved at about the 30 minute mark and full cure was achieved around the 24 hour mark as is standard. Ecodur, once mixed ready for application, gives a maximum pot life of 45 minutes, depending on ambient temperatures. The higher the temperature, the shorter the pot life unless cure countering measures are taken by an expert to reduce the ‘hot sauce’ as the catalyst is known. Final inspection after the full cure, revealed no anomalies and the project was signed off as completely satisfactory.