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An Interview with Irrigation

When asked what makes watering medical marijuana different from other plants, Liam, PHG's dedicated Irrigation Lead and PAMMJ patient had one word-- precision.

Liam, PHG's Irrigation Lead.

Liam has experience working in hoop houses with annuals, perennials, and vegetables, but when it comes to cannabis, he notes that accuracy is everything. "Because the person on the receiving end is a patient in the PAMMJ program, the precision that we feed and water with is much more important in order to provide clean and effective medicine."

Liam leads a team of two other Irrigation Technicians at Penn Health Group, and says his passion for cannabis and all it can do is what keeps him motivated despite the challenges they face. "Plants don't drink on a Monday through Friday schedule, so there is an irrigator here with our Head of Cultivation seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays." And though the job may seem simple when you envision how you care for your own house plants, an irrigator's day can get pretty busy. "lrrigators start an hour before the rest of the cultivation crew to assess all the grow spaces and map out which plants need what food and water each day," Liam says. "Once we have a plan, we prep all the nutrient mixes that we'll need and start watering accordingly."

This is where precision comes into play. For PhG to grow the healthiest medicine possible, Liam notes some of the finer details the team must examine to maintain quality control. "We monitor the food and pH levels to make sure they are getting as much of what they need as possible. The goal is to get as close as we can to that line without going over it."

In addition to making sure Penn Health Group's plants are properly fed and watered, the irrigation team also keeps an eye on other aspects of the grow. "Our goal for each individual grow room is to mimic an outdoor environment. Adjusting the light, temperature, and air quality is an essential part of creating a space for our plants to thrive."

After almost two years on the job, Liam says being part of a small, local grower/processor is his favorite thing about working for Penn Health Group. "It's as close to a 'mom and pop' operation as you're going to get in the current program. There are only a few out there, and I'm proud to work for one of them."

Liam says that if there was one thing, he could let people know about the cannabis industry, it's that both voting and shopping local are essential. "Voting is important. The program is designed and enforced by the state government, so if you feel it isn't meeting your needs, reach out to your elected officials and VOTE!" He also emphasizes the importance of supporting small business, "Don't forget that your wallet also votes when you're looking for

medicine that works for you."

At the end of the day, the hard work and dedication of our irrigation team does not go unnoticed. Whether they are fine tuning their daily duties or helping other departments, Liam, Jerod, and Josh are all important pieces of the PHG puzzle. And although his passion for cannabis is obvious, Liam says that beyond the grow, he enjoys snowboarding, hiking and spending his time doing anything outdoors.


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