Grower uses aquifer below greenhouse for water-cooled LEDs


(August 10,2022)

The old story about the cannabis industry goes that many basement cannabis growers struggled with the complexities of commercial cannabis cultivation, as going from small scale to large scale without proper expertise has proven to be extremely difficult. Yet, some cannabis growers were very much aware of what commercial horticulture means, and they leveraged their knowledge and experience to show what a mature cannabis industry would look like. Organic Remedies out of Pennsylvania is one of those growers.

Before Organic Remedies set up their 1.6 hectares of five flower rooms, the greenhouse was utilized for organic tomato cultivation, and it was known as Toigo Organic Farms. Subsequently, Mark Toigo, CEO and owner of the farm, teamed up with a group of early investors who saw the potential of medical cannabis, and in 2018, Organic Remedies was born.


A different league
Unlike most of the early cannabis operators in the US northeast, Organic Remediesopted for a greenhouse rather than an indoor facility. Toigo Farms was an ultra-modern greenhouse with good bones. Most Canadian and California facilities optedfor greenhouse operations. "I don't believe that indoor cultivation will expand ordominate in the long run," said Terry Lattimer, Director of Cultivation. "Energy costsare too high, and why wouldn't you use the free sun?"

Terry Lattimer is a horticulture veteran who has been growing for 45 years. "Ourgrower, Diego Perez, has also been in the industry for 25 years," he points out."Between the owners, Diego, our team leaders, and myself, we have over 150 yearsof horticultural experience. This meant that prepping the greenhouse for cannabiswas well planned and executed. To me, cannabis is a crop with its own peculiarities.Each crop has its unique  cultivation considerations. I find it is a lot like growing poinsettias."

The greenhouse conversion started in 2020, and perpetual harvests began in the fallof 2021. Every 2 weeks, a flower room is harvested and planted. The crop cycleamounts to 2 weeks of cloning, 2 weeks in the veg room, 2 weeks of veg time in theflower room, and 7 weeks to harvest after a flip.

Lighting up the Greenhouse for Breast Cancer Awareness

Listening to cannabis
Throughout the project, the on-site project management team worked closely withWestland Greenhouse Solutions, BOM, PB Tech, and numerous local contractors who were instrumental in meeting the grower completion dates. "We had very constructive partnerships with our team of owners, installers, and designers. Wewere fortunate that we started the project just before supply issues startedthroughout the industry."

Variations in outside conditions when operating a greenhouse for medical cannabiscultivation can be more complicated than growing indoors. Outside climates canincrease pests and pathogens in a greenhouse equipped with open-air vents."Following the principles of Plant Empowerment has aided our operations a greatdeal," said Terry. "We have a cultivation plan from beginning to end which mediates issues and increases quality yields. Cannabis is a very quick crop, and that is anadvantage for insect and pest control."

Pioneers in water-cooled LEDs use
While many companies were going for indoor farms, Organic Remedies decided ongreenhouse production, and while many were opting for HPS lights, OrganicRemedies looked to Westland Greenhouse Solutions for Oreon's water-cooled LEDs."We decided to go for LEDs because of the savings in capex and opex. We are using water-cooled 1000w LED fixtures – there are 5 lights per truss on an 8m bay times4.5m post spacing. This configuration results in 450 umol." Terry pointed out.Installation costs are reduced as there are no C-profiles needed and, in trussmounting, with the small size of the fixtures, there is up to 5 times less shading thanair-cooled LED or HPS fixtures. But, from an ROI perspective, the true selling pointfor Oreon LEDs is the water-cooling feature. "The efficiency and lifespan were mostconvincing. These water-cooled LEDs at 3.5 umol/J are 2 times as efficient as HPS,which results in 50% lower operational costs."

Lighting up the Greenhouse for Breast Cancer Awareness

"As a grower, the biggest selling point is that Oreon's water-cooled LEDs providebetter control of the temperature inside the greenhouse. The heat from the lights isremoved from the greenhouse. This allows growers to keep windows closed for alonger time, resulting in higher C02 levels. "This is one of the unique things aboutwater-cooled LEDs. Removing heat from the greenhouse is important several timesin the year when blackout screens are used to prevent light pollution during thewinter. We strive to be responsible neighbors in terms of light emissions."

Cooling LEDs with water coming straight from aquifer
A unique piece of this project is the method we use to cool the lights. "We are sittingon a huge aquifer here, and we use that to cool the lights." The company drilled a600ft, 900 gpm well to get water from the aquifer to a heat exchanger. It is a limestone aquifer, the same rock formation that meets the Niagara River to createNiagara Falls. The water comes out at 12 degrees and returns to the aquifer viasediment ponds at 20 degrees. The well and heat exchanger were a much cheaperoption than water chillers in both operational and installation costs.

Another key design in our greenhouse conversion was the installation of Van Dijkunits to dehumidify, especially when blackout screens are used in the summermonths. Nivolators also provide additional air circulation across the crop canopy. "Inthe future, we are looking at water cooling in the Van Dijk's, from the same aquifersource. Van Dijk can operate on heating, cooling, or on dehumidification, dependingon your set points." Terry concluded.

In conclusion, the Organic Remedies team is leveraging a number of tried and truehorticultural paradigms to grow cannabis by leveraging their past experiences. Withthe competitive nature of today's markets, under the leadership of experiencedhorticultural industry experts, Organic Remedies is driving down the cost ofproduction, which it ultimately passes along to patients in Pennsylvania.

For more information:
Organic Remedies

[email protected]


Publication date: Wed 10 Aug 2022

Contact: [email protected]


All About Terpenes

A very common topic that asked at our dispensaries. What our terpenes? Where they found and what do they do?

Terpenes are a type of phytochemical found among the whole plant kingdom. There have been over 3,000 identified and they're in a variety of plants. Marijuana included.

In marijuana, there  have been over 500 identified, although only about 20 or 30 are commonly referred to.

They have major influence on the entourage effect often claimed in cannabis. We often receive questions whether our products contain food derived terpenes... terpenes derive from things such as lemons, limes and other various herbs... or whether our genes are cannabis derived terpenes.

We are proud to say that we only use cannabis derived terpenes derived from the plants extracted. So all of our vape cartridges, all of our bio extracts, as well as our saps, all contain only cannabis derived terpenes.


CO2 Sap – what is it?

We often receive questions about Sap at our dispensaries as some patients aren't quite sure what it is.

Our Sap is an extract produced from supercritical CO2. It is a carboxylic product that contains 10- 14% terpenes and about 70% THC. It can be both vaporized as well as used orally, and it is quite flavorful with the addition of the terpenes as well as the flavonoids and carotenoids.

It would be considered a full spectrum product. So for those seeking more of an entourage effect, the Sap is a great place to start.

Nanoemulsions – what are they?

We are proud to say that we are one of the only manufacturers of water soluble nano-emulsions in the state currently, and we often receive a lot of questions and inquiries about these products.

A nanoemulsion is a water soluble edible where the size of the particles are under a 100 nanometers. That enables the avoidance of first pass metabolism in the body. This leads to increased bioavailability.

Most oil soluble products have to first go through the liver, which is why a lot of times they don't hit for sometimes about 45 minutes to an hour. On the other hand, nano-emulsions will typically start medicating within about 15 to 20 minutes.

Our elixirs are available in a 3.3 mg per milliliter, which allows for a terrific microdosing effect.

For those with gastro esophageal reflux disease that may be sensitive to oil or nano motions do not contain any MCT or oil based products.

They'll be available in two forms both powder and liquid.

The Entourage Effect May Help Improve Health

“There is not enough research!” That is the cry heard around the country as medical marijuana proliferates the states. This is not about the long-running TV show centered on young actors trying to make it big in Hollywood, but the effect of the whole cannabis plant on our health. It’s called the “entourage effect” –a slick name for a simple concept: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You may know this as synergy.

When we consume cannabis, we’re ingesting a collection of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, making up the group of ingredients sort of like an entourage that follows a celebrity. In the medical cannabis world, the “entourage effect” is widely advocated but narrowly–if at all–formally studied in research projects. That’s why it’s creating buzz in the industry and among our patients.

Many are touting their success by using a broad-spectrum or full-spectrum therapy.

They Work Together

As a patient, you are most likely aware of the two most famous compounds, THC and CBD. Organic Remedies Pharmacist Shannon Ye says, “I start off with the two primary cannabinoids, THC and CBD, and describe their properties and potential synergistic effect.” Then, Ye moves into a deeper realm by discussing strains.  “Afterwards, I explain the general differences between sativa, hybrid, and indica strains.”

Starting with strains is just the beginning of delving into the entourage effect of cannabis. Ye’s interest in the effect is helping patients make their way through what can be a daunting first experience and lead to a better overall cannabis therapy. Ye discusses hybrids then moves to terpenes saying, “I explain that cross-breeding over the years has led to many hybrid strains, and that the terpenes, the natural oils that provide aroma and medicinal value, greatly help to distinguish the potential effects and benefits.”

New Approach

This will be new territory for many first-time medical marijuana patients and going slow with the explanation goes well with the dosing mantra of “start low, go slow.”

Ye walks her patients through a major difference in their new medical therapy. We are working with a natural plant, not a synthetic compound developed in a lab. “With many patients only familiar with single compound synthetic pharmaceuticals and new to plant-based medicine, I distinguish cannabis as the ultimate combination medication.” Ye expands on that crucial difference between medical marijuana and synthetic meds. “Ultimately, I express that the benefits of cannabis do not rely on one component.  Rather, there may be a synergy when cannabinoids and terpenes are combined to deliver an enhanced pharmacologic effect.”

How Important is “Anecdotal” Evidence?

Ye agrees more research will help with defining and applying the entourage effect, but in the meantime, she’s seeing more patients benefitting from it. “I have observed from our patients that oftentimes the products containing a more abundant cannabinoid and terpene profile seem to offer greater benefits.”

Ye says the effects of cannabis are highly individualized. So too, are the effects of different products available at Organic Remedies. Ye says, “Many of our Organic Remedies’ extracted products are full spectrum concentrates because the specific cannabinoid and terpene profile of the plant is preserved during the manufacturing process.

Ye says patients can help a pharmacist dial-in a perfect entourage. “For example, one of my patients was having difficulty finding a capsule to help with sleep,” Ye says. “After a distillate 10 mg THC capsule was not effective, trying an indica-dominant full spectrum RSO 10 mg THC capsule finally provided the patient a good night's rest.”

Check Out the Terpenes!

Because of the entourage effect, patients may find that trying products with a different terpene profile creates a very different experience and can improve individual outcomes Ye relies on our lab’s work in extraction and production. “With patients, I often click on the product on our menu to look at the terpene contents obtained from the lab. Our Grape Cake dry leaf is an indica THC-dominant strain that is high in myrcene, a terpene that provides sedative effects.

Fortunately for patients, with the increasing number of strains, the various terpenes and new product forms coming to market, the benefits of the entourage effect can seem endless. “Our AK live crumble was created via an extraction process where the plant is fresh-frozen. It’s abundant in several terpenes. Also, check out strain-specific full spectrum tinctures which often provide a fuller "entourage" effect than our flavored tinctures.”

Research on the entourage effect includes the work of Dr. Ethan B. Russo. You can find his January 2019 study here: The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain (

An Organic Remedies Patient Care Consultant and Pharmacist are always available to answer your questions!

The Entourage Effect Overview horizontal business infographic illustration about cannabis as herbal alternative medicine and chemical therapy, healthcare and medical science vector.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a flowering herb believed to have originated in Central Asia but is now found globally. As early as 2700 BC, there is documented evidence that cannabis was used as a safe and effective therapeutic remedy. Between 1840 and 1900, European and American journals of medicine published more than 100 articles on the therapeutic use of cannabis. In fact, cannabis was part of the American pharmacopoeia until 1942, and is currently available by prescription in the Netherlands, Israel, and Germany.

There are several species of cannabis. Those that contain high levels of the psychoactive chemical THC are commonly known as “marijuana” and used in medicinal marijuana. Those with low levels of THC are harvested commercially worldwide as “hemp” for a variety of products, including rope, paper, and clothing.

There are more than 475 chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, including over 80 medicinal cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

What is THC? (Tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. It is the one that gives marijuana its mind-altering reputation. However, it also offers numerous medicinal benefits. THC blocks pain signals from the brain, making it a highly effective pain reliever, especially for nerve-related pain.

THC Molecule Diagram

What is CBD? (Cannabidiol)

The best way to describe CBD is to say it is the opposite of THC. And it is. That is because CBD is an anti-psychoactive chemical. It counteracts the mind-altering properties of THC and provides balance. This is one of the reasons why the different forms of medicinal marijuana are so effective.

CBD is also a highly beneficial chemical. It reduces nausea and suppresses epileptic seizures. Arthritis patients gain measurable relief from its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD slows tumor and cancer cell growth in cancer patients, and it has proven to be effective in treatments for anxiety and depression.

Dosage Forms Available in PA


Medical marijuana can be inhaled via vaporization. There are numerous products to help facilitate this process, including portable vapes, stationary vaporizers, and dabbing instruments.

From a health standpoint, many studies comparing the difference between smoking and vaporizing reveal that there are substantial advantages associated with vaporization which include more efficient cannabinoid extraction and a decreased exposure to toxic elements such as carbon monoxide and tar, which are derived from smoking.


Vaporizing Dry Herb

Vaporizers designed to heat the cannabis in its raw, bud form are known as dry herb vaporizers. Dry herbs of all sorts have been used for centuries for meditation, relaxation and medicinal purposes. Certain flowers and herbs (including cannabis) can be dried, crushed and then inserted into a vape pen that is dry-herb capable. The vape’s oven chamber will heat up the dry herbs which will release a vapor which can then be inhaled. To get the most out of your vaporization experience, be sure to grind your material using an herb grinder to break your material down to create more surface area for the heat to reach.


Tinctures are oils derived from the cannabis plant and are typically administered sublingually under the tongue with a dropper. This allows the cannabinoids to immediately enter the bloodstream through the vessel-rich tissues within the sublingual cavity. There are a large number of blood vessels under the tongue and within the mouth which can absorb cannabinoids, so that before you swallow, cannabis can also enter the blood stream.

Sublingual delivery through the oral mucosal membranes in your mouth is an effective way to ingest cannabinoids. This method provides for rapid and effective absorption directly into systemic circulation because of the increased bioavailability of the cannabinoids.



RSO is named after its creator, Rick Simpson, who became well-known for professing his passion for this type of product and its medical efficacy. RSO is produced using a vacuum distillation process, which distills out the solvent and reserves terpenes that would otherwise be lost to open air distillation. RSO is a great option for patients who do not want to vaporize or are uncomfortable swallowing capsules. Used orally, RSO can be absorbed through the mouth sublingually, or swallowed and ingested.



Infused capsules are swallowed and absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract for slow onset and long-lasting effects. Capsules are precision dosed with a super-critically extracted marijuana concentrate which has been winterized and infused with coconut butter prior to filling. They are available in multiple formulations, giving patients the ability to select the option that is best for them.



Cannabinoids can also be absorbed through the skin. Products designed for this are known as cannabis topicals. The skin has a relatively complex absorption process that involves a chemical’s ability to dissolve in H20. Examples of topical products include lotions, creams, and balms. The topical application of cannabinoids has an onset of action within minutes locally (i.e. creams and balms applied to a joint), with duration of these effects lasting approximately one to two hours.



Cannabis concentrates, commonly referred to as cannabis extracts, are significantly more potent than your standard cannabis buds. Their applications as medicine have proven to be effective for patients suffering from many adverse health conditions. A cannabis concentrate is reminiscent of the cannabis strain it was extracted from; the smell, taste, and effects are simply magnified due to a larger concentration by weight.

Due to these products being a concentrated mix, you have the benefit of only needing a very small amount to get the same effect as you would with larger amounts of a less concentrated mix.

While the number of components released depends on the compounds present and the temperature, none of the toxic biproducts of smoking plant matter is present in the vapor. This means that vapor will have a much higher percentage of desired cannabinoid /terpenoid content when compared to smoke.


Cannabis concentrates, commonly referred to as cannabis extracts, are significantly more potent than your standard cannabis buds. Their applications as medicine have proven to be effective for patients suffering from many adverse health conditions. A cannabis concentrate is reminiscent of the cannabis strain it was extracted from; the smell, taste, and effects are simply magnified due to a larger concentration by weight.

Due to these products being a concentrated mix, you have the benefit of only needing a very small amount to get the same effect as you would with larger amounts of a less concentrated mix.

While the number of components released depends on the compounds present and the temperature, none of the toxic biproducts of smoking plant matter is present in the vapor. This means that vapor will have a much higher percentage of desired cannabinoid /terpenoid content when compared to smoke.


Live Sugar – a shimmery crystalline concentrate made using the fresh-frozen material.

Budder – a smooth and creamy concentrate that resembles peanut butter in consistency.

Wax – a concentrate that easily breaks apart into smaller-sized pieces. Easy to work with using only your hands.

Live Budder – a smooth and creamy concentrate made using the fresh-frozen material.

Shatter – a translucent, glass-like concentrate that ‘shatters’ when tapped on a hard surface.


The cannabis plant consists of a wide variety of chemicals and compounds. About 140 of these belong to a large class of aromatic organic hydrocarbons known as terpenes (pronounced tur-peens).

Terpenes have been found to be essential building blocks of complex plant hormones and molecules, pigments, sterols, and cannabinoids. Terpenes are responsible for the pleasant, or not so pleasant, aromas of cannabis and the physiological effects associated with them. Although not permitted in Pennsylvania, patients will often ask to smell the cannabis when selecting their medicine. The idea is that certain aromas help identify different strains and their effects. Strains with relatively high concentrations of specific terpenes are easier to identify by their smell.

For example, the smell of musk or of clove is detected when there is a high level of the terpene myrcene. A piney smell is usually indicative of a high level of the terpene pinene and a lemony smell indicates a high level of the terpene limonene. Our online menu provides the terpene content, if available, of each product which may vary by batch and grower even for the same strain.