As I sit down to write this year’s introduction for the “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market” report, it’s easy to see the difference a year can make in our high-growth industry. New states—some with a history of stigma toward the cannabis industry—are coming online. Consumer perception and acceptance of cannabis’s potentially life-changing properties is more widespread. Consumers want to know more about the plant they’re purchasing—and the experience it will create—beyond a simple THC percentage. New research is laying the foundation for a new wave of innovation that will transform the industry even further in the coming year. I can only imagine what I’ll be writing in 2020.

At the center of it all—or more correctly, shining down on it all—is light. Cultivators around the world are adopting LED lighting systems in nearly every stage of plant growth. The increasing conversions to LEDs—whether through retrofitting or in initial facility design—says more about their viability than I or anyone else ever could. Better yet, early adopters are systematically ridding the industry of any lingering suspicions of the role LEDs play in critical areas like cannabinoid and terpene production, crop uniformity and yield, and energy efficiency.

It’s even more encouraging to see how researchers, public officials and entire verticals are actively engaging with the cannabis industry. Around the world, thought leaders and policymakers are contributing to the growth of cannabis markets to ultimately serve consumers who are loudly demanding change to legal systems, health care and global sentiment. A better understanding of cannabis’s benefits has only helped as data and preliminary research continue to change the minds of even the most skeptical of skeptics. Here at Fluence, we commend those who are helping the world grow, smarter.

“At the center of it all—or more correctly, shining down on it all— is light.”

As growers continue to invest their time and money into LED lighting, making informed choices now will dictate success in the future. Today, three in four growers are hinging lighting purchases based on energy efficiency and light intensity. Their preference for LEDs only further confirms that the industry is taking a long-term approach to growth and profitability that is built on sustainability and efficiency.

Fluence is proud to be the exclusive sponsor of Cannabis Business Times’ fourth-annual “State of the Cannabis Lighting Market” report. I firmly believe the insights about LED lighting we’ve collected in this report are the cornerstone for a stable, sustainable and profitable cannabis industry.

David Cohen

CEO, Fluence