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September 1, 2022

North Stonington company hopes to help launch cannabis growers in CT

Courtesy photo Innovative Grow Technologies President Van Pavao stands next to some growing cannabis plants.

A design and build contractor with experience in other cannabis markets is hoping to help Connecticut marijuana startups get their feet off the ground.

North Stonington-based Innovative Grow Technologies is eyeing Connecticut’s legal cannabis market after gaining some experience building out cultivation facilities in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Innovative Grow Technologies President Van Pavao said he’s been interested in entering the legal cannabis sector for years and the opportunity pulled him out of a semi-retirement.

“The industry is in its infancy and until a few years ago it took place in someone's basement or garage,” said said Pavao, who noted he has 45 years of experience in the construction industry. “We are now in a thriving industry that needs basic industry management standards.”

The company’s main offering, its GROW 360 Program, includes all architectural, structural, fire protection, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, security and IT designs associated with building out a cannabis business. While cultivation designs are one focus, the company also works with new dispensaries designing their facilities.

Innovative Grow Technologies’ cultivation designs are based upon the idea of developing a “genetic footprint” of a grow operation’s business model and makeup of the plants it's growing. Each build is specifically designed for the company and space it’s using.

“What we try to do is bring all those technologies to the table,” Pavao said. “We do all the design, all the engineering and all the construction.”

While Innovative Grow Technologies is targeting the cannabis industry right now, Pavao said the technology it uses can be replicated across all categories of agriculture. Pavao said the company offers the first warranty backed cultivation construction program in the industry and has a new lower-cost program for Connecticut’s social equity cultivators to help them with the financial barriers to entry.

“We are targeting our marketing efforts towards the social equity categories — the cost is way too high for these folks to get a foothold,” Pavao said.

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