Amani Craft: Where Engineering Precision Meets Cannabis Artistry
Amani Craft: Where Engineering Precision Meets Cannabis Artistry
In the tranquil beauty of Lake Country, British Columbia, a unique convergence of art and science is blossoming. This is where you'll find Amani Craft Cannabis, a company that blends the meticulous mindset of engineering with the artisanal craft of small-batch cannabis cultivation.
The man steering this innovative ship is Amin Hasham, the CEO and founder of Amani Craft. Established in 2020 and officially licensed in early 2023 as a micro-cultivator, Amani Craft has made it its mission to consistently produce high-grade cannabis of impeccable quality.
Amin's transition from civil engineer to cannabis cultivator is an inspiring narrative of bravery and ambition. With a distinguished career in civil engineering and an academic record embellished with top honours and multiple awards, Amin brings a unique perspective to the world of cannabis cultivation.
Joining him in this audacious venture is his wife Anna, a co-founder and the Quality Assurance Person (QAP) at Amani Craft. Born in Poland and having emigrated to Scotland at age 11, Anna brings her own unique expertise as a mechanical engineer specializing in renewable energies and sustainability. She oversees all compliance-related matters and ensures that Amani Craft's carbon footprint remains as small as possible.
As one would expect from a facility built by an engineer, Amani Craft is equipped with the latest technologies, including sensor-driven crop steering, full-spectrum LEDs, fully automated hydroponics, and condensate reclamation systems. But it's not just about the cutting-edge equipment; it's also about the meticulous attention to detail that goes into each harvest. Every plant is hand-trimmed, whole-plant hang-dried, and cold-cured to preserve its terpene profile and maintain the highest levels of quality.
Join us as we delve into an engaging chat with Amin, exploring his fascinating journey from engineer to cannabis farmer, the birth of Amani Craft, and his vision for the future. This is a story about following your dreams, embracing innovation, and the transformative power of passion.
From the UK to BC: A pandemic-driven shift
Amin and Anna's entry into the cannabis industry was a confluence of passion, opportunity, and the leveraging of their backgrounds in engineering. This journey began thousands of miles away, in the United Kingdom, where they had built successful careers, but it was a decision made amidst a global pandemic that set them on an unexpected path.
Reflecting on his career, Amin shares, "All of my engineering career was actually spent in the U.K. I really enjoyed tackling the structural, geotechnical and hydraulic problems associated with studying and working as a civil engineer."
But as the world braced for the impact of COVID-19, Amin and Anna decided to make a significant life change. "When things started to shut down in the U.K., we decided to pull the trigger when we could and moved to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island where I was lucky enough to have family close by. It wasn’t until we arrived in Nanaimo that we were first exposed to the cannabis industry and its amazing potential. "
Despite being a cannabis enthusiast, Amin hadn't contemplated entering the cannabis industry professionally until arriving on the West Coast. He explains, "Cannabis has been in my life during my time in Kenya and England and once we got here, the idea of working with such an amazing plant and being a part of this emerging industry in Canada was something that really excited me." It was this excitement that sparked the creation of Amani Craft.
"Amani Craft was really born from the desire to incorporate as many technical and analytical aspects that we picked up from our engineering backgrounds into the grow room where we can work directly with the plants," Amin states. Although the transition from engineer to cultivator was daunting, Amin and Anna's passion for cannabis and their shared expertise in engineering gave them the confidence to take the leap.
Ending up in Lake Country, BC, was a stroke of serendipity, as it offered the perfect setting for Amani Craft's vision. "It took quite a bit of determination to find the right space that was appropriately zoned with support from the municipality AND with a landlord that was favourable towards the cannabis industry AND suited our vision," Amin recalls. But the hard work paid off, and Amani Craft found its home in a beautiful, peaceful area surrounded by nature.
The engineer's touch: Amani Craft's approach to cultivation
The power of engineering lies in its universal application. It's this principle that Amin and Anna have brought to their cannabis grow at Amani Craft, leveraging their backgrounds in civil and mechanical engineering to create a unique approach to growing cannabis.
Anna's experience as a mechanical engineer, focusing on sustainable energy design in buildings, has been directly applicable to their cultivation practices. Amin notes, "Anna’s mechanical design input has played a huge part in our overall flower quality by keeping our environment dialled in and uniform during all stages of plant growth while maximizing energy use efficiencies."
Engineering, at its core, is about problem-solving, often with data and numbers. This fundamental aspect has influenced their cultivation methods at Amani Craft. "Much like engineering, cultivation is also all about problem-solving, and so we made the decision early on to revolve our cultivation methods around accurate sensor data and numbers they showed us," Amin shares.
The ability to tackle issues that arise in a cultivation facility is significantly aided by the engineering mindset that Amani Craft has adopted. Amin explains, "There's no doubt that our academic and professional experience has played a big part in developing the skills that we use to tackle the many issues we face as cultivators of high-quality cannabis."
This unique approach to cultivation has provided Amani Craft with the tools to create consistent, high-quality products. By using technology that allows them to monitor and adjust variables such as temperature, humidity, light intensity, and nutrient concentration in real-time, Amani Craft has achieved a level of precision that is seldom seen in the cannabis industry.
Data-driven cannabis cultivation: The role of engineering at Amani Craft
Amani Crafts' cultivation process is a blend of engineering precision and botanical expertise. Amin explains, "Anna and I have spent time working with complex analytical software as engineers in the past. This has merged well with our use of crop steering technologies, where we use time series data and insights to inform our cultivation decisions." This unique combination allows them to produce high-quality cannabis consistently, regardless of the cultivar they are working with.
In each of their rooms, they've installed 11 sensors to measure variables like light, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide level, substrate electrical conductivity, and substrate moisture content. The time-series data collected by these sensors is graphed on their software platform, enabling them to track, manipulate and correlate key variables to enhance flower quality.
Their cultivation approach also involves sensor-driven crop steering, a technique that uses data from the sensors to adjust environmental variables in real time. Amin elaborates, "Steering implies having control, and we are using the sensor data to apply controlled stresses by manipulating the environment and irrigation program at specific stages to improve overall yield, cannabinoid content and terpene profile of our crop."
To ensure consistency, accuracy, and uniformity, Amani Craft uses an automated hydroponic drip drain-to-waste system capable of delivering an infinite number of irrigations a day. Concurrently, they prioritize LED technology in their cultivation process to mimic natural sunlight and allow for increased control over the plants' growth.
"With our sustainability approach, it was a no-brainer to make the LED lights a top priority for our build-out with the increased efficiency and reduced cooling loads. So far the initial capital spend has been worth every penny!" Amin affirms.
Blossoming varieties: Amani Craft's strains
Known for its fruit-forward Strawberry Falcon and its aromatic Death Punch strains, Amani Craft is constantly pushing the boundaries with new cultivars and techniques. Reflecting on the Strawberry Falcon, Amin shares, "This strain was really a blessing to grow. The intense purple colours that developed through flowering were truly unique to anything we had worked with before. The intense aroma in the rooms during late flowering and in the trim room really got us excited."
Quality cannabis, according to Amin, is a function of many different factors, including genetics and environment. At Amani Craft, they prioritize both to produce consistently high quality cannabis. "We take immense pride in our work and seek to apply our attention to detail and analytical approach to every part of the cultivation process from clone to finished flower – the plants seem to respond well to that," he explains.
Looking ahead, Amani Craft is excited about their upcoming harvests. They're currently working on several new strains, including AV Gas (Zkittlez x Apples n' Bananas), Gastropop (Grape Gas x Apples n' Bananas), and Death Bubba (Death Star x Bubba Kush). The former two strains were bred by Heat Hunter on Vancouver Island and have yet to hit the market.
As big fans of their Strawberry Falcon, we at Herbal Dispatch are eager to try out Amani Craft's upcoming strains so we can see how their unique engineering approach has influenced the final product. We're sure that their precision and botanical artistry will shine through in each of their strains.
Continual evolution: Amani Craft's next chapter
As Amani Craft looks toward the future, a sense of gratitude and determination is palpable. Amin reflects, "It's been an amazing journey for us and we are truly blessed to be a part of this industry." Their success, according to him, would have been impossible without the unwavering support of their family, who have walked every step of this journey with them. This gratitude fuels their ambition, driving them to continuously hone their skills as cannabis cultivators and to strive for excellence in producing superior flower.
"We never could have imagined that our relocation to Canada would lead to such an amazing opportunity for us and our family," Amin shares. "This is just the beginning for us at Amani Craft." With their eyes set on continually improving and evolving, Amani Craft aims to push the boundaries of what's possible in cannabis cultivation, bringing together engineering and art in their pursuit of perfection.
With such dedication and drive, there's no doubt that Amani Craft will continue to revolutionize the cannabis industry. Keep an eye out for their exceptional strains and techniques, as they are poised to make a significant impact in the world of craft cannabis.
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