As more and more states legalize the medical and/or recreational use of marijuana, technology in the space continues to develop. This is especially true in how the plant is grown. Previous generations grew pot outdoors, or inside using hydroponics – but these operations were typically large-scale and designed for high output. Now that nearly one-quarter of the US population can legally access marijuana, there is a tremendous need for ways to conveniently and easily grow at home.
Enter LEAF – a smart, self-contained, single-purpose grow chamber that enables users to grow a small amount of cannabis – or other herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The smartphone-connected unit is roughly the size of a small refrigerator and runs around $3,000. LEAF offers automatic nutrient application, app-enabled humidity and temperature controls, and even a drying setting. It’s truly an innovative feat that will ensure even a novice botanist can grow something dank.
LEAF was founded in mid-2015 by Israeli military vet Yoni Ofir, who himself uses medical marijuana to treat anxiety. He began growing his own in order to ensure quality and an absence of pesticides. Sensing a need for automation, Ofir began to research ways to grow weed in a highly-connected world.
“Growing cannabis yourself is not easy—it’s very time-consuming and requires a lot of knowledge and daily upkeep,” Ofir recently told Forbes. “As I learned more about growing, I came up with the idea to automate it with smart home technology.”
LEAF is similar to other smartphone-enabled home technology, such as Nest, which allows homeowners to set the thermostat, lights, and even the doorbell via an iPhone or Android device. The LEAF app is easy-to-use and enables users to be in complete control of their crop.
“The entire point of LEAF is that it makes growing high-quality cannabis, vegetables and herbs easy for anyone and everyone,” Ofir explained. “You don’t need any prior growing experience, or a natural “green thumb,” to successfully use LEAF.”
The unit makes the most difficult aspects of cannabis cultivation a breeze, and can be plugged into any electrical socket. It can also be connected to a home’s existing water and sewer lines for truly automatic growing. Interested growers can pre-order their own LEAF units with a $300 deposit – as long as they’re 21+ and living in a state where cannabis is legal for medical or recreational use.