Updated 7:18 pm, Saturday, April 14, 2018

SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — After being in the works for nearly two years, a state-of-the-art marijuana factory in northern Nevada’s high desert is up and running.

The opening of the $15 million MedMen facility east of the Reno-Sparks area marks a goal of the company to change the conversation surrounding marijuana, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported this week.

MedMen CEO Adam Bierman said he hopes the factory will demonstrate how the industry has transformed and legitimized. The company itself transformed from a startup to a major player in the industry.

The 45,000-square-foot (4,100-square-meter) facility resembles more of a research lab than a factory. More than half the facility’s space is greenhouse, which features advanced machinery and lighting that can be fine-tuned to produce environments more conducive for marijuana growth.

The facility also includes an analytics lab, rooms for extracting the active properties of the plants and a tissue culture lab, which allows staff to clean and snip plants to increase yields through micro propagation.

“If you look at other agricultural crops, the beginning process is actually in the tissue culture process,” said Dan McClure, the factory’s cultivation manager. “We’re taking technologies that exist and bringing them to cannabis.”

The greenhouse has a modular system that allows racks of 600 plants to be easily moved to rooms corresponding with the stage of the plants’ growth. The environments of each section can be altered to better suit the plants in different growth cycles.

By having control over the environments, it allows for better predictability and consistency in quality as well as increasing plant yields.

“This is not your mother’s greenhouse in the backyard,” said Daniel Yi, the company’s senior vice president of corporate communications. “This is a hermetically closed, fully controlled environment with temperature controls

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