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Leaf Is A “Plug N’ Plant” Box To Automatically Grow Pot In Your Home

Marijuana is a sticky subject. Twenty-three states (and D.C) have legalized some form of medical use, but possession, growth and distribution are still illegal in the majority of the United States.

However, as is the case with most new industries, slow regulation hasn’t stopped innovation.

Leaf, a TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2015 Battlefield company, is leading the revolution with its automated “Plug N’ Plant” home growing system. Leaf’s device is a 4′ x 2′ box that will fit two plants, which will yield between 4-5 ounces of weed.

However, Leaf is much more than just a mini grow house. The system will monitor everything that your plants need to grow, including light, ventilation, nutrient levels and pH of the soil.

The system will also react to these measurements, meaning that if it senses that your plants are low on nutrients it can dispense more, or if it needs more light it can automatically brighten the environment. Users can also control these variables manually, effectively creating their own grow “recipes.”

This is all controlled from Leaf’s iPhone app, which will also serve as a social network for users to exchange recipes and share videos of their plants.

To do this, Leaf has incorporated a built-in HD camera, which will automatically create time lapses and even let users access a live stream of their (or their friends’) grow.

Leaf has received a strategic investment from Advanced Nutrients, a major player in the cannabis nutrient space. The company will be supplying Leaf with nutrients that they will put inside individual, disposable pods, allowing nutrients to be replaced like an ink cartridge in a printer.

However, this technology comes at a cost. The device will retail for $1,499, which makes it much more expensive than simply growing your plant in the ground. However, the company says that the machine will technically pay for itself after just a few months, as the “retail value” of 4-5 ounces (one growth cycle) is around $1,200.

Additionally, each grow will cost about $150 in nutrient cartridges and carbon filter refills. However, co-founder and CEO Yoni Ofir said that eventually the company hopes to drop the price of the actual device and generate its primary revenue from refills (à la Keurig).

Today, the company is opening up preorders of its device. Leaf will be available to users with a medicinal card in any of the 23 states that allow medical marijuana, as well as in the four states where marijuana is currently legal.

Customers can put down a $100 deposit to be the first to receive a Leaf when it ships in summer 2016.

Marijuana is a sticky subject. While 23 states (and D.C.) have legalized some form of medical use, possession, growth, and distribution are still illegal in the majority of the United States. However, as is the case with most new industries, slow regulation hasn't stopped innovation.

Leaf, Long-Awaited Home Cannabis Farming Box, to Start Shipping

Around 1,500 units of the automated home cannabis growing box, currently priced at $3,000, have been sold. Shipping is expected to begin in April or May

Leaf, a long-awaited automated home cannabis growing box that looks like what would happen if Apple started making refrigerators, will finally be ready to ship within a couple of months, according to Jonathan Ofir, co-founder and CEO of Corsica Innovations Inc., which develops the sought-after appliance.

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Founded in 2015 by Israel-born entrepreneurs Mr. Ofir and his partner Eran Mordechay, Corsica Innovations employs a 9-person team in Tel Aviv and in Boulder, Colorado. The company introduced its concept for the Leaf automated cannabis growing appliance in 2015, and has since sold some 1,500 units, which are currently priced at $3,000 a piece, according to Mr. Ofir.

According to the company website, the 24-inch by 24-inch by 60-inch Leaf growing box automatically monitors and controls lighting, temperature, and humidity conditions inside the growing space, injects fertilizer in optimal times and adjust water acidity levels to create an optimal growing environment for the plant. The app-operated system is based on machine learning technology and uses an algorithm that can dynamically adjust the plant’s growing conditions.

While the Leaf website suggests the appliance is ideal for growing a variety of plants, from strawberries to kale and herbs, In a phone interview on Monday, Mr. Ofir said in an interview with Calcalist that the company’s claim for fame is its compatibility for optimal, automated farming of cannabis.

“It is a very sensitive plant,” Mr. Ofir said. “If you plant it outside in the soil and the sun, eventually it will grow, but to achieve a quality product with a good amount of cannabinoids you have to monitor the plant closely.”

According to Mr. Ofir, most home cannabis growers grow their plants in a closet or a growing tent. “The problem is that these things are not effective and are typically ugly,” Mr. Ofir said.

Corsica Innovation has raised approximately $4.5 million in equity from investors such as Boca Raton, Florida-based cannabis-focused private equity firm Phyto Partners and cannabis investment firm CJV Capital Ltd.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Haifa, in Israel’s north, Seedo is another company attempting to innovate home farming technologies. Its automated device, shorter and stouter than the Leaf, promises much of the same features. Priced at $2,400 and set to ship in the second quarter of 2018, the Seedo is available for pre-sale on the company’s website.

Around 1,500 units of the automated home cannabis growing box, currently priced at $3,000, have been sold. Shipping is expected to begin in April or May)