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The Evolution of Cannabis Cultivation

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Watch the full webinar here:

In this webinar presented by FlowerHire and Leafwire, we explore cannabis growing technology that is currently available, how best practices in cannabis are evolving to meet demand, and what the future of cultivation will look like as more states come online.  With the help of industry experts in manufactured grow-tech and facilities management, as well as cultivators from the largest cannabis companies in the country, we take a deep dive into the new landscape of sustainably scaling canopy in 2020.

The panelist included:

Major Challenges faced by Cultivators

The webinar began with a discussion on the challenges in cultivations. While the main constructs of cultivation are lighting, genetics, and personal, it seemed as though the panelist could all agree the overarching issue is a lack of talent occupying positions! As Ms. Karcey from Cultivo put it, “You could have the nicest facilities in the world, but if your operator doesn’t know how to operate those facilities then it’s not worth it. Training and creating strong processes is key.” Additionally, to having top cultivation experience and knowledge, these operators need to have experience with business, be academically vital as well as street smart. This person might seem unimaginable, however, having this balance is crucial to the success of the plant. Mr. Ganley spoke about the economic benefits of cannabis when he said the more you give to the plant, the more it gives in return. The plant will perform, but its the interface between the team and then with the team to the plant that is most important. 

Technology vs. Genetics

The panelists were then asked whether technology or genetics were more important in cultivation. Mr. Zuckert said one more not more important than the other, but instead it was important to marry the genetics to the business strategy. “Cannabis used to be lumped all into one, but as we stratify the different products and systems, we want to really decide on which business strategy you will take, which market you want to take.” Others agreed in the sense that the technology needs to be there for standardization in genetics and testing. Cannabis needs to be able to match strategies in cultivation to specific outcomes of a strain. Mr. Ferrar put it wisely when he said, “Genetics is the destination, and technology is how you get there.”

Data on cultivation

Before the panel moved to the Q&A, they discussed the issue of data in cultivation. Data crucial for not only understanding the plant but also for understanding cost. Right now there is no overarching that can control for all cultivation. Here’s what the panelist agreed was the most important aspects of data:

  1. Quality, consistency, and efficiency. Achieving perfection is less important than knowing how we got where we are, and you need the data to show that to be consistent.
  2. Redundancy. You need to be redundant in your operations in order to create accurate data. You need to have systems in place to back up the meters and lighting and everything in place in facilities.
  3. Historical data vs Real-time data. Real-time data is important for understanding SIP and historical data to understand the plant from seed the sale.

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