I recently attended a conference in Oakland, CA that was focused on the cultivation of medical and recreational cannabis. The covered topics included integrated pest management, fertility, drying and curing and facility design. In general, the legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is still in the early stages of development, especially in California. As more cultivators enter the market place, the price per pound of cannabis has decreased. This has forced many growers to become more efficient, something they have achieved through the increased use of automation and adoption of energy efficient lighting systems. Overall, the conference speakers made several general observations:
- Pest management is critical, but is achievable if scouting is introduced early in the growth cycle
- Mixing your own fertilizers and soils is cost effective and allows for better production consistency
- Tissue testing for nutrient status is useful during flowering to ensure proper flower development
- Good drying and curing practices ensure a quality product is produces
- Edible and topical products are gaining in popularity
- New cultivators should have a solid business plan, start small and expand as necessary.
Anyone wishing addition information on this meeting should feel free to contact Jim Todd, OMAFRA’s Industrial Crop Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.