In Canada and around the world, legal cannabis manufacturers face many challenges: Varying government regulations, high security requirements and an absence of reliable information about how to cultivate their crops.
Growing cannabis has become illegal for numerous years that scientific research regarding how to best produce this crop is limited. A lot of the information regarding how to grow cannabis lacks validation, is clouded in secrecy and it is mostly connected to hidden and illegal production facilities of history.
On the other hand, scientific study has been improving production practices for other crops, including medicinal plants, for decades, making a large body of scientificaly-validated information.
With changing government regulations in Canada, and the many medicinal advantages of cannabis cultivation consulting, it is time and energy to move the legal cannabis plant production industry to the realm of high-tech laboratories and scientific practices.
We should search through accumulated grower knowledge, while publicly documenting and improving production practices. Evidence-based research will help growers produce more consistent, high-yielding and high-quality products and help inform policy makers as they regulate this industry.
As researchers who study how you can produce high-value plants (e.g. medicinal, nutraceutical, edible and ornamental plants) under controlled environments – including indoor medical cannabis – we feel this will require collaborative research among cannabis growers and researchers.
Our lab at the University of Guelph is one of the best on earth for horticulture research, particularly for controlled-environment plant production. Lately, we now have been applying this information to our collaborations with legal cannabis growers. With legalized recreational cannabis use on the horizon in Canada, more licensed growers are seeking this kind of expertise.
Current state of cannabis production
Growing cannabis could be a lucrative business. Shelling out for legal cannabis in North American medicinal and recreational markets is projected to arrive at US$21.6 billion by 2021.
In Canada, there are currently 73 authorized licensed medical cannabis producers, the majority of them large-scale producers. With all the recreational use and sale of cannabis scheduled for legalization within our country the coming year, it ymfaab foreseeable that many more large-scale producers will enter the market.
Previously, indoor cannabis production was largely restricted to smaller-scale operations. Under these conditions, growers accumulated enormous levels of experience and knowledge. But much was kept as trade secrets and most still must be scientifically validated.
Even just in today’s modern medicinal cannabis production facilities, growers tend to be dependent on online forums – so-called “grow guides” – and advice from salespeople for info on crop production. Without the proper training, it could be difficult to tell fact from fiction.