Choosing a Cultivation Program
By Nico Haché, Cultivation Consultant
Cannabis Compliance Inc.
Usually, the Million Dollar Question for our company is, “What growing method will get us our best yields?” Besides assuring compliance within our regulated framework, this question if often answered with a question (or two). As there is no right or wrong way to cultivate cannabis per se, there are many factors that can affect specifics of the growing methodology. It is important to understand all the elements that can affect one of the most important decision of a cultivation production facility. In my previous position as Director of Operations for Organigram Inc., a licensed producer under the ACMPR in Canada, practical considerations often dictated the best cultivation program.
A cultivation company’s vision/goals will usually determine the preferred growing methodology. A company’s value proposition can have many twists – for example, focusing on organic; lowest production costs and higher volumes; “craft” or “boutique” focus on quality/sensory perceptions; or even sustainability with positive municipal involvement.
Employee knowledge and experience of the cannabis industry can be a limiting factor in some aspects of the cultivation method. The entire growing team needs to understand their level of expertise and tailor a cultivation plan to bolster their success. It is not just the production team that this applies to either, but rather all the decision makers in the company. For example, marketing planning requires relevant industry knowledge and experience. It can easily add certain criteria to the finished product and consequently affect the cultivation method.
Staff availability can be a challenge in certain remote communities. Sometimes a cultivation method may need to be tailored to provide simplicity and production capability according to the available workforce in the area. This can be challenging in times of higher employee demand like harvesting and processing periods.
Initial investment and overall financial planning can influence how a facility will develop over time. This could add limitations, especially at the early onset of the operation. Cashflow situation can affect how future planning and expansions will occur. The cultivation operation being the highest initial capital investment will be the most sensitive to the financial situation of the entire project.
Process and automation can influence certain factors of the methodology. Generally speaking, a highly efficient processing facility will require significant initial investment that will increase productivity via automation while reducing human interaction. Modifying a growing method to compliment automation is often necessary. Careful consideration is to be taken to balance productivity and quality.
Flexibility for future endeavors can limit or expand the scope of an operation. Building and/or site constraint needs to be evaluated for a proper phased-out approach to ensure compliance, efficiency and productivity for the entire project. It is important to understand what the current objectives are while planning for future goals at the same time. Building it right the first time avoids “re-dos” and costly retrofits.
Proper analysis of all the above-mentioned points can help tailor a growing methodology specific to each individual facility and greatly accelerates the success of a company.
CCI specialists are well versed in the industry as commercial horticulturists and bring a vast array of knowledge of different growing methodology and various growing systems. We can help make all the correct decisions and tailor specific growing methodologies for all projects. Contact us for more information.