In Canada and around the world, legal cannabis producers face many challenges: Varying government regulations, high security demands and a lack of reliable information about how to grow their crops.
Growing cannabis has become illegal for numerous years that scientific research on how to best produce this crop is restricted. Much of the knowledge regarding how to grow cannabis lacks validation, is clouded in secrecy and it is mostly linked to hidden and illegal production facilities of history.
In contrast, researchers have been improving production practices for other crops, including medicinal plants, for many years, developing a large body of scientificaly-validated information.
With changing government regulations in Canada, and the many medicinal benefits associated with cannabis crop consulting, it really is time and energy to move the legal cannabis plant production industry to the arena of high-tech laboratories and scientific practices.
We must search through accumulated grower knowledge, while publicly documenting and improving production practices. Evidence-based research may help growers produce more consistent, high-yielding and-quality products and help inform policy makers since they regulate this industry.
As researchers who study the best way to produce high-value plants (e.g. medicinal, nutraceutical, edible and ornamental plants) under controlled environments – including indoor medical cannabis – we know this can require collaborative research among cannabis growers and researchers.
Our lab at the University of Guelph is one of the best on the planet for horticulture research, particularly for controlled-environment plant production. Lately, we have now been applying this data to the collaborations with legal cannabis growers. With legalized recreational cannabis use on the horizon in Canada, more licensed growers are searching for this sort of expertise.
Current state of cannabis production
Growing cannabis can be quite a lucrative business. Shelling out for legal cannabis in North American medicinal and recreational markets is projected to reach US$21.6 billion by 2021.
In Canada, you will find currently 73 authorized licensed medical cannabis producers, most of them large-scale producers. Using the recreational use and sale of cannabis scheduled for legalization inside our country next season, it ymfaab foreseeable that numerous more large-scale producers will enter in the market.
Previously, indoor cannabis production was largely limited to smaller-scale operations. Under these conditions, growers accumulated enormous degrees of experience and knowledge. But much was kept as trade secrets and a lot still must be scientifically validated.
Even during today’s modern medicinal cannabis production facilities, growers tend to be reliant on online forums – so-called “grow guides” – and advice from salespeople for info on crop production. Without proper training, it could be tough to tell fact from fiction.