MJBizMag March 2021 - 41

I
nnovation in the cannabis industry is accelerating, with creative
entrepreneurs developing emulsions, fast-acting formulas and
other delivery enhancements for an ever-expanding universe
of products. All this is happening while pharmaceutical chemists
are preparing cannabis-based medicines for U.S. Food and Drug
Administration approval.
But for all the fancy value-added products, flower still rules the
marijuana marketplace.
In fact, demand for flower has been booming this past year
during the COVID-19 pandemic, buoying the cannabis retail
sector.
" The cool thing about being a cultivator is that I wouldn't say we
control the market, but we're very, very instrumental in the market.
Because none of these dispensaries would exist without us. Not the
other way around, " said Chris Ball, owner of Ball Family Farms in
Los Angeles.
Part of the reason the industry continues to thrive amid product
innovation is because cultivators themselves are doing a lot of the
innovation to produce better crops more efficiently.
And like many consumer packaged goods, the quality and
success of marijuana products in the marketplace depends
on what growers devote to the beginning of the cultivation
process-even before the first seeds are put in the ground.
In the following pages, some of the industry's most experienced
and innovative cultivators share their advice for getting a grow off
to a strong start, whether your crop is farmed indoors or outdoors.
They understand that the root of the industry is cultivation, and
that the root of cultivation success is doing things judiciously from
the beginning.
These experts' tips range from site selection, soil testing and
breeding genetics to grow-cycle planning, technology use and
contract negotiating. We hope that the information in these pages
helps establish the roots of a profitable growing season. So, go
ahead and get started.
- Omar Sacirbey
Roots Up
March is often considered the start of
the cannabis calendar, with growers
pollinating seeds before preparing
to germinate them in the spring. For
speculators looking to purchase land
for cultivation and more-experienced
cannabis farmers hoping to dial in
efficiencies during the 2021 growing
season, we've spoken with experts
from around the country about how
to get this year off on the right foot.
In this issue, you'll learn:
* Favorable zoning, tolerant
neighbors and good drainage are
key factors to consider before
buying land with the intent to
cultivate cannabis.
* Plan out the year ahead with details
such as when certain strains are
expected to mature, and plant with
specific dates in mind to reduce
the likelihood that multiple lots or
rooms will require attention at the
same time.
* Plants brought from outside
your grow should be considered
contaminated and quarantined until
determined otherwise.
* Designate a planting station to
increase efficiency and consider
recruiting temporary workers to
staff labor-intensive days such as
planting, cleaning and harvesting.
* Employing technology from
traditional horticulture such as potfilling
machines, irrigation stations
and fertigation systems helps
expedite tasks.
* Choosing the right size of pots is an
art: Too small, and your plants could
become rootbound. Too big, and
costs and carbon emissions go up.
* " Don't plant without a contract " is
an important adage for professional
farmers, although some industry
executives who have been burned
prefer to sell on the spot market.
March 2021 | mjbizdaily.com 41
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MJBizMag March 2021

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