Cannabis May Have Accidentally Been Genetically Engineered to Thrive in Small Places
While many licensed producers (LPs) in Canada are scaling up their cannabis production to meet shortages, others are taking a more cautious approach. John Fowler, CEO of Supreme Cannabis Company, said that cannabis’ illegal history may have contributed to the fact that it grows best in tucked away indoor nooks.
“It was grown by trial and error in small heated rooms,” Fowler said. “And some of the best bud out there is still on the black market.”
Jonathan Page, chief science officer at Aurora, agrees, saying that today’s most available plants have been genetically altered over the years to favour smaller spaces.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean that those plants are unable to grow elsewhere. It just means that the genetics that are available in cannabis plants currently are definitely able to thrive in smaller, indoor grow spaces,” Page said.
There are other issues including pests and disease. Spider mites, for example, eat cannabis roots. Although that’s not too much of a problem at the moment, Page said, it might be similar to packing people together during flu season – the more plants you have crammed together, the faster pests will travel. Besides, pests are nothing new to farmers.
“Pests and pathogens are a problem in all agriculture. But the particular pathogens that attack the modern cannabis plants, they’re just not equipped, at this stage to fight back against,” Page said.
Tom Flow, CEO of The Flowr Corporation, said that the problem is intensified by the fact that LPs can’t use pesticides because of the risk to humans inhaling the dried product.
“That separates how you can grow it from most other agricultural products,” Flow said. “Health Canada regulations have really restricted the use of pesticides so when you’re growing in larger and larger environments and you have hundreds of thousands and millions of square feet of greenhouse space, those pests become harder to control, harder to mitigate.”
For these and other reason, scaling up production becomes a problem. Flow doubts it’s even possible to maintain quality and consistency in a large grow space.
“I would say getting a large-scale greenhouse to produce premium, high-end flower is almost impossible, or not possible at all,” he said.
This editorial content from the LPC News Editor is meant to provide analysis, insight, and perspective on current news articles. To read the source article this commentary is based upon, please click on the link below.