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Shopping Around: How to Pick the Highest Quality Flower

PRODUCTS

When it comes to purchasing cannabis flower it can be a little tricky and even a bit over whelming when you first start out. Walking into dispensaries, you have an immense amount of strains to choose from divided into Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid categories. These plants then come along with a varied array of terpene and cannabinoid profiles that alter their aroma and the effect of each one. How was it grown, how does it smell, how does it look? When you begin sift through all of the information to make the right decision for your cannabis purchase there are a few telltale signs to look for both at the dispensary and at home.

Pots vs Raised Beds--What’s Right for Me?

CULTIVATION

So you’ve already decided to make quality cannabis production the center of your business model. You’ve determined that the best growing medium for your cannabis cultivation is soil. Living soil. Soil that allows your plants to have optimal growth using the ecosystem designed by nature. Mainly because you realize that no one can do it better than Mother Nature. But you may still be wondering where to put that soil. Should you grow cannabis in containers or in raised beds?

Designing Your Grow for Success

FACILITY DESIGN/SYSTEMS

One of the key differentiators when evaluating a business is the quality of the infrastructure and how good is the design. And that is for a good reason: You get from 0-60 a lot faster with a Tesla. So if you want to run a successful cultivation operation, a good design is key. Not to mention how value-engineering and good design can lower your CapeX budget. But what is a good design? Shouldn’t it be as simple as hiring a good architect and engineers? Aren’t there standards we can meet to produce the right production facility for our goals? Well, yes and no. For one, commercial cannabis cultivation is just 11 years old, just a teenager with lots of lessons to learn. Our young industry still is hashing out the different cultivation methods that will make it in commercial cultivation and the ones that won’t be viable. The infrastructure needs of hydroponics is different from a living-soil facility and different from a coco-perlite inert medium. Also, the use of the flower determines whether our plants should produce flower with jar appeal or if it just needs the trichomes developed for extraction. Moreover, if our focus is volume over quality then we would give less individual attention to each plant and automate some systems including irrigation.

How Do Terpenes Affect the Human Body?

PRODUCTS

While THC and CBD contribute heavily to the potential benefits of cannabis such as euphoria, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, body relief, etc., we are finding that terpenes are not only the strongest determining factors when creating a plants flavors and aroma, but also boost and modify the effects of the other terpenes and cannabinoids produced in the human body. Terpenes can be inhaled, taken sublingually, absorbed topically, or utilized transdermally. With a molecular size small enough to break the blood-brain barrier, inhaled terpenes are processed through the olfactory and respiratory systems stimulating the mind and body. When ingested sublingually, they can be quickly taken up into the bloodstream having effects felt within minutes. Topical applications allow for terpenes to be directly absorbed into the skin providing relief for specific targeted areas on the body. While transdermal applications work in the same manner, they are meant instead to enhance an entire system like digestion or issues of chronic pain rather than a single area.

What Does it Cost to Grow a Pound of Cannabis Indoors?

BUSINESS

Building a new indoor or greenhouse cultivation facility can cost millions. Depending on the quality of the infrastructure and the capacity of the systems an indoor grow of 10,000sf can easily cost $2,000,000. And that is just the build out (retrofit), not considering the land. So turning a profit in the cannabis industry can be challenging, especially in the competitive environment many states (like Colorado and California) are experiencing. Thus, the importance of understanding the economics of both setting up a grow facility (CapeX) and running it (opeX).

Where's the Fire? When Drying & Curing Cannabis, Patience is Key

CULTIVATION

When it comes to cannabis, there are many factors that affect the overall quality of the end product. Many connoisseurs will agree, final quality is usually dependent upon 3 major factors: plant genetics, growing method, and the way it is dried and cured. We believe plant genetics, the grow method and the curing method each represent about 30% of the “final grade” of buds. Then what accounts for the last 10%? Love and attention towards the plants themselves, will give flower the difference between an A or a B grade product. It is no secret that superior genetics will play a determining factor in the final product. At Whole Grow, we are pretty clear that living soil is the growing method we champion, as it allows the expression of the greatest potential of the plant. This of course is tied in to which genetics are chosen for cultivation. For the purpose of this blog, we are going to focus on post-harvest efforts and the importance of drying and curing flower for commercial cultivations.

Organic Pest Control: Hint—it starts with pruning

CULTIVATION

Establishing an effective IPM is essential in order to have a clean and productive garden harvest after harvest. It is how you will make sure your plants will not have the opportunity to get overtaken by pests or molds. This will require you to identify all potential threats and their different stages of life, along with how to prevent them, and how to get rid of them if it does get to that point. Pests can negatively affect the plants in many different ways but the biggest problem is how pests can affect the health of the plants. This can drastically slow the rate of growth, reduce the yields, get stuck in the flowers (nobody ever is happy to find bugs in their cannabis), and even kill the plants entirely. A large amount of grower’s time should be dedicated to scouting for pests, monitoring pest population, and applying pesticides or fungicides. All which will take time away from your typical day to day, it will take a lot of hard work to make sure the plants still receive the same amount of care.

What is Living Soil? An Introduction for Curious Cannabis Cultivators

CULTIVATION

Living Soil is a growing method centered on the microbial life inside the soil. Through evolution over thousands of years, Mother Nature has developed a symbiotic relationship between the plants and the microbial life in the soil: fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and many other types. These microorganisms form a soil food web that help feed the plants, in exchange from carbons and sugars that the plant releases (extrudes) through their roots into the soil. In this organic style of growing, the power is given back to the plants, who as living beings have evolved over time to learn to feed their own needs by finding what they require in the soil in which they live. It is this ecosystem in the soil and its relationship with the plant that we call living soil.

Make Your Own Nutrients: How to Brew High-Quality Probiotic Tea for Your Plants

CULTIVATION

Skip the bottled nutrients and start brewing compost tea! Not only will you be saving yourself money, you will know exactly what you are putting into your plants and allowing your plants to fully express their true genetic potential. Organic amendments are great but only if you have the microbes in the soil to cycle them. Whether you choose to make your own tea or buy a pre-made recipe you’ll receive an abundance of benefits for a small amount of money as compared to bottled nutrients. So just remember, when you focus on feeding the soil you are building a healthy microbiome that will support your plants for years to come. Happy growing everyone!

Choosing a Cultivation Method for a New Cannabis Grow

Business

When starting a new cannabis cultivation business one of the most important decisions is the cultivation method. Growing in soil, coco-perlite or hydroponics will determine the quality of your final products in a great deal and also your cost of production. In the past year I have seen countless entrepreneurs applying for a license in states like Massachusetts, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan, most of them focus on getting a license and rely on technical writers or a grower friend to decide on their cultivation method. But going this route, making such a critical decision without understanding the economics of such a critical business path is not a good strategy.

6 COVID-19 Survival Tips for Commercial Cannabis Growers

BUSINESS

Having many people working together at the grow will increase their risks of getting infected with this disease, a risk that no employee wants. Thus social-distancing: a precaution many workers and customers are taking voluntarily to avoid contact with a potentially infected person or surface that may get them sick. But in a commercial cannabis grow there are a large number of growers, trimmers, admin/sales staff and management that must perform their roles to keep the operation running to make payroll at the end of the month. How can we continue operations without sacrificing margins or putting our people at risk?

7 Coronavirus Survival Tips for Cannabis Dispensaries

BUSINESS

As a former owner and operator of a 25,000sf indoor cultivation facility in Denver and 2 retail dispensaries in Colorado, I can understand how the COVID19 situation we are living these days can affect your business. Having many people working together will increase their risks of contagion with this disease and having many customers together in the store can also mean getting the virus, a risk that no employee and no customer want. We've assembled 7 survival tips for dispensary businesses during this pandemic.

Guest Blog: Jeff Lownfels on Living Soil

CULTIVATION

Let’s hope that as more and more states become legal, that more and more indoor growers will come to understand that growing in soil is not only possible, but preferable. They better. As newer and additive hydro facilities get larger and larger, the current business model for smaller facilities fails. Great taste, however, differentiates and protects smaller facilities. Soil growing is the very best way to gain this protection and maintain a profit.

Want to talk business? We’re eager to learn about your cannabis idea

Whole Grow is a proud member of these organizations

  • National Cannabis Industry Association
  • Cannabis Clinicians Colorado

Our clients are thriving! Are you next?

We want to see young cannabis companies dominate the industry with ethically-produced, organic products.

Discover how Whole Grow helped the following brands gain market-share by lending it’s expertise in cultivation, extraction, and retail.

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