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Don’t Leave Your Buds Out to Dry - Cannabis Business Times

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Please follow the steps below to avoid over-drying the hemp and the resulting loss of terpene.

From seed to sale, there are numerous considerations to ensure proper moisture for cannabis.

If anyone does not lose the importance of excessive drying, comparing cannabis as a raw flower with maintaining moisture in a cigar may be an analogy that emphasizes its importance. I can take two cigars, put one cigar in the summer humidor, the other on the dashboard of the car, and then at the end of the summer, put the cigar in the dashboard with the other cigar In the cigar box.

After hydrating in the humidor for a week, both cigars will once again have the same moisture content, but the cigar after hydration will lose its true flavor, delicate aroma and complexity, thus contributing to the overall flavor experience. Because the essential oils evaporate when the cigar is exposed to high heat, low humidity and a lot of ultraviolet light, the performance of the dashboard cigar will be poor.

Although this is an extreme example, the result is comparable to that of over-dried cannabis, because both lose aromatic terpenes and evaporate due to over-drying.

Many large manufacturers have encountered production bottlenecks during the drying and curing stages. Since they need to operate as efficiently as possible to maintain profit, many people are studying alternative plant drying technologies used in other industries, such as infrared (IR) dryers, dehydrators, microwave dryers (tunnel dryers), hop kiln drying And other similar biomass dryers in industrial plants. These drying methods can be problematic because they over-dry the cannabis, which can cause terpenes to be lost due to overheating.

Some large manufacturers may prefer or only have the ability to hang dry bulk in large warehouses converted into dry areas. Due to the huge amount of product on floor-to-ceiling hangers and shelves, these settings usually do not allow employees to closely monitor each plant or bud. In addition, these warehouses usually contain products harvested over a period of time (whether days or weeks), rather than isolating the products before the harvest date. This may cause fluctuations in moisture content between different batches (some moisture is too dry, some moisture is not dry enough), if the ventilation is not enough to drain too much moisture, it may become mold and mildew contamination.

If done correctly, all of the above methods can usually be used to dry hemp for textiles or only extract cannabinoids. However, they are not dried cannabis or hemp that is eaten in its original flower form, nor are they ideal for THC and terpene-rich materials used for concentrate extraction.

Cultivators of dried hemp or hemp must closely monitor many environmental conditions, especially the following three main factors:

The key is to manage these three parts correctly at once, which requires special equipment suitable for the application, such as a professional HVAC system. The wrong way was to try to reinvent the wheel because a licensed grower in Colorado tried to use a new device. When the humidity level drops significantly to an unacceptable level, the grower compensates by using equipment that releases "steam" into the drying room. Adding steam will eventually backfire, because drying slows down because the company has no exhaust or intake functions, but only heating, cooling, humidifying and dehumidifying capabilities. The result is that hemp emits ammonia gas, which is a by-product of plant degradation.

A grower in Arizona designed a similar "closed loop" system for his planting facility, where there is no suction or exhaust function of fresh air in the planting area and the drying/curing area. They rely solely on dehumidifiers and air conditioners, which leads to increased humidity, spread of mold and lower cannabis production. They should adopt an appropriate HVAC system, which, in essence, can completely control the planting or drying of a specific environment.

Appropriate HVAC systems use or combine the use of fresh air intake and exhaust, heating and cooling, humidification and dehumidification, and oxygen-enriched filtered and sterilized intake and appropriate air flow. Rare ones can quickly lead to excessive drying, fungal contamination or greatly reduced terpene levels. The HVAC system should be able to cope with multiple climates and should be as effective as possible.

In addition to creating a suitable dry environment, growers must also consider other terpenes and water loss and the environment. For example, by classifying buds according to size (such as small, medium, and large), the drying speed of each group can be better controlled because the drying speeds of the three are different. The small one will dry before the big one. If employees mix them together during the drying process, they will inevitably have to wait for the large buds to dry, and the small and medium buds will usually become too dry. By sorting the buds by size and drying them in separate rooms, consistency can be achieved without sacrificing moisture and terpenes.

There is also a risk of loss of moisture and terpenes during the packaging process.

Many years ago, I consulted a high-selling pharmacy. To prevent any interruption in the supply chain, 650 pounds of fresh flowers must always be stocked. The facility stores it in refrigerated (non-frozen) storage areas. Inventory sales are very rapid, so the flower has not been stored for more than two weeks. From storage, it enters the packaging area in batches of 1 to 5 pounds, where it is weighed and placed in containers of various sizes for sale.

I have seen that during this process (depending on the climate, environment and the speed at which workers break the pounds into smaller packages), one pound of moisture will evaporate and lose 1-5 grams. The evaporation of water also leads to the loss of terpenes.

The pharmacy’s solution was to create a climate-controlled weighing and packaging room for 15 people to weigh and pack products. Climate control not only helps preserve the refined essential oils responsible for the aroma and flavor of hemp, but also reduces the weight loss of the product by preventing the evaporation of water in the hemp. In addition to facilitating compliance tracking (because of inventory weight alignment), this results in a more desirable product in terms of the preferred moisture content, aroma and flavor of the packaged buds.

I think that excessively dry or warm environments can also dry the cannabis during the grinding, rolling and packaging process. A climate-controlled environment with set temperature and humidity prevents moisture from evaporating, so this seems to help prevent over-drying of the product and provide a more pleasant pre-roll consumer experience.

Customers do not want dry pre-rolling. Therefore, employees should not start with dry under-cured hemp materials for the pre-rolling of rolls and packaging, because hemp materials will shatter with a little contact.

The pre-roll should be placed in a sealed container, not a cardboard box cigarette package; the latter can absorb moisture from the contents before the package, which can lead to excessive drying of the cannabis and again bring undesirable consumer experience to consumers .

Then place the airtight container in the refrigerator while replacing all oxygen in the container with nitrogen to minimize oxidation. The container should also be opaque to prevent light transmission to the product and minimize THC degradation.

Even if stored properly, hemp is still a perishable item in the end, in a state of constant degradation. If stored correctly, its shelf life is six months to one year. I personally prefer hemp that is fresh after curing, that is, two to three months after harvest. (Did you indicate the harvest date and packaging date on the product label?)

After curing, the goal should be to minimize moisture evaporation at every stage from weighing to pre-rolling to packaging. Moisturizing the over-dried cannabis can solve the problem of over-drying, but once it is over-dried, many terpenes will be lost forever, resulting in the reduction of aromatic and flavored cannabis.

Kenneth Morrow is the author, consultant and owner of Trichome Technologies. Facebook: Trichome Technologies Instagram: Trichome Technologies

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Learn to prevent and manage elevated EC levels to prevent stunted growth, leaf damage and eventual plant death.

All plants need certain macro and micronutrients to grow normally and complete their life cycle. If one of these elements is missing or excessively used, plant growth problems and tissue damage will occur both above and below the ground. When applying these necessary elements, it is important to reach the "sweet spot", which is the optimal level of each nutrient. However, it is also important to check the overall nutrient level of the crop. This is where the electrical conductivity (EC) comes up.

As we explained in the article,

in

In April 2019, "EC is the charge that moves through the solution. The higher the salt concentration, the greater the electrical reading. The higher the concentration of fertilizer salt in the solution or substrate, the higher the EC reading." This article details how Monitor and manage EC. Although this is important, your plant can also tell you when EC levels are too high, and knowing the warning signs can help you diagnose high EC.

Most water-soluble fertilizers are composed of cations (positively charged ions in their natural state) and anions (negatively charged ions). These ions will dissolve and dissociate in water, so to measure the EC level with an EC meter, the charge generated by the two diodes must pass through the solution. Just like drawing a line from point to point, the charge "connects" the fertilizer ion to the fertilizer ion until it reaches another diode.

The EC reading can tell you how many dissolved ions are in the solution, but it cannot identify each individual element or the concentration of each element. For all plants, including cannabis, too high EC content will cause plant damage (more on this later).

In addition, fertilization and irrigation methods affect the distribution and accumulation of fertilization ions (Figure 1).

When irrigation is performed on the top or from top to bottom, due to gravity, root absorption and evaporation that occurs at the intersection of the substrate and air through the drainage hole, the water in the basin will flow down to the bottom of the container. These three factors will cause salt to accumulate at the bottom of the container, because this is where the water evaporates and is absorbed in a large amount. Therefore, in top-down irrigation, root damage is greatest in the lower part of the substrate.

A simple visual inspection of the roots can help you determine where the greatest root damage is occurring. Transparent or transparent roots are healthy, while tan or brown roots may be damaged. This rule usually applies to cannabis plants in a young and nutritious state. Larger cannabis plants and some varieties have darker roots, while larger roots often turn tan or brown due to lignification or natural cell wall hardening in older plants. Root rot can also cause root discoloration.

This is also true when irrigating from the bottom or sub-irrigation, but inverted. In sub-irrigation or flood irrigation, the bottom of the container is filled with a small amount of water. Then, the water is absorbed into the pot through adhesion, cohesion, root absorption, evaporation and capillary action. Therefore, fertilizer salts will accumulate in the upper third of the root ball or below the surface of the medium.

If you suspect EC damage when using water-sharing irrigation or flood irrigation, check whether the roots of the upper third of the pot are discolored.

Symptoms of toxicity depend on the age of the crop. We describe the symptoms that are frequently observed under the following ages.

Symptoms of high EC damage will first appear in the lower leaves and new and expanding growth tips (Figure 2, top of this page). Because of the way nutrients move within the plant, destruction begins there. In high-EC solutions, the ions with the largest number of ions are usually nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). As the plant absorbs more water, it also absorbs more ions, which dissolve in the solution. When the nutrition is balanced, this is a beneficial process. However, if the EC is too high (that is, there are too many dissolved ions), it will cause serious tissue death or necrosis due to excessive intake.

As mentioned earlier, the symptoms of high EC will appear first and appear in new and expanding leaves. These leaves are usually found in new growth, whether on the shoots, on the side branches or on the inner branches, and at any stage. These areas are undergoing rapid cell division and are absorbing large amounts of water to fully develop and expand. Therefore, these areas will be the first to show symptoms of high EC. Symptoms that may occur during new growth include light green, and the edges (outer edges) of the expanded leaflets will turn brown (Figures 2 and 3). Browning and leaf edge death will continue depending on the severity of toxicity or the accumulated fertilizer salt concentration (high EC). If the EC is high, these symptoms will be very severe, and the tip of the entire leaf growth may turn brown and die.

Older and swollen leaves will also show symptoms based on high EC stress. These symptoms may appear at the same time as new leaves and expanded leaves, or they may appear later. Much like the symptoms in the new and expanded leaves described in p.3. 26. The initial symptoms of a high EC burn will appear at the edge of the leaflet. Browning and tissue death will first appear at the edge of the leaflet, then progress inward to the middle of the leaf (midrib), and descend to the base of the leaf (toward the petiole) (Figures 3 and 4). Cannabis plants take up a lot of water when they are actively growing. Older leaves have strong photosynthesis, so they will consume more water resources and accumulate ions in high-EC solutions faster.

If the high EC solution cannot be relieved, more salt will accumulate in the plant, especially in the older, lower leaves (Figures 5 and 6). As the leaves continue to accumulate ions, the edges of the leaflets will begin to appear withered and become fragile and brown (necrotic). Eventually, the entire leaflet will die, and only the middle of the leaf along the midrib will turn green. If the conditions are not corrected, the entire factory will die. In addition, because the plant does not absorb much water, any irrigation method will cause a layer of skinning on the surface of the substrate due to evaporation (Figure 7).

The best way to ensure that high EC conditions are avoided is to establish a monitoring program so that you can detect salt accumulation or fertility calculation errors early. Our other articles for CBT describe how to set up monitoring procedures and how to conduct internal tests on substrate pH and EC, and will provide you with guidance in the process. (For more information on this, please read the aforementioned "Optimizing Electrical Conductivity (EC) in Cannabis Growing")

with

Such tests include PourThru, 1:2 dilution or saturated medium extraction (SME). Checking the nutrient solution on the end of the hose or the dripper will help determine if the injector needs to be calibrated, if there is an injector failure or a fertilizer calculation error.

The internal monitoring EC can quickly check the nutritional status of your crops. Another useful tool is laboratory testing. Consider submitting fertilizer solution samples to commercial testing laboratories on a regular basis to determine the nutrient content of the fertilizer solution. This is a good way to determine the level of nutrients provided by organic fertilizers. Regular water quality testing can provide an in-depth understanding of your water quality. Finally, regular substrate sampling will help you correlate PourThru EC readings with the actual individual element contributions of the fertilizer program.

When EC drifts to an unwanted area (Table 1), it must be adjusted. The following is a standard calibration procedure for modifying the EC of greenhouse or houseplant substrates grown in soilless substrates and suitable for cannabis.

If the EC increases over time, it indicates that fertilizer is accumulating in the pot and the amount of fertilizer applied is higher than the plant's demand. The first step is to reduce the amount of fertilizer to alleviate the accumulation of fertilizer salts. (This can also help save money by not wasting fertilizer solutions.)

The second option is to irrigate the substrate twice with clean water to filter out the accumulated fertilizer salts. When the EC content is extremely high, this method can be used to prevent plants from burning. (This also washes away your fertilizer investment.) Monitoring crops during production will avoid these elevated levels in the first place and help you save money.

At the other end of the spectrum, if the level is below the recommended range (Table 1), it indicates that the plant's nutrient requirements are higher than the supply requirements. In this case, increase the amount of fertilizer. One or two higher N rates in the 250 to 400 ppm range will increase EC.

Too high EC content will hinder growth and development, damage the leaves and eventually cause plant death. It is best to avoid this situation by internally monitoring the EC in your standard operating procedures (SOP) to establish regular and rapid checks on the nutritional status of the crop.

Dr. Brian Whipker is a professor of American floral art

. Paul Cockson is a graduate research and teaching assistant at NCSU. Patrick Veazie is an undergraduate researcher at NCSU. David Logan is an undergraduate research assistant at NCSU. Dr. W. Garrett Owen is an assistant professor and extension expert in floriculture, greenhouse and controlled environment crop production in the country.

This three-part special series reflects legislative, financial, and regulatory developments that have changed the state's legal cannabis program over the past decade. The second part explores how capital and investors shape today's market, and what this trajectory might mean for the future of the industry.

When David Bonvillain launched

In 2013, he funded it by selling all his valuable assets (including his IT security company, Lamborghini and motorcycles). After paying the taxes, he only has about $1 million left to invest in some new things.

Bonvillain, who is now an industry veteran, believes that his way into the cannabis industry today will be impossible. Too many changes have taken place in the industry’s entry costs and other financial requirements.

Special "How We Came Here" series

The June issue discussed the changes in the legislative structure since the advent of the commercial marijuana era. Here, the second part explores how the financial market for cannabis develops, how different groups have benefited or left behind as a result, and what the past five years can tell us in the next few years.

When

Morgan told CBT that the cannabis investment fund founded by siblings Emily and Morgan Paxhia started in 2013 when the market was “primitive”. "The flow of funds, the company, the investment opportunities available, the legal market... is basically just the beginning of all of this."

In the early years, scarcely funded startups accepted aggressive loan terms. Paxhia detailed that Poseidon may complete debt transactions at an interest rate of up to 20%. He said that the cost of supervision is much lower than today's costs, resulting in more cash flow positive for companies to take on the debt.

Over the past five years, the cost of entering the cannabis industry in most legal markets has risen sharply. For example, in 2015, the application fee for the Rhode Island Sympathy Center was $250, and the renewal fee was $5,000 every two years. By 2019, the application fee in Rhode Island has surged to $5,000, and the annual license fee may reach $80,000, depending on the size of the canopy.

Bethany Gomez, the company's managing director, said that investors like Poseidon rarely participated in the initial days.

, Is a cannabis and cannabis market research group established in 2015. She described those early financiers as "[mostly] all private affairs: some enthusiastic high-net-worth individuals or some enthusiastic entrepreneurs can provide limited investment money into the industry to see if they have something."

Gomez said that the structure of the early medical market was designed to support small businesses, but due to the size of the canopy, the number of licenses that the company can hold, the upper limit of out-of-state investors, and the requirements of the early California regulatory model, it is not Operation in the form of a for-profit organization.

Paxhia believes that those non-profit models limit the participation of large investors in this field. When states such as Washington, Colorado, and Oregon launched their for-profit adult-use markets between 2014 and 2015, California voted in 2016 to legalize adult-use sales. Cannabis investors The market then took off.

Canada’s campaign to legalize adult use of marijuana has also played a huge role in the development of the financial prospects of the marijuana industry. As licensed producers (LPs) move from the over-the-counter (OTC) market to the Toronto Stock Exchange, investors have a legal way to buy and sell cannabis stocks from companies that touch plants. Limited partners use these capital opportunities to exchange shares for cash to expand their international influence and provide funding for large-scale development or expansion.

Both Paxhia and Gomez said that from mid-2016 to early 2019, there was a period of "crazy" spending and growth. At that time, investors knew very little about the cannabis industry because there was no other market to compare with, and the industry did not have a long financial history. "If you want to invest in a company, how do you know what the valuation should be?" Paxhia asked. The rise of multinational operators (MSOs) coincided with the flood of funds, as a few large American companies scrambled to obtain licenses and properties, usually hoping to bring huge returns for those undeveloped licenses and projects.

Gomez said that in the summer of 2019, "rose-colored glasses were bought for investors in the cannabis industry." With the launch of the Canadian adult use market, the disappointing performance of LPs has prompted the publicly traded cannabis market to almost collapse. She said that the market "did not show the return the company expected."

Paxhia said that as stock prices fell, "capital began to withdraw." He explained that the capital squeeze has been a problem since last summer, and in the publicly traded sector of the industry, he has created a divergence between what he calls "the rich" and "no one." He said: "If you do well, if you have strong operational capabilities, and if you show good growth, then you will enter the wealthy column where you can get cash and you can raise funds." He added, "It's not just bad The management team, bad intentions, maybe a combination of the two, and they are disintegrating."

Paxhia said that due to declining valuations and rising volatility, fundraising activities today may cost more than in the past, and institutional investors focusing on the cannabis industry are studying the company's fundamentals, Paxhia said. Today, interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), cash flow and bottom line earnings are more important than ever.

But where will this leave private companies?

For small companies that cannot enter the capital market, for example

Washington State (THC Co.) or Elite Botanicals in Colorado-the growth of the capital market has largely left them behind.

THC Chief Operating Officer Joy Hollingsworth said that small-scale farmers (handicraft growers, family operators and the like) are mostly struggling in the cannabis sector. "When I think about our family farm, I think we are continuing to survive," she said. "I think other families, our partners are trying to survive."

Since its establishment in 2013, THC Co. has been trying to find its own niche in the market, trying different models almost every year. "During the first three to four years of operation, we tried everything you could think of, trying to figure out which business model worked for us. As the market is constantly changing and highly turbulent, you must be able to quickly change a dime, or Switch your business model at some point to adapt to demand, consumer demand, demand. Laws and regulations are." She said.

Hollingsworth said that THC's 30,000 square foot canopy is not an advantage some people might think. Companies also need talent and money. "It's more about the resources you can use, the capital you can use, the labor you have.... For me, the characteristic of [larger] certain [MSO]s is that they can use it. "

From the very beginning, raising funds has been Bonvilan's goal. He didn’t blame the investors for their fault: “Like, why should I risk my huge cash and make a little more money when there are other safer investments that may not have a higher return on investment, but they Is it fucking safer?"

Recalling the beginning of the company’s establishment, Bonvilan couldn’t help but giggle at the mistakes he had made, including consuming his cash reserves too quickly. "No one really knows what they are doing," Bonvilan said. He added that although a $1 million startup company will generate considerable business in 2008, this can barely be sustained in 2013 when the market becomes more crowded.

Bonvillain managed to make his company grow without equity, and its position today is stronger than before. However, although many early cannabis companies began to use the personal savings and funds of family and friends, he believes that what he is doing is not feasible in today's financial situation.

He said: "I think we have evolved from the situation five or six years ago." Risky investors are still "willing to continue to take greater risks. But (as the industry develops) turn to more institutional investors. And more people who have serious capital and are willing to take some capital risks, because they feel that legalization is coming............This has indeed greatly changed the situation and greatly harmed the capital market. Smaller companies and personnel , Even in the current market can achieve some success."

Bonvillain said that California’s micro licenses are an entry option for relatively under-capitalized startups, but these licenses also bring limited opportunities for revenue generation and expansion, as well as continued rental and real estate valuations in “green areas” (designated areas). The problem of rising. The area designated for cannabis companies.

"When they do allow a green area, the value of these properties will go through the roof because these landlords will suddenly move on and retire based on the incoming marijuana, which is detrimental to the interests of the [marijuana] company. Unless you have Sufficient financial resources, otherwise we must succeed." He said.

This is one of the many reasons why he compares the mentality of running a cannabis company with "daily craziness."

He said, however, there are some ways to avoid skyrocketing rents and other challenges, such as offering the company’s owner’s equity.

Another way for small-scale growers to make progress is to unite through cooperatives, distribution companies, or mutually beneficial partnerships. This is where THC Co. is positioned as a wholesaler of other producers-processors in Washington State, using their market access to unload THC biomass. Hollingsworth said: "In the current financial situation, it makes sense for us to focus on wholesale 100%." ​​"This does not mean that we will no longer do retail, but now we are just becoming a producer. It feels like It’s great...and then sell it wholesale to others, and then repackage their brands or process different foods or oils. This is where we are now."

Paxhia believes that, like THC Co, more and more companies will have to learn how to operate flexibly. You must keep an open mind, because... the next five years may see even greater changes than we did in the previous five years. "

Federal legalization and interstate trade are two factors that may completely change the pattern of all participants, from small farms to large MSOs and LPs with international foundations. "What impact does [interstate trade] have on a highly enjoyable, high-priced market?" Paxhia asked.

Paxhia predicts that access to banking services will expand the competitive environment between large and small companies. He said that as cannabis companies gain access to traditional banking services, "their cost of capital has plummeted." Once 280E is removed, "These are almost like blue chip companies worth billions of dollars."

Gomez said she predicts that the industry will continue to normalize and investors will continue to pay more and more attention to the company's fundamentals. When commercial marijuana started to take off, "There is a mentality:'Everything you know is wrong, this is marijuana, this is a once-in-a-lifetime industry, this is different. Everything you know in your previous life is wrong, or It doesn't apply here."" Gomez said. "The company is now discovering that is not the case. This is a consumer packaged goods industry, and most of the basic principles apply. "

Bonvillain believes that many companies will adapt to the imminent reality that investors focus on the fundamentals rather than the quality of the leadership team and the number of licenses. He said: "This has caused many companies to back down, tighten their belts, and [actually] develop productive and profitable businesses and put high-quality products on the shelves." He added that this is also the third wave. The entrants of the fourth and fifth waves provide an opportunity to enter the industry, as companies that have rushed mismanagement will either go bankrupt or exit the industry by selling their business/licenses.

Hollingsworth believes that the cannabis industry will have more integration because the development path of the cannabis industry is similar to that of post-prohibition alcohol companies. "There you only have a group of distributors, but you may only have one distributor, and they Owning like 20 brands...I think we will start to see this in the cannabis industry," she said. Hollingsworth also pointed out: "We see people working together to simplify [process]."

Ultimately, investors will have a lot of power in choosing who has and which doesn't. Paxhia said that mature companies will gain the largest share of early investors returning to the industry in the coming months and years. "But as these companies start to raise prices again, the natural cycle is to see this capital Start...Try to get in early and get a better entry point, hoping to see this [large investment] return."

Brian Maciver is a senior editor

magazine.

Although only about 0.2 mm long, these pests can reduce the size of cannabis and cannabis flowers and increase production if left unchecked.

Cannabis russet mite,

, Is a rheumatoid mite, which may be a serious pest of hemp and hemp crops. It is small and difficult to detect. If the temperature is conducive to development and reproduction, a large number of sparrow mites can quickly multiply on cannabis grown indoors or in greenhouses. The level of development and reproduction will also depend on temperature (indoor and outdoor). The higher the temperature, the faster the development, which will lead to more generations, resulting in more individuals that can reproduce during the growing season.

Cannabis brown mite is closely related to tomato brown mite,

, This is a pest of tomatoes grown in greenhouses.

The cannabis russet mite is about 0.2 mm (0.0078 inches) long, slender and pale (Figure 1). Like most mites, they have two legs on each side of the body (a total of four legs instead of the eight legs of most mites).

The life cycle (from egg to adult) takes 30 days at 80°F (27°C) and 70% relative humidity. Adults can live for about three weeks. Each adult female can lay 10 to 50 eggs in her 20-40-day lifespan.

The larvae (nymphs) crawl very close, but are easily carried by air currents and fans (for example, horizontal air currents), and they can quickly spread the cannabis russet mites in the greenhouse. In addition, if the distance between plants is close enough for their leaves to touch, it may increase the distribution of the cannabis red brown mite and lead to the establishment of new populations. In an indoor environment, measles may appear throughout the year.

The presence and extent of population in the outdoor environment will depend on temperature. Seasonality is related to when the cannabis russet mites appear and how long they may be problematic during the growing season. For example, if the temperature is cool in the middle of spring (between 50°F and 60°F), the population may not be large enough to cause damage in early production. However, if the temperature is higher in early spring (above 70°F), the population may appear earlier and be more numerous. Therefore, it is more likely to cause damage to crops in the early stages of production.

A dissecting microscope with high magnification (100X) is needed to observe the mites because they are almost invisible to the naked eye.

The red brown mite feeds on small leaves, petioles (petioles), flowers and meristem tissues, which contain undifferentiated cells that can differentiate. The first symptom of feeding by hemp reddish brown mites is the upward curling of the edge or edge of the leaf (Figure 2, top). However, it depends on the variety. Later symptoms include: leaf bronzing, leaf yellowing (chlorosis), and brown or necrotic spots on the leaf. The petiole may become brittle, causing small leaves to fall off the plant. The leaflets with the cannabis russet mites are gray or bronze in color.

The extensive population of cannabis russet mites can reduce the size of flower buds, affect the production of biologically active compounds in plants (phytochemicals), and lead to a decrease in the production of extractable cannabinoids. The damage of the cannabis russet mites can greatly affect the mature buds/flowers of female clones that may grow for the production of CBD and possibly for the production of THC, although there is no research, so there is no data to confirm this.

To prevent the cannabis russet mite population, first start with uninfected or "clean" plants. Avoid introducing any infected plant material, such as live plants and cuttings. Inserts should be isolated until it is determined that they are free of "cannabis" russet mites. As long as the plants are grown from seeds and are not exposed to other plants (such as female plants) during the production process, the possibility of "no" brown brown mites may be the entire growing season.

For continuous prevention, please use a 16x hand mirror to scout crops regularly, and remove the leaves from time to time to examine the cannabis russet mites under a dissecting microscope for easy observation. Mark certain plants and use them as "indicator plants", which will help you focus on your reconnaissance work. Dispose of heavily infected plants and neighboring plants immediately. Workers should wear rubber gloves throughout the day when handling plants, and change them daily to prevent the spread of cannabis red brown mites.

Horticultural oils (oils based on petroleum, minerals, or India) may be effective in suppressing the cannabis russet mite population. However, it is important to realize that these oils can cause phytotoxicity (plant damage). Therefore, before applying horticultural oil, water all plants to ensure that the plants are saturated (full of water), which will reduce the possibility of plant damage (phytotoxicity). Plants experiencing water stress are more susceptible to damage from pesticide application to plants, this is especially true for oils.

Sulfur is a kind of acaricide, which can effectively fight against cannabis brown mite. In addition, certain fungal pesticides based on insect pathogens (for example,

) Can be used as an option for managing the population of cannabis russet mite. However, sulfur and insect pathogenic fungi must be in contact with mites to be effective. In addition, phytotoxicity may be related to sulfur. Therefore, before using any sulfur, make sure all plants have been watered.

Commercially available predatory mites (N

) Pests used to combat greenhouse insects and/or mites may not be able to effectively regulate the number of cannabis russet mites because the environmental conditions (temperature and relative humidity) related to the growth of cannabis and cannabis may not be conducive to the development and reproduction of predatory mites.

Dr. Raymond A. Cloyd is a professor and extension expert in horticultural entomology/plant protection in the state

. Reach him

Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico and threatened Tropitzen’s launch. The owner of the company not only managed to get the business off the ground, but also opened up a niche in the cannabis market in the US territory.

Marni and Jay Meistrell, the couple behind

, Is one of the 31 licensed cannabis producers in Puerto Rico and has been seeking the pace of change after selling its V2 Cigs e-cigarette company to industry giant Juul. Puerto Rico’s picturesque, easy-going attitude and desire for business development opportunities seemed to be an idyllic place for the couple, so they left Miami with their family in 2014 to look for the next business opportunity on the island .

She said that Mani was most interested in growing products for the super food market at the time, because it would check boxes that brought happiness and enthusiasm to customers and the island itself, she said, while still providing a way out for Mani's creativity. . (Before the market crash in 2009, she was an oil painter. After 2009, she started a digital marketing business and moved from Florida to Puerto Rico.) Alejandro García Paddy, then governor Leah (Alejandro García Padilla) signed the Medical Marijuana Act in the U.S. Territory. As Marni said, Meistrells' agricultural dream came into effect on May 3, 2015, and this move "turned a corner."

She recalled: “I’ve always had an agricultural project at the institute that focuses on unique superfoods.” “Suddenly, we were like,'Oh, hemp, go there.'” Although it’s not a superfood, hemp is owned by Meistrells. Everything you are looking for: a growing agribusiness that provides a wealth of health benefits to people in need.

The regulator took about a year to complete the rules of the medical procedure and the permit application process. By June 2016, Meistrells had submitted their application for a cannabis cultivation license. By September of that year, they had obtained a temporary permit to enable them to start the renovation of the indoor equipment, although the couple waited until the November 2016 general election to renovate the venue, just in case the leadership changes. Seriously changed the cannabis program on the island.

The facility they chose was a government-owned warehouse. Even today, Tropicen still pays the rent to the government that still owns the property. (One of the quirks on the island is that many properties are government-owned and leased to business owners by local governments. The Puerto Rican government also requires cannabis companies to provide banking services, so the government approved the banking cooperatives of these companies and other companies. Business. )

Marni explained that, among other upgrades, Meistrells poured new concrete floors and walls, partly because "it is a better insulator" in warm climates. They also set up a farming room with a hydroponic system and HPS lights, with a total canopy area of ​​4,100 square feet.

Marni and Jay are ready to conduct a final inspection of the new cannabis company and plan to conduct a final inspection on September 22, 2017, which is the year they will obtain a temporary license. They are confident that they will pass.

Two days before the final inspection, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico.

Just like the previous Floridians, Mani and Jay are no strangers to hurricanes-the couple experienced the devastation of Hurricane Andrew firsthand in 1992. But Jay said that their experience on the island in 2017 was "completely different." Only two weeks after Hurricane Emma, ​​Hurricane Mary hit the island and became a Category 5 storm.

"That was eight long hours," Mani described. The wind speed of the hinged doors and windows in the home is as high as 155 mph. She remembered that after the storm, she walked out of the house with her 5-year-old son and was surprised by the lush green landscape turning brown. "All the trees are bare," she said. "Everything is taken away, and the entire island has fallen leaves."

The foundations and roofs of Meistrells homes and businesses are made of poured concrete to prevent major structural damage. The bigger problem is the island’s already troubled infrastructure: water services are interrupted, roads are blocked by mud and rocks, food and supplies cannot easily reach shops and residents, and powerless mobile phone towers make the entire island and the mainland Communication becomes more difficult. It took Marni a week to send the phone and someone to the capital San Juan to send a strong enough signal to let her family and friends know that her family is okay. Electricity is mainly derived from oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generation. As Maria destroyed much of the transmission and distribution infrastructure, electricity is scarce. “Naturally speaking, we are located on an island where you can’t get power supply trucks from all the states in the southeast to drive on a highway. This is even more difficult.... The restoration of the island is a difficult process. "Jay said.

It took nearly a year for parts of the island to regain power-for Tropizen and Meistrells, the waiting time was about six months. During those six months, “I spent a lot of time camping in the permit office, then drove to the power office and other places, doing everything possible to advance my career,” Jay said. He added that the Puerto Rican government and people have been very helpful throughout the process, at least "to the extent they are capable."

At the same time, Marni shut down to develop Tropizen's gummy production line. Since the company could not complete the final inspection and was unable to introduce the factory, finding the right flavors and ingredients was one of the few opportunities for her to move the business forward. She worked with the company's chef, Glen Alamo, who is Puerto Rican, who had just received a biology degree from Rutgers University when he joined Tropizen. Facts have proved that the task of making shelf-stable, real fruit gummies that can be well integrated with hemp is much more complicated than expected, especially when trying to use some of the island’s local tropical fruits.

"It is very important that we use natural ingredients and natural fruits," Marni said. "Therefore, we are trying to overcome [problems, for example,'How do we use pineapple... so that we don't break down gummies?"," because pineapple contains bromelain (a digestive enzyme). (The answer is: cooked Puree to neutralize bromelain,)

In March 2018, the regulator finally inspected Tropizen's facilities and granted the company a final planting and manufacturing license. After a long wait, Marni said. "After all the hard work, we are very tired.... You have the pressure to start a business, but [with Hurricane Maria] it is ten times."

Jay added: "This greatly reduces our burden." "This business is almost where you have to apply for a permit, get some temporary permits and then spend a lot of money in the hope that you will even be allowed to open the door to all other businesses. Unique.... Needless to say, you have the hurricane raging there, and the potential of when you can finally open after spending all these investment funds is very difficult. Therefore, finally opened, our greatest feeling must be a relief ."

Tropizen's first crops started with seeds, which allowed the company to show the best yields and the most powerful varieties. Mark Ziegler, the main grower of Tropizen, said: “We have experienced 30 strains and now we have reached 6 main strains.” After meeting with Jay at an industry conference in 2016, he joined the team. Ziegler added that the focus on yield and potency is directly related to what Puerto Rican patients demand: lower prices and higher THC content.

Jay explained that in indoor planting, the planting concept is a direct KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. The rolling top table allows Tropizen to water the plants, which are placed in 5 gallons of coir and perlite, a mixture of inert media. The team considered using fertilizer salts in a short period of time because of the high cost of transporting pre-mixed nutrients to Puerto Rico, but decided to stick to the pre-mixed solution. "If it works, please don't fix it," Jay said.

In addition to the 1,000-watt HPS lamp and the centrally controlled CO

In the Tropizen system, Tropicen uses a proprietary feeding system to help submerge the table. Jay said that although it is not fully automated, "it makes the process more efficient."

"The business was full of challenges in the most difficult period, but experienced hurricanes, earthquakes, COVID lock-in, difficult business environment, limited resources and growing suffering... In an excellent team, 50 SKUs, 20 strains Surviving under the conditions and the expansion of the American brand, we feel that we can do almost everything and still maintain our high standards. Of course, I can do it without greater challenges, but they will never end . That's life."

"How detailed it is. We are operating a factory with many moving parts. Logistics (with huge challenges on the island), banking, accounting, operations, wages, sanitation, procurement, inventory, packaging, surprise inspections, employment, need to be considered. Training, analysis, marketing, and endless planning. When things get tense, it’s nice to be able to enter the seedling room and spend some quiet time on the plants, but I don’t do that often."

"From the beginning I was not a good sleeper. I stayed up late mainly because of the interpersonal relationship and the challenge of working with the team to achieve goals. When we tried our best and failed, I was fine, but when it was due to poor communication or some When people don’t try their best and get into trouble, it cheers me up."

"Recently I took some CBD gummies (10mg), a small amount of full spectrum THC (2.5mg) and high CBG tincture (2mg)."

"Don't throw money on a problem (if any!). Buying high-end equipment, the largest capacity equipment or the latest new technology is not always the best way. Staying slim and working smarter can provide you better than you An advantage among more funded competitors."

Thanks to Tropizen's HVAC system, the indoor tropical climate is gone. However, in the new hoop greenhouse installed by the company in 2019, managing the climate is another matter.

The company purchased a hoop house covering more than 10,000 square feet from a local greenhouse supplier. Choosing an open iron frame house with supplemental lighting and cooling vents instead of a closed greenhouse can make wise use of the resource, namely electricity. The cost of electricity is almost three times that of the mainland. According to the Energy Information Administration, Puerto Rico’s commercial electricity costs average less than 30 cents per kilowatt, while electricity costs in other parts of the United States are only more than 10 cents per kilowatt. The island has an average lighting cycle of 12 hours throughout the year (approximately 11 hours in winter and 13 hours in summer), so Tropizen has relatively little demand for auxiliary lighting.

Ziegler explained: "My goal is to make it as outdoors as possible while still covering the greenhouse." "So (in Puerto Rico's tropical climate) don't let the plants rain, but ensure maximum ventilation. Without using a lot of electricity.” He added that the open ends, side walls and ceiling vents provide better ventilation to prevent moisture accumulation under the polycarbonate roof. "When there is more space, more sunlight, more air movement, and wind, all of these will make it difficult for harmful organisms and pathogens to multiply."

Use certified organic amendments, such as oyster shells, dolomite, alfalfa, potassium sulfate and bone meal, and grow sun-irradiated plants in the living soil. The soil substrate is a proprietary blend of cocoa fiber, compost and perlite. Ziegler said adding cocoa to improve drainage and soil aeration, because “if there is not enough aeration in the soil because it is so humid, you can water the plants and walk back in a week, just like the day you watered. .It." He added that ensuring that plants are moist and dry is what makes living soil plants flourish.

Meistrells is not only expanding its cultivation business: Tropizen is being vertically integrated into the retail sector of the industry. The company is awaiting a final inspection of its pharmacy location in the San Juan Hospital District. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Puerto Rico government stopped all unnecessary functions. As a result, Meistrells has not turned on the power at the required location before the final inspection, which put the pharmacy in a dilemma similar to that faced by the planting facility after Hurricane Maria.

The company also rebranded its Real Fruit Gummy series with new flavors. Since the launch of chewing gum in December 2018 (the company started selling flowers in August 2018), Marni has overseen the development of fudge flavors such as quenepa, guanabana, passion fruit and mango, all of which are derived from fruits grown on the island. Now, with the renaming of Superfruit Gummies, Tropicen has added kumquat, beet, turmeric, achite, dragon fruit and hibiscus to its ingredients.

"We buy directly from farmers on [island]," Mani said. "We will get a thousand pounds of fruit... and process it into gummies when they are ripe, because they only mature once a year." Like the flowers it provides, some of Tropicen's gummies are seasonal. It increases the attractiveness of the product to patients and is eager to get the latest taste when it is "fresh".

"This is indeed a handicraft and it depends on local farmers. This is very important for me and the company: we are working with local farmers instead of importing everything. I think many patients want to know what they are ingesting. There is no sugar or artificial coloring in the food," she said. "From a positioning perspective, I am not worried that one of our competitors will start processing Guanabana."

Access to special ingredients also gave birth to one of Tropizen's most popular products: its cannabis-infused Pique sauce, a traditional Puerto Rican chili sauce. Mani said that the idea of ​​infusing hot sauce originated from the existing hot sauce on the island. The sauce contains four different peppers. “One of our peppers is not grown commercially at all. In fact, it is scattered all over the island by birds in people’s backyards.” She said. Caballero peppers, also known as "gentleman peppers", are popular in Puerto Rican cuisine but are difficult to obtain. "We are going up the mountain. Some abuela (grandmothers) planted them in their backyard." Marni continued, noting that every bottle of Tropizen's Pique contains a caballero pepper.

This focus on local flavors helped Tropizen find partners on the continental United States to sell its products. MariMed is a cross-state cannabis operator, with cultivation facilities in Massachusetts and Nevada, dispensaries in Massachusetts and Illinois, and distribution licenses in several other states. In March, it reached a Pique and Pique agreement with Tropizen. License agreement for Superfruit gummies.

Tropizen produces this non-immersed hot sauce at its Puerto Rico plant, then ships it to Massachusetts, where MariMed injects it with cannabis oil. In addition to income distribution, the transaction also grants Tropizen exclusive rights to manufacture and sell MariMed's Betty's Eddies and Kalm Fusion Tablets in Puerto Rico.

Due to the success of Pique and because the island has simplified the process, as long as the product passes compliance and efficacy tests, new products can be launched without additional review, so Tropizen is expanding its hot sauce products. For example, Marni said: "We just used Carolina Reapers to launch a super hot version. This is an interesting product."

Starting a business in Puerto Rico has its advantages: access to unique raw materials, a faster process of launching new products than in some other markets, and government-approved banking operations through cooperatives (to name a few). It also has its shortcomings, including increased utility costs, hurricanes Irma and Maria further phasing out aging infrastructure, and a lack of “variety” for certain products and services that can be found on the island. And quality" Marni said, from the daily necessities of the grocery store to the specialized services, these products can be shipped to the mainland.

However, the co-founders have not yet fully prepared for a challenge: the disengagement of the rest of the country from the territory. "We are not an'America'," Mani explained. "We are a territory, and it creates this gray area. I think it's hard to understand for many people."

For example, when materials need to be purchased from an outlying island supplier, shipping to Puerto Rico may be challenging. "We might be dealing with an international laboratory, but when you process the shopping cart online, Puerto Rico is not listed at all," Mani said. "And, if you enter the international list, we won't be listed as a country." These questions forced her to call the company directly and let them know that the U.S. Postal Service can ship packages to Puerto Rico without having to go through customs.

This small business struggle reflects the larger problems posed by life on the island’s territory: despite paying taxes, it still has no right to elect the country’s president; insufficient resources provided by the federal government have allowed the island’s recovery after Maria It seems to be pivotal at work. , And it is generally believed that "Puerto Rico does not belong to the United States," as Marni said.

However, because she is always ready to receive education, Mani continues to fight her own misunderstandings and attitudes to eliminate their misunderstandings. She will continue to advocate Tropizen and Puerto Rico as a whole, one call, one pack of fudge and one bottle of Pique.

Brian MacIver is a senior editor

magazine.

The Interactive Legislation Map of Cannabis Business Times is another tool that helps growers quickly browse cannabis laws in various states and find news related to their market.

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