The much anticipated mastercourse organised by JungleTalks has finally kicked off. Participants coming from all over the world will spend two weeks in the Netherlands learning the secrets and best practices of growing medical cannabis.
“Horticulture is an old industry, we have been growing in greenhouses for hundreds of years, especially in the Netherlands. The quantity of knowledge we have nowadays is impressive, yet we were ‘never’ able to grow cannabis”, said Ed Smit, director of Jungle Talks, earlier when talking about organising this course. The goal of the Mastercourse is exactly to connect these not-so-distant worlds, bringing together in one single place some of the main actors of this novel industry.
Participants of the Mastercourse
Even though the union of cannabis and horticulture sounds like a perfect marriage, for a long time the illegality of this plant prevented horticulture from improving in a more direct and concrete way the management and growth of such a crop. “Cannabis has been a ‘forbidden plant’ for a very long time. Prohibitionist or restrictive regulations slowed down advancements in this subsector of horticulture. Therefore, cannabis has usually been grown in cellars, basements, and so forth. In other words, only in small-scale, mildly professional conditions.”, Ed explains.
“Growing in a greenhouse is a completely different story. Even if one is extremely knowledgeable of plant physiology, it does not necessarily mean that he or she will be a good grower for a large-scale greenhouse. There are a lot of people who have an extensive knowledge on cannabis, yet they would not know how to manage a greenhouse. I always compare greenhouses to cars: if the driver is not good, then the car cannot be driven properly. And if one sensor is missing, the car will not work at all.”
From small-scale to large-scale
However, things have been changing, recently, as an increasing number of countries has been approving regulatory policies, thus allowing this industry to emerge into the light. “With the recent approval of many legalizing regulations, the obvious consequence was that the cannabis industry started to look at horticulture in order to convert small-scale operations to large-scale businesses.”, Ed observes, “There is a widespread need of coming up with solutions that are suited precisely for this crop. Horticulture will provide the answers. Times are ripe and we should try to get these two not-so-distant worlds closer to each other. This is precisely what our Mastercourse is about.”
Jungle Talks has quite some experience in organising these events. They have been active for quite some years in organising masterclasses, digital courses, and interviews with horticultural companies. “Cannabis is considered as a completely new subsector of horticulture, nowadays. Companies jumped into the market individually, without forming any kind of collective. Through our Mastercourses, we want to bring these different realities in just one place, thus providing this world with a meeting place where it is possible to learn, share, and network.”, Ed explains.
The participants to the course were selected quite strictly as well. The 15 participants are from the medical cannabis, decision makers and preferably between 25-40 years old. “We want a homogeneous group of people. We want our participants to be able to actively participate in the classes and seminars”, Ed explains “Even though two weeks sounds like a long time, it is the only way to develop a group dynamic which facilitates both networking and the sharing of knowledge. All participants we had so far to previous Mastercourses have confirmed that, although two-weeks is a long time, it really is necessary to do it like that”
And that's exactly how this morning started. The program kicked off with a visit to the Westland Museum, greenhouse builder Havecon & the World Horti Center.
The visit to Havecon continues!
In the next two weeks many more suppliers and growers will be visited, from various parts of the industry: from Grodan and Koppert to Viscon and Hortilux. The course will be completed with a visit to the GreenTech next week.