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US (CA): Why commercial cannabis growers should use tissue culture technology

The legal and medical cannabis industry is a fast-growing, evolving market, and cultivators are turning to advanced scientific approaches used by big agriculture, such tissue culture micropropagation, to reduce costs and offer scalable, predictable, safe, high-quality, cannabis strains. This process involves producing genetically identical clones by cultivating existing plants with cuts of plant material, which are sterilized and multiplied in a lab. Then the clones are put into a vessel to be acclimated for greenhouse or indoor growing.  

Tissue culture technology allows Conception Nurseries to quickly mass produce identical plantlets (clones) that are disease-free with customized and consistent characteristics. Kevin Brooks, CEO, Conception Nurseries, describes how this process can help cannabis cultivators by addressing these key requirements:

Produce Consistent, High-Quality Strains
Tissue culture clones are true-to-type to their mother’s genetics. That means you can accurately predict phenotypes and chemotypes based on the mother plant’s profile. Tissue culture plants can be grown with optimal nutrients and under the best conditions, which makes them healthier and stronger. The plants are kept pest and pathogen free without using any harsh chemicals. 

Reduce Costs and Increase Revenue
Tissue culture technology can be used to quickly mass produce healthy, identical plantlets. In turn, this reduces cultivators’ operational risks and costs, while increasing revenues, yields, and delivering a dependable product. It provides healthier, cleaner, and more vigorous plants than what cultivators could grow on their own, at a price point at or below what it would cost to do this in-house.

Take the Pain Out of the Mom Room
Mom rooms consume a lot of space, are high-maintenance, and costly. Some of the biggest challenges in the legal cannabis industry occur when cultivators use mom plants to produce their own “clones,” because these types of clones can provide inconsistent harvests with diluted and uncontrollable traits. This inconsistency results in commercial cultivators being unable to accurately forecast production rates and predict the quality of the plant. That’s because there’s a lot of waste when you can’t guarantee a Grade A plant every time. By purchasing tissue culture clones, growers can instead focus on cultivating, and not have to worry about managing genetics and the labor-intensive work involved with cutting plants. The mom room can even be converted to the flower room, making it much more efficient and cost-effective. 

Scale to Meet Supply Demands
Traditional propagation from mom plants can take 4-8 months to scale. By purchasing tissue culture, growers can scale cultivars in a matter of weeks! This translates to producing a much greater yield, faster, and more consistently.

Reduce the Risk of Pests
Plants should be initiated and grown under ISO class 5 lab conditions, which means that facilities are strictly controlled by clean lab practices. All plants should be grown and delivered in sealed plant packs to ensure a pest-free environment for the plants.

“Around the world, tissue culture has been perfected for large-scale propagation for a variety of products including, strawberries, bananas, apples, and potatoes (to name just a few),” says Brooks. “The cannabis cultivation market is beginning to shift toward tissue culture, addressing the major challenges of cultivation and opening the doors to greater and faster genetic customization.” 

For more information:
Conception Nurseries  

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