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Patrick Pagé, Master Grower at MTL Cannabis

"Everything we do is a team effort grounded on our passion for growing this plant"

Based in Montreal, QC, MTL Cannabis is a flower first company built for the modern street.  “We focus on providing high quality dry flowers for the Canadian market,” Patrick Pagé, master grower at MTL Cannabis, states. “We were officially licensed in August 2019, for which we applied before the changes to the process and have been working to master our craft ever since.”

Changes in the licensing process
Indeed, a little over one year ago, Health Canada made some changes to the licensing process, which then required hopeful growers to have the growing facility already built and set up. “These changes needed to happen,” Patrick observes. “Before the change, there were a lot of companies that applied for a license while not having any buildings. Somehow, a lot of those licensees haven’t started producing yet. This makes it more difficult for all those people that are ready to grow, but cannot get a license because there are only so many available.” At the same time, the changes in regulations set the entry barrier into this industry even higher than it was before. “It would indeed cost a lot of money upfront,” Patrick remarks. “But I do believe that this helps when defining a sustainable business plan, and in keeping the bad players out of the sector.”

Growing hydroponically
MTL Cannabis grows in an indoor facility using a hydroponic method to help control the plant’s growing environment. “There are so many different factors that influence the quality of your cannabis flowers,” he says. “The biggest challenge for a grower getting into large-scale agriculture for the first time, is to adapt themselves to growing to such a large-scale: there are so many unknowns and miscalculations that even if you were fully prepared, you could be caught off guard.”

One of the trickiest aspects is indeed IPM. The growing conditions of cannabis plants make them susceptible to different pathogens and molds. “I think all of it can be linked to two main issues,” Patrick explains. “Control over the environment, and control over people. I had issues with people going back to their houses, and maybe they checked their homegrown plants where they had a pathogen without knowing it, and then they brought that pathogen back into the facility. Humans are the pathogen carriers number one, that’s why you need to have a good hygiene and sanitation program for your employees. When it comes to mold, it’s all about environment control and cleanliness. We follow a strict sanitation regime and cleaning process. For instance, every time we set up a room, we clean all the corners. Thus, sanitation and employees’ willingness to follow hygiene protocols together will prevent all the pest pressure problems into a growing facility.”

On top of that, MTL Cannabis also has a very strict IPM regime. “We focus on keeping a strict IPM schedule developed by our IPM specialist. It’s all about prevention: IPM is not about getting rid of a pathogen, but rather about preventing a problematic situation from happening.”

A team effort
At the same time, the quality of the cannabis grown at MTL is not based solely on the cultivation strategy. “Cannabis is such a new market, yet everyone has their own opinion on what high quality cannabis is,” Patrick says. “At MTL, everything we do is a team effort grounded on our passion for growing this plant. Every day, all the crew is here and works all the hours necessary for the plants to produce high quality flowers. That’s our daily mission.”

And indeed, it is this passion that will characterize MTL Cannabis in the years to come. “We are passionate growers, and at the end of the day, that’s what we are here for,” Patrick points out. “We will always focus on dry flowers. The market is increasingly moving towards a more international scale. Regardless of the future, there will always be a good market for high quality dry flowers.”

For more information:
MTL Cannabis
mtlcannabis.ca 


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