Low EC values, 'flowering' and 'dark farming' point to cannabis cultivation

Last week, the Central Netherlands District Court fined someone €200,000. They had 'many items and substances' used for large-scale cannabis cultivation. And they were offering these for sale. This judgment was passed partly based on a greenhouse cultivation expert's testimony.

The 2019 witness statement indicated, among other things, that the cultivation schedule seemed suspicious. It included EC values, 'flowering', and 'darkened cultivation'.

Too low EC values
"I noticed that the schedule reported a 1,2 to 1,8 EC value. That is far too low for fruit vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, or cucumber. The EC values for those crops are five or six. For cucumbers, it is three. This schedule's EC value means it is intended for green plants, for example, lettuce. Or indoor, garden, or kitchen plants - those you have in your living room."

"The schedule mentioned hydro soil and soil cultivation. I, therefore,  assumed it concerned a crop that is or can be grown on both substrates. In that case, the schedule is not meant for flowers. Because horticulturally, flowers are almost exclusively grown in soil."

"Greenhouse cultivation wants as much sunlight as possible"
Considering the EC values, lettuce is a possibility, continues the witness. "Regarding time in weeks, lettuce, too, can grow. It needs about 12 weeks. But the schedule also talks about a flowering period. And, of course, we don't let lettuce flower. It, therefore, seems unlikely to me that this is about lettuce."

"If you only look at the time in weeks, cucumber is also a possibility. But the EC value would then have to be higher. So it is not for cucumber either."

"I further noticed that the schedule mentions light and dark farming. That included the number of light and dark hours. In greenhouse horticulture, we, of course, also use lights for the crops. But this is about true light and dark cultivation. We don't darken growing areas in greenhouse farming. On the contrary, in greenhouse cultivation, we want as much sunlight as possible. That is because it is free."

See the entire ruling (in Dutch) here.


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