Another year has passed that was full of challenges, so we are all looking forward to a fresh start. But before we move on to the new year, let's take a look at what happened in the cannabis industry in 2022. The figures show that the industry was especially interested in new projects, increasing yield, and industry developments. So, let's take one final look back at 2022 and see the best-read articles on MMJDaily during the just-passed year. In case you have missed out on some of our 2022's greatest hits, now is your chance to catch up!
1. "Temporarily extending day length increases cannabis yield by up to 20%"
To start off our list, increasing cannabis yield is, of course, of great interest to growers. In August, Signify and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) announced that they created a light recipe that extends the flowering phase of medicinal cannabis, leading to higher yields. By upping the photoperiod – that is, the length of daylight – from 12 to a maximum of 18 hours per day, the yield can increase by up to 20%. Timing is crucial. It must be a pre-harvest treatment, and the right moment differs per cultivar. Click here to read more.
2. "Not many people are understanding how big this is"
In October, the cannabis industry was surprised by the announcement from President Biden. Thousands of people convicted of cannabis possession under federal law were pardoned. Moreover, he announced his administration would review the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. "From what I can see, not many people are understanding how big this is," said Graham Farrar, President of Glass House Farms. "There are really only two ways to legalize cannabis, and the President has kicked off a process that could legalize it without congressional involvement. That's a big deal." Click here to read more.
3. Portugal: "High-quality cannabis can only be grown indoors"
Back in June, we discussed a new project that is being developed in Portugal. "The majority of the European growers opt for greenhouses. It is lower CapEx, fast, and you can usually start cultivation within 1-2 years. While we would be cultivating in the beneficial Portuguese sunshine, we still decided that high-quality cannabis can only be grown in an indoor facility," said Christian Graggaber, Founder and CEO of Bathera. The German company has spent its first three years doing a variety of cannabis-related businesses, from distribution in the German market to launching a cannabis DNA test that shows how your body reacts to cannabis. Now that they have built up an extensive network in the industry, they are ready to produce their own medical cannabis. At the moment of the article, construction was moving quickly at their 9,000 square meters indoor facility in Portugal. Click here to read more.
4. US (MS): Building a $45 million CGMP-certified cannabis facility in a conservative state
Another new cannabis project was of much interest. In July, construction was quickly underway at a medical cannabis cultivation facility in Canton, Mississippi. Yet it's not just the facility that makes it unique. It's the location as well. "Mississippi is a conservative state where the people have embraced medical cannabis as a healthcare option. The voters overwhelmingly voted for legalization at 74%, the Republican House supported it at 86%, and the Republican Senate supported it with 92%," explained Steve Merritt, COO of Southern Sky Brands. Click here to read more.
5. A 5.5 million sq. ft. expansion: "We want to provide higher quality cannabis at a lower cost"
While already having half a million square feet of footprint from their two original farms, Glass House Farms acquired a new greenhouse facility to increase their cannabis production further. Their new Southern California location consists of six greenhouses totaling 5.5 million square feet. In order for their new greenhouses to not get too hot while under construction with no plants, the company is using a unique way to reduce heat. "We are using the Besseling Roofmaster to apply a whitewash coating that reduces the amount of light and heat that comes in," explained Graham Farrar, President of Glass House Farms. Click here to read more.
6. Environmentally responsible MMJ cultivation in South Africa's oldest farming town
Situated just 60km from South Africa's Mother City, Paarl is one of the oldest farming towns in the Western Cape, and for the first time in a long time, a new kind of farming is coming to the region. Famous for its vineyards and citrus groves and, more recently, blueberries, cannabis is the newest crop to catch the attention of local farmers, and for the Van der Merwe family, it seemed an obvious next choice. The Van der Merwe's and their holding company Boplaas 1743, have been farming commercially in South Africa for nearly 300 years but have previously focused on apples, pears, and citrus. Click here to read more.
7. Colombia: Harvesting five times a year under intense equatorial sun
"Geographically, Colombia's location is very advantageous for cannabis cultivation. We can cultivate up to five cycles per year and use the sun, which makes it very competitive in terms of cost," explained Mauricio Krausz, General Manager of Plena Global, operating in Colombia through Econnabis S.A.S. Being only the fourth company to get licensed in Colombia, they have been building their company since 2016 and currently have five hectares of production. Together with Stefan Meyer, Chief Strategy Officer, they discussed their production process as well as the developments of the Colombian cannabis market. "By now, everyone has realized that cannabis is not like coffee." Click here to read more.
8. "We will be providing cannabis growers with much-needed research"
All the way back in January, we discussed the creation of a new organization focused on cannabis research. "There is a lack of research in the cannabis industry, especially concerning aspects that are important for cultivators," said Dr. Allison Justice, CEO of The Hemp Mine. Together with Dr. Jim Faust's Flowering Physiology Laboratory at Clemson University, they are aiming to change that. "We have created the Cannabis Research Coalition (CRC), a not-for-profit organization focused on cannabis horticultural research. Because of this new coalition, we will be able to address the cultivation and post-harvest issues that challenge today's cannabis industry." Click here to read more.
9. Innovation and improvements at Israel's largest cannabis greenhouse
Green Fields is the biggest cannabis greenhouse in Israel, with a total surface encompassing 42,000 square meters. The facility was completed two years ago after visiting cannabis farms all over the world. "The design is based on the knowledge we have accumulated from our visits, providing us with a high-quality and innovative facility of our own," said Lior Pisso Saada, Business Development Adviser at Green Fields. On top of being the biggest cannabis greenhouse in the country, the company also invests a lot in technology, with the quality and consistency of the product and the patients' experience being their leading values. This even goes beyond cultivation. "We are focused on the retail aspect and keep innovation and improvements in our company's priorities." Click here to read more.
10. Why is bad management so widespread in the cannabis industry?
To conclude our list, labor was a topic of concern last year. Speaking with employers in the cannabis industry, many would agree that while finding labor is difficult, retaining such labor is an even bigger challenge. While each situation is unique, there is a common factor underlying many of these situations: bad management. "Being good at the craft doesn't necessarily mean that you are a good manager," said Benjamin Ballinger, COO of Left Coast Holdings, a cannabis company out of Michigan. Click here to read more.