The arrival of GreenTech in Amsterdam this month sees the official unveiling of an initiative which could transform the way that cannabis is cultivated in the future. Paradise Products recently announced its inclusion as the genetics partner on the project, which is being spearheaded by Dutch independent agricultural consultants, Delphy.
Together (along with other cannabis sector founding partners) they have established a research center and platform - the Medical Cannabis Platform for Innovation and Research - which conducts research into the most optimal growing conditions for cannabis.
The purpose-built MCPIR center will be housed in Delphy’s Dutch research facility, with the intention of researching the optimization of cannabis growing at every stage - from seed to harvest.
Over the next five years Delphy will conduct 35 trials focusing on each stage of the cannabis cultivation process and the many variables involved, such as the use of C0², temperature and climate control, lighting and fertilization.
A new interest
Delphy was set up by the Dutch government 100 years ago to research the optimization of agricultural crops. Yet Jeroen Buren, consultancy and education manager, explains that Delphy began its interest in cannabis 11 years ago as legalization in North America gathered pace. As its services have become more in demand from the cannabis industry, establishing the MCPIR was a natural step.
“From our perspective, cannabis is just another crop, and there is much more we can learn about the plant to optimize its production. With the MCPIR we hope to establish a blueprint for growing cannabis in the most effective way," Jeroen says.
Lack of knowledge
"If you think about the tomato plant, we have over 100 years of researching how best to grow it, so our knowledge about how to achieve this is around 95%. With growing cannabis, that knowledge is perhaps 70%," he says. "From our research into cannabis so far we have a number of questions and theories about how to optimize this crop and that’s why we want to test them out with this project."
According to Jeroen, the unique thing about the MCPIR is that they have a specialist partner for each part of the whole cultivation chain. "It starts with Paradise seeds in the ground and ends with trimming and extraction. Each stage of the process will be monitored and tested. The aim is that after five years we will have a blueprint for the best cannabis cultivation practice.”
The project will fuel the provision of knowledge to growers and LPs – through consultancy and training courses - and Jeroen acknowledges the advantages which come with Delphy working with specialist partners.
“For example if we have clients who want to know more about genetics, then Paradise will be able to provide consultancy in this area and the same with Phillips for lighting or Mills for fertilizers and substrates – we have partners for all the key cultivation stages.”
Paradise Seeds founder Luc Krol, who is also CEO of the LP facing Paradise Phytogenetics, says, ”This is a tremendous opportunity for the cannabis and traditional agricultural cultivation sectors to work together and share knowledge for the enhancement of medical cannabis production."
"Research into the plant’s medicinal value was held back for many years by prohibitionist attitudes towards cannabis. To have an established agricultural knowledge provider such as Delphy, investing in developing cultivation knowledge and practice to best deliver medical grade cannabis is good news indeed," Luc says.
"We are delighted to be partnering up on such an initiative by providing the genetics for the cultivation center and we very much look forward to working with all partners to push the envelope on what can be achieved in medical cannabis cultivation.”
In addition to Delphy B.V and Paradise (through its genetics licensing division, Paradise Phytogenetics), other partners involved include Philips Horticulture LED Solutions of Signify, Koppert B.V., Priva Horticulture and Mills Nutrients & Substrates.
The project will be officially unveiled on the Delphy stand at GreenTech at 16.00 on Tuesday June 13th. For more information or for enquiries on how to participate in this platform, contact Jeroen van Buren, project coordinator of MCPIR on email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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