Another year has passed that was challenging for many in the cannabis industry. At the same time, positive developments happened as well: new markets have opened, new projects have started, and progress continues to be made. Before we move on to the new year, let's take a look at what happened in the cannabis industry in 2023. Here is an overview of the best-read articles on MMJDaily during the just-passed year. In case you have missed out on some of our 2023's greatest hits, now is your chance to catch up!
1. Moving from chemicals to living soil: "The quality is second to none"
"The more research I did, the more I learned about the disadvantages of high salt fertilizers and the benefits of growing organically. We decided to switch from growing hydroponically to growing in living soil," says Mitch Hoesing, Director of Cultivation at Fuze Extracts. "There is a stigma surrounding growing organically, as most people seem to think that it produces better quality but not as much yield. Yet that is not the case at all. You can definitely get the same yields if you do it correctly and learn how to balance your soil." Mitch explains that the Brix level of the plants is especially important, as it measures the sugar levels in the plant. These are essential for healthier plants and increased cannabinoids. "There are four things that contribute to a high Brix level: UV, water, nutrients, and biology. When you have those four things balanced, that's when you can achieve the same kind of yields as growing hydroponically while achieving a quality that is second to none." Click here to read more.
2. Joint venture to set up the most advanced cannabis cultivation facility in Thailand
Taratera Corporation and Advanced Canna Technologies (ACT) are to set up a JV to establish "Actera," a new 2,000 square meter advanced indoor cannabis cultivation facility in Bangkok, Thailand.
This strategic partnership will strengthen Taratera's capabilities in cultivation, processing, and distribution with its national retail brand (The Dispensary). The ACT team's experience and expertise in designing, cultivation, and operations will further reinforce Taratera's existing infrastructure and position as a market leader. Click here to read more.
3. Why white tips differ from photobleaching
In cannabis cultivation, white tips are mostly regarded as less favorable than green tips. Green is associated with healthier plants and is more appealing to consumers. However, research by Signify over the past few years has resulted in surprising new insights. There appear to be two types of white tips caused by different mechanisms. One of them correlates with higher THC/CBD levels. Fortunately, these 'profitable' white tips can be induced (or avoided) by specific light strategies. Click here to read more.
4. Technology allows cannabis growers to test potency in-house, in less than a minute
"If growers can do their testing in-house, they can improve their production process and save money," says Ruben Valenzuela, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Valenveras. That is why Valenveras, after years of research, has developed a 'portable lab' for cannabis analysis that uses NIR technology. "NIR spectroscopy is a fast, non-destructive technique that allows the measurement of multiple components in a sample in a matter of seconds. It is a non-invasive technique that does not require sample preparation, making it ideal for the analysis of delicate or expensive samples. We now have a handheld device available that measures cannabis potency accurately in less than a minute, allowing companies to make fast and accurate decisions to improve their business." Click here to read more.
5. "There is a lack of standardization, compliance, and education in American cannabis facilities"
In college to be a nurse, Kayla Sanchez changed her route by joining a cannabis program, where she discovered her love for cannabis and its science. Today, she is the CEO of the new company Guided Green Solutions, providing education and training in cannabis standard procedures and crop science. "I realized there was a need for standardization, compliance, and education in American cannabis companies. If people start working without the proper knowledge beforehand, there is a lot of room for error," Kayla says. "Currently, safety for the grower is a missing link in the American cannabis industry." Click here to read more.
6. CAN: "Our facility expansion increased our production to 85,000 kgs of cannabis"
"There have been a lot of Canadian producers that only focus on selling premium flower. But the truth is that people are looking for the best quality product at the right price. In a high inflationary market, you have to be able to provide consumers with what they are looking for," says Beena Goldenberg, CEO of Organigram. The Canadian cannabis company recently reported record first-quarter fiscal results. According to Beena, maintaining success in today's market starts off on the top line by understanding what the consumer is looking for. At the same time, when it comes to their bottom line, it's all about getting their cultivation costs down to improve their margins. "In order to do so, we recently finished our facility expansion and increased our yield per plant by 30%." Click here to read more.
7. US (MA): "Moving from an indoor grow to a greenhouse facility dramatically reduced our utility costs"
"Our greenhouse facility is about ten times the size as our previous indoor grow and costs roughly the same to operate." From full environmental control to supplemental lighting, automated drip irrigation, and under-bench heating systems. That are just some of the technologies that Bask uses to achieve the best-growing practices in their greenhouses in Massachusetts. Christian Powers is the Director of Cultivation at Bask and explains that the company started out growing indoors. "We moved from our indoor grow to our greenhouse facility back in February of 2020, following our own research into existing cannabis markets such as Washington and Colorado. We noticed that the prices were dropping consistently as markets started to mature and knew we needed to think forward about the longevity of our company." Moving to a greenhouse and utilizing natural resources like the sun allowed Bask to provide the same quality of flower while reducing operating costs, being more sustainable, and environmentally conscious. Click here to read more.
8. Dutch growers choose North Macedonia: "Lowest labor costs of any medical cannabis producing country in Europe"
When a small group in Holland wanted to start a medical cannabis company in 2016, the location was the final dealmaker. "We were first looking at opportunities in the United States, but some of our investors didn't want to take any risks being in a country where cannabis is not federally legal. Looking to do something in a country where cannabis is 100% legal, we turned to Europe. One of the first countries to legalize medical cannabis cultivation in Europe was North Macedonia. It's an agricultural country that has the lowest labor costs of any medical cannabis-producing country over here," explains Stephen Malloy, CEO of PharmaRolly Holdings B.V. The Dutch company has been producing medical cannabis in North Macedonia since 2019. Click here to read more.
9. Capacity reached in 3 days: "There is an insane demand for risk-free cannabis clones"
"Had we known the demand would be to this extent, we would have directed ourselves to a larger capacity. Now, we've already expanded our facility and are hoping to add a new one in the near future," says Ray Thek, Co-Founder of Quill Labs. The new company has only been operational for four months and has already been overwhelmed by the demand. "Many cannabis growers have previously not had proper access to outsourced, clean, non-black market clones." Now, Quill Labs offers phenohunted, high-quality clones from a range of popular strains to licensed growers. "We want to help the industry by making outsourced clones and phenohunting more accessible." Click here to read more.
10. Dutch cannabis industry pioneers combine for Dutch Coffeeshop Experiment
Two activist entrepreneurs from the Netherlands, with roots in the cannabis industry reaching back to the early 1990s, have announced a partnership agreement ahead of the Dutch Coffeeshop Experiment.
Amsterdam's Paradise Seeds has been confirmed as an official genetics partner of Holigram, a fully Dutch-owned and operated Licensed Producer and one of 10 LPs selected by the Netherlands government to supply coffeeshops with a legal supply of recreational cannabis in a national trial which will roll out in 2024.
Paradise will supply Holigram with 'homegrown' genetics from the Netherlands, such as Dutch Dragon, Jacky White, and Wappa, as well as on-trend varieties. Holigram, the only authorized producer of Paradise Seeds genetics in the 'experiment,' is focused on cultivating high-quality organic cannabis on a large scale in a hi-tech 8000m² production facility. Click here to read more.