Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

NL: Discussing cultivation techniques and the Dutch experiment at the Cannabis Summit

Last Friday, an international audience gathered at the World Horti Center for the Cannabis Summit. The day was filled with presentations, panel discussions, and, of course, plenty of time to eat some nice food and do some networking. The panels discussed a wide array of topics, from cultivation techniques to the Dutch Coffeeshop Experiment and even international law. Let's take a look at who was there and what was discussed.

Tom de Vreugd (Growficient), Alexandre Gauthier (Origine Nature), Celine Nicole-De Groot (Philips), Donis Beral (Delphy), and Bregt Raus (Altius)

Sabrina Carvalho (Signify) and Cristina Carvalho (Equilibrium Labs)

Cem Marasligill (Sunakin) and Mikhail Saghal (TSRgrow)

Nick Abbingh ( and Rob Smallman (Curaleaf International)

Advanced cultivation techniques
Sonny Moerenhout (Cultivators) moderated the panel on modern cultivation methods, focusing on sustainable practices, technological innovations in cultivation, and advancements in genetic research.

Alexandre Gauthier (Origine Nature), Mikhail Sagal (TSRgrow), Atiyyah Ferouz (AgCann Consultancy), Donis Bernal (Delphy), and Rob Smallman (Curaleaf International)

Alexandre Gauthier of Origine Nature, however, mentions that they're very slow to implement any new technology. "We're currently in the process of converting to LED lights. We have some of the highest yields in Canada, we easily grow between 800-1000 grams of dry trimmed flower of over 25% THC per square meter. So, for us, that transition is very important to make sure we keep our yields up. But we've been really focusing on crop steering. So, anything that is able to really steer our crop to achieve consistent results. We've noticed that most consumers aren't looking for that new phenotype, they're looking for a consistent product. So, for us, consistency is more important than new technology. We're not looking at shiny objects."

But what are some future technological must-haves that facilities should consider? Mikhail Sagal from TSRgrow says: "From our perspective, energy and consistency are important in this industry. There are a lot of challenges as the industry is maturing. So one of the things we believe is a must-have is full integration, not only of the environmental sensors but also leaf temperature, lighting, power, and other things. For any facility that wants to grow and be sustainable, you need to have the flexibility to be able to create recipes. Knowing what's going on in your facility is the basis, but then also taking that to the next level and creating recipes around how you're going to grow that strain, monitoring the power, and only using the power necessary to grow that strain. It's important to integrate all those things."

Rob Smallman of Curaleaf International mentions that it can be challenging to implement new technologies because you have to integrate your quality department. "Me and the quality team always have good fights," he jokes. "But once you realize that you have to work together and have frequent meetings to discuss everything, everything comes together."

When it comes to genetics, is tissue culture the future of cannabis cultivation? Atiyyah Ferouz of AgCann Consultancy believes so. "Cannabis genetics are some of the most interesting and chaotic genetics because we've had people breed them for thousands of years illegally. Some growers spend so much time doing phenohunts and then if they don't have somewhere to store the genetic, they essentially lose it. Because there haven't been a lot of people that have successfully been able to create seed lots that are genuinely consistent throughout the entire batch, everyone is doing a phenohunt, every facility has to hunt from scratch. Many clients have called me up panicking: 'I bought these 3000 seeds from Spain, they said they were the same genetic but now this one looks completely different and the THC is off.' No matter what they say, you've got to phenohunt it. So it's about preserving your work."

Donis Bernal from Delphy agrees that genetics are essential. "Starting up the research facility, we're starting from seed. That indeed means we had to phenotype everything, which was a very difficult process. But we're focusing on great uniformity from a mother plant point of view. We see a tendency in the industry: growers tend to plan the process of picking their cuttings on the number of days, but then the age of the cutting varies, you have small cuttings, bigger one, and thicker ones. We believe this process can be optimized by picking the cutting more regularly, not based on the number of days, but based on the age of the cutting itself."

Bas Nieuwesteeg (DCM), Kjell Sneeuw (Cultivators), and Justin Whitehall

Nadine Walther (SpexAI) and Jorg Meyer-Brenken (Cannavigia)

Arjan van Antwerpen (DLVge), Olivia Ewenike (Lito Law Academy), Robert Jappie (Fieldfisher)

Frank Janssen (Grodan), Jan de Vries (Stabican), Roy Reinierkens (Shimadzu), and Daan Berkers (Grodan)

Fran Keogh, Bernard Sucher (Marry Jane), and Mariana Larrea Arias (Lifesciences and Cannabis Attorney)

Luc Puimege, Isabelle Francois (Chromisa Scientific), and Dirk Beelen (MedTec Pharma)

The Dutch Controlled Cannabis Supply Chain Experiment
Another panel took an in-depth look into the Dutch coffeeshop experiment. Joining the panel was Joost Sneller, Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands (D66). "In the Netherlands, we've got a huge organized crime problem, the supply side to the coffeeshops is completely unregulated. In the Dutch Parliament, there is a two-third majority against having this experiment. Still, the experiment is happening. It's in 10 municipalities, with about as many growers. The entire chain, from growing to transport, is being regulated and has its own sets of rules. Yet just last month, there was a resolution in Parliament to stop the entire thing. It got surprisingly close to a majority vote. Because the political parties have such different opinions, it's been a political uphill battle to get the experiment started. That's why some of the flaws in the experiment are because of political compromises."

Moderator John Wolfs (Wolfs Advocaten) with panelists Joost Sneller (D66), Simone van Breda (Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten), Ashwin Matai (Hollandse Hoogtes), and Dorien Rookmaker (MEP)

The first phase of the experiment has now started in Breda and Tilburg. Why did it take so long? "The law was adopted several years back," Joost Sneller adds. "That's immediately when the preparatory stage started: bank accounts were a big issue for growers, having a security check for the growers, what kind of documentation is necessary, zoning laws on a local level, what is the role of the town council, etc. That stage has taken a long time. But we've learned a lot from that, which will help when scaling up the experiment."

One of the goals of the experiment is to collect data. However, Joost Sneller says that it's partly a political compromise. "We were dealing with political parties that didn't want anything to do with this experiment. But it will also give political parties a way to make a more informed decision at the end of the experiment, whether they are in favor of regulation or not."

After the preparatory phase, we're now in a start-up phase. "Some growers were already ready to supply. So two growers are now supplying some coffeeshops in Tilburg and Breda. It will give us helpful insights on a smaller scale that we can use for the full rollout: how well does the track and trace system work, for example. What is the stock that a coffeeshop can have? In fact, that number has already been increased because it was found to be too low."

Simone van Breda (Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten) and Cem Marasligill (Sunakin)

Dorien Rookmaker (MEP) and Ian Rassman (Norml)

What happens after this? "The experiment starts in 10 municipalities on the 17th of June. Over the summer, there will be a transitional phase: coffeeshops can sell both legal and illegal cannabis. In September, there should be enough supply to switch over to a fully legal supply."

Simone van Breda of the Bond van Cannabis Detaillisten adds that it's a very good thing that the experiment is finally starting. "But at the same time, we only have 78 coffeeshops joining this experiment, even though we have over 500 total in the country. The others are either not allowed to join or don't want to. From the coffeeshop side, there are still a lot of questions. Is this the model we want to work with? Some of these coffeeshops have been doing the work by themselves for 50 years already and they want to continue that way."

Gillis Gelissen (Holland Green Science) and Sonny Moerenhout (Cultivators) in deep conversation during the lunch break

'The Business of Cannabis' panel moderated by Jamie Person (New Holland Group) with panelists Rachel Wright (AB Finwright), Joeri Perneel (Green Grown), and Falk Altenhöfer (

The 'Future Trends in Cannabis Cultivation and Technology' panel was moderated by Heidi Whitman with panelists Isabelle Francois (Thar Green Process), Sabrina Carvalho (Signify), and Cristina Carvalho (Equilibrium Labs)

'The Hague International Law' panel moderated by Sita Shubert with panelists Mariana Larrea Arias, Robert Jappie (Fieldfisher), and Olivia Ewenike

Annual event
This is, of course, just a very small portion of what was discussed during the day. Other panel topics included 'the business of cannabis', 'future trends in cannabis cultivation and technology', and 'international law'. The organizers were happy to announce that they are making the Cannabis Summit an annual event in the Netherlands; they will be back next year.