7 Things You Never Knew About Cannabis Farming

From sustainability issues to plant copying, the business of cannabis farming in Canada is more involved than you ever imagined.

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Cannabis farmingPhoto: HEXO

Perhaps you’ve consumed some type of cannabis through a joint or vape pen. Maybe you’ve even dropped a little CBD oil on your tongue. But have you ever considered what goes into cannabis creation? In a nutshell: a whole lot. Here are seven cool facts about cannabis farming seen through the lens of one of Canada’s largest licensed producers, HEXO Cannabis.

Cannabis farming can be a major, major undertaking

Forget the image of a lone man in his garage tending a few dozen plants by grow light. For big-name cannabis companies in Canada, extensive growing space is necessary to meet consumer demands. In fact, one of HEXO’s facilities in Gatineau, Quebec is a staggering one million square feet and is capable of producing 108,000 kg of dried flower per year.

One company alone can create hundreds of jobs

Thanks to legalization in Canada, there are more jobs in the cannabis industry than ever before. In April 2019, HEXO’s headcount exceeded 600 people and the company has plans to hire an additional 500 employees this year.

A continuous harvest means year-round work and fresh product

Though it requires much more attention and space, a continuous or perpetual harvest, which separates plants in each phase of their growth, means that the workload is spread over the entire year instead of specific harvest seasons. Plus, fresh plants are continuously ready to meet demands. HEXO has 11 different grow rooms to allow for this type of growth system.

Organic growers use ladybugs for pest control

While the Canadian government permits the use of certain pesticides and pest control products on cannabis plants, HEXO prefers an organic method of growth. The company’s greenhouses use a wide range of insects—think mites, ladybugs, wasps and dragonflies—to protect the plants against pests like aphids, caterpillars and fungi.

The technology is always evolving

HEXO uses Segra International Corp.’s plant tissue culture propagation technique—which generates exact copies of original plants without traditional cloning—to increase its production of healthy, quality cannabis. The process creates plant copies without the same risk of pathogens and fungi that affect other industrial production processes.

Greenhouse growing minimizes electricity usage

If a cannabis grower can minimize its electricity requirements, it can also cut down on its environmental impact. HEXO prefers to grow in greenhouses rather than indoor facilities, because they maximize natural sunlight and reduce the need for artificial light sources.

Cannabis growth requires a lot of water

Cannabis plants love to guzzle H2O, which can take its toll on the environment. In HEXO’s newest greenhouse facility, waste water is recovered, recycled and reused to hydrate the plants. The company is also looking into options for capturing rainwater to cut down on consumption.

For more information about HEXO, including frequently asked questions about the brand, visit hexo.com

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