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The first crop of cannabis grown in the open air is laid in Canada


The harvest of leaves and inflorescences of therapeutic cannabis grown in the open air will cost about 25% of the cost of cannabis grown in the greenhouse and from 15 to 20% of plants cultivated in specially equipped premises. It is these numbers that radically change the rules of the game in the Canadian hemp market. 

On the pages of the specialized electronic edition of Ukrainian cannabis, we have repeatedly raised the issue that it is more cost-effective to grow high-cannabinoid varieties of cannabis on open ground. How this technology is implemented in Canada, try to describe in this material.

Based in Ontario, 48North lays the foundation for what will become a large-scale Canadian legal cannabis psychoactive crop grown in accordance with the “Hemp Law” that came into force in October 2018. According to the co-chair of 48North, Jeannette VanderMarel, "With the approval of the Ministry of Health of Canada and with appropriately issued permits, the company will legally cultivate psychoactive cannabis in the open air in 2019 for the first time in the country."

An application for obtaining permits was submitted in October 2018 on farm land located near Brantford, Ontario.

Ms. VanderMarel claims that Brantford's hemp farm will destroy the industry’s stigma. The cost of the crop grown on it will be a small part of the invested financial resources of the therapeutic hemp crop, which is currently grown in greenhouses or rooms. And this is despite the fact that the quality of the naturally grown "green mass of the plant" is slightly different from the indicators required by consumers on the market.

The company's management expects the first crop of therapeutic hemp grown in this way as early as October 2019. Approximately 90% of the dried organic material grown in the open air (about 40,000 kg) will be used for extraction, as well as for use in “next generation products”. The remaining part of the leaves and inflorescences of hemp, which has therapeutic properties will be sold in bulk and in retail chains of hemp shops of the state and the whole country.

According to the company's management, if the grown crop is what it was calculated in the prepared business plan, in 2019 48North will receive a huge competitive advantage compared to raw materials grown "under artificial lighting." Naturally, the cost of the grown crop will not need to invest the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars for the operation of automated greenhouses or specifically for this equipped premises.

“According to the preliminary calculations of the company's specialists, the harvest of leaves and inflorescences of therapeutic hemp grown in the open air will cost about 25% of the cost of cannabis grown in the greenhouse and from 15 to 20% of the plants cultivated in specially equipped premises. It is these numbers that fundamentally change the rules of the game in the Canadian hemp market, ”says Ms. VanderMarel. “I think that in 2020 Canada will already grow therapeutic cannabis in the open air, but I very much doubt that there are still Canadian companies that will have time to prepare for this kind of planting in 2019, considering the fact that no one except us has yet filed application for this kind of activity. If our company submitted an application in the fall, we will receive an appropriate permit in the spring, the rest will not have time to get the necessary permits for this. ”

Some representatives of the Canadian hemp market doubt that it is possible to preserve the crop grown on open ground. In particular, the CEO of Canopy Growth is concerned that even teens using household drone can steal cannabis that is not grown in a greenhouse or building. However, this kind of fear does not frighten the representatives of 48North. According to Ms. VanderMarel, “Our security system detects everything that can monitor the crops from above. Modern technologies of use of lattice networks, as well as sensors for detecting an upcoming security system, give full confidence that there can be no advocate for penetration into the field. ” At the moment, perimeter fencing and security cameras have already been installed on the Brantford hemp farm.

According to Ms. VanderMarel, the outdoors-grown legal harvest of psychoactive cannabis will have a favorable effect on the environment. "We use natural sunlight, we grow plants in an organic way, so no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used during plant cultivation." In addition, as the compost is planned to use the root mass of hemp, which will not be used for commercial purposes.

Commentary of the «Ukrainian Industrial Hemp Association»

Despite the skepticism expressed by individual representatives of Canopy Growth, they acquired 3.6% of the issued and outstanding shares of 48North for 3 million Canadian dollars ($ 2.3 million). In addition, 48North agreed to supply Canopy with a minimum of 1,200 kg of the green mass of cannabis grown by them over the next 12 months. The first money for the still not grown crop should be credited to the “48North” account before the end of 2018.

Canadian companies are working on technology that already exists on the territory of Ukraine, but our Canadian colleagues currently have no technical therapeutic cannabis varieties unlike the Ukrainian market; therefore, at least in this issue, national cannabis have a significant advantage.

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