The importance of good growing practices

Published Nov 15, 2021 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / underworld111

Cultivating cannabis is a challenging feat. Producing it for millions of consumers in a way that is safe and effective is even harder. Having one plant in a windowsill in no way compares to producing a giant crop that could be wiped out by illness or infection in an instant because there’s a lot more at risk. Good growing practices can help cannabis producers to manage those risks while also improving the overall quality of products that make it onto dispensary shelves, thereby benefitting everyone - from those who grow to the average consumer.

What are good growing practices?

Good growing practices are steps that every cultivator should take to ensure they produce a crop that is completely yeast, mould and contaminant-free; ready to be cured, packaged, and sold to eager consumers who expect high-quality, clean results. Mainly, it’s about environmental control, which creates the ideal space for plants to thrive while leaving little to no room for hazardous bacteria to survive.

Air systems and controls

Air movement is essential when you’re growing cannabis, as it helps to strengthen the plants and keep moisture from resting too long in places that might be conducive for mould growth.

Humidity management

Cannabis plants thrive in warm and; humid environments, but humidity must be precisely controlled because too much can wreak havoc on both the end product and the space it’s grown in.

Ventilation

Ventilation helps to reduce the risk of mouldy weed because it contributes to air movement and gets rid of excess humidity by pumping out old and stagnant air and bringing clean, fresh air.

Sterilization procedures

Everything in a space that’s dedicated to growing cannabis should be sterilized, from the soil you use to the pots and tools you’ll need to get through. Bacteria can hitch a ride on just about anything, so it's important to keep this in mind throughout every step of the process, from seed to harvest.

Proper equipment for workers

Sanitization of a grow space and its surfaces is required, but it’s also necessary to take this one step further by providing workers who will be handling or be around a grow space with the appropriate equipment to reduce the risk of crop contamination. This means gloves, masks, bodysuits, and freshly sanitized boots, with no exceptions.

Pesticides

Indoor cannabis crops are relatively easy to control with the technology we have today, while outdoor farms remain a challenge when it comes to avoiding contaminants. In some cases, pesticides must be used to control or eliminate mould infestations and disease, and when they are utilized, it’s important to consider the potential adverse effects that any trace residue might have on consumers.

Beyond growing

In most cases, cannabis products leave production facilities in a clean state once they’ve been packaged and loaded onto trucks. However, during the months they spend in the package before reaching consumers, conditions can result in contaminated mouldy weed. These goods will have passed testing at every stage of the growing, curing and packaging process, but they still might contain some of the building blocks that are necessary for mould and other contaminants to grow and thrive. Therefore, good practices are so incredibly important because if growing cannabis is cleaner, then there is much less risk for all consumers.

Is mouldy weed something that consumers should worry about

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