Are marijuana crops on the horizon?

Published May 26, 2019 12:28 p.m. ET
Credit: SEASTOCK

The green, green, grass of home, seems an appropriate saying for the upcoming Canadian outdoor crop. Soon, we may be seeing legal marijuana growing across the Canadian landscape.

Many licensed producers have applied for the ability to produce marijuana outside. Growing legal marijuana outside is how the plant was meant to be grown. Cannabis flourishes outdoors with access to sunshine. There are other benefits associated with growing marijuana outdoors too. The operational costs are lower. Buying land as compared to a building is considerably more economical, and when you factor in the price of purchasing plants or erecting greenhouses out door production seems more advantageous.

June 2018 saw the Canadian regulator approve outdoor cultivation of the marijuana plant. The regulations earlier were in force to produce marijuana inside to help prevent theft of the plant, while attempting to enforce quality control for the green plant. In Ontario, the estimated price for purchasing greenhouse space is $1.5 million; an Ontario grower purchased 100 acres of land for $1.5.  A farm in Brant County, Ontario, is believed to have signed the first outdoor supply deal. This company will be supplying 1,200 kilograms of pot from their outdoor farm to Société Quebecoise du Cannabis, Quebec’s cannabis retailer, by the end of the year.

Imagine driving through the country only to come upon acres and acres of 15 feet tall marijuana plants. Outdoor growing maintains the beautiful terpenes that identify the delicious flavour profiles of the different strains. Currently, most of the cannabis that is grown outdoors is scheduled for extraction purposes. Pricing will be a huge component in outdoor growing.

Growing cannabis outdoors does not go without challenges. The growing period in Canada does not look encouraging for more than one crop per year. The quality of the flower can be lower according to some pot enthusiasts. Another challenge for perfecting how to grow marijuana outside are the strict guidelines that must be followed.

Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay

• Your outdoor acreage must be at a minimum of 5 kilometers away from other crops to prevent pesticide drift.

• The soil must be monitored to ensure no contaminants are in the ground.

• Security will become another consideration for the outside grower. Cameras, motion detectors, and electric fences are some of the measures that are going to be needed to ensure that the crop is not stolen.

• The odor is going to be a problem for some farmers that are close to civilization. The odor of marijuana plants can be quite pungent. Indoor growing utilizes the need for filters to clean the air from the odor. Outdoor growing will not be using this technique and can, therefore, become a negative component when outdoor growing methods are utilized.

Driving through the back-country roads viewing the beauty of these magnificent plants while enjoying the fragrant smell, may not be too out of reach. As licensed producers are coming on board to the production of plants in the outdoors, the landscape of Canada is in for a change. Who knows, perhaps wheat and corn crops are going to be challenged by the growth of legal marijuana?

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