Marijuana Business Magazine July 2018

C annabis that fails to pass state requirements can be salvaged to avoid a costly catastrophe. But preventive measures – including invest- ments in infrastructure and increased vigilance in cultivation operations – are a better long-term strategy for growers. They can also save your bottom line. Jerry Velarde, president of Nevada’s Evergreen Organix, can attest to that. The company grows and processes can- nabis and produces edibles and other products. During Evergreen Organix’s first growing season, nearly 130 pounds of product failed state testing. “That’s nearly $325,000 in lost product, not to mention the cost of getting out of our hydroponic system and bringing in permaculture, start- ing all over again, waiting another 120 By Joseph Peña EXECUTIVE SUMMARY You can remediate cannabis that fails to pass state requirements, but preventive measures to avoid failed tests are better for your long-term strategy. Experts shared these tips for investing in infrastructure and increasing vigilance in your grow: • Consult with heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) engineers to evaluate and improve temperature- and humidity-control systems in your grow. • Consider investments in high- efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, inline ultraviolet light, inline ion generators, inline ozone systems and new lighting. • Scout your grow daily for irregularities and cull plants that might endanger others. • Introduce predatory mites and other beneficial insects to prey on aphids and spider mites. days until our first harvest and the cost of labor and operations until we were able to make our first sale,” Velarde said. “That mistake cost well over $3 million in capital. Factor in lost time and rev- enue and add another $2 million to that. That money is just gone.” After the setback, Velarde chalked up losses to winter humidity, too few dehumidification units in his grow and a cultivation team that was unprepared to manage the size of the facility – fac- tors that could be combatted with a new strategy. He overhauled his cultivation team, converted his grow from deep-water culture to no-till permaculture soil and put safeguards in place to avoid future failed tests. Velarde and other cultivation gurus shared tips to help ensure your product earns a passing grade at the testing lab. PREVENTIVE MEDICINE A well-equipped grow, a watchful eye and friendly critters can help growers ensure their product passes state testing requirements 50 • Marijuana Business Magazine • July 2018