Marijuana Business Magazine April 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | April 2019 108 “What people tend to call Kush nowadays doesn’t really have anything to do with the Hindu Kush mountain range (in Afghanistan),” he added. But don’t be fooled by a plant with a lot of crystals, or trichomes. Just because the flowering part of a plant outwardly looks to contain a lot of resin doesn’t mean the inside of the leafy plant material will. “Some of the best plants that we’ve ever come across for the extraction process aren’t very outwardly resin- ous,”Hague said. “But they do produce quite a bit more on the extract end.” Frencis Perret Gentil Jr., cultivation adviser for Canna Advisors in Boulder, Colorado, also begins by selecting the best genetics. “Acquiring genetics from a stable producer or acquiring cuts from someone you know has stable genetics is going to be No. 1,” he said. “Understanding the specific pheno- typical traits that you’re looking for will be your starting point for any facility that’s producing for concentrates.” Perret Gentil agrees that Kush strains, as well as OGs, should pro- vide consistently good results. Thorne also goes for OGs if he’s extracting for cannabinoids and general high-potency concentrates such as distillate. If he’s looking for terpenes for product such as live resin, he’ll select his genetics based on how a plant smells. Fruity aromas in strains such as Grape God and Pur- ple Punch usually equal good terpene yields, he said. “It’s all about selection at the beginning of the process and the breeder’s work,” Thorne added. Have a Favorable Growing Environment While the genetics typically drive how much resin a plant creates, the culti- vation environment can help to refine and finish the process. Thorne uses a tightly controlled greenhouse climate to help generate large resin heads. He’ll start his plants with a warmer, wetter room, then trend toward cool and dry to finish the growth cycle. “We can really see large returns of oils in a very tightly controlled climate, where we’re really able to steer the crop and finish it effectively,” he said. Perret Gentil agrees that your second-most-important focus should be your cultivation methodologies and techniques. “Properly being able to care for plants will affect the total amount of yield and potency as well as terpene production,” he added. “If you don’t have solid (standard operating procedures), you’re really going to struggle to produce consistent, quality products from the genetics you’ve acquired.” One way to dial in your production is to formulate and tweak your nutrient supplements to ensure high yields, Perret Gentil added. Finishing Moves Can Have an Impact Once you’ve selected the right strains and grown them properly, it’s impor- tant to shepherd them through the last stage to provide the best possible plant material for extraction. At Acreage, Hague likes to harvest his extraction-designated plants slightly earlier than flower for retail shelves. He’ll fresh freeze his cut plants immediately by placing them in a freezer rather than drying, curing and trimming them. Doing it this way preserves some of the terpene content for live resin and helps to reduce labor costs. Acreage can skip paying an army of trimmers, for one. Hague also recommends that grow- ers re-create the “whole-plant experi- ence” within a facility by lowering the maximum temperatures at the end of the plant cycle to help preserve terpenes in the extracted oil. Thorne takes a similar approach and finds harvesting early helps to preserve the terpene profile, or, “that nose that everybody appreciates.” While the total amount of oil recov- ery might be less if the plant hasn’t grown as large and dense, harvesting early retains the aromatic qualities of what the live plant smells like, Thorne added. The timing of your harvest is crucial, according to Perret Gentil. He advises having an adequate number of workers on hand to cut and trim dried product. Without a properly managed schedule, producers risk allowing plants to age out of their peak trichome production time frame. Philip Hague is director of cultivation at Acreage Holdings. Courtesy Photo Frencis Perret Gentil Jr. is cultivation adviser for Canna Advisors. Courtesy Photo Best Practices In Cultivation | Bart Schaneman