With the development of industrial cannabis cultivation in the major legal production states of the United States, the increase of processing licenses and the renewal of cultivation facilities show that the commercialization process of industrial marijuana raw materials products is gradually accelerating.
Since the United States have released industrial cannabis cultivation at the end of 2018, the legal industrial marijuana cultivation area in the United States has exceeded 3.1 million acres in 2019, an increase of more 554% than the last year’s cultivation area covering 470,000 acres. Colorado has the largest licensed cultivation area of 486,000 acres, followed by Kentucky (364,000 acres) and Oregon (334,000 acres).
The supply of cannabis crops is affected by the snowstorm, but the survival cannabis plants can still be used
- Cannabis crops damaged by snowstorm:
The Los Sueños Farms LLC is the owner of 36 outdoor acres of rich farmland in Pueblo County, which has the largest cannabis cultivation in Colorado. Because of the blizzard in the early winter of this year in the United States, a large number of crops were damaged by the low temperature below 0 ℃ lasting 8 hours. Despite the fact that half of the 40,000 plants were successfully harvested by the staff, failed to be harvested due to insufficient storage space, the other half of the crops could be frostbitten, which would result in millions of dollars of losses. The founders of Los Suenos said that they were still trying their best to carry out some remedial measures, such as covering the crops with blankets, injecting hot water into the soil, etc.
- Insufficient supply will lead to higher wholesale prices:
The Los Sueños Farms LLC provides raw materials for processing companies in Colorado, such as Wana Brands, Dixie Brands, and Evolab.DeGabrielle expects the loss will spread across the state’s supply chain, reducing supply sources for retailers and processors, which can make these businesses face higher wholesale prices. Besides, being in short supply, the wholesale market of the dried cannabis flower is more likely to be short of raw materials. Since the Los Sueños Farms LLC will sell high THC content dried cannabis flowers for the most part in the processing market, the increased price of the dried flowers may be more obvious.
- The survivals crops can still be used for extraction and the rate of return may increase:
The remnant crops will not be available for sale in the dried flower market, but the Los Sueños Farms LLC can recycle this biomass and sell them to extraction companies. DeGabrielle estimated that now the company has harvested 750,000 pounds of the residual crops, and after harvesting another 20,000 crops in the next two weeks, the number of the residual crops would increase significantly. Degabrielle also said that they have tested parts of the dried crops and determined that the THC content is 18% – 24%, much higher than the average 6% – 8%. Degabrielle thought that this test result might be on account of that most of the remaining crops are flower parts, not the leaves that died from the cold. He expected the rate of return in this year would be higher 25% than that of last year.
Impact of cold winter on crops and planting suggestions
- Impact of cold winter on crops:
Different varieties of cannabis plants have different responses to temperature. On average, if the temperature is less than 12 ° C, it will put cannabis plants at the risk of death. As cannabis plants’ metabolism slows down , the biochemical and enzymatic processes needed for plant growth will not occur, and the absorption of nutrients by root system will be affected as well, which will cause the plants becoming very weak and the yields will be greatly reduced. In addition, the humidity is sometimes high in winter, which is easy to result in pests to damage crops.
- Planting suggestions:
Since the soil temperature may be too low, growers can use containers such as crockery for planting. And putting some cork wood under the crockery will take better effect. Indoor planting is the most recommended choice: heating and thermostat can maintain indoor temperature, and irrigation hot water can keep soil temperature at about 18-22 ℃. If you want to expand the light cycle of plants to promote their growth, you can use indoor lighting such as LEC appropriately.