Hydroponic gardening: The future of cannabis cultivation startups

Angelique Moss
Oct 18, 2018 · 4 min read

There’s no doubt that the cannabis industry, particularly the cannabidiol (CBD) segment, is headed towards becoming one of the largest and most lucrative markets today.

According to Entrepreneur, CBD is heading towards a billion-dollar market capitalization in the next four years, thanks to continued market acceptance and bullish marketing efforts. In fact, by the year 2022, the CBD segment is expected to grow to a potential $22 billion payout.

Which is why it’s no surprise that more players want to be part of the action. In Canada most especially, the first G7 nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, suppliers are already scrambling to meet the market demand once legalization takes place on Oct. 17. This includes CBD products or CBD oil which is touted for a number of medical benefits including seizure control, a cure for insomnia, a mild anti-depressant, and as a painkiller for chronic conditions.

With the advent of CBD’s popularity, however, comes the fear of being exposed to low-grade strains of cannabis. CBD can be derived either from marijuana or hemp plants. Hemp-derived CBD oil is often more preferred over marijuana because of its low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels, the compound associated with the cannabis’ psychoactive effects. This makes CBD from hemp legal in most parts of the U.S.

Could hydroponics gardening be the solution to low-grade cannabis plants? (Source)

Cannabis growth challenge

California, considered to be one of the largest producers of cannabis, experiences the problem particularly during summer when the region experiences wildfires. Since the plants are grown outdoors, the flowers harvested during autumn are often tainted with soot and smoke.

Another problem is the current regulatory process that determines if cannabis plants are high-standard. Apart from stringent testing which actually turns off licensed growers that wish to supply CBD companies, many actually fail tests that determine biological and chemical contaminants.

Some of the growers fail because of possible pathogenic fungi and bacteria, while some do not pass testing for agricultural chemicals. According to cannabis experts, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has prohibited some agricultural chemicals (Ex: pesticides) that are not approved for use of commercial cannabis plants.

Possible solution

What sets this technique apart from traditional farming is that hydroponic gardening doesn’t use soil so roots don’t exactly need to constantly search for the necessary nutrients it needs to grow. The nutrients they need are provided directly to keep plants abundant all throughout the year. What’s needed for a livable and successful hydroponic garden are light, the right temperature and ph levels, and of course, the necessary nutrients and water.

One company that’ currently applying this method in growing cannabis plants (and with impressive success) is FSD Pharma (CNSX: HUGE, OTCMKTS: FSDDF). FSD Pharma is a publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange that operates one of the largest cultivation and processing areas for cannabis plants.

Its facility, the former Kraft food production plant in Cobourg, Ontario, which is strategically located near Toronto, can accommodate over 3,800,000 sq. ft. of cultivation and processing activities. Through this, FSD Pharma intends to target all legal aspects of the cannabis industry, including cultivation, processing, manufacturing, extracts and research and development.

FSD Pharma, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FV Pharma Inc., holds an ACMPR license to cultivate cannabis under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The company runs a state-of-the-art indoor hydroponic production facility which ensures the highest quality controlled environment for large-scale pharmaceutical grade cannabis production.

In the advent of Canada’s recreational marijuana legalization, FSD Pharma will focus on medical cannabis as there could be a possible shortage of high-grade cannabis materials geared towards medical use as more company are expected to move towards Canada’s recreational weed market. By doing this, there could be a significant premium between the price of medical and recreational marijuana, giving possible investors a chance to capture a more exclusive market.

FSD Pharma’s hydroponic farm is poised to supply the demand for cannabis plants whole year round.

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Angelique Moss

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London-based entrepreneur, writer, and traveller. The world of business, finance and investments, is her preferred cup of tea.

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