Agriculture is one of the essential industries in modern human existence. Population growth, technology advancements, migration, genetic breeding and animal domestication are results of human agriculture and cultivation.
The impact of agriculture on the environment cannot be overstated. Seventy percent of all freshwater worldwide is consumed by agriculture. Chemicals used for fertilization, pesticides, and herbicides harm our environment and health at very high levels. Not to mention the high intensity of energy required to develop such chemicals.
Combine this with deforestation, food transportation, food waste, and labour conditions, and it's not hard to see why agriculture is the most critical industry to humankind today. We can live without our phones or social media, but we cannot live modern lives without the agriculture & farming industry.
Agriculture and farming in cannabis is the first sector in the cannabis industry. Without cannabis agriculture and farming, there is no cannabis industry.
Agriculture & farming is a crucial sector of the cannabis industry because this is where it all starts.
Cannabis is a flowering plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family, which includes hops (used to make beer) and hackberries. Cannabis recognized species are Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis (indigenous to Central & Eastern Europe), although all cannabis plants are considered the same on a molecular level. Cannabis is also known as hemp, which refers to industrial cannabis or low THC content and high cannabinoid concentration cannabis.
Definition: Cannabis Agriculture & Farming
Cannabis agriculture and farming is the cultivation and development of cannabis, industrial hemp, and hemp CBD crops in greenhouses, indoor facilities, and outdoor farming. Agriculture and farming in cannabis consist of cultivation, seed & soil, agriculture technology, extraction, and automation.
Three Company Examples
Greenhouses are enclosed structures of glass designed to protect plants in a controlled environment away from external weather conditions. Greenhouses make it possible to grow produce and plants year-round in any climate. Managing a greenhouse takes experience, skill and training. Growing within a greenhouse is more complex than outdoor cultivation and, at times, indoor cultivation.
Copperstate Farms is one of the largest greenhouse cannabis producers in North America, with over 1.7 million square feet of canopy and 40 acres covered by glass.
Outdoor cultivation takes advantage of mother nature and natural climate conditions. In the right conditions, water, sun, nutrients and fertilization are naturally provided by the land. Outdoor cultivated plants are also subject to bad weather conditions, drought, and poor soil nutrients making outdoor cultivation less predictable than other forms of cultivation.
For large industrial cannabis use, outdoor cultivation is the preferred method of cultivation.
Curaleaf’s newly acquire Los Suenos Farms has more than 66 acres of outdoor cultivation capacity, making it one of the largest in North America.
Seed & Soil
Nutrients are essential chemicals for commercial cultivation and cannabis production. Cannabis plants absorb the majority of thier required nutrients for growth and propagation from the soil. A healthy, nutrient-dense soil in the right conditions will yield better output and higher quality products for the cultivator and customer.
Advanced Nutrients is one of the oldest, most established cannabis businesses globally, with more than $100M in sales in 95 countries worldwide.
Careers in Cannabis Cultivation
Similar career paths in traditional agriculture and farming exist in the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is injecting much-needed innovation and technology into modern agricultural methods such as vertical farming and agrotechnology.
Long-term careers in agriculture and farming will require college and university education and apprenticeships under experienced practitioners.
Horticulture & Botany:
- Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients
- Botany, also called plant science(s), plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology
- Quality Assurance is a systematic program to manage the quality, safety, and regulatory requirements of cannabis products and by-products
- Compliance ensures regulatory and licensing requirements are maintained, tracked, measured, and reported by people and systems
Agrotechnology & Plant Genetics
- Agrotechnology is the technology used in the production and cultivation of plants to increase yield, lower cost(s), and improve efficiency
- Plant Genetics is the study of genes in plants for IP development, genetic modification, and breeding