Out of the shadows, and into the light. Whatever your stake in the future of Canadian cannabis, this maxim speaks volumes. A regulated commercial production community for Canadian medical cannabis demands an evolution from the stealth cultivation that drove black market production for the last 20 years. Now cannabis agricultural practices from hydroponics to native soil are being reevaluated under the scrutiny of technical agriculture for their scalability and consistency. One thing is certain: cannabis production in five years time is going to look very different than it did five years ago.
In various cannabis-tolerant jurisdictions around the world, a new technology built on old principles is emerging. From California to Israel, greenhouse agriculturalists are experiencing quantum leaps in yield, growth rate, and product quality through a Sungrown cultivation methodology. Hubs of high tech greenhouse expertise such as Southern Ontario and B.C.’s Fraser Valley are starting to sit up and take notice.
A common misconception around modern greenhouses is that they replicate outdoor farming, lacking the quality control technology of indoor production. On the contrary, the modern technical greenhouse can enable a tighter degree of environmental manipulation than a warehouse or indoor grow op, especially in humidity control. Indoor facilities - with transpiring plants, heat from lights, bottlenecked ventilation, and moisture-provoking air conditioning - are at an inherent risk of excess humidity, the primary cause of mould. Greenhouses designed for crops ranging from cucumbers to poinsettias have been solving such problems for decades.
By implementing technology like blackout curtains, photoperiod extension, CO2 enhancement, and high capacity ventilation, cannabis greenhouses are achieving multiple quality-controlled crop cycles per year. These crops are fuelled by the most powerful light source on earth: the Sun. Ask yourself, why do we not grow tomatoes in basements?
Photosynthesis is a critical action in plant growth. In many cases leafy plants have evolved to absorb as much light as possible, using it as the primary energy source to fuel their growth. When it comes to healthy cannabis plants, the more light the better.
We believe that, when combined with long flowering times, sunlight as primary light source will encourage increased terpene (essential oil) production through the late flowering stages of the cultivation cycle. Maximized terpene density brings out the individual strain’s defining characteristics, as these oils contribute to the bud’s colour, scent, and appearance. More light means healthier plants.
The core value of our production methodology at Tantalus Labs is creating an optimal environment to nurture plant health. By providing full spectrum sunlight at a higher intensity than synthetic lighting, we offer the plants an ideal opportunity to realize their strain-specific genetic potential. Furthermore, there are several corollary benefits, most notably a drastic reduction in environmental impact.
Replacing indoor lighting with sunlight reduces electricity demand by a potential 90%. Sungrown cannabis is Canada’s only potentially net carbon offset cannabis cultivation method, and patients can rest easy knowing that they are supporting a sustainable future for this powerful plant.
At Tantalus Labs, we believe that the future of cannabis cultivation is Sungrown. Canada has a unique opportunity to leverage our highly specialized greenhouse expertise in the service of this new market. This is a rare opportunity to establish our nation as a technological innovator, guiding the rest of the world towards a credible and technically sound future for a plant experiencing a renaissance in social attitude. Tantalus Labs aspires to be a meaningful voice in this progress, and we stand behind a commitment to proliferate our technology transparently. Together with the most exciting greenhouse growers in this emerging industry, we can show the world a tenable method to advance the frontier of cannabis
Dan is a Partner at Tantalus Labs, a cultivator of sungrown medical cannabis located in Vancouver. Tantalus was founded in 2012, and is nearing completion on North America’s first cannabis-designed industrial greenhouse, designed and implemented by their specialized team of Ph.D. level Biologists, Engineers, and Agriculturalists. They have been called “The Tesla of Cannabis” by Shafin Diamond, BC Angel Investor of the Year (2014).
Featured Image from Aphria