After touring a fair number of Canadian production facilities, it is an odd thing to see a large metal cabinet market ‘pesticides’ anywhere near a grow. As is seeing large spray canisters right beside it.
One of the novelties about the Canadian experience I guess – being limited to some 22 registered pesticides, there is a fair amount of apprehension around their presence and visibility in grow ops. Even if they’re called ‘Doktor Doom Formula 420‘. Lots of biological vectors used to be sure though, and there were several bug sellers at MJBizCon as well.
I had no expectations of seeing a US production facility, although many have urged me to look. I saw many different things, much of which I wasn’t expecting.
The size of the grow was smaller than I imagined. While indoor, the square footage is relatively small to other indoor grows I’ve seen, and this definitely impacts efficiency. There is a known ratio for optimizing space requirements of clones:vegetative:flowering. I didn’t see this in place at MPX. Indeed, I saw somewhat of a ‘lumpy’ grow – as in discrete areas in distinct phases of growth. By appearances, it didn’t look to be in continual harvest. I’d guess that they would struggle to get 4 full crops per year out of it – but then again, I didn’t have free reign for several hours to climb around the place.
They are currently running 12 strains, with no breeding program (or plans to have one) in place. Cultivars and genetics is seriously hush hush in the states – at least in the legal production set. I understand it’s due to the FDA having paramountcy federally. Some of our US followers might know the details/validation.
MPX also does something I know some BM growers won’t do – and I haven’t seen before in a legal commercial op up here – is blend strains in a single indoor room. They separate strains by height – segregating them at various stages based on the stretch and ultimate flower height of them. They try to keep height relatively homogenous in rooms during growth, to optimize the canopy. Some growers see this as problematic: different plants use different nutes and transpire at different rates – holding them in the same rooms either require tray modification, or, too much CO2 past the 5th week can induce foxtailing (which reduces yields, and the trimmer’s patience).
If they were having issues, it didn’t look like such. Plants were largely good, if a little heavy in P.
They also don’t have much of a hand in ‘corrections’ – or manicuring to create uniformity of canopy. For a flower company, this wouldn’t be ideal, as some of the lower buds would be known as ‘popcorn’, and not ‘premium’. For an extractor though, it’s likely not as important.
Our tour guide stated they were around 50/50 flower/extract end product.
They also ran CO2 very high relative to others I’ve seen: their alarms were set to 1,500ppm, which will induce some large eyeballs among some growers. Most rooms measured into 1200-1400 range while I was there, despite varying degrees of maturation.
I asked the head cultivator if they were growing strains for extract versus flower, he replied ‘no’.
I also asked their head chemist if he liked the strains they were running – he said ‘they could be better’.
I don’t know if this is a sign of disconnect, but it stood out. We at TheCannalysts know that some strains are far superior for extraction than flower – and vice versa. It was odd not to hear it on the floor.
MPX is desirous of securing the other half of the building they reside in – one can easily believe that production constraints are probably acting a governor on revenues. And as in dispensaries, the cultivator’s name is not the hang on for branding, it is in cultivars. Another large distinction between US and Canadian markets. Although extraction companies down there are an exception – and are all about the brand, not the cultivar per se.
I really wish I’d had their chief scientist, Cyto, and a couple of days to do this one right.
For the reader, all of these observations are only in the comparative – it’s not an absolute nor comprehensive look into the grow.