Cannabis, Academia & Ag

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March 6, 2019

Cannabis Business Times has always worked to bring lessons from mainstream agriculture and academia to you, based on two premises: not reinventing the wheel (after all, cannabis is an agricultural crop and, as such, will eventually be commoditized) and bringing in proven, researched insights from those with significant horticulture backgrounds, including university professors and researchers. Research on cannabis cultivation, however, has been seriously lacking, particularly in the university setting, due to the crop’s federally illegal status.

However, times are changing. And Cannabis Business Times is now able to provide you with even more insights from academic researchers and mainstream ag.

Our March issue will feature the first of a recurring series on nutrient management co-authored by:

  • Dr. Brian Whipker, a professor of floriculture at North Carolina State University (NCSU) specializing in plant nutrition, plant growth regulators and diagnostics, who has more than 28 years of greenhouse experience working with growers. He has co-authored eight scientific journal articles on the impact of fertilization with greenhouse species and three disorder diagnostic guides.
  • Turner Smith, a graduate student in substrate science at NCSU.
  • Paul Cockson, a research assistant and undergraduate at NCSU, who, for the past two years, has worked in the plant nutrition lab at NCSU with Dr. Whipker.
  • Hunter Landis, an agronomist at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, who works with growers using plant tissue analysis to monitor plant nutrition and diagnose plant nutrient disorders.

While the quartet has written several nutrient management features for Cannabis Business Times, they will now be sharing the results of their latest research at NCSU on cannabis nutrition.

We also are pleased to introduce two new columnists:

Robert Eddy (whose name you might recognize from a number of features he has penned for CBT), the director of ag projects for Core Cannabis in East Lansing, Mich. He was the Plant Growth Facilities Manager at Purdue University for 20 years and was responsible for the success of hundreds of research studies involving more than 100 diverse flowering, food and medicinal species.

This issue features Eddy’s second “Hort How-To” column (his first column on hydroponics can be found in CBT’s February issue). Eddy will be alternating with Ryan Douglas, the owner of cannabis consultancy Ryan Douglas Cultivation, who has also worked in commercial horticulture for 20 years and specializes in legal cannabis start-ups. He spent three years directing cultivation for Canada’s largest licensed producer of medical cannabis, Canopy Growth Corp., at the company’s Tweed facility and now lives year-round in Colombia consulting for businesses in the medical cannabis industry.

These exciting new opportunities that are emerging as the cannabis world continues to advance also are being shared in person at Cannabis Conference 2019 (www.cannabisconference.com); in addition to the 90-plus leading cultivation and dispensary business owners and professionals who will be speaking at the event (April 1-3 in Las Vegas), you will hear from Dr. Whipker, along with:

  • Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor/Extension Specialist, Kansas State University, Department of Entomology
  • Dr. Shouhua Wang, Plant Pathologist, Nevada Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Bruce Bugbee, Professor, Utah State University, Department of Plants, Soil and Climate; and
  • Dr. Brian Jackson, Director of Horticultural Substrates Laboratory, North Carolina State University

While you or your team may have decades of cannabis cultivation experience, we can’t ignore that there are 12,000 years of agricultural experience to learn from (according to National Geographic). No doubt there is huge potential for rapid and significant advancements to be made in cannabis cultivation through research and lessons from the millennia-old agricultural community at large.