Fragrance, appearance, trichome quality — these are just a few of the factors the industry uses to evaluate the quality of a cannabis harvest. And while it’s not an insider secret on how to achieve these characteristics, it hasn’t proven easy to replicate them time after time. Yet, advances in cannabis cultivation tech is changing this.
As many in the industry are quickly discovering, accomplishing a perfectly consistent crop from one round to the next is challenging. Cannabis may grow like a weed, but it’s frustratingly susceptible to fluctuations in the local environment.
The long-term commercial success of this industry, not to mention the possible future pharmaceutical applications, both require consistency. It’s a problem that Agrify seeks to rectify.
Why Does Consistency Matter?
As legalization spreads and markets mature, competition in the cannabis sector is ramping up. It’s no longer just about getting a product to market. It’s about replicating that product from crop to crop and from facility to facility.
Cannabis is a plant that contains a world of possible effects. Different phytochemical profiles offer subtle shifts in the medical and/or recreational experience.
Consumers want to know what effects they can expect, whether for targeting specific conditions or curating a relaxing afternoon. As a result, brands need to ensure their products deliver a predictable and repeatable experience, from one purchase to the next.
2. Repeat Customers
Imagine purchasing a bottle of aspirin that worked one time but not the next. Or cookies that tasted delicious from the first box purchased but terrible in the second.
Brand loyalty largely stems from creating a consistent experience, no matter when or where the customer makes the purchase. The same holds true in the cannabis sector. Customers will keep coming back if you can produce a flower with the same flavors, aromas, and qualities time after time.
3. Brand Reputation
Brand reputation hinges on consistency in every cannabis market. But with varying facility requirements in each state, replicating a winning formula is not a simple process. What happens when product quality varies from state to state? Brand reputation suffers.
All of these issues are already impacting the industry. As one scientist explained in a recent report on NBC News,“No one ever knows what they’re getting, and it’s a huge problem. It’s making it so the industry doesn’t work very well. Often it’s way too strong. It’s Russian roulette. New customers get burned and don’t come back.”
As the possibility of federal legalization becomes increasingly likely, brand reputation becomes even more critical to a winning multi-state or national strategy. Building this reputation by delivering a consistent product across the country is the key to success.
Why is Consistency so Challenging to Achieve?
Achieving consistent yields is much easier said than done. A complicated and multifaceted process, cultivation is both an art and a science to achieve desirable — and repeatable — results.
First and foremost, cannabis is at the mercy of Mother Nature. Its physical, chemical, and genetic expression is, in many ways, dependent on its environment. A highly variable plant by its very nature, all aspects of its environment, including light, temperature, water, soil, nutrients, and more, impact its final form and chemical expression.
Each cultivar responds slightly differently to each of these many environmental influences. This means each cultivar requires specific attention, not a broad brush stroke with a one-size-fits-all recipe. If you want to achieve specific results and then repeat those results, you have to drill down into the environmental details.
To achieve consistency from crop to crop (and from plant to plant), you require meticulous control over the grow environment. Controls only possible through cannabis cultivation tech. On a small scale, this is easily achievable. But for the large-scale commercial operations fueling the industry today, it’s an ongoing challenge — especially for those facilities set up with open racks.
Consistency relies on the expertise of the cultivators. They must completely understand how each environmental fluctuation could impact cultivar expression. But this expertise must be paired with technologies that create meticulous control over these settings.
What’s more, cultivators need to track and analyze these factors to replicate the “recipe” in future harvests. In some cases, this could mean tens of thousands of data points collected throughout one crop.
Neither is an easy task, but both are achievable with access to granular data, precise environmental control and meticulous record-keeping.
Agrify Cannabis Cultivation Tech Solves Challenges in Consistency
With Agrify, our Vertical Farming Units (VFUs) and Agrify Insights software unite to create a fully controlled micro-environment while collecting, parsing, and analyzing the generated data to ensure current and future grows stay on track.
VFUs arrive outfitted with Agrify Insights and are pre-programmed with proven recipes for the most popular cultivars. A plug-and-play model helps cultivators get up and running faster, requiring no additional installs or programming.
Agrify’s vertical farming technology is one of the first cultivation solutions to control the cultivation environment from A to Z. Equipped with curtains that provide complete photoperiod control and a fully enclosed cultivation area, VFUs create microclimates suitable for each cultivar at each stage of growth.
The internal sensors in a VFU feed up to 1.5M data points annually about plant growth to Agrify Insights. Data is organized into a series easy-to-understand visualizations and processed by Agrify Insights into actionable suggestions for continuous improvement.
This dashboard delivers instant alerts as needed, should the internal conditions shift outside preset parameters. It also displays grow insights at both a granular and bird’s eye level. Which, helps growers maintain consistency between crops while also giving them the tools to experiment in a highly controlled manner.
Want to learn more? Check out the consistency achieved in a recent case study, investigating two strains, comparing cannabinoid and terpene ratios across ten harvests.
Growing with Agrify, Advancing Cannabis Cultivation Tech
Whether you’re first starting out, expanding a current facility, or opening a secondary location, Agrify helps maintain the same high standards of plant quality and consistency. Schedule a consultation with one of our experts today.