El Cannatorcedor, Leaf Process, R&D

Clean Leaves – A Commercial Challenge

One of the things that has surprised me – how hard it can be to get clean leaves and use them in a state licensed business.

And what I mean is …….  for the ideal cannagar, you want leaves that have not come in contact with pesticides or other sprays, especially the common types used to prevent mites, stop rot, kill bugs, etc.  Not all growers who want to make cannagars can provide such leaves.   It’s difficult to predict how a chemical presence in a leaf will effect organic decomposition during curing.   I have seen some odd decomposition that seemed to be directly attributable to pesticide use.   And who wants to inhale pesticides?   No one.  The problem – the foliage takes the brunt of all sprays.

I was helping someone who turned out to be using Eagle 20 (and NO ONE should use that stuff), their leaves started to look like Predator skin from the Schwarzenegger movie – mottled, spotted, yellow/green/brown/black.   Looked fine for a week after plucking, then nose dived, unexpectedly.  They had several large batches completely fail and go bad, and after switching to something new, the problem stopped.    And they kept switching.   New problems happened.

I prefer taking leaves during flower – both because the leaves are typically lighter, and because growers will often stop spraying once the buds begin to form.  However, flower is when the leaves usually start to become less abundant, and when many growers will start pulling foliage off.

I’ve had several clients whose rooms for selecting leaves would change schedules often, switch brands without notice, foliar nutrient overload where the nutrients burn leaves, mega-lolipopping (trimming everything off), etc.    All surprises during the middle of cannagar production.   Expect the unexpected with a large operation.

Smaller niche growers with attention to detail and a solid plan, you can really take the cannagar market.    Not only will you have the edge and the story, like a craft brew, but the overall attention to your product and ability to control it is going to win.   Believe me.   Even if you arent pulling in money now, keep going.   If you love what you are doing, keep perfecting your art.

The big growers can afford to do what it takes, so its oxymoronic in a way.   With all the resources, the amount of people interfacing can make the entire process burdened and harder to manage.

Boutique craft growers whose main focus in top shelf will to be the gardens that can really put everything together on site and knock out a quality cannagar – and the key will be marketing it right.

If you have a business that wants to make cannagars, and you have no access to clean leaves – it was a real pain for the few producer processors I have worked with to transfer leaves from other grows.  Paperwork, driving, the leaves had to be transported in the same secure van as the rest of the deliveries, which was a cost added to the leaves, and time, etc etc etc.    If you are going 100% by the laws.   It really doesn’t seem like it needs to be that difficult.  Maybe it’s just a Washington thing.

I wanted to get hemp leaves last year for a client that was having trouble getting clean leaves.  Hemp seemed like a perfect idea, abundant and I could get possibly get insane amounts of leaves, but …..it’s not allowed.   Cannabis producer processors cannot accept or sell any hemp product, and vice versa, and the most strict will want to account for where the leaves came from.  Ok.   So just tell people that the leaves came from <X> hemp farm.    They cant.  It’s against the regulations. . It was amusing.  I get it, hemp and cannabis – for flower + extract – they have to totally be separate markets.    Leaves too apparently.   lol.

Growing leaves at home is easy to grow without pesticides – the challenge is that anything you grow at home cannot be used in a retail product.   So, my leaves remain for my personals, and my own event service rolling, but I cant bring them to any consulting client for use with anything destined for a retail shelf.

People get weird about those rules man.

How hard is it to get leaves onto retail cannagars where you live?

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