One of the worst calls a cannabis cultivator can get is from the state-approved testing laboratory informing that their latest batch of cannabis has failed microbial testing and must be remediated – or even worse – destroyed. After spending months nurturing clones, paying close attention to watering and feeding schedules, and spending thousands on expensive equipment and consultants – it is an absolute gut punch to see all that hard work be tossed in the garbage.
Many are surprised to learn that this is a much more common occurrence than one might believe. Larger commercial operations in well-established states like Washington, Colorado, and California – and even in Canada – often plan for crop loss on their bottom lines.
Canada Health reported that in 2020, 19% of unpackaged cannabis (280,000kg) was destroyed for reasons ranging from licensing and labeling issues to insect and microbial testing failure. Insect and plant diseases make up around 5%-8% of that annual crop loss which means millions of dollars lost for operators. Often operators will even keep product that has to be destroyed and stagger that process over months or even years to avoid the negative cash flow hit to their bottom lines. Microbial diseases are not only eating into the plants – they’re eating into an operator’s profit margin.
The question then becomes – where are these microbial diseases developing through the life cycle of a cannabis crop?
Millions of dollars are spent on environmental control systems, sensor systems, automated feeding systems, and lighting systems for the cultivation space in an effort to produce the highest quality cannabis on the planet. The most common place where mold, bacteria, and other pathogens develop is during the drying, curing, and storage of cannabis after the cultivation.
Top-quality cannabis requires consistent temperature and humidity-controlled environments with evenly distributed, gentle airflow. Many cannabis operators overlook their dry room and try to get by with basic patchwork setups of HVAC systems, mounted oscillating fans, and possibly a floor dehumidification system. This patchwork of solutions creates a very unstable environment where the temperature and relative humidity fluctuate greatly, fighting against AC units and dehumidification systems that are putting off their own heat and moisture. Basic fan systems create a turbulent airflow environment where moisture pockets develop and create conditions conducive to mold, bacteria, and pathogen growth.
We here at Cann Drying Systems have taken technology and principles developed by our parent company over 40+ years of servicing the food industry and tailored that to the specific needs of cannabis cultivators. Our turnkey automated system takes the classic method for drying that growers trust and made it more precise and efficient by putting it into a closed-loop system. On average, our customers are able to dry their precious cannabis product using 50% less energy and in half the time of the industry-standard dry room setup. Evenly distributed laminar airflow ensures that your dry cycle is low maintenance and highly reliable, so the end result is a top-quality product every time.