When Canadian Cannabis giant, Canopy Growth announced that they will be shutting down 3 million square feet of Cannabis greenhouses, critics and doom prophets jostled for space on the soapbox to eulogise the Cannabis industry and they were right, but only within the Canadian context.
Two metrics matter when it comes to Cannabis. These are cost per gram and CAPEX invested to produce a kilo of product. The Canadians got both of those spectacularly wrong. When the fresh breeze of legalisation started blowing across Canada, companies looked towards their local cultivation experts to help them design industrial scale production facilities. The master growers that emerged from their BC basements applied what they learned under prohibition and started designing mega high tech grows funded by what appeared to be unlimited capital from stock market investors who were all too keen to surf the Cannabis wave. The problem with unlimited Capital is that common sense leaves via the back door. Any problem can be solved by throwing enough money at it and this is exactly what transpired in Canada. Setup costs in excess of $2500 per square meter became the norm. Production costs in these monster grow houses were impossible to contain resulting in a COGS number per gram almost as far North as Canada itself.
In the company’s statement announcing the closure of their flagship greenhouses, Canopy growth stated; “The Company now operates an outdoor production site to allow for more cost-effective cultivation”
This highly revealing statement by the largest Cannabis company in the world should make Southern African Cannabis wannabes sit up and take notice! Surely we are wise enough to realise that, if these high tech, whistles and bling production models didn’t work in Canada where the infrastructure and support is available for an operation like this, that it won’t work in Africa?
Why is it that even while Canopy growth itself admits to the non-feasibility of the mega greenhouse in Cannabis production, we here in Africa are still queuing up to buy these outrageously expensive solutions? Ponder that for a fortnight…..
In contrast to this madness, Cannaconsulting’s Biophilic Cultivation methodologies, now being audited by CCI Deloite, makes use of appropriate, low impact (low cost) technology to afford protection to plants when needed while leveraging natural processes to produce happy, healthy plants yielding superior product at a mega low cost per gram.