“Cultivation for Compounds consortium connects and informs growers and suppliers in the cannabis industry,” Cannabis-Drying.com
Published on 14/11/2023
Article 7, CfC, Interview with Cannabis Drying; Nick Abbingh
Welcome back to our Cultivation for Compounds (CfC) consortium article series! For the November release, we interviewed Cannabis-Drying.com, one of the partners of the consortium with a focus on the post-harvest aspect of the consortium. Before we start, for our new readers, the CfC is a four-year research project and representation program committed to cannabis cultivation and education. This article is the seventh of this series.
Representing Cannabis-Drying.com is one of their managing partners, Nick Abbingh. Nick’s journey with the company started three and a half years ago, in a Dutch drying company, a sister company of Cannabis-Drying.com., which was founded almost 50 years ago, drying seeds, flower bulbs, onions, garlic, and more worldwide. “In 2017 the company was introduced into the cannabis market for the first time, when a client, a former flower bulb breeder, came to us and said that he is starting a cannabis farm in California, but he is not a fan of the current way cannabis is dried in the sector, and asked us to design a new system for him. We studied and designed a very large system for this purpose, one that could dry around 3,000 kilograms of cannabis a week. This system still had its own limitations and restrictions, so we kept working on it and improving it, which is how Cannabis-Drying.com was created, offering high-quality systems for both recreational as well as medicinal cannabis growers”.
A conditioning unit of a drying cabinet, by Drying-Cannabis.com
Offering two different types of systems; a hang drying system which can be used for recreational or GMP growers and a GMP tray drying system mainly for medical growers, Cannabis-Drying.com has clients in Europe and they are currently developing the market in South Africa. Nick shared with us his opinion about the different ways to dry cannabis for the medicinal market; “I believe tray drying is the best practice for medical crops because it gives you more control, that is also the way we dry the produce of the CfC. Nevertheless, it also has some downsides, three to be exact. The first one is that not all cultivars ‘like’ to be wet trimmed. A way to make this problem smaller is by a ‘hybrid’ drying method. In this method, you for buck the flowers, then dry the flowers, and then dry trim the flowers. The second downside is the occurrence of flat spots on the product, which is not a big issue for the medical market, but it is for the recreational. Nevertheless, if the tray is filled with bucked flowers instead of wet-trimmed flowers, this problem will be reduced, because the leaves would act as a ‘cushion’ for the flowers. The third downside is if you do tray drying, you have to process a lot of products while it is ‘wet’. That means a lot of labor is needed in one day, which is not the case with hang drying. For instance, for a farm that usually operates with 15 employees, when using tray drying, around 40 people will be needed on the harvest days, which can be of course very tricky”. Having such an open, honest, and reflecting discussion shows that the team of Cannabis-Drying.com is aware of the struggles of the industry and is looking for the best available solution per client, promising them the best tailor-made drying solution for their unique company and facility.
A conditioning unit for a larger drying system, by Drying-Cannabis.com
The drying step of the post-harvest stage of cannabis cultivation is a very important one, because of the possible impact of the drying process on the quality of the final produce. Therefore, Cannabis-Drying.com is responsible for ensuring the drying conditions such as the temperature, humidity, airflow, duration, etc., are best suitable for the grown cultivars in the CfC research. “By now we have reached the ideal drying conditions for the CfC varieties”, Nick said, “Usually, it takes some time to define the very best, suitable, and individual conditions for the cultivated varieties, and it can be done using a moisture analyzer, which is what we did at CfC. Using this device one can measure after X amount of time how much moisture a product still holds. Based on this information, we will know if the conditions should be adjusted, and for how long we should keep drying, to ensure the highest quality. Once you do it a few times, the perfect drying cycle for your produce can be identified.”
A tray with cannabis flower products at drying, CfC 2023, by Drying-Cannabis.com
We asked Nick what role the CfC consortium plays for Cannabis-Drying.com, as their solutions are involved after the plants are harvested. “The offer to join the CfC came from Vertify, and even though we do not test any products during the cultivation cycles, we were more than happy for the opportunity to join the team for several reasons, marketing being at the top of them.” Nick explained; “We placed a drying cabinet at the facility where the drying cycle, once defined, should be repeated without any changes with every cultivation cycle, otherwise, the main research results can be influenced, which is of course not desirable. So, we are making use of the rest of the marketing and educational benefits of CfC, such as the great pavilion at the World Horti Center, and the opportunity to show to clients or business partners our installation at a European operating facility growing cannabis”.
We concluded our conversation by talking about the future, asking what the key impacts Nick thinks CfC will have on its partners and industry at the end of the 4-year research period. “I believe that by the time we conclude CfC, and possibly even earlier, the research and marketing impacts of this consortium will create an information as well as supplier base for any investor or grower that wants to grow medicinal cannabis on a larger scale worldwide. I hope we can show the industry the results of all the time and money invested to generate the most up-to-date information and high-quality research, which is valuable information to improve our products and services and excel in the cannabis sphere. Moreover, I am content with the business relationships that we formed via the CfC, knowing the strongest players in the horticultural industry came together to work on something mutual we all believe in and see the future opportunities in it, that should give growers the feeling of security and trust in each partner’s abilities and knowledge.”
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