As the year comes to an end, Missouri cannabis users and industry professionals have a great deal to celebrate! With the passing of amendment three in November, Missouri residents are looking forward to recreational adult-use at the beginning of 2023. Like most cannabis markets first transitioning to recreational use, expect a surge in sales and consumption within the state. Many people have long had a curiosity in cannabis, but never obtained a medical marijuana card for personal reasons.
Now that it is going to be recreationally legal, many of these curious people are going to jump at the opportunity to try cannabis for the first time. It is important for industry professionals to educate the new recreational users on consuming cannabis safely. Most importantly, cannabis affects everyone in a variety of ways. For some people it makes them feel energetic, uplifted, or happy. For others, it can make them quiet, anxious, or anti-social. Therefore, educating new consumers is crucial for their benefit as well as the cannabis market’s benefit.
It is widely believed that the higher the THC percentage, the better the cannabis. That may be true to some, however if it is the consumer’s first-time consuming cannabis, a flower with 30% THC will, more than likely, affect them differently than a flower with 15% THC. Easing consumers into cannabis use typically has positive impacts on new consumers. Once new consumers are comfortable with cannabis, then they will typically start to get higher THC percentage flower and be able to process it well. If new consumers are starting their cannabis experience at the highest THC percentages they can find, it may be too much for their body to process and therefore turn them off to cannabis all together. If this continues to happen among consumers, then sales decrease and in turn is detrimental for the recreational market. Educating new consumers on where to start their cannabis consumption will be key in encouraging the new recreational market to flourish for many years to come.
Due to the expected increase in sales, cultivators and cultivation facilities will likely increase production as well. An increase in demand always follows with an increase in production and an increased need in skilled employees. Skilled employees being ones who are not only trained in their job but perform it safely and productively with little oversight. With this in mind, facilities must implement and enforce safety policies and procedures that are as efficient as possible. Companies must employ a workforce that is well trained in the job duties they are required to complete while maximizing production potential. The cannabis market is still quite new to the United States and employees are learning new information and skills every day. Although many cultivation facilities have standard operating procedures, it is imperative to stay up to date and continue learning new technology and new techniques being introduced to the market as these can potentially increase production, increase yield, or increase overall plant health. Sustaining employees who are properly trained plays a crucial role in maximizing a facility’s efficiency. Inconsistency is a major issue in cultivation facilities. When employees are inconsistent with tasks such as topping, trimming, or irrigation, it will affect the plant’s result which leads to less yield, plant health issues, and a delayed harvest. Employees should be properly trained such that their assigned tasks are second nature. It may be challenging and take some time, but the investment of time will be more beneficial to the facility when consistent results are achieved harvest after harvest. If it is difficult to dedicate the time for an employee within your facility to be able to regularly provide training to all the employees, there are companies that can help such as Cultivation Solutions Group.
The Cultivation Solutions Group specializes in cannabis employee training and will come to the facility and take the time to train employees on any task that needs to be improved within the facility, as well as help identify the issues within the facility. Every facility wants to have the best cannabis product on the market, but with inconsistent results, it is tough to hold such a title for long. However, having properly trained employees can help a facility achieve a spectacular finished product to distribute to the dispensaries time and time again.
The introduction of micro licenses to Missouri is also something to rave about. With micro licenses, Missouri residents will be able to grow their own cannabis plants and legally sell them in the Missouri market. Anyone interested in growing cannabis should jump at the opportunity to get one of these limited licenses being distributed. With a limited number of these licenses being given out, if you are interested in obtaining one, start researching what will be required to obtain one of these licenses. There will be 144 total licenses released in three tranches of 48. Of those 48, 32 will be Grower / Processing licenses and 16 will be dispensaries. Also, of each 48 tranche, there will be 6 per congressional district (4 Grower/ processors and 2 dispensaries).
With micro license growers, there will also be micro license dispensaries. If you are a micro license grower, you will only be able to sell your product to micro license dispensaries which is a huge win. This will help keep competition fair, as companies who have general cannabis licenses of up to 30,000 square feet on canopy will not be able to sell their products to these micro license dispensaries. On the other hand, micro license growers will not be able to sell their product to general dispensaries. So how is this a win? Well, if you have a micro license grow, you will not have to directly compete with the bigger grow facilities products. Even though you will have a much smaller number of products than a full-sized grow, their products will not be on the shelves of the same stores competing against you. Also, micro license products will be more of a boutique product. Since there is a limit on the number of plants that can be grown under a micro license, products in micro license dispensaries will also be limited compared to that found at a general dispensary. This gives the micro license grower an opportunity to grow more boutique strains that are generally harder to grow. Typically, general cannabis facilities cannot manage to grow boutique strains because of the difficulties the strains will give them with upkeep & the time & labor required to keep these strains in good health is not worth it for them. Residents who apply for these licenses do not have to have any previous cannabis experience. Applications are open to anyone 21 years or older.
Even if you do not have any growing experience, there are programs such as the Midwest Cannabis Institute that provide a 12-week training program on how to grow cannabis from seed to sale. They use real live plants where students gain hands-on experience with and will learn all the necessary skills needed to have a successful cannabis grow. Programs such as these, offering hands- on training instead of just online training, are the future of the cannabis industry.
Recreational cannabis use in Missouri is something that many have wanted to happen for a long time. Now that it is finally here, take full advantage of it and make all Missourians understand why we are all so excited for it to finally be recreational!
Blog written by: Josh McNiell, Master Grower and Facility Design
Cultivation Solutions Group is a team of experienced, collaborative, and highly technical professionals focused primarily on cultivation within the ever changing and growing cannabis industry. Our team offers hands on education and training, focused solutions and best practices, and industry leading products and services to support grow facilities across the country.