At CANNA we thrive through passionate grower stories that we love to hear about , be a part of, and highlight in our CANNATalk Experience.
William, please tell us a little about who you are.
William: Currently I am a full-time ACMPR designated producer of medical cannabis for patients with a prescription, but I’ve also worked as cultivation technician for Sundial Cannabis.
Tell us the story of how you became a passionate grower.
William: Well, there’s no green thumb in the family per say, but I remember my mom always being in the backyard in the spring and the fall gardening and keeping up with the yard.
My passion for growing cannabis however, began in high school when I had to seek out a solution for sleeping issues. Through research and trials I came to understand just how misunderstood the cannabis plant was.
Today, not only am I passionate about growing, but consuming and cultivating the plant has become therapeutic to me.
I’m currently in the application stages for a horticultural program which I hope will help widen my knowledge and allow me to experiment more with my plants.
I’ve discovered that my favourite part of horticulture is learning through failure and hands-on experience with the plant
How has your passion for growing evolved over the past 2 years?
William: I’ve failed many times at growing, but over the last 2 years have discovered that my favourite thing is working through those failures and learning through hands-on experience what works best and doesn't for each plant. I tend to both personal and medical prescription plants, and my passion for growing sees me dialing in on the environmental conditions and striving to constantly optimize each plant’s growth.
What would you consider your favorite part about the entire growing process?
William: Do you have time for a list !? [laughs]
My favourite part of the growing process has to be the need to constantly evolve in order to optimize a chambor in an effort to bring out the best capabilities in your plant for yields, smells, structure, hardiness and floral development.
What would you consider to be your least favorite part of the entire growing process?
William: Trim jail [laughs]
I find that hand trimming is the way to go to get the quality a consumer is actually looking for, so I spend hours and weeks in trim jail.
What do you look for most when it comes to growth nutrients and why?
WIlliam: I personally use a coco medium and rely on nutrients to aid the plant in expressing itself. Being in a hydroponic system my plants love calcium, magnesium and lots of nitrogen among other things.
In my experience the genetics and the environment in which these genetics are in are one of the biggest factors affecting the end result.
If the VPD (vapour pressure deficit) is there along with genetic vigor, good structure and over all hardiness the nutrients should be uptaken at optimal rates. A lot of consumers look for purple buds. The unique Phenotype ** of purple pigmentation can actually be expressed through multiple methods involving bringing temps down and simulating the fall seasons best you can.
Overall environmental conditions are crucial as they will affect whether the stomata aka the mouth of a leaf is open and transpiring or closed. An unhappy stomata can lead to issues like leaf curl which could advance to other issues if not treated. Good environment + good genetics and finally good nutrients = happy plants.
Organic nutrients and synthetic nutrients create slightly different tastes. Both shine in their own way but the amount of dedication it takes to create a unique food web of living soil, and the final product that comes from that web can not be mimicked hydroponically. The taste of a slowly grown in soil organic bud is in my opinion of the highest quality
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a Head Grower?
William: There are a few things.
I'm only 20, so my age has prevented me from having the title of Master Grower.
Also, under the ACMPR we are capped on how many patients you can provide for so a lot of growers will look for patients with bigger prescriptions, so it becomes hard when you have a lot of product and only have a certain amount of patients that you provide for.
If you had a direct line to your consumer, what’s one thing you would want them to know?
William: I see myself more as a caregiver, because I grow out of love and passion as well as a strong belief that individuals with medical ailments should have fair access to truly beneficial treatments.
I also think it's incredibly important to encourage consumers to learn more about what they are consuming, especially if you are a medical consumer. I think it’s important for them to know that specific traits could actually be toxic to their health. A good example of this is if you hear a snap/pop/crack it means there are leftover nutrients in your cannabis and that could be toxic.
In years to come, what would you like to be recognized for within the growing community?
William: I would like to see myself as a Head Grower, Lead Grower or Master Grower at a craft cannabis company. I am truly passionate about cannabis and the culture that is behind the plant …
A grower that never forgets where his passion began.
Who is someone you look up to in the Cannabis industry and why?
William: Jack Herer.
The creator of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” aided in bringing the capabilities of industrial hemp to light and opened the public's eyes to adverse effects of cannabis prohibition.
What are some of the questions a consumer should be asking a budtender when buying cannabis products to ensure they get a safe and quality product?
William: How long was the bud cured for? Ideally you would want to hear anywhere between 1-2 months, but the truth is that’s not often the answer. Bud that tastes awful and is way too dry is usually flash dried within a 24 hour process. This could totally destroy your terpene profile eliminating any moisture that's actually beneficial.
You want your bud crispy on the outside, but squishy on the inside … like a quality cookie.
What’s a myth you would like to debunk?
William: I hear so many…
A big thing in the cannabis community is indica sativa and hybrids and the effects associated with them. Not many consumers are aware of the fact you can consume an indica and feel like it was a sativa and vice versa. In a botanical sense this is explained by the terpenes, terpenes are what make a strain feel indica or sativa and these terps Weather uplifting or sedative can be found on both indica and sativa strains. More or less indica or sativa describes phenotype.
If you’re not killing any plants you’re not learning anything.
What’s the one tip you would give a home grower just starting out?
William: Never be scared to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with temperatures, methodology, strains etc. Enjoy the ride that the plant takes you on. If you’re not killing plants you’re not learning anything at the end of the day.
Go onto different forums and read about other people’s experiences: