Mark B., Verdes Director of Cultivation and Jose C., Verdes Assistant Grower
I’ve been with The Verdes Foundation for 3 years in a few different roles. In my first position I started in the dispensary working as a customer service representative. Within a year I moved to be the Dispensary Manager, and then I was offered a position in the grow area which I was excited to accept! I have been in the grow for a year and I absolutely love working hands-on with the plants.
Beginning the Day as a Cannabis Grower
Jose, how do you start you day in the Verdes grow?
I start my day by looking at every grow room to attend to any situations that may have arisen overnight. Once I get settled in, I write all my tasks for the day and talk over daily goals with the grow team. Our first task is to water rooms that have their lights on.
Learning the Life-cycle of a Cannabis Plant
What is the life-cycle of a cannabis plant?
The full life cycle of a cannabis plant is about 5 months. This time-frame includes the start of the plant as a clone (a snipping of a vegetative plant) all the way until the plant has flowered and is ready for harvest. As the clone starts growing, its main goal is to survive and establish roots. As it matures we make sure to provide the plant with the right balance of water and nutrients. Once the plant is about the right size, it goes into flower mode which is when buds begin to form.
A Challenge Growers Face
What is the most challenging part about growing cannabis?
For me the most challenging part about growing cannabis is finding the right balance of nutrients the plant needs to be healthy.
The Rewards of Growing Medical Cannabis
What is the most rewarding part of growing cannabis?
The most rewarding part is knowing that the final product is going out to patients who are using this cannabis as medicine. I like helping patients receive cannabis at its highest standard possible.
Loving What You Do is Contagious
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part about my job is seeing a smile on every employee’s face that I see. Basically, it’s great knowing that I am not the only person here that loves what I do.
Advice for Personal Production License Holders
Best piece of advice for personal production growers?
The best piece of advice I can give to personal production growers is keeping your grow concealed and secure to deter any unwanted attention. I often recommend that if you can’t keep your outdoor grow secure to instead grow indoors to maintain your safety and privacy.
Growing indoors is also a good route to go as it allows you to fully control the environment of the plant without having to worry about changing weather or bugs.
Hi everyone! Mark here. I am the Director of Cultivation of the Verdes Foundation’s cultivation team. Before starting at Verdes, I had a fifteen year career as an engineer at a local national laboratory. I am able to employ my laboratory experience and higher education in the sciences to apply proven scientific methods and processes to the Verdes Foundation’s cultivation.
Mark, what are important pieces for personal production growers to know?
Don’t let your plants sit in water! Overwatering is the number one common mistake. Do not water your plant unless the soil is dry at least 1” into the root zone.
You’ll also want to maximize your root zone. The larger the root zone (the area in the soil where the roots grow), the larger the plant, the larger the yield. Think: wider not deeper.
Remember to start cheap and keep it simple. Cannabis cultivation at home can be simple and easy. Work up to expensive equipment and advanced techniques only if desired.