Case Study

Integrated Pest Management in Cannabis Cultivation

Integrated pest management (IPM) is one of the keys for cannabis cultivation operations to produce chemical-free cannabis for both medical patients and adult-use customers. In the past, the use of chemical pesticides in cannabis cultivation was widespread throughout the U.S. despite some states having laws that specifically ban these toxic chemicals.

While cannabis cultivators have been able to skirt such rules due to the lack of regular, targeted testing, states are increasingly moving to tighten regulations and to ensure that marijuana tainted with chemical pesticides cannot be marketed. This means that cultivators who are using these pesticides may see their harvest destroyed, their revenue lost, tarnishing of their reputation and brand, and exposure to liability claims leading to the possible revocation of cultivation licensure altogether.

Fortunately, 3C has extensive experience in developing and implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies that eliminate the need for chemical pesticides and are compliant with all state laws and regulations. Remember that IPM strategies are all-inclusive approaches that include evaluation and best practices related to:

– Cleanliness protocols
– Workflow recommendations
– Facility design guidance (when applicable)
– Pest inspection and discovery protocols
– Instruction in required recordkeeping and documentation
– Training in best practices regarding pest management
– Schedules for the application of natural, low-toxicity pesticidal materials

This case study considers a medium-sized facility that contained 5,000-10,000 square feet of canopy. To facilitate an IPM package that was sufficient for an operation of this size, 3C’s retention fee was $25,000. Additional costs came in the form of state-mandated training and certifications for staff, supplies, and materials needed to execute the IPM program. Ultimately, the program cost $28,975 to implement, with ongoing annual expenses totaling $3,125.

By initiating an effective, compliant IPM, our client avoided having to destroy the non-compliant product, thus protecting themselves against lost revenue. In this case, $250,000 was the estimated value of just one of ten flowering rooms located in the client’s facility at the time. This did not take into account the fact that our IPM guidance helped to prevent the business from having to endure a product recall, a process rife with costs, detrimental impact to their reputation and soiling of their brand.

When a client partners with 3C to enact an IPM program, peace of mind is achieved by eliminating the risks described above. Also, ensuring that pest management is being done correctly means our clients are doing the right thing by their workers, patients, and customers by providing safe, high-quality cannabis that is responsibly produced.

Are you planning to start a commercial cannabis cultivation? Are you currently a cultivator using pesticides but would prefer to grow using more eco-friendly practices?

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