It’s summer time in Canada and that means the window for plating out cannabis plants has arrived. This is a chance for outdoor cannabis specialist Christine Lake Cannabis (CSE:CLC/FRA:CLB) to show what it can do with new variants of cannabis that can flourish in an outdoor environment.
Climate forecasts for the Christina Lake region of British Columbia for the months of June through October 2021 indicate very favourable conditions for outdoor cannabis cultivation. With a newly expanded operational team, Christina Lake Cannabis says it intends to carry out full-scale cultivation throughout the 2021 growing season alongside its R&D activities as well as around-the-clock extraction using its Vitalis R200 machine.
Specialist grower of hardier outdoor cannabis strains
Christina Lake Cannabis has carved itself a niche as both a grower of new varieties of cannabis at a much lower price point than greenhouse grown cannabis, but also with the adjoining specialist processing capacity that will allow it to produce cannabis extracts for the growing market for CBD.
Christina Lake is in the process of developing a sales pipeline for dried cannabis, extracts (distillates, winterized oils, kief, etc.), and “prepared” consumer-ready goods which it may add to its offerings in the near future (e.g., pre-rolls). The company seems very well positioned to sell into a market where price is going to become a factor.
The company is planting out 45,000 cannabis plants from its greenhouses to fields. It also continues to work on proprietary strains designed to grow outside. Its Master Growers think it will have 30,000 clone plants ready for experimental outdoor growing this season along with a further 15,000 seedlings from non-experimental strains.
Seven key strains to make up bulk of crop
“We have identified seven key cannabis strains that are ‘tried and true’ and will make up the bulk of our crop this year, though we also have over seven times as many experimental strains that have made their way through the R&D process to the point that they are now ready to begin growing outdoors,” said Nicco Dehaan, COO at Christina Lake Cannabis. “With a focus on cannabis extracts, maximizing our THC yield is a key consideration in our development of cannabis strains, some of which have shown potency of over 20% in our lab tests.”
For the 2021 growing season, CLC has increased its total count of pots (many of which contain multiple plants) for commercial-scale growing by 15% from 22,500 pots in 2020 to approximately 26,000 25-gallon (95-litre) pots this year. Seven strains of cannabis will comprise the majority of the crop, with approximately 50 strains still in R&D to identify genetic formulations with benefits to include durability for outdoor growth and increased potency of tetrahydrocannabinol (aka THC).
Christina Lake has recently nearly tripled its extraction capacity; it will be interesting to see how increased THC levels from its crop could translate into a competitive advantage as the company enters its second full year of operations as a fully integrated licensed producer whose activities go ‘from soil to oil’.
CLC says it has identified a market deficit with respect to the selection of cannabis strains specifically suited to outdoor growth. Given the sustained popularity of this cultivation method, it is is continuing its R&D initiatives both for the purposes of growing its own plants as well as for potentially supplying seeds to other licensed producers that cultivate cannabis outdoors under natural sunlight.