Genetics impact everything about your cannabusiness, from whether you focus more on quality over quantity to your revenue and how you position yourself in the market. A successful cannabis business strategy begins with the end in mind and a commitment to quality in the genetics of your plants.
If, for example, your end product is flower, the approach you take to genetics should be different than it would be if your end products were extracts and concentrates.
Read on to learn more about the importance of cannabis genetics and how to create a long-term business strategy that places genetics at the forefront of your planning.
Cannabis Genetics: A Crash Course
When we breed plants, we cross male and female plants to get seeds. That’s what we call our F1 generation. But half those seeds will be males that we have to throw out. The other half will be females, but some will take on majority male characteristics, some will take on majority female characteristics, and some will be roughly 50/50.
As we go through that F1 generation, we ask ourselves what characteristics we want to get from each type — like strong and girthy from the male side, and good-smelling produce with a high THC from the female side, for example.
Once we weed out the F1 plants with characteristics we don’t want, we’ll take the females from the narrowed-down group and cross them again with the males to get our F2 generation. Of the F2 generation, the males will be thrown out again, but the females will be much more consistent in the characteristics we’re looking for.
If we were to stop at the F1 generation, the plants likely wouldn’t produce the way we wanted them to or have enough potency. That’s why it’s important to put in the time to develop the characteristics we want through multiple grows.
Quality Assurance: Start at the End
Your end goal and your plants’ genetics go hand in hand. For example, imagine you have two plants. One tests at 30% THC and gets you two pounds of light. The other plant tests at 20% THC, but gets you three pounds of light.
If your goal is extraction, the first plant will be more efficient. But if your business strategy is to sell raw flower, the second plant will produce more biomass and therefore be the better choice. When you know what you’re growing for, you know what characteristics you need your plants to have.
Many cannabusinesses have quality assurance (QA) programs for the back end of their product. Once the product is finalized and trimmed, it passes through QA before being brought to the shelves. But many businesses neglect the QA process for their plants’ genetics — and they shouldn’t.
Know the Data of Your Plants
QA will give you a more accurate idea of not only what crops you can expect to yield but also the timeline they will need. Indoor growing follows an assembly line, so it’s critical to know how many times you can turn over the space and build that into your business strategy.
If some plants take 14 weeks to finish flowering and others take eight weeks, you’ll end up having a gap in your assembly line. And any time plants aren’t under the flowering lights, your cannabusiness is losing money.
When you understand the data of your plant, you have a better idea of what to expect from it and when you’ll need to fill gaps in the assembly line. Then you can more accurately determine if a given plant qualifies to be brought into your facility in the first place.
For example, if you have 10 feet between the table and the light, you need to know that your plants will only grow to be eight feet tall and not 10. In this way, your plants’ genetics impact everything in your facility, from lighting and space to THC and beyond.
Fit the Plants to the System
Another mistake we see people make is trying to tweak their system to grow a certain strain in their facility. This is dangerous because when you give certain plants special treatment, you open the door for missed or double doses, pests, and all kinds of other issues.
Instead of adjusting your system to cater to specific strains, only bring in strains that suit your system. It could be a great plant objectively, but if it doesn’t fit your system, it’s going to take up precious time and resources.
Genetics & Brand Messaging
The impact genetics have on your brand and messaging really goes back to the question of quality versus quantity. Do you want to be the Budweiser or the Delirium of cannabis?
If your business strategy is for your product to be accessible and common, then you’re prioritizing quantity — although, of course, quality always matters. If you’re a high-end brand, on the other hand, quality should be your chief concern. You can demand a higher price for a special, stand-out product.
Also consider what you want your brand to be known for: novelty or dependability. Do you want to be known for your staple products or for bringing new strains to the market? Both strategies work, but they have to be well thought-out.
You need a solid business strategy from the beginning, detailing how you’ll get to your end goal — be it quality or quantity — and how you’ll make your product resonate with the people you’re trying to bring it to.
The cannabis market is maturing. People do want potency, but they also care about cannabinoids and terpenes. When you factor genetics into your business strategy and can explain to your audience how you are controlling the quality of your plants and the traits you are breeding for, you will stand out from the crowd.
Start Building a Successful Business Strategy Today
A strong cannabis business strategy starts at the beginning with a solid understanding of how genetics impact your entire business. You need to have a plan in place for every part of the process, all leading to and supporting your end goal.
At HYC, we understand how cannabis genetics impact your planning and long-term success. Contact us today to learn more and start implementing better quality assurance in your business.