We begin the course by reviewing some of the foundations of cannabis, including the history of humans’ interaction with the plant and the policies which govern its production and use. We also review the efforts of the advocacy pioneers who came before us and fought for the right to access medical cannabis, and learn more about how we can continue that tradition in our personal and professional lives.
From there, we walk through the entire life cycle of the plant, from propagation to harvest, and present some basic cultivation techniques for each stage of growth. This introduction will provide the basis for a much deeper dive into the science of cultivation, where we explore the anatomy and physiology of the plant, plant nutrition, and the factors which can limit photosynthesis. Along the way, we present general strategies for optimizing conditions in the growing environment and increasing yield.
Once we have established a solid grasp of cannabis botany, the course shifts to the topic of cannabis agronomy — the science of crop production. We introduce basic concepts of soil science and microbiology, and explore organic and sustainable growing techniques. We then discuss strategies for managing the plant pressures that present themselves in a controlled cultivation environment, including pests, pathogens, and nutrient deficiencies.
In the final part of the course, we focus on two specific cultivation methodologies for cultivation: sun-grown and indoor. First, we look at growing cannabis outdoors, under full sun, where cultivation conditions are driven by nature. This portion of the course features a deep dive into large-scale cannabis farming practices, infrastructure, and equipment. From there, we look at how greenhouses are used to harness the benefits of full-sun cultivation while maintaining greater control over environmental conditions through the use of passive and active systems.
Finally, we discuss the technologies needed for achieving optimal results in an indoor setting, including lighting science and controls, ventilation and CO2 supplementation, and electrical systems. We wrap up with a recap of some of the financial considerations of launching and managing a commercial cannabis cultivation operation, and an applied project where you will design your own cultivation facility.
- Advocacy for the Cannabis Industry
- History and Policies of Cannabis
- Federal vs. State Law
- Cultivation Safety and Compliance
- Introduction to Cannabis Horticulture (Botany)
- Seeds and Clones
- Vegetative Growth
- Transition and Flowering
- Harvest and Processing
- Mediums, Nutrients, and Irrigation
- Optimal Conditions
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Propagation Techniques
- Soil Science and Microbiology
- Sustainability and Organic Farming
- Sourcing Genetics
- Prevention, Treatment, and IPM
- Nutrient Disorders
- Farming Infrastructure
- Ventilation and CO2
- Electrical Systems
- Cultivation Financial Management