At Verdes, our goal is to ensure that patients have access to a variety of cannabis options for their wellness. Keeping a variety of products on our shelves has been difficult due to the previous plant count of only 450 plants. In March 2019 the New Mexico Department of Health issued a temporary increased plant count of 2500 plants. This has been a long-awaited improvement and is very exciting news for both Verdes’ patients and staff. We know that patients have questions about how this change will improve their experience in the medical cannabis program. This blog is here to help!
HOW DOES INCREASED PRODUCTION AFFECT QUALITY?
Having an increased plant count opens the door to cultivate our crops with improved agriculture processes, workflow, equipment, and techniques. We will implement numerous, smaller, younger plants in place of large, solitary, older plants. Plant health, pest management, pruning, handling, environment, and harvesting all get better and easier with shorter life cycles.
WILL THIS AFFECT PRICES?
The Department of Health is still going through the process of making a final determination on the Plant Count Ruling. Remember, the 2,500 plant is only a temporary rule, meaning it could change again or simply expire. This temporary rule is valid for 180 days (from March 1), unless it is adopted as a permanent rule under the normal rule-making process. I suspect the DOH will adopt the 2,500 number as a permanent rule. With this, we are optimistic that the Department will make a fee determination that adequately supports producers in our efforts to provide patients with a consistent supply of high-quality medicine at fair prices. However, if they use the same pricing model as today the license fees could be upwards of $500,000 annually which will impact pricing.
HOW WILL MORE PLANTS AFFECT PRODUCTION?
With more plants, Verdes will need more space. In the meantime, are taking advantage of the increased plant count by filling our current grow areas with multiple, smaller plants. We will see better yields from having more plants in the same production space, but due to lack of available space this change will not increase overall yields by a significant amount in the beginning.
Because of the need for more space for increased plants, we are currently bringing a new grow facility on line that will increase our production space by 50% and significantly impact our overall production in the future.
WHEN WILL I SEE RESULTS?
As you can see this process is exciting but takes time. Results from the initial plant count increase could potentially take several months for you to see, but as always, the patient is of the utmost importance. We will provide you with quality cannabis medicine and we look forward to showing you ALL the amazing improvements being made each day.
We will keep you up to date on changes as they arise. In the meantime, look forward to seeing more flower varieties and new products on our shelves in the coming year!
Eric Speegle, Chief Operating Officer