The number of marijuana farms in California is impressive. The Golden State is not just one of the largest cannabis markets in the United States, but around the world too. Cannabis farms in California may have been illegal in the past, but legalization turned it into a highly lucrative crop and a booming market for entrepreneurs. The Emerald Triangle (that includes the Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties) is the country’s largest cannabis-producing region.
As the industry became legal, these new businesses showered the cannabis market with transformative perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your commercial cannabis business or are an experienced “cannapreneur”, there are many entrepreneurship lessons that you could learn from the largest marijuana farms in California.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 5 takeaways to learn from cannabis farms in California.
Top Entrepreneurship Lessons from Marijuana Farms in California
Lesson #1: Genetics is Key for Customer Experience
If you want your customers to have the best experience possible and come back looking for more, you must focus on perfecting your strains’ genetics. First of all, invest in purchasing top-shelf cannabis clones. Then, focus on providing stable strains. Find out what the classic and favorite strains are in your region. About 70 to 80% of your plants should be made up of these. Then get exploring with the remaining 20-30% to find the next greatest hit.
You should concentrate a big chunk of your efforts and energy on providing stable genetics. If a customer buys a strain from you and has a fantastic experience, you should be consistent and meet those same standards every time. This will set you apart from other farms, no matter your size. Provide customers with great experiences and offer their favorite strains. Do so, and it won’t be long before they start coming back for more.
Lesson #2: Make Your Process Transparent
Being transparent with the ins and outs of your farming process is crucial for gaining customer trust and loyalty. Let your clients know how you choose your genetics, how you care for your plants, how clean and organized your facilities are, and how your packing process is set up. The largest cannabis farms in California are very open about their operations, which increases the value of their final products.
An excellent way to show transparency throughout your farming process is by hiring an independent or third-party testing laboratory. This lab can vouch for your cannabinoid levels and confirm other important information such as the presence of pesticides and fungicides. Having a third-party lab testing your strains is also a way to perfect your plants and make sure you have high-quality genetics.
Lesson #3: Play it Safe with Pests and Neighbours
Pesticides and fungicides are a no-go with cannabis most of the time. You should play it safe by following best practices and avoiding pests before they even appear. Keep your grow rooms widely ventilated, control the temperature at all times, and make sure there’s no extra humidity from watering evaporation. Keep in mind that although indoor growing settings can be more expensive, they do allow you to have more control over the environment. Integrated pest management is a fantastic long-term technique to minimize and prevent pests.
To play it safe with neighbors, focus on investing in odor control with carbon filters or other equipment. Although marijuana farms in California are legal, not everyone accepts them, and the smell can be quite characteristic depending on the strains you’re growing. To avoid any issues with neighboring farms or houses, investing in odor control equipment can save you a ton of headaches.
Lesson #4: Pay Close Attention to Your Drying Process
You can have the best genetics possible, have a perfect harvest with no pests, no deficiencies, and end up with great buds. However, if you neglect the drying and curing process, all the effort will be for nothing. Ensure your drying rooms have the right temperature and humidity, check your buds regularly, and don’t try to accelerate the process. The ideal humidity should be around 55 to 60%, and the temperature must be between 64-68 Fº (18-20ºC). The room should be ventilated but dark, as sunlight can harm the THC levels.
Avoid harvesting when the soil is humid. It’s better to wait a day after watering to cut down your cannabis plant. You can also remove as many leaves and stems as you can, paying extra attention to any sign of mildew, which spreads easily during this stage of the process. Handle your plants with extra care, making sure you don’t touch the trichomes, and keep them intact. This process should take about two weeks. Have any doubts about growing? Learn more tips from our cannabis grow guide.
Lesson #5: Curing and Trimming Makes a Difference
Curing your dried cannabis buds is crucial for ensuring high terpene content, which favors excellent flavors and aromas. Loosely place buds in airtight glass jars, making sure to open it once a day during the first two weeks. After two weeks, you can open the jars once or twice a week to change the air.
Curing cannabis is a process that can take as long as you wish, and the more time it cures, the better scents, flavors, and aromas the buds exhale. If you are in a hurry, two weeks of curing is enough. However, pro advice is to separate a batch and leave it to cure for a more extended period. You’ll be surprised by the difference in the bud smell, and so will your customers.
In this process, trimming also makes a big difference in the final product. Having a clean and tidy trimming room with sterile equipment will avoid any bacteria or unwanted substances to infect the buds. Using gloves and avoiding harming the trichomes is also of utmost importance to the final product.
California is undoubtedly an exciting state for entrepreneurship in the cannabis business. There are many major players out there that you can learn from. Starting your own cannabis business or farm in California has its challenges, but we are confident that these tips will lead you on the right path. You can find up-to-date cannabis licensing information at the California Cannabis Portal.