As a new legislation on medical cannabis and industrial hemp became effective in Argentina, a wave of entrepreneurs sprung up in hopes of making a living out of cannabis and competing against big companies that are coming to capture the market. Still, small-scale cultivation poses a challenge that growers will have to learn to overcome if they are to attract users who buy in the black market or from large corporations. Quality and availability will be the most challenging obstacles for Argentine cannabis growers. Cannabis pundits have been repeating a word that sums up this process, and growers will have to pick it up and adopt it as their motto: “traceability.”
For years, growers have resorted to first-hand knowledge, but it must be now complemented by science. Finding balance will allow growers to offer high-quality raw materials for cannabis-derived products and create a significant value chain. The best way forward is the democratisation of knowledge and information, sharing data and experiences, building up networks, and bringing in experts who have been kept in the dark for years because of illegality. Today, the cannabis community urge the need to freely access information so as to deliver high-quality products from small-scale cultivation.
Outlining Quality Control
The main purpose of quality control is to improve production and the products and services offered. Quality is closely linked to legislation, which is why quality control becomes necessary to comply with the law and stand a real chance in the market. Good quality can be achieved no matter the size of the plantation, and there are certain techniques that allow growers to assess the quality of a derived product, dried flower, or a cannabis plant during its vegging stage. These techniques can be carried out by labs or seeking help from specialised aid tools such as Cannatest, the first at-home test kit for identifying and quantifying cannabinoids launched in Argentina. Considering cannabis a medication increases the burden of responsibility on whoever grows this plant or produces derivatives.
The Key Features of a Good-Quality Product
A good-quality product must meet certain criteria. Product identification means to ascertain its origin and contents of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Potency is related to the concentration levels of these cannabinoids in a derived product or raw materials. Purity refers to establishing the quantity of cannabinoids present in the concentrated substance used to produce a derivative. Apart from this, it is critical to make sure the product is free of any kind of additive. Checking these boxes, we will be able to see whether a product meets the quality standards to comply with the law.
What Is Traceability?
Traceability refers to the monitoring steps in a cultivation process, which involve strict oversight and data collection. Thanks to this process, different factors can be evaluated to assess a whole plantation and reproduce certain processes and procedures. Each one of the evaluated factors contain data that must be consciously reported. The most relevant of these are: soil, irrigation, lighting, moisture conditions, vapour pressure, temperature, the seed and its genetics, and, finally, pest control. As a part of professional cultivation and quality control, observing and correcting are skills that must be learned. The fidelity of quality control will be reflected on the labelling of the final product.