emblem cannabis for u of t medicine magazine.
+ With medical cannabis and legalization in the news so much, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to explore the inside of Emblem, a cannabis facility in Paris, Ontario. Using the latest indoor grow science, Emblem's brand-new facility was custom-designed and purpose-built specifically to cultivate cannabis for medicinal use. The carefully regulated indoor environment is powered by a Canadian-made, custom-developed Argus controlled system, which regulates grow rooms to maintain positive pressure and control outside contamination.
Re: the issue of outside contamination, we were thoroughly searched and swabbed before entering any of the clean areas or grow rooms. I've done plenty of health care work in hospitals and labs, but nothing compares to this. Every piece of equipment (we kept it simple and sparse) was taken apart and carefully swabbed down with alcohol to avoid outside bacteria or pathogens that could infect the sensitive plants. We donned full Tyvek suits, booties, hair nets, beard nets, face masks, safety glasses, latex gloves, and hard hats before embarking on our trippy adventure.
Contrary to the image of the messy basement grow-up, the science behind medical marijuana is complex and thorough. Finding the best mother plant to breed each cannabis strain is the first step to uncovering the perfect phenotype. Growing a full room of mothers of a single strain, each plant is carefully watched and unique qualities noted. As each plant is harvested, it’s meticulously tested for the natural cannabinoids and terpenes that will provide the greatest patient relief.
After the ultimate mother phenotype is selected, her daughters are tended with the same care and attention. Just as nature provides us with the benefits of cannabis, it has its own way of controlling natural predators. The first line of defense is a holistic one, using organic solutions to ensure strains grow healthy and true to their innate plant powers. Various other strategies include elevating CO2 levels, making plants grow bigger and more robust. The pungent terpene aroma and flavour is the telltale difference naturally grown makes.