Maryland medical cannabis cultivator CULTA has launched the state program’s first tissue culture lab in an effort to further hone its approach to craft cannabis and extracts. Chief Cannabis Officer and co-founder Mackie Barch said that it’s a natural next step in the company’s growth plans and cultivation goals.
The team took their first tissue culture clones on April 8. (The news comes just a few months after CULTA moved its headquarters to a new office in Bethesda to accommodate a long-term growth strategy, which includes plans to add 100 more employees across its farm in Cambridge, retail dispensary in Baltimore and new HQ.)
The prime motivation was “to ensure redundancy of our genetics, the ability to create clean new moms and to be able to store genetics for long periods of time,” Barch said. “The long-term implications are to ensure we don’t lose prized genetics to disease and age. Additionally, we can store more genetics in a safer manner and bring them back as needed.”
Looking ahead, the lab will also allow CULTA to develop an in-house breeding program.
“Plant tissue culture is not a hard process to do, but it takes a lot of knowledge and skill to master,” CULTA Tissue Culture Lab Supervisor Isaac Fisher said. “Lab experience is extremely beneficial, especially if it involves microbiology, mycology, botany or biochemistry. No new employees we’re brought on specifically for the Tissue Culture lab. I have past experience working in a molecular genetics lab, but started out at CULTA doing outdoor cultivation and then working in the extraction lab before helping start the tissue culture lab.”
Maryland has always been relatively progressive compared to its neighbors when it comes to cannabis. The state decriminalized small amounts in 2010, and enacted a full medical marijuana program in 2012. Now we’re in 2019, but where does the Maryland medical marijuana industry stand?
Inside Culta’s Cultivation
Culta opened in Baltimore, Maryland in 2018 with the goal of bringing exclusive, high quality genetics from successful seed banks and breeders to the Maryland medical marijuana industry.
They built their cultivation facility from scratch inside an old factory right in the inner harbor of Baltimore’s downtown. They also designed one of only four vertically integrated cannabis businesses in the state. This means from seed, to processing, to sale, Culta handles it all in-house.
With over 400 lights in the facility, separate rooms for genetics testing, vegetation and flowering, Culta is by far one of the most technologically sophisticated cultivation facilities in the state. Plus, they sourced some of the most experienced cultivators in the country to build their genetics.
Maryland Medical Marijuana
In this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast, Chip talks with Jay and David, Head Grower and Cultivation Manager of Culta.
Together the three of them dive into the design behind Culta’s facility, the benefits of being vertically integrated, the issues new businesses are dealing with in an industry that is still finding its footing and more.
Roll one up, relax and enjoy the first episode of Season 3 of The Real Dirt with Chip Baker!
This episode is brought to you by Cultivate Colorado, the top grow store in Denver with two locations in the metro area. Cultivate supplies Real Dirt listeners and guests with the grow gear they need to succeed in the garden. Check them out on Instagram @cultivatecolorado for the latest updates and deals.