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Curaleaf, one of four marijuana producers in CT, just moved to a new facility. Here’s a look inside:

In Connecticut’s tightly regulated medical marijuana industry, there are four licensed production facilities where marijuana is actually grown and processed.

Placed on a map, the four facilities are spread out in a roughly diamond shape — with Curaleaf in Simsbury, CTPharma in Portland, Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven and Theraplant in Watertown.

In November, Simsbury’s Curaleaf moved from its former Grist Mill Lane location to a significantly larger space in the Weatogue section of town.

Last week, Curaleaf hosted a media tour of the newly opened Hopmeadow Street facility. The space totals about 60,000 square feet.

Nicole Leja, the president of Curaleaf Connecticut, said the move positions Curaleaf to step into the “adult use” market if the state legalizes recreational marijuana. Although Leja said the company would like to see that happen, she added that Curaleaf typically stays out of political issues.

“I don’t like to put too much ahead of what’s already in front of us, which is a great medical program that’s continuing to grow,” Leja said. “We have moved to this location with the hopes that we will be part of adult use, should that pass, but that we can also expand our growth within the medical program.”

Director of Operations Victoria Gill said the facility produces a weekly average of 10,000 units — ranging from whole flower marijuana to edibles and tinctures.

Those units are then sent out to local dispensaries, where licensed pharmacists sell the products to prescription-carrying patients.

But before the medicine gets into the hands of patients, it starts as a young sprout or clipping. Here’s a peek inside the Curaleaf facility that grows some of the state’s medical marijuana.

The state has strict laws surrounding facilities such as Curaleaf. For example, every person who enters the cultivation and production section of the facility is required to wear hairnets and pocket-free scrub-like clothing. Those rules apply to all of the facility’s approximately 55 employees, as well as any visitors.

Most of the marijuana plants at Curaleaf start their lives as clippings of older plants, according to Director of Cultivation Luca Boldrini.

Each clipping is planted on its own, and its leaves are partially cut. Boldrini said cutting the leaves seems to put the plant in a state of mild stress and encourage quicker root growth, although he added that much of marijuana cultivation is “esoteric.”

“We don’t really know why we do a lot of the things. We just know they work,” Boldrini said.

The newly planted clippings start their lives in the facility’s “mom room,” where the “mother stock” also grows. The mom room — which is kept at a balmy 78 degrees and 60 percent humidity — is home for the young plants for about three weeks.

After three weeks, the plants progress from the vegetative to the flowering stage. They are then moved into dense potting blocks and rehomed to the facility’s aptly named “flower rooms.” The plants will stay in the flower rooms for about 8 1/2 weeks, Boldrini said.

The conditions are slightly different in the flower rooms: The temperature is increased to 80 degrees, and the humidity is dropped to about 55 percent, Boldrini said. These rooms also blast brighter light onto the flowering plants, in a cycle of 12 hours on and 12 hours off.

Once the flowers are ready, they’re harvested and dried. There are then several paths the soon-to-be medicine could take, depending on both the strain of the plant and the production needs of the facility.

Some of the flowers are sold whole-flower or ground into what the facility calls “select grind.” Workers weigh out the ground buds and package the product in prescription bottles. The bottles will also be labeled, in accordance with state law, before they’re sent on to dispensaries.

Other flowers, after they’re dried, are sent to the lab for further processing.

Lab Director Ted Friedeberg said the flowers are first run through an extractor, for an approximately 10-hour process that pulls the crude oil out of the plants. Friedeberg said that 3 kilograms — or about 6 1/2 pounds — of dry flowers will produce 600 to 700 grams — or about 1 1/2 pounds — of crude oil.

That oil, a yellow sludge that looks similar to bacon grease, is then mixed with ethanol and heated, Friedeberg said.

The solution is then frozen in a freezer that goes down to minus-86 degrees, Friedeberg said, before it’s placed in a centrifuge and then a rotary vapor — or rotovap — to remove the ethanol previously added in.

And as the ethanol is pulled out of the mixture, along with it come impurities — such as waxy lipids — that would otherwise give the product an unpleasant taste.

At the end of the process, lab workers have created a pure oil, which can be used several ways.

Some of the oil is infused into cooking oil or butter, which can then be shuttled to the bakery. Curaleaf’s bakery, which is just one door down the hall from the lab, is a licensed commercial bakery. Like any other bakery, Curaleaf’s is filled with the smells of dough and chocolate, which waft into the hall each time the bakery door swings open.

Leja, the Curaleaf Connecticut president, said state law prohibits the infusion of confections, such as bars of chocolate, but allows the infusion of flour-based edibles, such as cookies. But the bakers still produce a variety of baked goods, from chocolate cookies to raspberry shortbread bars.

Leja said the different product types have varying amounts of the main component of marijuana, THC, but the bakers ensure that each product is consistent from one batch to the next. This allows patients to regularly buy edibles that have their ideal amount of THC, without worrying about it affecting them differently each time.

Not all of the oil distilled in the laboratory process is used for edibles, though. Some is used in Curaleaf’s vape products, which Leja said make up about 40 percent of the facility’s sales.

Curaleaf grows marijuana and also makes a range of products, including vapes and edibles.

When to top: Second cut?

  • Dec 22, 2016
  • #1
  • Scrogdawg
    Well-Known Member

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    My Journal. Please check it out

    • Dec 22, 2016
  • #2
  • MsSinful
    Well-Known Member

    I don’t know the answer to this question just thought I’d tell you how healthy your plant looks [emoji846]

    Sent from my iPhone using 420 Magazine Mobile App

    • Dec 22, 2016
  • #3
  • Autoflower420
    New Member

    Wait a little bit longer then top one and fim the other

    • Dec 22, 2016
  • #4
  • sour tommy
    New Member
    • Dec 22, 2016
    • Thread starter
    • #5
    Scrogdawg
    Well-Known Member

    tommysgamenow
    Topping is a cut to remove all the growth above the stem and will produce 2 new branches. Fim (fuck I missed) would be to cut higher and leave a small amount of the leaf growth intact on the stem. This method could produce 4 branches. I’m no expert but that is how I understand it.

    The plant is a Feminized White Widow from a Crop King seed so I’m assuming its a female. I can’t determine sex yet.

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    I topped this plant above the 4th node and I'd like to top each side once more as soon as possible do to height constraints in the room. What would be the…