Solar Cannabis Co, a vertically-integrated operation based in Somerset, Massachusetts, uses Orange Photonics’ LightLab Cannabis Analyzer during pre-harvest to understand the best growth cycle for each of their cannabis strains. Erin Kinnane, Director of Post-Harvest, recently spoke with Mitch Pfeiffer of Respect My Region about what it takes to successfully cultivate, harvest, cure and manufacture 67,000 square feet of canopy, and she shares how LightLab plays a key role in the process.
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Mitch: What’s going on guys, it’s Mitch from from RespectMyRegion.com. We’re coming back from the 2023 NECANN floor in Boston, powered by Orange Photonics. I’m here with Erin Kinnane, Director of Post-Harvest at Solar Cannabis Co. How are you doing today Erin?
Erin: I’m good, how are you?
Mitch: I’m livin’ life man! So Solar, I’ve heard some things about Solar Cannabis Co, that you guys are a pretty large company. What all do you guys do over there?
Erin: So we do a little of everything. We have cultivation, we have retail, we also have our in-house lab that does all of our vapes and concentrates, and we’re branching out into several new locations for retail.
Mitch: I love that! So, I also heard (you didn’t say this but somebody hyped you up before you came on here) that you guys are responsible for producing 1/5th of the cannabis that was in the state of Massachusetts last year. What goes into creating SOPs and processes around being able to cultivate, harvest, cure and manufacture that much cannabis?
Erin: Well there’s a lot of us, so it’s a team effort. First of all we have huge departments and they’re growing. We’re running right now with five grow rooms. And the whole cultivation department is working its way up to 30 employees in that department alone. As the post-harvest director I also run the pre-roll and hand manicuring teams. So, with that being said we are responsible for taking all the flower from the harvest, bringing it in, setting it up to dry, doing our drying process. From there we go into bucking and trimming. From there we go into all of our curing. In between that we also use the Orange Photonics (LightLab Cannabis Analyzer) to do all of our testing.
We recently have implemented that into our pre-harvest, allowing us to make sure that we’re putting the right strains in the right rooms based on their time in weeks.
Mitch: And at what point are you taking out samples and testing them across that process? Just when it’s post-harvest or along the way?
Erin: So we start at week seven, so we’re doing pre-harvest. So week seven, eight, and nine we’re testing whatever is in that grow room up until the actual harvest. This gives us more data and more information to be able to put our strains in the right rooms with the right strains. Nine weeks, ten weeks, eight week strains, whatever they may be.
Mitch: Understanding that best growth cycle for what an individual strain is, b/c that’s how you’ve got to cultivate cannabis in this environment.
What are you looking for at this NECANN event? I heard this is the biggest one yet. What are you out here doing, and how has your trek at NECANN been this year?
Erin: Well so far, so good. We’re out here networking. It’s great to put a face with a name when you’re working with all these different types of companies. I do have a great relationship with Jill (Carreiro) over at Orange Photonics so I know the team very well. But also working with all of our other teams whether it be Green Broz or new pre-roll machines, or new nutrients, or whatever it may be, ya know. Just seeing what’s out there in the market right now.
Mitch: That’s what we’re doing at NECANN man. We’ll be back with more interviews later. I’m right here with Erin Kinnane, the boss of all bosses, Solar Cannabis Co. We’re out here 2023 NECANN powered by Orange Photonics.
Learn more about Solar Cannabis Co.
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