Amsterdam Knowledge Base
Biggest pot farm in Europe?|
The Doctor and his Garden
Nestled deep in the South of England is a ten foot, razor-topped electrified fence complemented by motion detectors and video cameras. You might think this secret location is a prison or a defense installation but you couldn't be further from the truth...the security is for a state-of-the-art cannabis greenhouse complex.
The cannabis greenhouse is operated by GW Pharmaceuticals, the company that received permission last year from Health Canada to market the cannabis product Sativex to multiple sclerosis patients. The founder and executive chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, Geoffrey Guy is both physician and visionary of cannabis based medicine. Dr. Guy, a non-drinker who has never taken a puff of cannabis and even eschews caffeine, started the company in 1998. Today the company employs over 130 workers and is publicly traded (AIM-GWP). GW Pharmaceuticals research targets how different components of cannabis plants are able to alleviate specific illnesses. Phase trials are now underway for patients having chronic pain, spasticity, peripheral neuropathy and inflammatory bowel diseases.
The growing of cannabis by GW Pharmaceuticals may be the unique method in the world and Dr. Guy likens it to an assembly line of cannabis plants. First, over 500 cannabis strains gathered from around the world were planted in seed form and grown organically under natural light. As the plants grew, they were sexed and clones were taken from the female plants. The plants were then grown to maturity, harvested, dried and then DNA-typed for THC-V, THC, CBD. Female plants that were determined to have the proper component levels and satisfactory consistency subsequently have their clones grown out in a futuristic fashion.
Cuttings are planted in a growing medium and grown for two weeks until roots show. Then, the clones are replanted in pots containing an organic growing medium. Two hundred pots at a time are placed in large trays which roll on a rail system in the greenhouse. Every week, the trays are moved one space down the line and after 14 weeks, the cycle is complete and the one meter tall plants are ready to harvest. The further down the line, the closer to harvest. Its a standardized, automated process that requires no pruning and only uses organic methods for fertilization and pest control. Last year, the greenhouse produced 60 tons of freshly harvested cannabis which translated into about 10 tons of dried cannabis.
The final process involves taking the dried cannabis and turning it into pharmaceutical grade extracts. The extracts, depending on THC and CBD levels, are turned into GW Pharmaceuticals three products: Tetranabinex (high THC), Nabidiolex (high CBD ) and Sativex (50/50 mix of THC and CBD). Although only Sativex has achieved licensing, all three products are moving into late stage trials. In April, 2005, Sativex made it over all regulatory hurdles and became available to multiple sclerosis sufferers in Canada. Eight months later, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Sativex for clinical trials in the relief of chronic pain in cancer patients.
Dr. Guy hopes for approval for all three products in Europe, Southeast Asia and the U.S. within five years. Until then, the secret greenhouses of GW Pharmaceuticals will continue to grow cannabis that might one day be turned into a prescription product available from your local pharmacy. (reported by Molly Hodges).
Shwagg, all farqing shwagg.
A more indepth interview with the good Doc Guy. Pretty interesting stuff. Apparently Guy grows the good stuff not like the farm in Mississippi.
"C'Notes: what percentage of the plant do the cannabinoids account for?
GWG: That would depend on the variety and the subvariety. We find that for optimum growth and optimum use,12 to 15% is the comfortable range. Bear in mind that's the leaf as well as the bud. It's not the content of a manicured bud. We could produce plants with far higher cannabinoid content, but they're not as reliable, they become extremely sticky, they're difficult to handle, they're more prone to bugs... "
The GWP web site has a picture of a strain that I assume they are working with........looks very nice, more crystals than I've ever come across.
Wonder which strain it is?
BTW, I bought some shares in GWP.......seemed like a decent punt given they are the only guys to get a growers licence here in the UK.
GW is growing a awfully lot of cannabis. 10 tons dried equals over 9 million grams of cannabis. Even at wholesale price (2 Euro a gram) they are growing almost $27 Million US worth of pot. If you take retail price (8 euro a gram), they are growing over 100 million dollars US.
whoops. it should be wholesale (2 euro/gr) almost 23 million US and retail (8 euro/gr) over 91 million US.
Yeah and in US DEA speak that equals a gazillion dollars worth of pot!!!