VANCOUVER – Christina Lake Cannabis Corp. (CSE: CLC) (OTCQB: CLCFF) (FRANKFURT: CLB) provided its first operational update pertaining to the 2021 growing season in which the Company is cultivating a large quantity of clones and seedlings outdoors under natural sunlight. In addition to the seven proprietary cannabis strains which comprise the majority of CLC’s plants being grown this year, more than 90 experimental strains are also under observation in the field with an objective of identifying certain favourable characteristics (e.g., resistance to mould and pests, tolerance of natural outdoor elements). As demand persists for distillate oils containing high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this attribute is specifically prioritized by CLC’s Master Growers when assessing experimental cannabis strains to be used for extraction.
Over the course of the current growing season, CLC’s experimental strains have met several key performance criteria with regard to their suitability for commercial-scale cultivation. Although this year’s experimental strains had successfully grown from seeds, they are now successfully growing as clones from mother plants. As of this writing, the vast majority of CLC’s 5,000 plants of experimental strains are displaying ideal characteristics through vegetation (e.g., structure, forecasted THC potency), which are expected to be sustained through the flowering stage.
To date, the Kootenay region of southern British Columbia has experienced unusually hot temperatures, which have reached as high as 45 degrees Celsius / 113 degrees Fahrenheit during the month of June 2021. Although such weather extremes tend to negatively affect the health and performance of cannabis plants, CLC’s crop has been growing exceptionally well under these circumstances to the point that many of its plants now require the physical support of trellises due to their size. Reports from other operations in Western Canada’s agricultural sector tend to indicate that this spring’s weather conditions have not been favourable for the growth of their normal crops. Based on these reports, the Company believes that the genetics of its proprietary cannabis strains (which are specifically engineered for outdoor growth) could be enabling CLC’s crop to thrive under higher-than-normal outdoor temperatures.
“After our inaugural growing season last year, CLC’s operation has become even more sophisticated between the technologies and equipment we are now using and the top-notch expertise of our operational team,” said Nicco Dehaan, COO and a Master Grower for Christina Lake Cannabis. “One notable aspect of our field infrastructure that has been improved is our irrigation system, which enables us to target plants that are in need of watering on an as-needed basis as opposed to hydrating plants on what would effectively be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ schedule. Aside from the obvious benefit of reducing water consumption, optimized irrigation correspondingly allows for optimized soil moisture levels, which has proven beneficial in maximizing the growth of our plants as well as in reducing liabilities of excessive irrigation such as mould. Combining high-tech monitoring tools such as drone surveillance with the unparalleled expertise of our Master Growers and operational team, we are able to adapt to unique climate conditions of all kinds, such as the extremely high temperatures experienced in the Kootenay region this year.”
Christina Lake Cannabis CEO and Director Joel Dumaresq commented, “Variability of weather conditions is one of the most common risks in the agriculture industry, which is why having the ability to adapt to sudden changes is a key component of a winning business strategy. We knew from the beginning that we would be cultivating our cannabis outdoors under natural sunlight, which has always been a consideration in the development of our proprietary cannabis strains. Our objective is to embrace a wide range of conditions to include high and low temperatures so that we are ready for just about any curveball nature throws at us in a given growing season. It is therefore a testament to our highly skilled Master Growers for CLC’s crop to be performing so well during some of the highest temperatures ever experienced in this part of the province.”
Christina Lake Cannabis Corp. is a licensed producer of cannabis under the Cannabis Act. It has secured a standard cultivation licence and corresponding processing/sales amendment from Health Canada (March 2020 and August 2020, respectively) as well as a research and development licence (early 2020). CLC’s facility consists of a 32-acre property, which includes over 950,000 square feet of outdoor grow space, offices, propagation and drying rooms, research facilities, and a facility dedicated to processing and extraction. CLC also owns a 99-acre plot of land adjoining its principal 32-acre site, which enables the Company to grow at a much larger scale. CLC cultivates cannabis using strains specifically developed for outdoor cultivation and in its inaugural harvest year produced 32,500 kg (71,650 lb) on its existing facility before developing an adjacent 99-acre expansion property. Such an expansion will ultimately bring CLC’s annual cultivation footprint to over 4.35 million square feet, which could enable at least 150,000 kg (330,693 lb) of low-cost, high-quality, sun-grown cannabis to be produced annually by the Company.
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