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Local cultivation business looks to grow as it awaits permitting

With recreational marijuana hitting Nevada’s ballot in November, medical marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries across the state are gearing up for what could be a major shift for the business.

Green Life Productions, LLC in Pahrump is one of them. The business recently received three special use permits that OK its current location for the expansion of the existing cultivation operation and opening of production and dispensary facilities.

Office manager Kouanin Villa and one of the business owners, Steve Cantwell, hope that the measure gets ratified.

“Right now, there’s so much demand for our product, that it’s hard for us to keep up, so that’s why we asked for the expansion and everything last week,” Villa said.

According to the Nevada Medical Marijuana Registry’s recent report, Nevada had 19,774 active patient cardholders and 1,636 requests for applications as of June.

Nye County was third across the state, with 737 patients after Washoe and Clark counties, that had 3,142 and 13,680 patients respectively, the data showed.

“And then, if November comes and it goes recreational, we do believe the sales will go up for both (medical and recreational marijuana). We tend to see ourselves more on the medical side versus the recreational,” Cantwell said.

After opening on May 28, 2015, Green Life Productions, LLC supplies its product to about 18 dispensaries in Clark County and the Grove Wellness Center in Pahrump.

“We have worked hard in building a loyal customer base of medical marijuana patients that request the GLP brand when purchasing their medicines in dispensaries,” Villa said.

The concept behind Green Life Productions, LLC is being eco-friendly. While the production averages about 100 pounds of medical marijuana per month, Cantwell said the business is focused on the quality of the product.

“It’s not very much. We sacrifice yield, quantity versus quality basically, so we go for a higher quality versus more of it,” he said.

Green Life Productions, LLC is the only medical marijuana cultivator in the state that is allowed to label its products 100 percent organic.

The business uses an organic growing style by growing crops without adding bottled nutrients, NPK fertilizers or pesticides.

It also utilizes sustainable farming practices by reusing its water. Sixty percent of it is recaptured and put back into a building and 40 percent of the water is used strictly for production. The facility uses 500 gallons of water per day; 3,000-3,500 gallons of water per week; 12,000-14,000 gallons of water per month and 182,000 of gallons of water per year.

“Everything that we do is as eco-friendly as it gets,” Cantwell said.

In its daily operations, Green Life Productions, LLC uses permaculture, a system of agriculture principles that seeks to utilize the patterns and features from natural ecosystems. “The whole message that we are trying to send is trying to cultivate cannabis responsibly to show people responsible farming practices, organic farming practices,” Cantwell said.

It takes an average of four months from the time a marijuana plant is cloned to the time a patient gets it.

Green Life Productions, LLC uses mother plants with different medical values and effects to produce young cloned plants that later turn into finished flowers.

“By cloning, one of the things that we are able to do, we are able to insure consistency. So, when a patient goes in, they found the part that works for them, that helps with the ailment there is, they are able to return to the same dispensary and get the same product over and over again,” Cantwell said.

“The most important part of our job isn’t just growing cannabis, but it’s actually going in within the state regulations and keeping them happy,” he added. As part of the process, every plant is tagged until it’s cut down, dried and packaged.

“You just have to document the wet weight, the dry weight and when it gets packaged, any variance that there is in between, and to put it into the system. We have to do inventory every day,” Villa said.

“Since we opened, we’ve slowly grown into all three rooms,” Cantwell said. “That’s one of the reasons we are looking to expand, because the market is growing and we want to be able to grow with it.”

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