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Cultivation Deep Dive: What is a plant batch anyway?

Isaac Freitas, 2/10/21

Plant batches are a mechanism to record the cultivation processes of CRBs for the track-and-trace system and are required by law in most jurisdictions. A plant batch is a group of cannabis plants started simultaneously, often legally required to be of the same strain. Plants organized into a batch often come from the same starting method, such as planting seeds or clones from other cannabis plants. This makes it easy for the cultivators to know where plants are in the growth cycle and makes it straightforward for regulators to see plants’ current status in a facility.

Different legal markets may create different limits on plant batches, such as allowing only 100 plants in a batch. Other requirements for tracking plants involving keeping accurate counts of the status of plants within a batch. The plants may be immature plants tracked as a group, mature plants tracked individually, harvested, destroyed, or packaged for transfer to use in another facility’s grow operation.

At the beginning of the growth cycle, a plant batch is tracked in an immature state as a group. As time progresses, these plants will transition into the vegetative and flowering growth phases, often requiring individual tags from a track-and-trace system, such as METRC. Plants can be destroyed during the growing stages due to disease, contamination, or other documented reasons.

Immature plants may be packaged for shipment. For example, they may be shipped from a nursery to other cultivation facilities to grow. Mature plants can be harvested. Tracking plants at the plant batch-level gives a simple method for segmenting out how many plants are in a facility and tracking the plants’ current status in each batch.

The NCS Platform has features to help regulators gain insight into plant batches at licensed cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction. Information is presented in an easy-to-understand display, allowing for increased awareness about plant batch activities and statuses.