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Analytics Spotlight: Flowering Time photo
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Analytics Spotlight: Flowering Time

by Adam Zukowski, 4/24/20

Flowering is the final stage in the growth cycle of a cannabis plant. During this phase, flowers, commonly referred to as buds, will appear. Flowers are the part of the plant that produces cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the chemicals found in cannabis plants and contain the psychoactive compounds. During the flowering phase, the plants typically go from 18 hours of light a day to 12 hours. The team of analysts at NCS use flowering time as one of many indicators to examine cultivators inside the cannabis track-and-trace lifecycle.

The typical cannabis plant is flowering for 8 to 11 weeks, but some strains and growers have methodologies that fall outside of those parameters. Flowering Time flags can occur because of these unique traits, or they could indicate other, more suspicious behaviors. One thing to keep a lookout for is inversion- the introduction of illegal product into the legal market.

For oddly short flowering times, this could be an opportunity to report many fast turning harvests, inflating the amount of legitimate product that is available. Inversely, long flowering times could be an opportunity to use the same plant tags on multiple plants. For example, by applying one plant tag on a tracked plant as well as an untracked plant, it allows both to complete the flowering lifecycle through the legal market.

It is also entirely possible the data received for the Licensee is incomplete, which would translate in the Platform to many of the plants triggering flags. It is important to talk to the Licensee to understand their practices and why their data is incomplete or why their methodologies differ so far from the norm. While no single alert can pinpoint a bad actor, trends over time in combination with suspicious behaviors towards regulator visits and questions should raise some alarm.

About the Author:
Adam Zukowski

Adam recently graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder where he earned a Bachelor's degree in physics with a minor in statistics. His skill sets in SQL are put to... more