The regulated cannabis industry is growing exponentially. Regulators, with the help of industry leaders and advisors, are demanding that the industry “grow up” and embrace the realities of functioning in a highly-regulated environment. Adolescent behavior will not be tolerated.
The OLCC is responsible for limiting the size of cannabis canopies. The term canopy is defined as “the surface area utilized to produce mature plants calculated in square feet and measured using the outside boundaries of any area that includes mature marijuana plants including all of the space within the boundaries.” The “square footage of canopy space is measured horizontally starting from the outermost point of the furthest mature flowering plant in a designated growing space and continuing around the outside of all mature flowering plants located within the designated growing space.” Therefore, canopy limitations apply to mature plants located within a two dimensional space.
Producer licenses are available in the following canopy designations:
- Up to 625 square feet (Micro tier I)
- 626 to 1,250 square feet (Micro tier II)
- 1,251 to 5,000 square feet (Tier I)
- 5,001 to 10,000 square feet (Tier II)
- Up to 2,500 square feet (Micro tier I)
- 2,501 to 5,000 square feet (Micro tier II)
- 5,001 to 20,000 square feet (Tier I)
- 20,001 to 40,000 square feet (Tier II)
There are currently no limits on the number of mature plants that may be grown within the producer’s licensed canopy. Similarly, there are currently no limits on the number of immature plants a producer may grow. However, producers should be aware that the OLCC is tasked with evaluating market demand and amending canopy sizes as needed.
OLCC canopy rules create incentives for producers to do two things:
- Grow up. Both indoor and outdoor growers should consider utilizing vertical farming techniques to maximize yields within their designated canopy space. Cannabis plants are obviously three dimensional, but OLCC canopy limitations apply a two dimensional rule.
- Respect boundaries. Indoor producers should keep immature plants outside of their designated canopy. Immature plants can be moved from outside the designated canopy and later moved inside the canopy for flowering. Alternatively, a producer can rotate between multiple growing areas by notifying the OLCC whenever a change of canopy designation is made.