Kansas City medical marijuana cultivation facility preparing for first harvest

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A couple months after Missouri’s first medical marijuana sale, only three cultivators have harvested in the state and a very small percentage of the 48 dispensaries in the Kansas City metro have opened.

Greenlight, which operates a warehouse in Kansas City, hopes to be the fourth cultivator harvesting, allowing more dispensaries to open.

Located inside a former beverage company plant, pots have gone from housing seeds to seedlings to small marijuana plants. But ever since Greenlight got the go-ahead to be one of the first of the state’s 60 cultivators in operation, this is what John Mueller has been waiting for. 

“All your terpene profiles, your THC, CBD — this is where your real medicine is,” Mueller, the company’s CEO, said as he examined the flowers of the weed ready to harvest before Christmas.

“We will chop this plant right here, put it on a cart, take it in back, hang it upside down, let it dry out in a natural, slow process,” he said.

That whole process from first planting to shipment takes up to 100 days, varying a bit with each of the 25 strains. 

“You want to get into a harvest schedule, so you are bringing down these plants, getting it out to the patients, and then you’ve got something right behind it.”

Now that they have the plants, the goal is not to have to seed again so they cut a branch from the plants creating clones. There’s a process in place for the state to track that weed.

“These plants are tagged, everyone of them so the great state of Missouri can follow this plant from seed to sale, so we know coming out of every facility we have no black market product,” Mueller demonstrated.

But when it’s going for $3,500 a pound wholesale, grow houses have to protect their green. The facility employs armed guards monitoring 100 cameras, aimed both inside and outside the 96,000-square-foot warehouse. 

“As you can see here, we have multiple angles of view here 24 hours a day. Everything’s HD. We can zoom in, read the license plate, see somebody’s eye color, their hair, if you are sweating on your forehead,” said Justin West, owner of Greenfield Defense.

Necessary steps to make sure that medical marijuana makes it to testing facilities and dispensaries desperate to give Missourians who voted for medical marijuana and the more than 60,000 who are now medical marijuana card holders more options. 

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