What is Croptober?
If you spend a lot of time on Instagram and follow lots of cannabis-industry profiles, you may have noticed the #Croptober hashtag circulating recently. As autumn takes hold and winter approaches, many outdoor cannabis grows are taking part in this northern-hemisphere event, best known as Croptober. Here's everything you need to know about the event and what it means for the cannabis industry.
What is Croptober?
Croptober is essentially the harvest season for outdoor cannabis cultivation facilities all over the northern hemisphere.
Cannabis is an annual plant, which means it grows from seed to maturity and then dies in one single growing season. Cannabis flowers only bloom once and don't come back the next year unless those flowers were pollinated and able to drop their seeds. An outdoor cannabis grow utilizes the natural hours of daylight to grow the plants instead of timing light cycles like many indoor cultivation facilities do. After the autumnal equinox, the hours of daylight get shorter and shorter, which triggers outdoor plants into producing flowers instead of foliage.
In the fall, a female plant is signaled by the changing daylight hours to produce seeds. To do that, she flowers to attract pollinators that help the plant to produce seeds. While most outdoor grows utilize feminized seeds to prevent pollination, the plant's natural response is to flower. Around day 60, the flowers are fully mature. Just in time, since the fall weather brings cooler nights until the season fades into winter and the plants die. This shift in the light cycle is easy to mimic in indoor grows, but planting, tending, and harvesting must be timed meticulously in outdoor grows.
After months of slow growth through the summer and many hours of meticulous care, the season begins to change at the end of September and the beginning of October. As the plants reach full maturity, most outdoor cannabis cultivators begin the long and daunting process of harvesting the crop around the first two weeks in October. This small window is known as Croptober, and it's hectic. In fact, Croptober is the busiest time of the year for outdoor grows and concentrate processers alike.
Why is Croptober so busy?
Croptober is the busiest 2-3 weeks out of the year for the cannabis industry for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason is that there is such a short time frame between the plant reaching maturity and the time it takes for the buds to become less than desirable. If a plant stays alive for too long, the buds are more susceptible to rot and self-pollinating. Late harvests are also less than desirable because the THC in the flowers will lose potency and degrade into CBN, which is notorious for making you sleepy and not promoting other additional or medicinal effects.
There is a peak harvesting window where outdoor cultivators must harvest their plants and get them ready for the drying and trimming process. Many outdoor grows are expansive, providing acres and acres of sun-grown cannabis, so it can be a daunting task to cut thousands of plants down, especially when you only have a few days to do it. Basically, Croptober is the most important part of the year for outdoor facilities. The entire year of hard work, stress, and regular care hinges on the proper execution of the harvest.
What does Croptober mean for the cannabis industry?
Croptober really seals the deal for a lot of different pieces of the industry.
Since the harvest is the most important aspect of the whole process, lots of temporary work in the cannabis industry becomes available in October thanks to the Croptober harvests taking place all over the country. Many cultivators require additional help with the initial harvest process and again some time later when it's time to trim the flowers after they've been dried.
Aside from jobs, the amount of cannabis that makes its way into the market after a successful harvest tends to decrease the prices of cannabis and cannabis extracts all over the country. In fact, the market price of a pound of cannabis could fall by as much as $500.
Croptober is exciting for medical patients and recreational users in the same respect. While the price drop isn't as significant as it used to be before there were an equal amount of indoor and outdoor growing operations, consumers can still find discounts in October and November thanks to the influx of sun-grown cannabis making it into stores.
Croptober and The Epic Remedy
All of the cannabis that makes it onto our shelves is grown 100% in-house in our 4 state-of-the-art growing facilities. We specialize in indoor cultivation so we can offer the best quality medical marijuana to our patients here in Colorado Springs. There are pros and cons to both indoor and outdoor grows, but we prefer indoor grows since they allow us to have the most control over our plants, genetics, and quality. While we don't participate in the busy harvest season in October, we instead harvest every few weeks as our flower rooms rotate. Either way, Croptober is a shining example of the thriving cannabis industry in Colorado, creating a ton of temporary cannabis jobs, lowering flower prices all over the state, and really showing what amazing sun-grown cannabis and a healthy, regulated cannabis industry looks like.