What Does This Fish Have to Do with Cannabis?

In a word, aquaponics, and it can revolutionize the way cannabis is grown. Aquaponics combines aquaculture (raising fish) with hydroponic agriculture (growing plants and vegetables without soil).

By providing a symbiotic relationship between fish and plants, aquaponic farming mimics natural ecosystems—and it’s wildly productive.

Here’s how it works

You raise fish—usually goldfish, koi, or tilapia (because they’re so hardy)—alongside your crop of choice—say, an nice canopy of Sour Diesel.

Waste-water from the fish tank is cycled through gravel grow beds, where trillions of bacteria convert it into potent, nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

As the plants soak up the nitrogen, they filter and purify the water, which is then returned to the fish, and the cycle is complete—just add fish food.

In a well functioning system, you rarely have to add water and never need chemicals or fertilizer. Environmentally speaking, there’s no better way to grow.

Who’s using it?

Though modern aquaponics has been around since the ‘70s, very few farmers have used it commercially. Certainly, no one in the recreational cannabis industry has tried it—until now.

Local grower Sugarleaf Farms (a.k.a. Funky Skunk Extracts), of Skagit County, Washington, is the first and only large-scale cannabis grower to use this technique.

Their closed-loop system sustains hundreds of large koi and fancy goldfish. And the fish, in turn, give life to hundreds of thriving, terpene-rich, trichome-covered beauties—including Sour Diesel, Lemon O.G., Agent Orange, and White 99.

And Why?

For founder, Mark Brinn and his partners, developing an aquaponics system was a natural choice and a welcome challenge. Environmental sustainability is one of their core values.

Mark explains, “The biggest advantage of aquaponics is that you can grow plants with 5-10% of the water that traditional agriculture uses. Since the water recirculates throughout the system, the only water loss is due to evaporation and transpiration (which we’re learning you can actually recapture with a/c and dehumidifiers as well!).”

This is huge

According to the USDA, agriculture accounts for 80% of our nation’s water use—and nearly 90% in western states.

As fresh water resources continue to dwindle, it’s only a matter of time before Big Agriculture is forced to make some changes. And when they do, they’ll have pioneers like Sugar Leaf Farms to serve as shining examples.

Sylvia Bernstein, internationally recognized expert on aquaponics and author of Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together, writes “On a larger scale, [aquaponics] is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution, and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.”

And it’s a great way to grow weed!

Once again, the cannabis industry is on the forefront of something larger than itself, daring to take chances and boldly step up for a better world. We do it with medical. We do it with recreational. And we can do it with sustainable farming practices like aquaponics!

For more on local aquaponic grower, Sugarleaf Farms, stay tuned for our up-coming grower profile. We’ll take a tour of their new facility, talk terpenes, and learn how rosin is made—the natural way.

If you want to try some aquaponically grown herb for yourself, come into one of our stores. Check the menu or ask your budtender for strains by Sugarleaf Farms. You won’t be disappointed!

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags

Join Our Rewards Program Now!

Earn 20 points for every dollar you spend. 200 points can be redeemed for $1 off your next purchase. That is $10 back for every $100 you spend!

Some restrictions apply: Loyalty rewards may be redeemed up to 50% off the original menu price. Loyalty rewards may be combined with daily specials, quantity discounts, and other promotions, as long as the discount does not exceed 50% of the original menu price. The 2020 Solutions rewards program is available to all guests. State law prohibits us from selling a product for less than our cost plus tax. Some product may be excluded from discounts in order to comply with this regulation. Some exclusions apply. Product pricing, selection, and availability may vary by location. We reserve the right to modify or discontinue this program at any time.

Warning: Marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons 21 years of age or older. This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product and should not be used by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.

© 2020 2020 Solutions