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The cannabis industry up close

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Curaleaf tour recap

RCS CBA members and friends got a chance to take a look behind the scenes at Curaleaf, a medical cannabis manufacturer focused on cultivation, processing and packaging in Ravena, on Thursday, March 23. Highly technical and heavily regulated, what we saw doesn't jive with what comes to mind when you think about growing pot.

This 180,000 sq. ft. facility has state of the art cultivating and environmental systems that control light, water, temperature and humidity that change at each stage of plant growth. It gets more complicated from there as chemists and technicians test the quality of the raw material and process it into various forms of medication for patient use.

The work is labor intensive as each plant must be individually hand-pruned and de-leafed to encourage ideal growth. Every full grown plant is also harvested by hand and hung to dry. Each product leaving the facility is individually packed, labeled and boxed by hand. The Ravena plant currently employs 110 people, but is ready for a big hiring surge as Curaleaf prepares to enter the adult use market.

Bill Beauvais, our tour guide and Director of Operations at the plant, explained that Curaleaf and other large scale producers in New York are waiting for state approval to enter the adult use cannabis market. Once that happens Bill predicts they will have the potential to operate around the clock and finally make full use of their brand new addition, which appears to be the length of a football field, to keep up with expected demand.

The tour was a fascinating deep dive into the cultivation, science, manufacturing, regulatory hurdles and more behind the cannabis industry. Many thanks to Bill and everyone at Curaleaf for hosting us.

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