From December 8th to 10th, Montevideo hosted the fourth edition of Expocannabis Uruguay, an event that, in a format of conferences, forums and courses, promoted the knowledge and the debate on several ideas related to the cannabic universe, especially in the areas of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
In addition to the intensive programming of lectures, which brought to light important issues such as the cannabis regulation situation in Uruguay, the therapeutic potential of extracts from the plant and the sustainable development of the hemp industry, the fair connected innovative companies and projects to the final public, which could, in practice, feel the potential of this market.
The idea of the Uruguayan Renzo Mastrascusa to help friends who cultivated hydroponic cannabis in small and inadequate spaces, back in 2015, gave rise to eGrow, an automated system that allows growers to have their harvest in only 4 months, with excellent quality regardless of time of year - and without much work.
The appliance, which looks more like a wardrobe when viewed with its doors closed, works as a greenhouse for hydroponics crops, while a system connected via the internet will control the lighting according to each stage of the cultivation and meet the needs of nutrients of the plant through an intelligent pumping system. "After connecting the system, the grower basically needs only to fill the water compartment every twenty days." For now, eGrow machines are available for rent.
In Expocannabis Uruguay 2017, demonstrations of the production of cannabis extracts were not lacking. Companies with already great representation in the international market, like the giant Rosin, took the visitors to know the about the manufacturation of extractions from a bud and also to discover which are the most advanced technologies in this area.
"The most expensive press we have at the moment is a 20-ton, automatic, for industrial use. It could be used in farming clubs, for example - although the law here is not yet clear on this issue. It costs US$ 5,000", says Federico Sicardi, representative of SHO Products in Latin America, the group responsible for Rosin brand, among others.
The Future of Hemp
Those who passed through the ALT3RLAB stand in Expocannabis 2017 could check out the use of a bioplastic made from hemp, from the Carmagnola variety, in the production of sculptures made from a 3D printer. More impressive than that is the explanation of the potential of this material for other applications: prostheses, building materials and biopolymers, phytochemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceutical preparations, food for humans and animals, biomass for energy production and more. ALT3RLAB intends to implement industrial hemp cultivation among small and medium-sized rural farmers in Uruguay and to start a productive chain, with the creation of prototypes of new ecological products that offer valid alternatives to the environment.
For those who haven't had the chance to confer to Expocannabis Uruguay 2017, the next event by group Uruguay Siembra was already announced. The Cannabis Conference will take place in January 2017 in Punta del Este, also in Uruguay. Learn more at: www.cannabisconference.uy.
Photos: Luiz Michelini Netto