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Amado Farms – Amado, AZ
A short distance from the Mexico border sits the tiny town of Amado, which is home to Amado Farms, a massive 18-acre cannabis production facility with 200,000 square feet dedicated to greenhouse and indoor cultivation. The site also includes a state-of-the-art, full-size extraction lab for producing an array of distillate and concentrates. A nation-wide brand, Amado also has operations in Michigan, Massachusetts and Maryland, with plans to expand into other territories later this year. Arizona remains the largest of their locations, however, providing jobs to more than 140 people from the community and is overseen by chief horticultural officer, Ernesto Becerril, who has more than 20 years of world-wide horticulture experience in places like Puerto Rico and Israel.
A facility that clones 2,000 plants per day and harvests 1,000 per day must run like a well-oiled machine, and it does! Each step of the 14-week growing process is locked in place and meticulously documented to ensure maximum potential from the crop and its staff. Each clone begins its cycle in a rockwool cube before being transferred to a mixture of coco and perlite for stability. Once in the greenhouse, they are connected to the drip system which feeds them the necessary nutrients using a mixture of water, raw fertilizer salts and minerals, which are blended on site, known as “fertirrigation.” Although, like all cannabis facilities they cannot be certified organic, the facility does utilize organic practices for pest control, including chemical-free pesticides like citric acid and a family of free-roaming chickens. These natural methods, coupled with their “war chart,” ensures a highly controllable environment, despite the challenges of an open-air greenhouse. The proof is in the plants, with some towering as high as 12 feet tall.
On average, the facility produces an impressive 500 pounds of flower per week, rotating 40 different strains per cycle from a library of over 400 different genetics featuring strains like Venom OG, God’s Gift, Tangie and Blue Dream. The result is “a quality product for the best value for our patients,” says Becerril. “We’re passionate about our plants and more passionate about the people who heal with them.” With plans to double the size of the operation in the coming months, the cannabis community can rest assured its demands will be met, and then some.