From all of us at Segra we would like to wish you a very happy new year, and great success in all your endeavors in 2022! At Segra, we witnessed firsthand the cannabis industry as a whole undergoing substantial maturity in 2021, where established modern commercial agricultural technologies like plant tissue culture are being embraced by growers around the world as they work to optimize cultivation best practices. We would like to take a moment to reflect on our observations and share some of our updated insights with you regarding trends we see for this year.
In January of 2021 we published an Industry Growth Forecast that included "5 Key Growth Trends" we predicted for the global cannabis industry. We feel all five trends in the report have come to fruition, and we encourage you to give the report a read, as these focus areas will undoubtedly continue to trend in 2022.
One of the insights from the report was our prediction that the threat of viruses, viroids and pests to cannabis crops would increase drastically in 2021, and we placed a specific focus on the pathogen known as Hop Latent Viroid (HLVd.) To support growers in addressing this pathogen risk head-on we worked to provide as much useful information as possible over the course of the year through publishing a white paper , hosting an informational webinar on the topic, and developing a validated industry standard in-house test for HLVd. What we did not predict was the unprecedented speed with which HLVd would spread across the cannabis industry, and the scale of economic losses that would result. In 2021 we also learned that seeds (in addition to clones) can be a vector for HLVd transmission, making awareness and testing even more critical. Based on feedback from our extensive global network of growers, we estimate that globally more than 1 in 10 cannabis grows identified HLVd infected crops last year, with much higher rates in Canada and California specifically. In 2021 economic losses for some of the largest growers in North America as a result of HLVd were clearly in the seven-figure USD range where in some cases entire cultivar portfolios were infected.
Ultimately, HLVd represents both a paradigm shift and warning shot for the cannabis industry. The paradigm shift will include new cultivation best practices that will involve strict clean-stock plant propagation programs for every grow, where clonal plant stock starting materials are generated from tissue culture processes including extensive testing for pathogenic contamination prior to the use of any cultivar in production. The race is also on to identify cultivars that demonstrate asymptomatic responses to this pathogen. The warning shot is the industry-wide reality that HLVd represents a "canary in the coalmine" as researchers at Segra and numerous other organizations are already tracking the expansion and economic damages being caused by a number of other cannabis virus/viroid pathogens.
During this time of reflection as we all ring in the new year, we encourage all growers to take pause and reflect on what they can to better fortify their success. At Segra, we are committed to help bring piece of mind to our customers where we help ensure the ability to "start clean" with every crop through our state-of-the art plant tissue culture propagation, pathogen detection, and genetic banking technologies. We look forward to growing with you in 2022! For more information on our products and services email us at firstname.lastname@example.org