Even though Canada recently became the second country in the world to legalize marijuana for recreational use, cannabis expert Len Wong has been perfecting the art of growing a wide variety of strains for over 16 years. Toronto’s Leonard Wong is an industry veteran in the areas of genetics research and development of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Wong is also the master grower and founder of Genetix Consulting and The Grow Depot. He is a greenhouse specialist devoted to organic gardening and launched his career as a medical cannabis consultant under Health Canada’s Marijuana Access Regulations (MMAR). Wong now serves as a consultant for the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ACMP).

Focusing his energies on breeding superior cannabis strains with remarkable phenotypes, Len Wong has perfected mildew and pest-resistant strains unique to the Canadian climate and region. Serving as an advisor for Cann Help Clinics in Toronto, a medical clinic specializing in assessing patients for treatment with medical marijuana, he has also researched different strains and what ailments they can heal for those suffering from medical conditions. He is not only a genetics enthusiast; Wong is passionate about sustainability and has designed numerous greenhouses to produce the most organic forms of cannabis.

Q. Why is sustainability so important to you, especially when it really isn’t common practice?

A. Sustainability is our future. More often than not, especially as more research comes out to support it, people are choosing organic everything. We are seeing that people not only avoid things that aren’t organic; their bodies don’t adapt well to non-organic either. It’s important to not have a large carbon footprint. And, using what we have – sunlight instead of indoor, lighted facilities – will prove to be more sustainable and profitable in the end.

Q. Do you think different cannabis strains will continue to be discovered now that marijuana has been legalized for recreational use?

A. Recreational marijuana just became legalized in Canada, but the truth is, many places still prohibit outdoor growing of cannabis. By having the freedom to research and use sustainable resources – that only benefits the grower and consumer.

Q. What is one of the largest benefits of growing organic, besides sustainability?

A. Growing organic is simply safer. Organic farming coaxes out the essential oils of the cannabis, which is naturally an anti-inflammatory property. Using high quality fertilizers also help to significantly improve plant growth.

Q. What made you deviate from others in your field who believed that cannabis needs to grow inside to be considered “good”?

A. I have spent years researching the genetics behind each strain I grow. That research has allowed me to grow cannabis that is mildew and pest resistant, because of the specific environment it’s grown in. Sometimes people are hesitant to deviate from the norm because they don’t fully understand the other system, and the same can be said in this instance. Again, we were accustomed to growing inside because of the laws. Now, there really is no excuse to not switch to more sustainable methods of growing.

Q. What advice would you give anyone researching strains of cannabis, and more specifically, why it’s important to grow organically.

A. Make sure you’re truly researching HOW and WHERE your cannabis is grown. Good seed-to-soil contact is just as important as the greenhouse in which your strain is grown. Sustainable supplies are not only better for our environment; they’re better for the human body.

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