Father and son, partners in life and in cannabis cultivation

Wrinkled eyes and white hair for Horacio. A great speck of dreadlocks and designer glasses for Hernán, or Hernix, his stage name. They share a well-known surname. Horace Milstein He is a great-nephew of Cesar Milstein, Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1984 for his research on monoclonal antibodies. At the other generational end of the family is Hernán “Hernix” Milstein, 38, ex-guitarist for the reggae band Riddim. He was the one who thought of a hydroponic growing system that would allow him to grow, in an automated way, in urban spaces. “I was going on tour and it was a whole issue who could take care of the plants, whether it be food or cannabis,” he tells elDiarioAR in the luxurious event hall of a 4-star hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay, before participating in a B2B business round with investors.

The musician thus discovered hydroponics and only had to prod his father, an engineer, to think of a small, easy-to-use and efficient system. “I had nothing to do with cannabis. All my life I dedicated myself to the metalworking industry. But my son started with the topic of cannabis cultivation and then he began to develop his own vegetarian food, ”recalls Horacio, 72, the technical leg of the project.

Father and son began to work side by side. First with pallets, then they added Styrofoam and did hundreds of tests with lettuce and watermelons. They finally got the matrix and were able to see that everything was growing flawlessly. Horacio and Hernán were ready to grow their own food and, also, their medicinal plants. H2H was born, a family business based in Villa Urquiza.

“At first it started as a hobby, I became mad genius. This is how our project was born and now we want it to grow, for this to help people so that they can have a plant in their home to feed them ”, recalls the father.

Produce in 45 square centimeters

“The idea is like this: we make hydroponic growing systems. Crops with water. The formula for water is H2O. There are two of us and there are two of us, so we replaced the O by the H and made H2H ”.

Horacio is pragmatic, and he explains everything in a few words. To be clear. Hernán, in contrast, is more verbose, and paints his father’s words with colors.

The combination of Horacio and Hernán styles is ideal considering that we are at a business event. The B2B organized by Cannabis Business Hub (CBH) takes place within the framework of the eighth edition of ExpoCannabis 2021, the only fair on the continent that has the living plant as the main protagonist.

Uruguay legalized cannabis in 2013 and, according to data released by the Uruguay XXI Agency at the event, this year it exported 7 million tons of marijuana flowers between January and July. They also said that the sector generates more than 100,000 direct jobs in the more than 120 existing companies, 80 percent, SMEs.

Contrary to what many thought, the change of government in this South American country gave impulse to the marijuana industry, both in its recreational use, where the possibility of opening it to tourism is discussed and the THC in the flowers that are sold rose in pharmacies, how in therapeutic (or medicinal) and industrial uses.

Uruguay has 180 licenses for cultivation, industrialization and research granted and 46 under evaluation, seven medicines and 17 registered cannabis-based cosmetics. In their 176,215 km² they cultivate, for the most part, local capitals; but also from Argentina, Brazil, the US, Canada and Georgia.

That is the panorama to which Horacio and Hernán are aiming, with the expectation of “generating good links, that our brand and our courses are known, and being able to advise. We do not want to give a product and that there is no feedback ”.

The product they manufacture is absolutely necessary, especially in Uruguay, where individual, domestic cultivation is allowed for any purpose, after registering with the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA). There are two systems they offer. The Hydro 420, drip irrigation, which reuses water with nutrients and can use four types of inert substrates that replace the soil: coconut fiber, rock wool, arlite and pomes stone. It has a vegetative process much faster than traditional cultivation and the support of timers make it much easier for beginners.

The other product is Clone 340, a hovercloner that creates clones and cuttings with a colorful “so you don’t crash” management system. Another benefit of this cultivation system is that the plant does not spend energy looking for food and concentrates it on producing its flower, it does not stress. The level of insects and pests is also low.

“With the water you give them the specific nutrients they need in each period, because they are applied directly to the water. It is as if each of us consumed as much carbohydrate or calcium for better health. The same thing happens with the plant, which has a better predisposition, level of CBD or THC because you give it exactly what it needs ”, sums up Hernán.

After the first meetings with potential stakeholders, the business round looks successful for H2H. The stand where they present their products is one of the most visited from day one.

In the midst of all that vertigo are Horacio and Hernán. They are presented like this: “Father and son empowered and motivated to live the experience of a healthy and conscious life, learning, in a new company, in a new field.”


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Father and son, partners in life and in cannabis cultivation