For now, one place which has accepted home grow is Vermont. Of the nine US states which have fully legalized, Vermont is the only one not to allow a commercial industry. Instead, the state will allow possession and home growing, up to six plants, including two flowered females.
Cannabis is a sexed plant; the drug is the flower from the female. The hard to detect presence of a male plant can ruin the flower produced by a whole room of females. To avoid pollination, large-scale marijuana grows typically use clones instead of seeds, and Graf recommends novice growers to begin with clones as well. The wrong lighting can also be ruinous for a very expensive crop.
Conversations about variation in soil substitutes, light spectra and humidity are frequent and achieve Warholian feats of boredom. They’re also potentially very important. As a high-value crop, cannabis may attract investment into lighting, water management and other agricultural technologies that might go ignored when the crop is $2 heads of lettuce. These new technologies are environmentally friendly and potentially earth-shattering politically, since they could transfer agriculture to cities.
The plants can attract unappetizing blights like spider mites, fungus gnats, powdery mildew and grey mold, also called bud rot. And the odor can annoy neighbors. The most vocal opponents of home growing may be the Quebec government which has said it will not allow home grow immediately, as part of an effort to legalize at its own pace.
How to grow your own weed
Allowing it, police say, enables criminals to hide in plain sight. For law-abiding growers it could invite burglaries, since their stash is worth $1,000 a pound and easy to resell. Firefighters worry about the blazing hot lightbulbs growers use and their elaborate electrical set-ups.
That’s probably a few years off though.
Marijuana growing can be relatively straightforward or “as complicated as you want to make it”, Graf said. Like so many aspects of cannabis, this is a culture advanced largely by solitary men, deeply invested in their competitive world.
“There’s an empowerment that comes from being able to do it yourself,” said Nichole Graf, who left New York City with her partner in 2013 to start a marijuana farm in Washington state. Growing, she said, would also be useful if the administration went after the industry and pushed the drug back to the illegal market. With her business partners, she co-authored Grow Your Own: Understanding, cultivating and enjoying cannabis, a nicely illustrated and eco-minded introduction.
In response, the Canadian Real Estate Association hit the panic button and called for a nationwide moratorium on home growing until it can be better studied. The group says home grows could deplete property values, and also raise rents, especially for low-income tenants. Supporters of the law say four plant grows pose minimal risk.
Do you need to have a green thumb to do this?
It's complicated at the start but you have to have patience for the trial-and-error process to show results. I just started by reading lots of articles on hydroponic gardening. You can’t get it right the first time, especially because the plant is so delicate. I started by going to my local gardener, picking up a small pot and a bunch of other plants to hide the one I was desperately trying to grow. I bought the seeds from Slimjim (which now sells seeds on another platform). My first successful grow was an autoflower because it’s easy to grow in Indian climate and natural light cycle. It was beautiful to watch the buds flower in front of you. I smoked it a month later with my friends, but it didn’t turn out as good as I thought it would be. I still remember it had a watermelon kinda smell
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ORIGINAL REPORTING ON EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS IN YOUR INBOX.
It took a while for us to convince M—that’s what we’re going to call him—to talk to us. M is legendary in certain inner circles for growing his own high-grade weed, not out there in the sunshine but indoors by using hydroponics—a system that has been changing the cannabis landscape in India since a couple of years now. M is still a bit on edge when we finally chat, reminding us to not use his name, exact age (he’s a 20-something) or location (lives in Mumbai somewhere) for the fear of cops busting what he has slowly (and lovingly) built over some years not for bragging rights or to make money but just out of, well, passion.
What are the best strains you’ve had?
That would be Bubba Kush (an old-school Indica strain known for its dreamy and hypnotic effects) and UK Cheese (a hybrid strain that actually smells like cheese, induces euphoria and is pain relieving).