What Not to Do When Growing Medical Marijuana: Part 2

Medical Marijuana, Grow Marijuana, growing weed, Hydroponic

Careful Growing Marijuana

Continuing with our three-part series, here are three more no-no’s to avoid when growing medical grade marijuana using a hydroponic system. These common mistakes can be quite costly in terms of money, time and the finished product. Take heed from these mistakes to ensure a healthy production of crops that can be used to alleviate or lessen pain in cancer patients.

5. Failure to invest in the proper equipment. Growing medical grade marijuana involves lots of specialized equipment as part of your hydroponics system, along with a dedication to ensure the crop is plentiful. Don’t skimp on the equipment, and don’t forget to set it up correctly — the first time. This means remembering to plug your pump back in, and checking that meters are calibrated, timers are working right, temperature gauges are working, light systems are good, and all other systems are in sync.

6. Taking bad advice from others. Like any hobby or business, it can be very helpful to take advice from others who are in the same place as you. But while many people like you may have some nuggets of advice, it’s best to approach this as a serious business from which you want to profit. That means you should get instruction from reputable sources, such as gardeners, botanists, scientists — anyone who can give you some good plant propagation advice and growth principles backed by scientific proof. If you’ve got a trustworthy hydroponics supplier, it’s likely he or she will have no problem answering your questions and providing helpful tips. Read books, scourge the Internet, and take everything with a grain of salt.

7. Failure to brush up on the laws in your state. While 23 states have legalized medical marijuana in this country, according to ProCon.org, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can grow it in those particular states (although many states do allow that). This could mean your state simply allows for possession and use of medical marijuana. That being said, each state has different allowable limits for possession. For example, while the possession limit in Alaska is one ounce, with three mature plants and three immature plants, California has a possession limit of eight ounces, with six mature or 12 immature plants.

How to Grow Auto Flowering Cannabis Seeds

If you haven’t heard about how to grow auto flowering cannabis, the term refers to those plants which do not require a specifically timed light cycle, and will instead flower all by themselves, following a period of approximately three weeks in a vegetative state.

The auto-flowering plants are derived from cross-breeding with cannabis ruderalis, which is sub-species of cannabis renowned for its ability to auto-flower, as well as its relatively short stature. By crossing ruderalis with indica or sativa strains, you can create a plant which grows and flowers all on its own, irrespective of photoperiods.

Why grow auto-flowering plants?

The real advantage of growing auto-flowering plants is that they are not subject to any lighting requirements, and will produce buds regardless of how much sunlight they receive.

If plants get more than 12 hours of sunlight each day, it won’t be a problem, and they will still produce bigger buds than most other cannabis plants. In addition, if you have a discreet growing operation, these plants are much smaller than normal cannabis plants, and will attract far less attention from curious neighbors.

How to grow auto-flowers

These plants typically grow very quickly, so more preparation is needed upfront to be ready for that rapid maturity. While the plants are in vegetative phase, which could be as short as two weeks, you’ll need to train the plants by topping each plant after it develops at least three nodes. Alternatively, you can simply pull the plants down in a sideways direction to force new upward growth. Once plants begin to flower, no further topping should be done, and pruning should be discontinued after one week.

Ideally these plants should be grown in a greenhouse, because the best time to start them is either in March or September. At this time of year, it could still be chilly and rainy, and plants will need warmth without excess rain. Greenhouse growing will eliminate both of these potential hazards, and provide the most favorable conditions for flourishing.

Less feeding is required by auto-flowering plants, because they do not spend long in the vegetative state, and because they will mature into smaller plants anyway. This means feedings should be light, even with typically necessary components like nitrogen. Since they grow quickly, the overarching canopy is always less pronounced, and buds appear further down on the plant.

Establish a continuous growing process

This means that you should harvest in a sequential manner, taking the colas first, while allowing a little more time for the buds to develop and get denser. While you are in the harvesting process, it’s a good idea to pop the seeds from your plants, so you can begin preparing for your next crop. You can even plant these seeds immediately and in the same greenhouse room as your mature plants, since lighting requirements are not an issue for either group.

To get your initial batch of seeds, you can search online for seed banks, but make sure to pay close attention to the legal requirements for ordering, to make sure you don’t run afoul of local or interstate authorities.

West Virginia To Become 29th Medical Marijuana State

There is about to be a new state where medical marijuana is legal, the 29th to be exact.

In early April, the bill known as SB 386 was approved by the West Virginia Legislature and currently awaits a signature of approval from Gov. Jim Justice, who has already indicated his support, and is fully expected to make the bill part of state law.

Provisions of SB 386

SB 386 legalizes all aspects of cannabis production, sale, and medical usage of cannabis, subject to physician recommendation and approval. The bill breezed through the State Senate by a vote of 28 to 6, and received similar overwhelming approval from the House of Representatives, by a margin of 76 to 24.

Under the provisions of the bill, patients who have qualifying conditions will be allowed to use tinctures, extracts, and oils, but will not be allowed to consume cannabis in its natural state as a flower or leaf. This of course rules out smoking medical marijuana in the state, but does provide much-needed relief for those patients who have legitimate qualifying conditions.

Matt Simon, who heads up the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), has expressed some reservations about the bill, because the West Virginia House of Representatives attached some fairly restrictive amendments to it as it went through passage. Simon is himself a native of the state, graduating from West Virginia University, and lauds his state for the passage of this sorely needed legislation, so it can come to the relief of those who would truly benefit from it.

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Strong support statewide

Of particular interest in the passage of SB 386 is the fact that it is the third consecutive state which has approved a medical cannabis bill under a state legislature controlled by the Republican Party. Mr. Simon sees this is an encouraging sign that the present administration will not adopt a strong anti-cannabis stance anytime soon.

The bill received strong support statewide because many people realized that it would result in fewer opioid deaths, and that prescription painkiller abuse would likely diminish if medical cannabis were made legally available.

Many studies have shown that medical cannabis can be a powerful and effective treatment for chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, cancer treatment, alleviation of stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, arthritis pain, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and a host of other conditions.

It is expected that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of medical cannabis will be allocated to the state’s drug prevention and rehabilitation programs, which makes passage of the bill a win-win situation.

How to Scale a Cannabis Growing Operation

With new markets popping up all over the U.S., and existing markets increasing cannabis consumption, growers everywhere are seeking manageable ways of scaling up their operations to handle the increase in demand.

This is a very important question, because for most growers, rapid growth was not anticipated within the first few years of production, so there was simply nothing in original business plans to handle the kind of expansion that is currently needed to meet the needs of domestic markets, as well as those abroad.

Whenever a strong business’ need for something arises, it usually isn’t long before some company steps into the fray to provide a viable solution to the problem, and that’s exactly what’s happening now to help resolve the sudden need for scaling up grow operations.

Big companies step in

Firms like CannaBox Containers are already offering pre-fabricated turnkey growing facilities, which come equipped with everything necessary to provide instant growing rooms.

These are customizable units which can be purchased at various sizes, and in whatever numbers are needed, to accommodate light to moderate to explosive increases in cannabis demand.

Space management issues

Having the space to scale up a grow operation can be the biggest problem facing many growers, especially smaller-sized operations. Local regulations and zoning issues dictate that cannabis must be grown only in certain approved areas, away from public buildings.

To complicate matters, most building owners will not rent to cannabis growers to avoid legal complications.

And then when the right space can be found there will still be the need to quickly outfit that building with all the necessary growing equipment.

It’s easy to see why this is a headache no one would not want to go through every time their business experiences a growth spurt requiring a scaling up of operations.


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Problem solved

While CannaBox Containers are one of the first solutions to this problem, other companies are sure to see the obvious benefits and enter into the competition for turnkey growing solutions.

Even for brand new startup growers, having a fully-equipped grow room to begin business can provide an easy entry into the cannabis growing arena, with virtually all costs included in the price of a customized grow room.

With everything from lighting to temperature control accounted for in a self-contained grow room, all that’s really necessary to begin operation is to add sources of power and water. Even better, such grow rooms can be situated on private lands or inside existing warehouses, and scaling up is as simple as adding more units whenever demand warrants it, or in purchasing larger grow rooms with greater capacity.

In the unlikely event of diminishing demand, specific grow rooms can be temporarily shut down, and then started up again as business picks up. The beauty of this solution is in the tremendous flexibility it provides to cannabis growers, and helps to meet changing market needs.

Marijuana Not Rescheduled but FDA Allows Research

The debate on medical marijuana research continues on as the Federal Government decides to not reschedule cannabis above a Schedule 1 drug.

The Scheduling System
bi-graphics_drug-scheduling-chart

The DEA uses a 5-tier scheduling system when classifying the risk of abuse and medical usage on recreational and perscription drugs.

The hopes were that they would reschedule cannabis to a Schedule 2 drug, but they released their decision last Thursday that it would not be rescheduled.

Since cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug, this means it is still considered as one of the most dangerous ‘illegal’ drugs on the market today.

Think about this..

The DEA has decided not to change the claffification, because there hasn’t been enough research done. But it is illegal to study cannabis, because it’s an ‘illegal’ Schedule 1 drug.

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There is some good news

The DEA also released Thursday, that they would open more doors to researching the drug for medical purposes. They have decided to allow more universities to study and grow marijuana.

Although, we still don’t have any inclination of how many or which universities will be given the legal abilities to grow and study.

Since it is still considered a Schedule 1 illegal drug, it will continuously cause chaos in the cannabis industry.

Deadspin Article: Ravens Starting Left Tackle & Marijuana

Eugene Monroe, when healthy, is a starting left tackle. He’s also an outspoken advocate for the use of marijuana as a safe, effective, and nonaddictive way to manage pain. Though he announced that he had been medically cleared to play on June 8, he’s been held out of practice, and the Baltimore Ravens are reportedly trying to get rid of him as quickly as possible. – Deadspin, “Ravens Want to Unload Marijuana Advocate Eugene Munroe”

The first quote stated in the Article by Deadspin, above, about the Baltimore Ravens Offensive Lineman, Eugene Monroe.

Eugene continues to express his thoughts and concerns on the Marijuana industry, specifically for medical purposes, to his social media followers, but he is getting a lot of backlash from his team.

Munroe tweeted June 11, “Ravens continue to distance themselves from me and my cause. I invite you all to do some research. I won’t stop. This is for my brothers”

His desire to bring awareness for the cause is remarkable!