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Home Grown Horticulture

Seedlings in the suburbs



Growing from home is not just for tomatoes and flowers anymore. With the recent changes in the law for both medical and recreational marijuana, many people are opting to try out their green thumbs, clearing out their garages and yards to make room for a new type of homegrown adventure.

One important thing about growing at home is that there is a lot of information out there, almost too much. With the acceptance of marijuana continuing to evolve, the methods, laws, products, and extraction procedures are evolving as well. With all that in mind, here are some basics of a small grow operation with a little input from local commercial cannabis company, NW Kind.

The number of plants and size of the operation will change costs and legal requirements, so keep that in mind when deciding which route to take, all while being diligent in staying current with the laws of our state. OK? It is the responsibility of the individual to stay informed of the law. More information on rules and regulations can be found online, since after all, it is 2016. [Oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws]

The Source spoke to the highly informative, obviously enthusiastic, and all-around pretty awesome guy: Rick Gilliland, office manager of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF), about the proper steps in obtaining a medical marijuana card in the state of Oregon. Having a card allows for more plants (as well as a wider range of products that may be purchased in dispensaries). Once all ducks are in a row, then the real setup work can begin.

It seems everyone has an opinion and preferred method of growing, whether it be indoor, outdoor, in soil, hydroponic, or greenhouse. One thing many can agree on, though, is the importance of Jorge Cervantes' book: "Marijuana Horticulture The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible." It's a good place to start. The book was written 10 years ago, but still is referred to as a founding text in the grow world.

Expect a pretty hefty initial startup cost for hydroponic growing lights, soil, nutrients, pumps, mylar, temperature control and other items that are necessary. Used equipment to grow a few plants will run about $500, but for those contemplating a medicinal marijuana growing business, consider $10,000 the entry point and up to $30,000 is not unlikely.

Finding the right seeds for a grow is also important. NW Kind has been growing medical marijuana for seven years and Product Specialist David LaFlamme points out that, "Seeds and clones are also now readily available from breeders through dispensaries and online sales outlets."

The daily, weekly, monthly upkeep of a grow, says LaFlamme, "is truly an art form." He talks passionately about being able to nurture a plant to achieve the greatest possible outcome and finds the progression of each one rewarding to see. Even as a part-time gig, the amount of time spent in maintaining a garden involves physical participation and an investment in knowledge. Remember: The harder the effort, the higher the reward.

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