The Status of Legal Cannabis in Europe

The old continent is viewed by most as a green mine waiting to be dug. Still, investors are advised to hold their horses, as the market adapts to the new legalization policies.

Europe has one of the world’s most developed joint legal, economic and commercial systems. However, its cascade of regulations and international commerce laws have managed to delay the foreseen explosion of legal cannabis in Europe.

Recent analysis by the international cannabis research firm Prohibition Partners, places the European cannabis industry at €115 billion by 2028, thus doubling projections for the entire US and Canadian markets for the same year.

Although almost 30 European nations already achieved some form of decriminalization, today’s situation is far from what most ‘cannapreneurs’ would dream of, with special obstacles set for foreign (i.e. US and Canadian) investors.

A Brief History of Cannabis in Europe

Cannabis is believed to have been introduced in Eastern Europe through nomadic tribes migrating from Persia and the Middle East over 3,500 years ago. This means that people in Europe where taking puffs even before the Trojan War. The plant then slowly spread along with migrations, crossing the entire continent and arriving in the British Isles by the hands of Viking invaders around the year 500.

For the past 1,500 years, people all across Europe have been using cannabis as a medical, spiritual and recreational drug, as well as benefiting from it as a source of natural fiber. Restriction laws arose during the 18th and 19th centuries, following a long era of prohibition that started to crumble in the 1970s. By this time, flexible policies began to appear in some Western European countries, like the Netherlands, where the international wave of legalization saw its prime, until the 90s. In recent years, more and more countries started opening up to decriminalization policies, making Europe the continent with the highest count of countries allowing some form of unpunished consumption.

Today’s Panorama

The mood amongst those seeking cannabis business opportunities in European countries is that of anticipation. The demand for legal cannabis products is clearly there, but parliamentary restrictions are keeping the gates of commerce almost shut. With the exception of the Netherlands, where cannabis is somewhat legal but not entirely, all countries in Europe that have allowed some kind of consumption, have done it in for medical purposes, with strong laws that require patients to get a doctor’s prescription and pick up their weed at a pharmacy, which is itself not allowed to display or advertise prescribed products of any kind, including any cannabis derivative.

Setting up a cross-border cannabis business operation in Europe can result in an ever harder ordeal than planning a cross-state operation in the US. In addition to complying with regulations from every country involved in the enterprise, producers and distributors must attain special certifications in order to qualify for a license, since cannabis is considered a pharmaceutical product.

US and Canadian companies wanting to export products into the European market have it even harder, since they are obliged to follow the rules set by the UN’s Single Convention on Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, a treaty the regulates the international commerce of illegal drugs for medical purposes. The fact that cannabis is still federally illegal under US law, restricts American businesses from following the rules of the treaty. Canadian companies wanting to distribute their products in Europe even need to get special permits to sell pharmaceutical goods, and deal with a pharmaceutical wholesaler in order to get those products into the pharmacies.

Although signs indicating the future growth of the European cannabis market are clearly out there, that fact that each country has to set up its own legal system, makes it hard to estimate precisely when this boom will actually occur.


One of the most named players in the European cannabis game this year has been Germany. The country, known for its innovative nature and political influence, introduced a new medical cannabis legislation in March 2017, which allowed for the granting of eleven production licenses.

As of today, over 13,000 citizens hold medical marijuana licenses, a number that climbed from only 1,000 in the first year of the new law. Demand has risen so much that the government is currently evaluating candidates to grant special importing licenses.

Recreational consumption is still illegal but there is some tolerance for possession of small quantities in certain regions. Though there is an active community in favor of legalization, most signs point against recreational decriminalization within the next few years.

The Netherlands

The Dutch have one of the world’s most advanced legislation in regards of cannabis use, but in spite of most people’s perceptions, the country has not yet achieved full legalization, nor a consistent regulatory framework for personal use. Coffee shops in some regions are allowed to sell and house consumers, but supply is not regulated by the state, which forces coffee shops to obtain stock from the black market. Current efforts to regulate this situation are being made by Dutch regulatory bodies.

Medical cannabis has been legal in the country for over 15 years with a doctor’s prescription and is currently supplied by a single producer. Plans to open opportunities to other producers are on their way, but only a second producer will be allowed to enter the game.


Since cultivation and consumption for personal use are decriminalized in Spain, a new type of venue came about: The Cannabis Social Clubs. These clubs operate under the assumption that, if one person is allowed to have one plant, then a club with 50 members should be allowed to have 50 plants. The idea is not particularly welcomed by the authorities, but still, Cannabis clubs are flourishing, and house both rec users as well as medical, since legislation for medical consumption has not yet been developed.

Commercial production works in small quantities within the Social Club environment, but large-scale industry laws are yet to develop.


Medical cannabis has been legal in the Mediterranean country since 2013, yet production domestic production didn’t start until 2017, which forced the country to import its stock from the Netherlands for the first part of this period. A military monopoly was established in 2017, which allowed the army to be the sole producer and distributor. This year, as demand started exceeding local supply, new licenses emerged for importers to bring cannabis from abroad once again.

Cultivation and consumption of high CBD, low THC cannabis is legal, which has paved the way for the opening of several Cannabis Social Clubs in Italy as well, which are all legally regulated.

France and the Czech Republic

Both of these countries are major cannabis consumers, yet recreational sales are still banned nationwide. The Czech Republic has with some decriminalization policies for possession of small amounts, and France, though is one of the countries with the highest numbers of regular pot consumers, fines smokers on spot.

Both countries made cannabis legal for medical purposes with a doctor’s prescription in 2013.

Many other European countries like Portugal, Ireland, the UK, Poland, or Greece have had recent legislative improvements that could change their market dynamics, but have so far reflected negligible news in nationwide production, distribution and consumption, hardly accounting for any actual change, from a consumer’s perspective.

The list of countries set to change the current legislation and open up to some form of legalization is even larger and continues to grow. Still, more efforts have to be made if big change wants to be seen in the European landscape.

Ponieman, ByNatan. “The Status of Legal Cannabis in Europe.” Green Rush Daily, 6 Dec. 2018,

Medical Cannabis Will Be Sold In Italian Pharmacies

Medical marijuana in Italy is about to become more accessible as the government introduces private production.

Italy is taking a big step towards medical cannabis accessibility. This week, Italy’s Health Minister announced that medical cannabis will be sold in Italian pharmacies. Furthermore, private companies will soon be able to produce cannabis as the nation fails to meet demand. Years after medical marijuana became legal, people suffering from debilitating conditions are finally getting a convenient and affordable way to get medical cannabis in Italy.

Italy Legalized Medical Cannabis In 2006

In 2006, Italy legalized medical marijuana, which has increased in popularity ever since. According to the New York Times, Italian medical cannabis consumption is 10 times what it was in 2014. Instead of 40 kilograms annually, it’s now 400 kg.

Similar to many US states, qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Italy include multiple sclerosispain, nausea, Tourette’s syndrome. They’ve also added other conditions like anorexiaanxiety and insomnia.

The expansion of medical cannabis in Italy is a victory accessibility. However, Italy’s medical marijuana production structure lags behind. All medical cannabis in Italy comes from one producer, the Military Pharmaceutical Plant, which, as its name would suggest, is government-run. The nation’s only legal weed farmer could not meet demand last fall, resulting in shortages and a spike in black market activity.

The only other legal option is importing medical cannabis from other big cannabis producing nations. Currently, Italy turns to the Netherlands and Canada to supply its ever-growing market.

Not only is this a missed opportunity for Italy, but imported medical cannabis is unaffordable for most Italians. According to Growing Marijuana Tips, a gram of medical cannabis can cost around €38, which is around $44. By comparison, illegal weed costs around €10.

Italian Pharmacies Will Soon Sell Medical Cannabis

Health Minister Giulia Grillo is putting a stop to medical marijuana shortages. On Tuesday, Grillo visited the Military Pharmaceutical Plant, according to Italian newspaper the Republic of Florence. She noted that one operation could not supply the nation’s booming medical cannabis industry.

“I will make every effort to ensure that medical cannabis is available in all pharmacies to ensure the continuity of treatment to which you are entitled,” Grillo announced on her Facebook. She also posted a photo of herself meeting with Italy’s Cannabis Committee.

The future of medical cannabis in Italy is both public and private, according to Grillo. This means allowing Italian pharmacies sell their own weed, and expanding the medical cannabis in Italy so private companies can supply growing demand.

Private Companies Will Produce Medical Cannabis In Italy

Italian officials have not given an official start date for when private companies will produce medical cannabis. However, the health minister has the people’s support in her quest to make medical cannabis accessible.

Furthermore, Italy’s medical marijuana policy contrasts with the American one. Contrastingly, we have had privatized medical marijuana production since its inception. However, health insurance never covers medical cannabis. On top of that, Americans are not universally entitled to even basic healthcare. The motivation for officials to make medical cannabis in Italy accessible does not even exist in the US.

Though Italy’s bureaucratic system has stopped the nation from profiting off of medical marijuana farming, it may soon outpace us with a health care system that includes medical cannabis.

Powell, ByBurgess. “Medical Weed Just Became More Accessible In Italy.” Green Rush Daily, 1 Aug. 2018,

16 Countries With Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets

These countries have up and coming legal cannabis industries.

The “green rush” of legal cannabis is sweeping across much more than the U.S.A. In fact, legal marijuana markets are quickly beginning to emerge all around the world. At this point, the global legal weed market is expected to see some massive growth in coming years. With that said, here are 16 countries with emerging legal cannabis markets.

Countries With Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets

Right now, experts estimate the global legal cannabis market to be worth somewhere around $7.7 billion annually. Looking into the immediate future, that number is expected to balloon exponentially.

According to researchers, the worldwide legal marijuana industry is on pace to hit $31.4 billion by 2012. Between now and then, the market is expected to see an annual growth rate of 60 percent.

Obviously, legalization is the key factor. As more and more countries around the world legalize weed, the global market will expand. Here are the countries with emerging legal cannabis markets to keep an eye on.


Germany Is Looking For Legal Medical Marijuana Growers

Green Rush Daily

Germany is making a strong bid to become Europe’s leading cannabis country. In 2017, lawmakers took steps to begin licensing legal marijuana producers. The country also took important steps to make medical marijuana more accessible. Expect to see the legal medical marijuana market in Germany continue to get stronger in coming years—and possibly expand into recreational as well.


Italy has a robust medical marijuana industry. Interestingly, the country put the military in charge of all medical marijuana cultivation and production. Earlier this year, reports showed that the demand for legal weed was too much for the military to keep up with. As a result, Italy will begin importing cannabis from countries like Canada.


Israel Certifies 100 New Doctors To Help Expedite Marijuana Licensing


Israel has propelled itself to the forefront of the international legal cannabis market. In particular, it is a leader in cannabis-related studies, especially for medical research. Today, the country has more than 25,000 licensed medical marijuana patients. Clearly, Israel has earned its spot on any list of countries with emerging legal cannabis markets.


Not a lot needs to be said about this one. Canada is one of the world’s most well-known cannabis hotbeds. The country has had a strong medical marijuana program for years. And now, Canada is poised to make good on its promise to legalize recreational weed. As of now, the government is scheduled to legalize on October 17.


4 Reasons Israel Is A Leader In Cannabis Research and Development

Green Rush Daily

A growing number of states continue to legalize various forms of marijuana. Currently, the legal marijuana market in the U.S. is a bit confusing. There is a wide variance from state-to-state. For example, some states have very accessible medical marijuana programs. But other states limit medical marijuana to only certain types of products. Similarly, some states have fully legalized recreational weed, while others continue to enforce prohibition. One way or another, the U.S. is already a huge cannabis market and it’s only going to get bigger.


Spain is reportedly one of Europe’s most weed-friendly countries. For example, it has one of the EU’s highest rates of adult cannabis consumers. So much so, in fact, that experts predict a recreational marijuana market in Spain sometime in 2019. Those same experts think Spain’s legal marijuana market could quickly be worth over $200 million.


16 Countries With Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets

Green Rush Daily

Brazil has been one of the biggest countries in South America to take seriously the possibility of a legal marijuana market. In particular, the country has focused on medical marijuana. A 2017 study found that medical cannabis alone could generate more than $1 billion in the country.


Argentina is at a cannabis crossroads. So far, the country has decriminalized the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana. It has also approved the medical use of CBD. And it continues looking into the idea of establishing some form of legal market. In particular, a medical market. While there might not be a ton of infrastructure in place right now, this is certainly a country to keep your eye on,


16 Countries With Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets

Green Rush Daily

Uruguay is a pioneer when it comes to countries with emerging legal cannabis markets. It was the first country to universally make recreational weed legal for all adults. Last year, the country began selling legal marijuana over the counter at pharmacies.


Many experts see Peru as helping to lead the way in South America’s cannabis scene. In fact, Forbes said that Peru, along with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay will help grow the South American legal weed market from $125 million this year to more than $775 million by 2027.


16 Countries With Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets

Natural Society

Experts have predicted some big growth for legal weed in Australia. The country’s legal market is currently worth somewhere around $52 million. By 2027, that number is projected to balloon to $1.2 billion. That would make Australia one of the top five biggest legal weed markets in the world.


Things could be changing in Mexico. In 2017, the country legalized medical cannabis, as long as the medicinal product has less than 1 percent THC. On the recreational front, the Supreme Court made an interesting ruling in 2015. In that decision, judges allowed four individuals the right to grow and consume their own cannabis. If these changes are indicators of future directions, expect to see Mexico become one of the countries with emerging legal cannabis markets.

South Africa

16 Countries With Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets

Green Rush Daily

South Africa has reportedly published guidelines for the legal production of medical marijuana. And last year, the country’s High Court made a ruling to allow people to legally consume cannabis in private. As a result of these changes, South Africa is poised to become one of Africa’s leading marijuana markets. And as laws in the country continue to change, look for South Africa to become an increasingly important legal market.


Earlier this year, Zimbabwe made headlines when it legalized the cultivation of cannabis for scientific and medical use. As a result of this legislation, people can now apply for a legal license to grow marijuana. This could prove an important first step toward establishing an emerging legal marijuana market in Zimbabwe.


Greek Government Hopes Cannabis Law Change Creates Economic Growth


Last year, the Greek government made it legal for adults to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Then, this year lawmakers approved the cultivation and production of medical cannabis. As a result, there could be some important new activity in the small island country. In particular, a number of cannabis companies from across the world have already shown interest in Greece’s recently expanded legal market for medical marijuana.


Lebanon already has one of the most dominant positions on the global black market. Thanks to a perfect climate for cultivating cannabis, the country is known for producing tons of top-shelf weed. Now, lawmakers in the country are considering making all this cultivation activity legal. If the country follows through on early plans to legalize marijuana, expect Lebanon to quickly become a big player in the global cannabis market.

Legal weed is big business. And it’s only going to get bigger and bigger. As countries around the world continue taking steps toward more lax cannabis laws, the chance for an explosive global legal market becomes more likely.

Lindsey, ByNick. “16 Countries With Emerging Legal Cannabis Markets.” Green Rush Daily, 7 Aug. 2018,

Italy Decriminalizes Medical Marijuana Cultivation, May Be Step Toward Legalization

Last Friday, Italian lawmakers officially decriminalized a number of minor crimes, the most important of which had to do with medical marijuana cultivation and marijuana research.

Previously, approved pot growers who violated the country’s strict regulations—even in minor ways—could receive hefty punishments including time in prison.

But now, Italian lawmakers have eased up on medical cannabis growers, “decriminalizing those who violate agreed terms on cultivating the plants for therapeutic purposes,” according to Italian news sources.

Instead of prison time, those who violate medical marijuana growing rules will now only receive a fine.

In addition to easing punishments on medical pot growers, the new rules also decriminalize cannabis researchers who violate growing regulations.

“Cannabis researchers in Italy will no longer risk jail time if they grow more marijuana than the state allows,” reports from Reuters said.

While the new rules don’t immediately change the country’s laws regarding recreational use, many are hopeful that Friday’s actions could be the first step toward the eventual legalization of marijuana.

In particular, many have framed last week’s changes as the first concrete outcome of groundbreaking legislation efforts in 2015 in which a proposal to radically reform the country’s marijuana laws drew widespread support from leaders across the political spectrum.

The terms of that proposal suggested that “people over the age of 18 could cultivate up to five plants at home and growers could set up social clubs involving a maximum of 50 people and 250 plants,” according to Italian news sources.

It also called for new possession laws that “would allow people to store 15 grams of marijuana at home and carry around up to five grams of the drug, figures which would be higher if the marijuana was being held for medical use.”

To date, the proposal has yet to be enacted, but Italian officials hope that last week’s smaller changes will be beneficial in several key ways.

“It will free up courts from issues of little relevance,” state officials said. This is important for a country that ranks 139th out of 140 for its efficiency in settling legal disputes.

Italian politicians also hope that taking steps to decriminalize marijuana will create positive economic changes, freeing up money from pointless marijuana prosecutions for more important and pressing uses.

An Italian research group also suggested that legalizing cannabis could boost Italy’s GDP by between 1.30 and 2.34 percent.

Although the country hasn’t yet achieved the vision proposed by lawmakers last year, Friday’s decriminalization of medical cannabis cultivation and cultivation intended for cannabis research is certainly a move in the right direction, both for Italy and for Europe as a whole.

Here’s where the continent currently stands when it comes to cannabis:Italy Decriminalizes Marijuana, Helps Move Europe Toward Legalization - GREEN RUSH DAILY


Lindsey, ByNick. “Italy Decriminalizes Pot Cultivation, Moves Toward Legalization.” Green Rush Daily, 20 Mar. 2017,

Australia Set To Legalize Cultivation Of Medical Marijuana

Australia Set

Australia set for their parliament to pass a bill that would legalize the cultivation of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes.

The bill was introduced to a parliamentary session Wednesday, and it is expected to pass quickly, taking the first step toward allowing healthcare providers to prescribe cannabis to patients with chronic pain and other qualifying ailments.

Australia aims to conduct clinical trials with cannabis, which means that only researchers and patients on clinical trials would have access to the legal supply.

Other patients and the general public would not be able to receive licenses for medical cannabis.

The bill will see Australia create a national licensing and permit scheme to supply medical cannabis to patients with painful and chronic conditions on clinical trials.

Australian officials have given themselves until the end of March to decide whether and how to lower the criteria for the use of medical marijuana, opening the door for other patients to treat their symptoms with cannabis.

Several Australian states have already committed to starting trials for the cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes, though the current law still forbids growing the plant.

As a result, Australian manufacturers, researchers and patients on clinical trials have been forced to access global suppliers of legal medicinal marijuana. But costs, limited supply, and export barriers make this challenging.

“Allowing controlled cultivation locally will provide the critical missing piece for a sustainable legal supply of safe medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients in the future,” said Australia’s Health Minister Sussan Ley.

If Australia decides to treat cannabis the same way it treats opioids and opiates, patients dealing with chronic pain could eventually be prescribed the drug.

Companies are eager to get into the cultivation business.

“The market for medicinal cannabis in Australia is substantial. The number of patients that could be targeted could be people with epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, while there is the other spectrum of people with chronic pain,” said Gaelan Bloomfield, manager at MMJ PhytoTech Ltd., Australia’s first listed medicinal marijuana company.

Drury, ByAdam. “Australia Set To Legalize Cultivation Of Medical Marijuana.” Green Rush Daily, 20 Mar. 2017,

This Cultivation Company Has Been Dubbed the Tesla of Cannabis

As legalization expands, cultivation companies are taking off. Tantalus Lab is the Tesla of Cannabis and they’re changing everything.

The business of cannabis cultivation is one of the most competitive and fastest-growing sectors of the industry. It takes a special kind of innovation to separate yourself from the pack. And one cultivation company is so ahead of the curve that it has earned the moniker the “Tesla of cannabis.”

Tantalus Labs: The Tesla of Cannabis

This Cultivation Company Has Been Dubbed the Tesla of Cannabis

Maybe you’ve been living underground, but even then you’ve probably heard of Tesla, Inc. Led by the eccentric CEO Elon Musk, Tesla has pioneered the world of electric cars.

Driven by its mission to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla launched its Model S in 2012. A fully electric full-sized sedan, the Model S performs more like a sports car, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. On top of that, drivers never have to pay a cent for gasoline at the pump.

And it’s exactly this commitment to energy innovation that makes Tantalus Labs, a cannabis cultivation company, the Tesla of cannabis.

Just like Tesla, Tantalus Labs is a pioneer of innovative, sustainable growing technologies that take care of the environment. And we’re not just talking things like solar panels and carbon offsets.

Rather, Tantalus Labs has built a massive, completely sustainable cannabis greenhouse.

Tantalus Labs’ New Cannabis Greenhouse Combines Best of Indoor and Outdoor Growing

This Cultivation Company Has Been Dubbed the Tesla of Cannabis

Cannabis grows best outdoors. Plenty of sun, light, and water, and outdoor grows consistently and easily produce high yields. But if you’re a top-tier cultivation company, growing marijuana in the open is a huge risk.

Think about how much cultivation companies have invested in the grow operations that supply the billion-dollar legal cannabis market every year. Now imagine that the federal government could at any time — because it can — shut down a company’s cannabis production. Remember, marijuana is still illegal federally in the United States.

As a result, companies that grow marijuana legally almost always choose to grow their product indoors, out of the sight of Uncle Sam.

And the same is true in Canada. Companies there can legally grow medical cannabis, but until recently, recreational marijuana was illegal. Tantalus Labs is located in British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada, just north of Washington state in the U.S.

True to its nickname as the Tesla of cannabis, Tantalus Labs has developed a greenhouse that provides the best of outdoor cannabis cultivation with the security of an indoor operation.

The greenhouse format allows natural sunlight to stream in, making the company’s cannabis crop grow fuller flowers faster. Since the greenhouse uses no artificial lighting, the company has a low-energy footprint and saves big on cost overhead for electricity.

More importantly, however, they can grow rich, green plants with dense, healthy buds that exceed Canada’s pharmacological standard for medical-grade cannabis.

Tantalus Labs’ cannabis greenhouse facility also uses a rainwater collection system on the 120,000-square-feet of roof covering the facility. A water recapture system collects BC’s abundant rainfall, filters it, feeds it natural fertilizers, and pumps it through an irrigation system.

A Natural Strategy

This Cultivation Company Has Been Dubbed the Tesla of Cannabis

Founder and managing director Dan Sutton described Tantalus’ strategy as building off of both the core concepts of the agriculture industry and mother nature herself:

Nature has done an excellent job of cultivating plants for the last billions of years. The closest we get to a natural strategy, the more effective we are.

But Sutton also understands the role of technology in optimizing a natural strategy. That’s why they’re pioneering the indoor cultivation of sun-grown cannabis with high-tech, specialized greenhouse systems.

The company knows that underground “bunker-basement” cannabis cultivators consume nearly one percent of all the energy in North America. Sutton calls this “an unspoken and unnecessary drain on the grid,” and he wants Tantalus Labs to change this. No wonder investors have dubbed his company the Tesla of cannabis.

The Tesla of Cannabis Is Out To Revolutionize Cannabis Cultivation

This Cultivation Company Has Been Dubbed the Tesla of Cannabis

In Greek Mythology, Tantalus was a king and a son of Zeus. For his crimes, he was condemned to remain in chin-deep water with fruit-laden branches over his head, while being unable to reach either. His name is the origin of the word “tantalize.”

But a “Tantalus” is also a kind of cabinet for decanters of liquor that can be locked up while staying visible. It’s possible Tantalus Labs draws from both meanings in its mission of environmental sustainability.

Indeed, Tantalus Labs’ custom-built cannabis greenhouse keeps their crop safely indoors but still “visible” the sun’s nurturing rays. In plain sight, but out of reach to the feds, this “Tesla of cannabis” is blazing trails toward a brighter, sunlit future of cannabis cultivation. U.S. companies should pay attention to what Tantalus is up to.

Drury, ByAdam. “This Cultivation Company Has Been Dubbed the Tesla of Cannabis.” Green Rush Daily, 18 June 2017,

Cannabis Shortage In Canada Despite Increase In Cultivation Applicants

A legal marijuana shortage could be on Canada’s horizon.

One of the more persistent problems in the legal marijuana industry remains simple economics: supply has, for the most part, failed to meet demand, at least during the outset. Marijuana shortages are common occurrences in places where cannabis is newly legal—take Nevada and California in the U.S., for example. Even Germany, who just rolled out a new medical marijuana policy a little over a year ago, is struggling to keep up with the high demand for the plant.  With Canada set to usher in their own era of legal, recreational marijuana, a similar occurrence is bound to happen, despite plenty of preparation in place. In fact, there is an expected cannabis shortage in Canada despite increase in cultivation applicants.

Cannabis Shortage In Canada Despite Increase In Cultivation Applicants

According to Matt Lamers of Marijuana Business Daily, that while the number of cultivation applicants rose 150% during quarter one of 2018, Canada is still expected to see a shortage of marijuana, due to the elongated process of acquiring proper licensing.

Per the report, Canada now has over 500 growing applications in the pipeline, after another 74 applied for licenses over the past four months. However, the new applicants aren’t expected to start rolling out pot products until at least 2019, due to the mandated 341-day waiting period a company must go through after receiving their cultivation license. Not to mention the fact that it could take up to several years for companies to acquire such grow licenses.

Canada’s lack of fully-licensed facilities is expected to contribute to a marijuana shortage, at least on the onset of legalization. According to Hamish Sutherland, the CEO of the ancillary cannabis company, White Sheep, securing a larger number of licensed cultivators is the first step in solving the issue head-on.

“The number of cultivators is critical, because that leads to the next step – sales licensing,” he said. “Once all these ‘majors’ get everything in the ground, then they have to go through the process to get a sales license,” Sutherland said. “Adult users will almost certainly not have access to adequate legal supply for a considerable number of months/years.”

As it stands, the number of licensed cultivators is 104, yet, only 48 can sell flowers, while only 25 can sell oils. Most of Canada’s grow facilities have yet to receive it’s licensing to sell their product. If the process isn’t expedited soon, Canadian pot companies could see their businesses flailing right from the jump.

Kohut, ByTim. “Cannabis Shortage In Canada Despite Increase In Cultivation Applicants.” Green Rush Daily, 15 June 2018,

Arkansas Issues First Five Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses

Some good news for prospective MMJ patients in Arkansas.

Arkansas’ medical marijuana program made another important step on Wednesday. After some holdup, the state’s Medical Marijuana Commission issued its first licenses to five select cultivation companies.

Arkansas Issues First Five Medical Marijuana Cultivation Licenses

If there’s one thing most newly-christened legal weed states have in common, it’s a hold up in the licensing process. This time, the roadblock came courtesy of an injunction levied against the state’s licensing process.

Back in March, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued the injunction. He stated that the licensing process was in violation of the state’s original 2016 constitutional amendment that effectively legalized medicinal cannabis. However, the state Supreme Court ended up reversing Griffen’s decision last month, opening the doors for the state to finally dole out the licenses. The Supreme court nullified the decision based off of their agreement that Griffen did not have the authority to issue such an injunction.

The five companies awarded MMJ cultivation licenses were Natural State Medicinals Cultivation, Bold Team, LLC, Natural State Wellness Enterprises, Osage Creek Cultivation and Delta Medical Cannabis Company, Inc. Each company paid a $100,000 license fee and a $500,000 performance bond.

There are 90 cultivation licenses applicants remaining. The commission is allowed to select up to eight companies. However, it remains to be seen whether or not they will approve any more applicants.

Additional Roadblocks

As for the companies that were approved, there could be additional roadblocks ahead. According to the Associated Press, there are no actual dispensaries licensed at this time. This means there is no retail sector to actually sell products.

And apparently, the dispensary licensing process could also be elongated.

There are 32 dispensary licenses available but 227 total applicants. The state is apparently considering bringing in an independent consultant to help review the applications. However, the state will have to issue an emergency rule change in order to hire the consultant.

Per the AP, the move to hire an outside consultant is due to Griffen’s injunction. The move allegedly was in support of an unsuccessful cultivation applicant and considered a conflict of interest.

“The voters have made it clear that they want this medication made available to patients expeditiously and we will work diligently to do that,” McDaniel said to the AP.

Kohut, ByTim. “This State Just Issued Their First Five Medical Cultivation Licenses.” Green Rush Daily, 12 July 2018,

Cannabis Cultivation Program Offers Job Training to People of Color

CityGrow will be an expansion of SanFrancisco’s renowned CityBuild program and an important step toward cannabis equity.

In San Francisco, the nationally-renowned CityBuild job training program has helped economically disadvantaged and formerly incarcerated people find rewarding, sustaining work in the construction industry. In twelve years, CityBuild has graduated more than 1,400 workers, and the program has built productive relationships with employers, non-profits, unions and colleges. And now, city Supervisor Ahsha Safaí wants to expand that program into a new industry: the cannabis industry. The new initiative, dubbed “CityGrow,” will provide hands-on cannabis cultivation, job training, and job placement in California’s rapidly growing industry.

San Francisco’s CityBuild Program to Offer “CityGrow” Cannabis Apprenticeships

Supervisor Safaí’s Cannabis Apprenticeship Ordinance, “CityGrow” for short, is already generating excitement and enthusiasm. The program is a pre-apprenticeship program to provide industry-level job training. But it will also seek partnerships with California’s cannabis industry to secure job guarantees for CityGrow graduates. And that’s where the state comes in.

While the greenrush is undeniable, California’s cannabis businesses do struggle with the uncertain regulatory terrain and economic realities of the nascent industry. Therefore, cannabis businesses owners may not feel ready to participate in the CityGrow program. CityBuild service providers argue that the best way to incentivize the industry is through state-approved apprenticeships.

State-approved apprenticeships are commonplaces in the construction industry and actually, in any industry where there is significant public interest in highly trained workers. State apprenticeship policy ensures that workers receive living wages, job security and benefits while they develop their skills for the industry.

Many in the industry are already supporting the apprenticeship initiative. On September 18, California’s Statewide Industry Employers Joint Apprenticeship Committee applied to officially establish the CityGrow program. The apprenticeship program will train pharmacy technicians, cannabis nursery (greenhouse) specialists, manufacturing technicians and cannabis transporters. The industry and labor organizations will have a direct hand in shaping training curricula  And it will benefit the industry in other ways, such as ensuring businesses meet certain equity obligations under California law.

CityGrow Models What Cannabis Workforce Equity Looks Like

In addition to ensuring highly trained workers go into entry-level positions in the cannabis industry, CityGrow will contribute substantially to the ongoing struggle for equity in the legal cannabis industry. For decades, cannabis users, sellers and producers have been harshly criminalized in the U.S. In many places in the U.S., they still are. Yet states that have legalized cannabis are witnessing the meteoric rise of a new billion-dollar industry. Cannabis is creating wealth and opportunity everywhere, but not for everyone, equally.

The so-called war-on-drugs, or more accurately its devastating failures, make a compelling case for the end of criminalization. But legalizing cannabis, by itself, cannot repair the ongoing legacy of destruction. That’s why states across the country are taking efforts beyond criminalization and legalization to redress the harm of the war-on-drugs. In many states, district attorneys are calling for expungement of criminal records for cannabis charges. Some are establishing policies not to prosecute any new or past minor cannabis charges.

But one of the most significant components of cannabis equity is ensuring that previously criminalized groups have access to the wealth and opportunity generated by the legal industry. In addition to the life-long consequences of incarceration, racially disparate cannabis enforcement has also siphoned tremendous wealth away from communities of color.

California Lawmakers Called on to Approve Cannabis Apprenticeships

Recognizing this legacy and the need for equity, federal lawmakers drafted a Marijuana Justice Act. And in California, Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed the California Cannabis Equity Act of 2018, funding it with $10 million. Furthermore, Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsome, who could succeed Gov. Brown, is a CityBuild founder. He also led efforts to legalize cannabis. Newsome is pushing for half a million new cannabis apprenticeships by 2029.

The immediate future of CityGrow, however, will be up to lawmakers. They’ll have to approve Supervisor Safaí’s Cannabis Apprenticeship Ordinance. And if they do, the Governor’s office has vowed to fast-track the program’s implementation.

Drury, ByAdam. “Weed Cultivation Program Offers Job Training to People of Color.” Green Rush Daily, 10 Oct. 2018,

Made in Alaska Logos Are Finally Here For Marijuana Businesses

Alaskan marijuana businesses can now apply for “Made in Alaska” logos. This feature could help normalize weed in the state.

The Alaskan state government is allowing marijuana businesses to apply to put “Made in Alaska” logos on their weed products. The “Made in Alaska” program is overseen by the Alaskan Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The logo can only be used on cannabis products that are 51 percent or more produced in Alaska.

Made In Alaska Program

Made in Alaska Logos Are Finally Here For Marijuana Businesses

The “Made in Alaska” labels are similar to the “Alaska Grown” ones seen on agricultural products from the state. However, the Alaska Grown program is federally funded.

Cannabis is still federally illegal, so marijuana businesses are barred from inclusion in the Alaska Grown program. In 2014 Alaskans voted to legalize recreational marijuana.

Now Alaskan business practices are making their way into the state’s booming cannabis industry. Cary Carrigan, head of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association trade group, believes the “Made in Alaska” program is a positive step towards normalizing marijuana in the state.

Marijuana businesses are starting to see the same treatment as other businesses in the state.

“I think it’ll be a good thing for us. Anything that says who we are and what we’re doing (is good),” Cary told local sources.

Any business that is certified by the program will be allowed to place a Made in Alaska logo which features a white mother bear and a black cub on products that were mostly made in Alaska.

Application Process

Made in Alaska Logos Are Finally Here For Marijuana Businesses

According to state records, a Nikiski business known as Hempco LLC or Alaska Cannabis Company applied for a Made in Alaska certification on July 20.

They haven’t received their certification yet. To get certified they would have to submit a completed Alaska marijuana license for consideration with the Alaskan Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.

Hempco doesn’t have one, so it won’t get its certification yet. “It’s a new wrinkle, but it’s only a wrinkle,” said Fred Parady, deputy commissioner of the Department of Commerce.

Other marijuana businesses have applied and are waiting for certification. In fact, James Barrett of Rainforest Farms, the first legal marijuana farm and shop in Juneau Alaska, says he applied and is waiting for the result.

In the last year, 1,258 “Made in Alaska” certifications were issued. Jennifer Canfield, one of the owners of Green Elephant Gardens believes the program is a good step but marijuana businesses in Alaska still have significant obstacles that other businesses don’t.

For example, cannabis businesses are banned from the federally regulated banking system.

“It’s always good news when we gain opportunities that any other business has access to, but unfortunately, I can’t even take a ‘Made in Alaska’ certification to the bank,’” she said.

Alaskan Marijuana Sales Jump

Made in Alaska Logos Are Finally Here For Marijuana Businesses

Marijuana sales have reached record highs this summer. In fact, the Alaska Department of Revenue collected about $578,000 from cannabis farmers in July.

The state collected $1.7 million from the marijuana industry from June 2016 to June 2017. Alaska collects $50 per ounce of bud and $15 per ounce of other marijuana product like trimmings and stems.

Final Hit: Made in Alaska Logos

The Made in Alaska logo is a great way for marijuana businesses in Alaska to stand out. Cannabis businesses in Alaska can now market their products in similar ways to non-cannabis businesses in the state.

Hanna, ByAb. “Made in Alaska Logos Are Finally Here For Marijuana Businesses.” Green Rush Daily, 5 Sept. 2017,

Germany Is Looking For Legal Medical Marijuana Growers

Germany has so far been on the receiving end of the world’s cannabis exports. Now, the country is looking to grow its own.

Germany is looking for legal medical marijuana growers; at least three, to be precise. Germany’s medical cannabis program, which is usually on the receiving end of cannabis exports from around the world, is hoping to start cultivating its own crops. But after the first attempt at licensing growers broke down over various lawsuits, the country is taking a more studied approach this time around. Companies are, too. And that should make for a very competitive application process.

Expect Heavy Competition for German Grow Licenses

On Friday, Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BFARM) announced that it was reviving its call for cultivator applications. The announcement came just a week after BFARM officially canceled its previous call for applications.

The new call for applications is different in a couple key ways. First, Germany is aiming for 10,400 kg over four years (23,000 lbs.) this time. Their first call went out for just 6,600 kg (14,550 lbs.).

Secondly, BFARM is putting a cap on the amount of cannabis a single company can produce in a single year. That cap is 1,000 kg.

The introduction of the cap was potentially an effort to dissuade the largest cannabis producers from muscling out smaller competition. By the standards of the world’s largest cannabis producers, 1,000 kg is a small amount.

But the opportunity to gain a foothold in a country that just legalized medical cannabis, in the center of an expanding market, is too good for established growers to pass up.

So BFARM is expecting fierce competition for the licenses. It’s not just large cultivators that will be vying for a license, but the dozens of other companies who didn’t make the cut last time around. And now, they know the process and are in a better position to compete.

Germany Promises Transparent Application Process

Germany’s first attempt at awarding cultivation licenses was marred by delays and lawsuits. Many companies that didn’t make the shortlist after initial review sued the German government. They claimed BFARM didn’t handle the applications fairly.

After a court in Dusseldorf, Germany ruled in favor of one of the plaintiff companies, BFARM officially canceled the entire application process two weeks ago.

Now, having relaunched the cultivator licensing process with a few new tweaks, BFARM is promising a much more transparent process.

Still, the playing field isn’t exactly even. It already favors the major legal cannabis producers that already have a footprint in Germany. Canadian cannabis producers like Canopy Growth Corp. and MedReleaf Corp. especially have an advantage, as they already export to their medical cannabis subsidiaries in Germany.

But Canadian companies won’t be the only ones applying to grow in Germany. Companies from Israel, the Netherlands and even Latin America, where export markets are just taking off, will all make a bid.

BFARM is looking to award licenses to at least three cultivators. Each would have a 1,000 kg per year production cap. Over four years, that should easily meet the 10,400 kg amount Germany’s medical marijuana program is demanding. Germany has not placed on limit on the number of licenses it can award, however.

Drury, ByAdam. “Germany Is Looking For Their First Legal Weed Growers.” Green Rush Daily, 23 July 2018,

Rapid Growth In Maryland’s Medical Marijuana Sales After Legalization

Caregivers say Maryland patients are turning to cannabis as an alternative to dangerous prescription medications.

Maryland’s four-year-old medical cannabis program seems to have finally found its legs. Dispensaries opened their doors and began serving patients in late 2017. And so far this year, dispensary sales have exceeded all expectations. Additionally, low barriers to access are driving patient counts into the tens of thousands. But what else is causing the rapid growth of Maryland’s medical marijuana sales?

Medical Cannabis Sales Race Toward $100 Million in Maryland

In December 2017, the first full month of medical cannabis sales in Maryland, dispensaries took in $1.8 million. By June, their sales had climbed to $8.7 million, thanks to a 700 percent increase in transactions. With $35 million already in the bank—or the Brink’s truck—and sales continuing at their current pace, Maryland dispensaries could see sales top $100 million by year’s end.

Dispensaries are completing more transactions because there are more patients every month. Patient certifications climbed from 27,525 at the end of May to 35,895 through June. That’s a 30 percent increase in the number of registered patients in just one month. And a 191 percent surge since December. Beyond that, there are more than 13,000 patient applications pending.

But patient numbers are only part of the story. Physician certifications are up as well. Just over 275 new caregivers received certifications to recommend medical cannabis since May, bringing the total up to 985. There are also more dispensaries serving patients than ever before. Maryland sports 65 dispensaries according to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Ultimately, Maryland’s medical cannabis officials anticipate a program that will serve about 2 percent of the state population. In Maryland’s case, that would mean peaking at about 125,000 patients. Given the program’s popularity so far, Maryland could exceed even those estimates.

Maryland Patients Opt for Dispensaries Over Pharmacies

There are intrinsic factors that are driving high levels of participation in Maryland’s medical cannabis program. For one, the state has a higher density of dispensaries than any other state with legal medical marijuana. Second, dispensaries can sell flower, the most popular form of medical cannabis. Several other states have banned smokable forms, like New York, or tried and gone afoul of the constitution, like Florida.

But third and perhaps most importantly, Maryland gives doctors and nurses significant latitude to make medical cannabis recommendations. Like other medical cannabis states, Maryland has a list of qualifying conditions. But qualified physicians can make medical marijuana recommendations even if a condition isn’t on the list. As long as a symptom is severe enough, unresponsive to conventional medication and capable of relief from cannabis use, doctors can give patients a recommendation for it.

Access, in short, is excellent for Maryland patients. But there are also factors extrinsic to the program that is contributing to its rapid growth.

Namely, older patients’ desire for alternatives to opioids and other prescription pharmaceuticals with serious side-effects. Younger patients are also turning to medical cannabis to come off psychiatric drugs. “I have a lot of patients who are younger people that don’t want to be on Western antidepressants,” said Cameron Campbell, one of Maryland’s MMJ providers. Campbell’s two clinics specialize in working with patients who want to treat chronic pain without taking opioids.

Campbell’s observations were echoed by several other caregivers and dispensary operators. Many note that medical marijuana’s increasing popularity in Maryland is being driven by a popular rejection of prescription pharmaceuticals.

Drury, ByAdam. “Maryland Saw Rapid Growth In MMJ Sales Only Months Into Legalization.” Green Rush Daily, 9 Aug. 2018,

Makers Of Corona Beer Invest $4 Billion Into Canopy Growth

The makers of Corona and Modelo have their sights set on cannabis-infused beverages and sleep aids.

Back in October, Constellation Brands bought a 9.9 percent stake in Canopy Growth Corp., one of Canada’s largest cannabis producers. Today, they upped their stake substantially with an additional $4 billion investment in the Canadian cannabis juggernaut. Now, Constellations holds 38 percent of Canopy. And going forward, it will have the opportunity to become a majority shareholder.

Inside Corona Beer’s $4 Billion Investment Into Canopy Growth Corp.

Constellation Brands is the company behind two beers, Corona and Modelo. And on Wednesday, the company announced a $4 billion dollar investment in Canada’s leading medical marijuana producer, Canopy Growth Corp. That investment secured Constellation a 38 percent stake in the company. But its a stake they acquired at an average price that’s 51 percent higher than Tuesday’s close.

For some analysts, the investment is a textbook case of the overvaluation of Canadian cannabis. But Canopy CEO Bruce Linton isn’t concerned, he says, because his company knows the market is trending toward cannabis as a product more than a commodity. And two of the product segments that have most attracted Linton are beverages and sleep aids.

In this regard, Canopy isn’t leading the pack. The California brewing company Lagunitas, which Heineken owns, already has a cannabis-infused sparkling water. Molson Coors is already in talks with Aphria and Aurora Cannabis, two other major Canadian cannabis firms, about marijuana-infused beverages.

Canopy’s stock had taken a hit after the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. But after the investment from Constellation, Canopy shares saw a 23.2 percent bump today. Constellation’s stock, however, is down 8.9 percent.

Will We Ever See Cannabis-Infused Coronas?

It’s clear that Constellation Brands is moving into the cannabis space and plans to begin marketing infused beverages. But only Canadian beer drinkers are likely to see cannabis-infused Coronas or Modelos. Constellation has no plans to launch cannabis-infused products in the United States, at least until federal prohibition is no longer a concern. But it could bring products to dispensary shelves in Canada in 2019.

Constellation CEO Rob Sands said that his company has come to a better understanding of the cannabis market and its tremendous growth opportunity. In a statement, Sands said his firm is looking at the “long term attractiveness” of the global, legal cannabis industry.

And with an eye toward the long term, part of Constellation’s latest $4 billion deal with Canopy Growth includes a three-year opportunity to purchase nearly 140 million in new shares. That’s a roughly $5 billion investment opportunity. And if Constellation takes it, it will obtain a controlling stake in Canopy.

But at the moment, Constellation plans for Canopy to continue operating as an independent company in Canada. It will, however, nominate four directors to the seven-member board at Canopy.

Drury, ByAdam. “The Makers Of Corona Beer Invest $4 Billion Into Canopy Growth.” Green Rush Daily, 15 Aug. 2018,

USDA Approves Tribal Hemp Production Plans


On Jan. 27, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially announced that it has approved plans for new states in tribal areas to be able to produce hemp.

According to an article on the USDA’s website. the new plans were approved by the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program for Delaware, Nebraska and Texas and for the Colorado River Indian Tribes, the Fort Belknap Indian Community, the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, and the Yurok Tribe.

States and tribes that already have approved plans are Louisiana, New Jersey, and Ohio, and the Flandreau Santee Sioux, Santa Rosa Cahuilla, and La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian Tribes.

“The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) directed USDA to develop a regulatory oversight program for hemp and include provisions for USDA to approve hemp production plans submitted by states and Indian tribes,” the USDA website explains. “ State and tribal plans provide details on practices and procedures that enable hemp producers in their jurisdictions to operate according to their individual plans and in compliance with federal laws.”

In order to be eligible to grow hemp in these states or tribes, residents in the approved areas must be licensed by a production program under the USDA or their specific jurisdiction. These programs vary from state to state or tribe to tribe.

Even those who have been reluctant to embrace legal, recreational cannabis or a medical program have gotten curious about hemp and its impacts. The Cherokee Nation recently launched a group to study hemp and what it can do for a community and states like Texas have happily been approved for legal hemp plans. As the distinction between hemp and cannabis becomes clearer, and even cannabis becomes more accepted, hemp programs will continue to spread across the nation.

ByHigh Times Magazine. “USDA Approves Tribal Hemp Production Plans  • Green Rush Daily.” Green Rush Daily, 4 May 2020,

Tomato Growing Facility Turns Into Massive Cannabis Grow Operation

A massive tomato growing facility will be converted into one of the world’s largest cannabis producers.

Canada’s move toward full-scale legalization is catalyzing a lot of business activity. In particular, a well-known cannabis company has teamed up with a huge agricultural company to create a joint venture called Pure Sunfarms. Now, the companies have announced that Pure Sunfarms has received all licensing and approval to move ahead with a project that will convert a massive tomato greenhouse into a cannabis growing facility.

Pure Sunfarms Receives Sales License

Pure Sunfarms jointly run and operated by Village Farms International and Emerald Health Therapeutics. Both companies are based in Canada.

Village Farms is one of Canada’s largest growers of greenhouse produce. In fact, it is the only publicly traded greenhouse produce company in Canada.

On the other half of the partnership, Emerald Health Therapeutics is a well-established cannabis supplier. So far, it’s been focused on growing and producing for the medical marijuana industry. But with full legalization on the horizon, the company is preparing to move into the recreational space as well.

And that’s where Pure Sunfarms comes in. In fact, the joint venture is largely a response to Canada’s upcoming legalization. The two companies teamed up to create Pure Sunfarms on the assumption that when weed becomes legal, there will be a huge new demand for legal cannabis products.

News of the joint venture between the companies has been circulating for some time. But now, it looks like Village Farms and Emerald Health can start putting their plans into action.

The companies recently announced that Pure Sunfarms has received its sales license from Health Canada. That means the company can legally begin producing cannabis and cannabis products for the upcoming legal market. They can also move ahead with product development, branding, and marketing plans.

In particular, they can start rolling out their plans to create a massive new cannabis growing facility. In fact, according to a press release published by the companies, their planned greenhouse will become one of the biggest grow sites in the entire world.

Tomato Growing Facility Turns Into Massive Cannabis Grow Operation

The companies’ main plan is to convert a greenhouse that’s already owned by Village Farms into a massive cannabis grow. Currently, the greenhouse is used to grow tomatoes. But in the very near future, it will be used to grow marijuana.

“Pure Sunfarms continues to achieve its milestones on or ahead of schedule, and has transformed the Delta 3 facility from growing and selling tomatoes to growing and selling cannabis in just seven months,” said Village Farms CEO Michael DeGiglio.

Pure Sunfarms first began growing marijuana in May. At that time, the companies converted 225,000 square feet of the Village Farms greenhouse into cannabis growing.

But this is only a portion of the greenhouse. And now that Pure Sunfarms has its license, the companies can start using the rest of the space.

Village Farms and Emerald Health plan to use the entire 1.1 million square foot greenhouse for cannabis production. Their goal is to convert the full greenhouse into a marijuana facility by the end of 2018.

All of this activity comes in anticipation of legalization. After a series of delays and setbacks, Canada is finally scheduled to legalize marijuana on October 17.

Lindsey, ByNick. “A Tomato Growing Facility Is Now One Of The Biggest Weed Grow Ops.” Green Rush Daily, 1 Aug. 2018,

Former NASA Scientist Wants Weed Grown For Science

Cannabis researcher and former NASA scientist says today’s indoor grow techniques could help grow food on Mars.

What if everything cannabis growers are learning today could help astronauts grow food on Mars in a century? That’s the bold question Jacklyn Green posed to an audience of cannabis farmers and researchers at the Cannabis Science Conference on Tuesday. Green, a former NASA scientist and current CEO of cannabis consulting firm Agate Biosciences, wants to take the expertise of indoor marijuana growers and apply it to the challenges of cultivating crops in a hostile Martian environment.

Cannabis Science Conference Envisions Weed on Mars

The Cannabis Science Conference is the world’s largest and most technical cannabis science expo. Instead of focusing on products, brands and retail, the CSC brings together cannabis research scientists, medical practitioners, testing lab operators and instrument manufacturers to talk science. The goal is to improve the technical aspects of the cannabis industry by improving cannabis science.

But while most of the conference presentations focused on improving cultivation here on earth, Jacklyn Green’s focused on the stars. Green predicts humans will colonize Mars within the next century. And NASA is already conducting Mars colony experiments, locking teams of volunteer scientists in a simulated habitat on a remote volcanic island in Hawaii.

But when it comes to keeping humans alive on Mars, one of the biggest problems facing NASA is food. How to grow crops indoors in such an unfamiliar and hostile place? Green thinks marijuana growers can help solve that problem for NASA. She wants to use data from today’s high-tech industrial grows to develop strategies for controlled agriculture. It’s research that’s crucial not just for a Mars colony, but for people living in hostile, drought-stricken environments on this planet. Growing crops indoors, developing indoor farming, could have a big impact on global food crises.

“You are on the frontline in ways people who grow tomatoes can’t be,” Green told CSC attendees, according to Oregon Business. “It starts with being a scientist in your grow.”

NASA Scientist Wants Cannabis Cultivators to Take a More Scientific Approach

As legalization continues to spur industrial-scale cannabis operations, growers are investing in high-tech equipment to optimize cultivation. Product quality and profit margins both depend on it. But Green said she still felt that cannabis growers weren’t being scientific enough, conference attendees notwithstanding.

She also pointed out how few peer-reviewed journals publish studies on cannabis cultivation. And how often growers tend to rely on word-of-mouth and anecdotal folk wisdom, rather than hard science. More growers should become citizen-scientists, Green said, and conduct studies that provide real data. “Don’t just say you’ve got the dankest weed,” she said. “Say you can prove it.”

Other conference presentations were shining examples of the kind of work Green was encouraging. Many of the demonstrations featured small-scale studies. Studies that, despite their limited nature, introduced significant advancements in cannabis cultivation. One group of presenters shared their findings on the optimal lighting distance between bulbs and plants. Others demonstrated biomimicry techniques that replicate outdoor conditions indoors. Another shared tips for greenhouse layout to maximize efficiency protecting plants from contamination.

All of these studies, Green stressed, have implications beyond the cannabis industry. From improving food security and combating hunger around the world today, to keeping Mars colonists alive tomorrow.

Drury, ByAdam. “This Former NASA Scientist Wants Weed Grown For Science.” Green Rush Daily, 30 Aug. 2018,

Experts Have Contrasting Predictions on the Growth of Legal Cannabis

Recent market projections from different research firms have delivered inconsistent results in estimated forecasts.

There’s no denying it: the cannabis industry is exploding. Potheads know it, CBD-using grannies know it, even anti-legalization conservatives and prohibition fanatics are aware of the fact that the charts projecting legal cannabis growth aim nowhere but up.

However, even though this fact can be set in stone, there’s still no specific agreement as to how much the industry is bound to grow within the next few years. Different research firms have recently been releasing a series of reports estimating the possible conditions of the market in the years to come. However, the use of different research approaches, contrasting statistical models and diverse sources of data, have resulted in forecasts that amount dissimilar results.

Growth Factors

When analyzing which causes will determine the future states of the market, there’s a vast number of angles to take into consideration. The most obvious is legalization. New politics surrounding public access to weed are the main determinant influencing legal cannabis growth.

Still, there are many other market drivers to keep in mind, like current and past demand, stock values, new product offer, scientific developments, international influences and public opinion. There are so many clubs to juggle, it’s no surprise that different analysis would output different results, for a future that remains forever uncertain.

These type of reports are a crucial tool for anyone looking to invest or manage a current investment in cannabis. However, it’s advisable not to blindly follow any forecast as a divine revelation and take every bit of info into consideration when projecting for the future.

Global Estimates

Global revenue for the cannabis industry is estimated by Mordor Intelligence to reach $65 billion by 2023, while Grand View’s forecast is considering the whole market to reach $146.4 billion by end of 2025. These numbers are quite contrasting with Arcview’s report, that estimates the entire world spending on legal cannabis to reach only $57 billion by 2027.

Legal Cannabis Growth in the United States

Though the US market is universally expected to take up a big chunk of the world’s revenue, global projections rely on predictions of other countries’ going legal, which could widely vary from report to report.

Local projections are not as far off but, still present some inconsistencies. Statista is expecting the US cannabis market to steadily grow in sales from $16 billion by 2020, to $20 billion by 2022, and $24 billion by 2025. The yearly Marijuana Business Factbook is staying close, placing legal annual sales between $18 billion and $22 billion by 2022. Arcview’s report is running a little higher, placing annual sales at almost $18 billion by 2020 and over $23 billion by 2022, reaching Statista’s projections three years in advance.

State politics, again, play a big part in these developments, thus, an understanding of the political panorama is crucial to avoid making wild guesses. New Frontier Data is staying close to Statista in the field of probable projections, but is taking a leap forward, and considering what would happen in the entire nation were to legalize recreational use by 2025. If this were the case, more than $130 billion would be brought to the state in form tax revenue.

As far as job opportunities go, New Frontier Data is expecting the cannabis industry to create around 283.000 jobs by 2020. From Arcview’s stand, in its partnered report with BDS Analytics, this number is going to climb up to 467.000 in 2022. However, according to The Motley Fool BDS Analytics on its own estimated a total 0f 292.000 to be employed by the industry in 2021.

However important these reports may be when accounting for the future, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with new developments, in order to get a clear picture of what’s ahead.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Growers Can Apply to Provide Weed to Research Schools in This State.” Green Rush Daily, 5 Oct. 2018,

Police Stop Aerial-Searches for Weed Grows and Target Opioids

Vermont’s decades-old Cannabis Eradication Resource Team is now officially disbanded.

In the autumn of 1985, and every autumn since, unlicensed cannabis farmers across the country braced for the sounds of Air Guard helicopters chopping toward their grows. In 1985, Ronald Reagan was just into his second term as President, and his administration’s “War on Drugs” was in high gear. The choppers crawling through the skies above known cultivation regions were part of the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication Program. They were scouts, sent to relay coordinates back to state law enforcement agencies who would move in for the kill.

In Vermont, for example, the Cannabis Eradication Resource Team uprooted as many as 7,000 plants in a single season in 1998. But with legalization’s historic expansion, and the lethal opioid crisis facing the U.S., police are giving up the aerial hunt for cannabis grows and diverting those resources toward the fight against opioids. And in Vermont, where police flew their last mission with the Air Guard in 2015, the program has been officially disbanded.

How Vermont’s “Cannabis Eradication Resource Team” Crashed and Burned

Vermont’s opioid crisis isn’t as dire as some other state’s. But the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths is sharply on the rise there and higher than the national average. The prevalence of opioid abuse is also creating a public safety emergency. Police say they’re seeing significant upticks in break-ins, burglaries and drug store robberies. And when Vermont legalized adult-use cannabis in January 2018, it gave police another reason to shift their focus. Federal and state funding for the Cannabis Eradication Resource Team had already dropped off. And the aerial missions were fast-becoming too costly and resource-intensive.

According to DEA statistics, reduced funding hindered the program’s effectiveness. It destroyed less plants and made fewer arrests. The helicopters no longer had the resources to spot all the small-scale, backyard grows it used to. In 2013, Vermont Police decided to search only for commercial-scale grows. Two years later, the Team flew its last mission, and the Eradication program was effectively grounded. Limited funding still came in from federal and state budgets. But Vermont police departments were less and less willing to commit their officers to chasing down weed grows.

Resources were needed, instead, for more pressing public safety issues related to opioid trafficking and abuse. With those issues worsening across Vermont, officials decided to officially disband the decades old Cannabis Eradication program. And they’re now re-committing those resources to focusing on the opioid epidemic.

Vermont Police Will Still Search for Large-Scale Grows Using Informants

The hunt for Vermont’s unlicensed grow operations isn’t over, however. It just won’t involve any Air Guard helicopters. Instead, Detective Lt. Casey Daniell says state police will rely heavily on confidential informant information to sniff out cannabis farms. If Vermont Police do use surveillance flights at all, they will only be to chase leads about large-scale operations, according to Daniell.

Stories like the slow and steady decline of the Cannabis Eradication Resource Team in Vermont highlight many of the central arguments made by advocates of legalization. That legalization allows for the more effective use of law enforcement resources and public funds. That legally prescribed and widely available drugs like synthetic opioids pose a much greater threat to public health and safety. And yet, even with the end of a military-supported search-and-destroy operation, Vermont Police are still devoting resources, even if much less, to busting grow operations.

Drury, ByAdam. “Police Stop Aerial-Searches for Weed Grows and Target Opioids.” Green Rush Daily, 13 Dec. 2018,

Iowa Mayor and Husband Arrested for Basement Marijuana Grow Operation

The bizarre story of a marijuana bust at an Iowa mayor’s home has exposed a little-known weapon in the mass incarceration-fueling War on Drugs.

There’s some strange stuff going in on Jamaica, Iowa, a small town just under an hour’s drive northwest from Des Moines. On Thursday, Guthrie County sheriff’s deputies arrested Jamaica mayor LaDonna Kennedy and her husband Randy Kennedy after discovering a basement marijuana grow operation in their house.

Search for Attempted Murder Suspect Uncovers Small-Town Mayor’s Basement Grow

A small-town mayor going down for a basement grow op may not be interesting enough on its own—somebody has to grow weed for a town of barely 300 residents, right? Why not the mayor? But this story gets weird fast.

In the first place, police weren’t even searching for weed when they stumbled across the Kennedy’s basement grow. Instead, sheriff’s deputies were on the hunt for a suspect in an attempted murder. They’d received a tip that the suspect, Rodney Halterman, was hiding in the mayor’s home.

KCCI reports that Halterman, who is 18, is the foster sibling of Randy Kennedy’s granddaughter. The Saturday prior to the Kennedy’s arrest, Halterman allegedly discharged a firearm in the middle of a fight with another man. A bullet hit a 19-year-old woman, Iesha Jabbar, in the chest, according to police reports. Halterman fled the scene.

But Halterman didn’t go to his foster grandfather’s house, despite the tip police received. Nevertheless, while executing their search warrant for Halterman, police detected an “overwhelming odor of raw marijuana” emanating from the Kennedy’s house. That led sheriff’s deputies to obtain another search warrant to look for the weed. When they came back to complete their search, they found 18 mature cannabis plants, nine large packages of marijuana and unspecified “drug paraphernalia.”

No details have emerged as to why the Kennedy’s were growing so much cannabis in their basement. Or for whom. The whole thing caught Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright by surprise. Speaking with reporters, Arganbright said “we all know each other in Guthrie County, so it was a surprise.”

Drug Charges Against Iowa Mayor Expose “Tax Stamp” Laws that Dramatically Increase Drug Sentences

In the courtroom, however, mayor LaDonna Kennedy and her husband Randy were in for a surprise of their own. Prosecutors charged the couple with manufacture with intent to deliver marijuana. That’s the top charge, followed by possession of a controlled substance and two counts of failure to affix a drug stamp. Manufacture, possession, intent to distribute: common enough. But “failure to affix a drug stamp”?

It turns out, Iowa has a Drug Tax Stamp law that makes it a separate crime to sell illegal substances without first purchasing and then affixing a drug tax stamp. These laws exist in addition to the better-known laws prohibiting the sale, possession and manufacture of illegal drugs.

These Drug Tax Stamp laws even have their own requirements. For weed, a drug tax stamp is required for anything in excess of 42.4 grams of cannabis. Or, for one cannabis plant. For hard drugs, like cocaine and heroin, the requirement is 7 or more grams. Have anything like that in your possession, and the law requires you to buy and put a sticker on it. And if you don’t, you’ve committed a Class D felony, carrying a 5 year prison term and an additional $1,500 fine.

Does Iowa really expect persons dealing with illegal substances to buy tax stamps and label them? Of course not. The laws are in place to “enhance” criminal sentencing for drug charges, especially non-violent manufacture and possession charges. And 21 states have such drug tax stamp laws on the books specifically for cannabis. Most are prohibition states. But some are still technically on the books in places where weed is legal, like Massachusetts.

Drury, ByAdam. “Iowa Mayor and Husband Arrested for Basement Marijuana Grow Operation.” Green Rush Daily, 18 Jan. 2019,

Growers Can Apply to Supply Medical Marijuana to Research Schools

State officials are seeking companies to supply marijuana to eight research schools.

Medical marijuana research in Pennsylvania continues to move ahead. After some legal difficulties, and a few stops and starts, the state is now getting things lined up to begin research soon. Recently, the state finalized the eight schools that will conduct research. Now, state officials have released applications for companies to supply medical marijuana to research schools. When the research program is up and running, it will include a range of medical schools, medical marijuana growers, and medical marijuana dispensaries.

Applications to Become a Clinical Registrant

The state of Pennsylvania is now looking for marijuana growers and sellers to supply cannabis for research. The companies that will provide the marijuana will be placed in a special classification: Clinical Registrants (CRs).

Companies that want to participate in the program have until November 8 to turn in their paperwork. To apply, the business must either already own, or should be applying for, a grower/processor permit. Additionally, applicants need to also have or be applying for a dispensary permit.

From there, they also need to show proof of a contract with one of the eight medical marijuana research schools. More specifically, that contract should also spell out details about the research project.

“The clinical registrants will work hand-in-hand with the eight certified medical schools to conduct groundbreaking medical marijuana research,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in an official press release.

“Together, these entities will come together to research the effect medical marijuana use may have on some of the most severe medical issues of our time. These studies have the potential to help cancer patients, veterans and individuals who are struggling with opioid use disorder.”

It’s unclear when the full research program will be up and running. But for now, the opening up of applications for medical marijuana suppliers seems to be the next step toward getting there.

How Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Research Will Work

Here’s how the state’s research program will work:

For starters, the state approved eight universities and colleges to be official Academic Clinical Research Centers (ACRCs). These schools will be authorized to carry out medical marijuana research.

Importantly, the state has already selected and approved the eight schools. They are:

  • Drexel University College of Medicine, in Philadelphia
  • Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, in Philadelphia
  • Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Philadelphia
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Erie
  • Penn State College of Medicine, in Hershey
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in Pittsburgh

Interestingly, the state will not allow the schools to handle or work with actual cannabis. Instead, each school will need to partner with a cannabis company.

The companies will provide marijuana. Additionally, they will work directly with patients to gather raw data.

Within these partnerships, the schools will design research projects and direct the cannabis supplier on what data they need. From there, researchers will analyze the raw data provided to them by the cannabis company partners.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Growers Can Apply to Provide Weed to Research Schools in This State.” Green Rush Daily, 5 Oct. 2018,

Oregon Growers Must Notify State Before Harvesting Marijuana

Oregon’s new harvest notification policy is pitting growers against state regulators.

Oregon is in the middle of a weed glut. With so much product and so many growers, the state had to put a temporary freeze on issuing new cultivation licenses. The surplus threatens growers’ profits. And concerns have peaked among Oregon regulators that some of all that excess cannabis is ending up in illicit markets out of state. To attempt to address the problem, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission is rolling out new rules for licensed outdoor growers, including a harvest notification policy.

The new rules are replacing the relatively relaxed regulatory environment that favored growers’ interests.

Oregon’s Harvest Notification Policy Takes Effect Saturday

One of those new rules is a harvest notification policy. The policy will take effect this Saturday, beginning what’s essentially an audit of this year’s cannabis crop. Since the OLCC announced the policy earlier this year, growers have pushed back. Indeed, cultivators in no other adult-use state have to notify regulators when they’re harvesting. And with supply vastly outpacing demand in Oregon, growers say complying with the policy is cutting into their already-slim margins.

Oregon has a “seed to sale” tracking system similar to those in place in other adult-use states. But the new harvest policy implements the unique requirement of having cultivators enter their info by 9 a.m. on the day of a harvest. And day-of notification was a compromise. Initially, the OLCC wanted 72 hours advance notice, until intense opposition from growers prompted them to tweak the deadline.

Upon notification, one of OLCC’s inspectors will arrive on site and take a count of plants and packages. Then, they’ll make sure the tally matches the seed-to-sale data in the system. The process will spread the state’s resources thin. There are hundreds of licensed grow sites in Oregon, yet just 23 inspectors on OLCC staff. So not every site will undergo an audit, but regulators hope the possibility will be enough to disincentivize black-market diversion.

Inspectors plan to target areas in southern Oregon they believe are hotbeds of diversion and other illegal cannabis operations. But growers say the state shouldn’t be targeting licensed growers at all.

Growers Bemoan The Loss of Looser Oversight

Pete Gendron, president of the Oregon SunGrowers Guild, says he’s unaware of a single instance of a licensed grower diverting product. And the reason is obvious, he says. No one who has invested significant time and resources into setting up a licensed, legal operation is going to risk that investment interacting with the illicit market.

Rather, growers argue, regulators should target Oregon’s illicit operations. Prominent legalization advocate Anthony Johnson said states should worry about unlicensed grows, who have no choice but to move product illicitly. Last week, six people were brought in on federal drug trafficking charges. But none were registered with the state’s legal cannabis program. According to the AP, sheriffs in the regions the OLCC plans to prioritize for inspection are asking for more resources to combat illegal cultivation.

Seeing their once permissive system slipping away—Oregon growers enjoyed out-of-state investment, no licensing caps, and other perks—cultivators aren’t happy about the new rules. In fact, many feel like scapegoats in the state’s efforts to mollify federal officials who’ve been vocal with their displeasure at Oregon’s looser approach.

Drury, ByAdam. “Oregon Growers Must Notify State Before Harvesting Weed.” Green Rush Daily, 31 Aug. 2018,

What Is Coco Coir?

Coco coir is about to revolutionize the way we think of cannabis cultivation. But first, what the heck is it?

If you’re a cannabis grower who’s never heard of coco coir (pronounced: coy-er), get ready to take your grow to an entirely new level. Or if you’re interested in growing cannabis but haven’t made the plunge yet, coco coir will get you up and running in no time.

So what is it? Basically, coco coir is a natural growing medium that blends the experience of soil with the benefits of hydroponics. But you want more than just the basics.

Below you’ll find all the information you need to know about this trending grow medium, along with some tips for making the most out of coco coir in your own grow projects.

Coco Coir: The Perfect Grow Medium For Cannabis Plants

What Is Coco Coir?

For cannabis growers, nothing is more important than the growing media. Whatever the grow setup, obtaining optimal nutrient conditions for your plants is a must if you want big, plentiful buds. And more and more growers are discovering that coco coir, a common growing medium, is actually perfect for cannabis plants.

If you’ve spent some time doing any kind of gardening, you’ve probably come across coco coir before. It’s just that long, brown, fibrous stuff usually used as lining in hanging baskets. But it’s also a common component of commercial potting soil mixes.

The brown fibers come from the husk of coconuts. Coco coir is short for “coconut coir,” and is actually a byproduct of coconut processing.

So what makes it so great for growing cannabis? Really, there are a number of reasons. But the biggest one has to do with hydration. The woven fibers of coco coir allows for the perfect combination of water drainage and nutrient absorbency.

Coco Coir Is All About Its Roots

What Is Coco Coir?

Coco coir is one of the most effect growing mediums for keeping moisture and dissolved nutrients at the roots. However, the fibers also trap more oxygen, making sure you never over- or underwater your plants.

The material also provides strong structural support while still giving roots plenty of room to grow. As a result, coco coir delivers healthier and more rapid root development versus other types of potting soil.

For growers, these properties help out in two big ways. First, because it drains well, you won’t lose any plants to root-rot from over watering them. But since coco coir holds onto nutrients better, you can make more efficient use of your fertilizer.

The Feel Of Soil Growing With The Benefits Of Hydro

What Is Coco Coir?

One of the reasons coco coir is becoming such a popular growing medium for cannabis is that it blends the feel of soil with the unique advantages of hydroponic grows.

Even though coconut coir is not a soil medium, you still grow your cannabis plants in pots sand water them with a nutrient solution. But it can be tough to make sure your soil is delivering all the needed nutrients to your plants’ roots.

Hydroponic growing works so well because it delivers the precise amount of nutrients to the roots, directly to the roots. In other words, the roots don’t have to go out in search of nutrients. But managing a hydro system, especially if you’re a home grower, can be complicated.

Coco coir, however, provides most of the benefits of hydro with a simple potting setup. The results speak for themselves. You’ll see a quicker flowering period with larger harvests.

Coco Coir Has Pest Control Covered

What Is Coco Coir?

One of the toughest challenges for DIY cannabis growers is pest control. Bugs can ruin a harvest, costing you time and money. And if you’ve ever grown anything in soil, you know how tough keeping your plants pest-free can be.

But coconut coir, unlike soil, doesn’t provide the best accommodations for those garden invaders. For outdoor growers, this fact alone is reason enough to make the switch from other potting mixes.

How To Get The Most Out Of Growing With Coco Coir

What Is Coco Coir?

There are a few things to keep in mind if you plan on growing cannabis in coco coir. These tips will help you get the most out of growing with it.

First, coconut coir is inert. It doesn’t have any nutrient content of its own. In other words, you’ll need to water the medium with a nutrient solution formulated for your cannabis plants. The same is true of soil growing, too. But coco coir gives you more control.

Second, you’ll need to use a calcium-magnesium supplement. One of the drawbacks to coconut coir is that it tends to lead to a shortage of calcium compared to growing in soil. And calcium is essential for healthy plants and big buds.

Finally, plan on having to re-hydrate the coconut coir you buy at your favorite garden or home store. The medium typically comes in dry bricks, so you’ll need some buckets. Try mixing in some Perlite for added moisture control.

Here’s a tried and true ratio to get you started with about 10 gallons of coconut coir potting mix:

  • 2 x coco coir bricks (1,250 kg total)
  • 8-quart perlite

Drury, ByAdam. “What Is Coco Coir?” Green Rush Daily, 16 June 2017,

How To Pot Plants And Grow Weed Like A Pro

If you want to grow your own bud, you’ve got to know how to pot a plant. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be potting plants like a pro.

If you spend any time growing your own weed, or if you want to give it a shot for the first time, one of the basic skills you need is knowing how to pot plants. There are a few different times when this skill might come in handy.

If you are starting with a clone, you will definitely need to transplant the baby to a larger pot so it can keep growing. Same thing if you start out by germinating a seed. Similarly, if your cannabis plant gets too big for the pot it’s in, you will probably need to transplant it.

Basically, you should transplant your weed anytime it needs more space to grow. Here’s everything you need to know so you can pot plants like a pro and help your weed plants be as productive as they can.

Step 1: Find A Pot

Pot Plants The Right Way And Grow Weed Like A Pro

To pot plants the right way you have to start off by gathering the right supplies. The first thing you need is a pot. It needs to be larger than whatever your plant is now growing in. Additionally, it needs to have some drainage holes in the bottom. This lets water circulate throughout the soil but without drowning the roots of your plant. It doesn’t really matter what the pot is made out of, just as long as it’s big enough to give your plant and its roots some room to grow and it has adequate drainage.

Step 2: Use The Perfect Soil To Pot Plants

Pot Plants The Right Way And Grow Weed Like A Pro

The next thing you need is the growing medium. Be sure that whatever you use meets the basic requirements for good, healthy soil:

  • Drainage: The soil needs to be light, fluffy, and airy, not hard and compacted. This makes it easy for oxygen and water to get to the roots. It also ensures that your roots won’t drown in too much standing water. And finally, good loose soil makes it easy for the roots to grow and dig down deep for effective nutrient uptake.
  • Water Retention: The soil also needs to hold water—it can’t all just immediately run through the pot and out the bottom. Your growing medium needs to hold enough water to feed your plant but not so much that it gets water logged.
  • Nutrients: The three most important nutrients for cannabis plants are phosphorous, potassium, and nitrogen. So be sure your soil has them all. And for even better growing, be sure the soil has organic microbes. These microscopic little lifeforms keep the soil healthy and active so your plants have a good place to grow.

To keep it simple, we suggest getting some organic potting soil with nutrients and microbes already in it. Companies like Mighty Grow Organics have products that make it super easy. After your plant is potted, you can continue feeding it with organic plant food. Or you can make your own fertilizer right at home.

Step 3: Fill The Pot

Pot Plants The Right Way And Grow Weed Like A Pro

Now it’s time to start filling the pot. When you pot plants, you want them to sit just an inch or so below the top of the pot. So before adding soil measure the size of your plant’s roots. Then fill up the bottom half of the pot with enough soil so that the plant will sit at the right height in the pot.

If it’s too low in the pot there won’t be as much room for the roots to spread out. But if it’s too high, the water might run out over the top of the pot rather than trickle down to the roots.

Step 4: Place The Plant In The Soil

How To Pot Plants And Grow Weed Like A Pro

When you’ve got enough soil in the bottom half of the pot, it’s time to add the plant. Carefully loosen the root ball from the sides of the container. Now very gently lift or tilt the plant out of the container. Do not grip it by the leaves. Instead, hold very gently to the bottom of the plant, near where it hits the soil.

Once the plant is out, gently shake loose the bottom of the root ball. If there are any super long roots, untangle them and be sure they are dangling free. Now place the plant on top of the soil in your new pot. Be sure it’s positioned in the center.

When you are happy with the placement of the plant in the new pot, use one hand to hold the plant steady and the other to add soil around the edges. Do this until you’ve filled in all empty spaces and the soil is even with the base of the plant.

Step 5: Water It

How To Pot Plants And Grow Weed Like A Pro

Give the plant water until it runs out the drainage holes. This ensures that the roots will get a good feeding, and it will also help the soil settle into place. As it does, you may see places where you need to add a bit more soil.

At this point, you’ve pretty much mastered all you need to know to properly pot plants. Now put your potted plant in a nice sunny spot or position it under your lights, feed it plant food as needed, and keep it well watered.

Pro Tip: When it comes to watering, it’s better to give it a thorough watering once than a bunch of shallow waterings.

Final Hit: How To Pot Plants

From here on out, enjoy watching your baby plant move through the life cycle until it eventually puts out a nice crop of trichome-heavy flowers. If you are growing outdoors, watch out for pests. And if you are growing indoors keep tabs on the humidity and temperature to be sure your plant doesn’t get mold or mildew.

Lindsey, ByNick. “How To Pot Plants And Grow Weed Like A Pro.” Green Rush Daily, 17 July 2017,

Soil vs. Hydro: The Ultimate Grow Off

Are you going to grow in soil or hydro? In the showdown of soil vs. hydro, what are the pros and cons of each? This guide has the answers.

There are two primary ways to grow weed: indoors or outdoors. These days, if you’re growing outdoors, you are probably using soil, and if you’re growing indoors, you are probably using hydroponics. But in the showdown of soil vs. hydro, which one is best? What are the benefits and pitfalls of each one? This guide will give you an overview of soil vs. hydro so you can figure out if it’s better for you to grow with soil or hydro.

Soil or Hydro: The Pros of Growing in Soil

Soil vs. Hydro: The Ultimate Grow Off

For many growers, one of the best things about growing weed in soil is that it’s already a fairly intuitive process. A lot of people have had some experience growing plants in soil before, so growing weed this way just feels simpler, more straightforward, and more natural.

Similarly, growing weed in soil does not require as much specialized equipment as a hydro grow. True, you will still need to put in a lot of work to get your soil up to snuff, but at a bare minimum you can get away with a few simple hand tools. Either way, it’s going to be less initial set up in terms of gear and equipment than trying to grow hydroponically.

If you’re growing in soil and you’re growing weed outdoors, you can expect to get exceptionally large plants. In some cases, way bigger than anything you could ever get out of an indoor grow. And that means equally large harvests. Of course, if you end up getting massive weed plants it’ll also require more work to take care of them.

And finally, many cannasseurs who pay close attention to taste and smell think that weed grown outdoors has a more complex, nuanced flavor profile. Obviously this is all subjective. But a lot of consumers prefer the taste of weed grown outdoors.

This is because of “terroir,” the multi-faceted combination of environmental factors that contribute to the taste of the final harvest. When a plant is grown outside, it comes into contact with a much more varied growing environment, which often translates into a more complex flavor profile. So when it’s soil vs. hydro, many prefer the taste of soil-grown weed.

Soil or Hydro: The Cons of Growing in Soil

Soil vs. Hydro: The Ultimate Grow Off

Most of the drawbacks to growing weed in soil come directly from the soil itself. If you want your plants to be successful, you can’t just plop them down in your backyard and call it good.

Soil has to meet some basic requirements. It has to be loose enough to drain well. At the same time, it needs to retain moisture long enough for your plants to feed. And finally, the soil needs to have the right balance of nutrients.

To meet these soil requirements you will need to do some work to amend your soil. You will need to till it to make it light and fluffy. You will need to add nutrients to promote plant heath and microbial growth in the soil.

Once you’ve got the soil all prepped, your plants are more likely to come into contact with pests, fungus, and other harmful infections. Similarly, plants grown in soil tend to take a bit longer than hydro-grown plants to grow.

And if you are growing outdoors, your growing season is limited by the seasons. An indoor hydro grow lets you grow year-round, as long as you can maintain the proper conditions.

Soil or Hydro: Pros of Growing Hydro

Soil vs. Hydro: The Ultimate Grow Off

The biggest pro to a hydroponics grow is that you have tons of control over the growing environment. You are literally overseeing each and every component in the setup.

You know exactly what your plants come into contact with, and you have full control over all the variables that affect your plants. That includes light, water, oxygen, nutrients, humidity, and temperature.

This control can limit the chances that your plants will become sick. It also gives you more control over the final crop your plants produce.

On top of all that, weed plants grown hydroponically tend to grow quicker than plants grown in soil. This is a good if you are growing indoors, as you can squeeze in many more harvests than a traditional outdoors grow.

So although growing outdoors in soil can give you bigger individual plants with larger per-plant yields, a good indoor hydro setup can compensate by giving you multiple harvests per year.

Soil or Hydro: Cons of Growing Hydro

Soil vs. Hydro: The Ultimate Grow Off

Growing weed hydroponically requires a bit more specialized knowledge and equipment. And that can be a bit intimidating for new growers and for people who have not tried hydroponics. Similarly, the extra gear introduces more upfront costs to get started.

Similarly, although hydro gives you more control over the growing environment, that can also sometimes mean a bit more work. You have to keep close tabs on humidity and temperature, and you have to be sure your plants are getting the right mix of nutrients at the right time.

Additionally, you need to adjust lighting as you go. During the vegetative phase, your plants need more light, and they need light on the blue end of the spectrum. But during the flowering phase, you’ll switch to redder light and less light each day.

With that said, a well-constructed hydro setup gives you plenty of chances to automate much of this work. So if you know what you’re doing, you can counteract a lot of those challenges with some planning and some good equipment.

Finally, if your hydro setup is also indoors, you will face space restrictions that outdoor soil grows do not. That will mean smaller plants, each of which will have slightly smaller yields.

Similarly, if you’re into the terroir of your bud, then you will probably find hydro-grown bud lacking in depth and complexity of flavor. But not everyone agrees with that. It’s all about your tastes.

Final Hit: Soil vs. Hydro

Ultimately, in the showdown between soil vs. hydro, there is no definitive way to say which one is better. It’s all about your goals, your preferences, and your access to space and equipment.

Each approach has its own unique sets of pros and cons. In the end, if you want to be a pro-level grower, you should become an expert at them both.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Soil vs. Hydro: The Ultimate Grow Off.” Green Rush Daily, 2 Sept. 2017,

Basic Soil Requirements for Outdoor Cannabis Growers

When you’re growing cannabis, it can be easy to get carried away focusing only on what you are going to feed the plants. But you can’t forget about the soil. In fact, maintaining healthy soil is as important as feeding your plants. Without healthy soil, your plants don’t stand a chance. Here are the basic soil requirements for growing great bud.

Good Drainage

Good drainage is the first thing you should consider when thinking about soil requirements for your cannabis plants. By “good drainage,” we mean soil that is light, airy, and fluffy. You do not want soil that is compacted, clay-like, or too heavy.

Soil with good drainage accomplishes a few things. For starters, it lets water flow freely without getting trapped in the soil where it could water log your plant’s roots. Similarly, good, light, fluffy soil lets oxygen get to the roots, which is just as important to your plant’s health as water. And finally, soil with good drainage makes it easier for the roots to grow as deep.

Water Retention

Basic Soil Requirements for Outdoor Cannabis Growers

It might sound like a bit of a contradiction, but while your soil needs to drain well, it also needs to retain water effectively. The key is to create soil that hits the perfect balance of holding enough water to keep your plants well-fed and happy while avoiding soil that holds water for too long or that gets too heavy or compacted.

Here are some of the best soil amendments you can use to find that balance. If you are growing outdoors in pots, simply mix them into your soil and then fill your pots. Alternatively, if you are growing directly into the ground, use a shovel or rototiller to turn these amendments into the soil before planting.

  • Humus
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Coco coir
  • Perlite
  • Earthworm castings
  • Pumice
  • Compost
  • Manure (horse manure, bat guano, chicken droppings, etc.)
  • Fish meal, crab meal, bone meal, or blood meal

Many of these amendments have the added benefit of also providing nutrients. Amendments like worm castings, compost, manure, and fish meal simultaneously aerate the soil, help retain good amounts of water, and as they break down, they also release nutrients.

Plant Nutrients

When you have soil with the right texture—it hits the perfect balance of water drainage and retention—it’s time to think about feeding your plants. The most important nutrients for cannabis plants are nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and phosphorus (P). It’s the trifecta of weed plant food. And having enough of them is key when it comes to basic soil requirements for growing killer herb.

The easiest way to ensure enough N, K, and P is to purchase pre-mixed fertilizers. Look for ones that specifically list how much of each element the fertilizer contains. That way you know your plants are getting precisely what they need. You can also make your own, all-organic plant food at home. It’s fairly easy to do and can help you save some money at the same time.

There are other, more specific fertilizers and nutrients you can feed your plants throughout their life cycles as their needs change or as the growing environment changes. But in general, when it comes to basic soil requirements, be sure you have a balance of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

Don’t Forget To Feed Your Soil

It’s important to complete our list of soil requirements with a reminder that your cannabis plants are not the only thing alive in your garden. The soil your plants are growing in is home to billions of microscopic life forms called microbes. And these microbes are what give your cannabis plants a healthy home in which to grow. Simply put, a dynamic and healthy soil is what creates the most productive plants.

One of the best ways to cultivate good soil is to use an additive like Mighty Grow Organics. Products like this replace the minerals and nutrients used by plants as they grow. Additionally, they also give your soil a super boost of microbes so that the soil comes to life. This combination is the best way to keep your weed plants strong, healthy, and happy so they can give you the huge harvests of bud you want.

The Final Hit

Growing weed outdoors can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have less control over environmental factors like humidity, temperature, light, weather, and pests. But on the other hand, it can be a simpler process since you do not have to purchase ventilation systems, lights, and other pieces of equipment. Similarly, many folks believe that outdoor-grown bud is better-tasting and more complex than weed that’s grown indoors.

Whatever your reasons for growing outside, the first step is to get your soil healthy. If you meet the basic soil requirements covered in this article, you will be well your on your way to growing loads of amazing herb. Focus on creating soil that has good drainage, effective water retention, and that has enough nutrients and microbes to keep your plants going strong.

To accomplish all this, you will need to do some work. If you are growing in pots, you can simply mix a variety of amendments, nutrients, and potting soils. If you are growing directly in the ground, you will need to turn the soil and mix in amendments until it’s just right.

Lindsey, ByNick. “Basic Soil Requirements for Outdoor Cannabis Growers.” Green Rush Daily, 30 June 2017,

Nutrients To Grow Healthy Cannabis Plants

Like any craft worthy of the name, growing cannabis well takes commitment, creativity, and experimentation. But the right knowledge doesn’t hurt either. The botanical science of cannabis is an ancient one, yet it’s still evolving today. Most home growers, however, just want to know what works and what doesn’t. What their plants need and what they don’t, in order to bloom into massive, potent flowers for harvesting. So let’s state the obvious. Growing healthy cannabis plants means knowing what the most important nutrients are, what they do for your plants, and how to get it to them.

This isn’t a grow guide that’s going to sing the praises of this or that fertilizer, this or that soil mixture. Instead, it’s going to drill down all the way to the elemental level of cannabis nutrition.

There are many different methods to grow healthy plants. And each has their own set of pros and cons. The nutrients listed below are fundamental to every method. They’re the 16 most important nutrients for healthy cannabis plants.

Air, Water, and Light

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Focusing on the fundamentals was no joke, and it doesn’t get more fundamental than these three nutrients. It’s easy to get bogged down in the long list of soil nutrients and completely forget that the absolute most important nutrient for healthy cannabis plants, is light.

And in order for that light to be any good to your plants, it needs the support of the carbon in the air, and the oxygen and hydrogen in water.

Breathe in The Air

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

You can’t eat if you can’t breathe, and plants are the same way. Lucky for them, and lucky for us, we each inhale what the other breathes out.

It’s a pretty good relationship and one that began its course at least 2.7 billion years ago when photosynthetic organisms saturated the earth’s atmosphere with oxygen.

But you need oxygen, while your plants need carbon dioxide. They don’t want the oxygen atoms, they want that delicious carbon, baby!

Carbon is essential for the photosynthetic process. No wonder it accounts for just around 45 percent of the dry weight of the cannabis plant.

Circulating air is the best way to get carbon to your plants to keep them healthy. If you’re growing outside, you don’t have to worry about it.

But indoor growers working in confined areas may want to invest in a CO2 generator.


The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Because we can’t make our own food like green plants do, we tend to forget that light is actually the key ingredient in a healthy plant’s diet. It’ll die without it.

Green plants get their food through the process of photosynthesis, which basically means “light making.”

Plants synthesize the sugars they need to grow using the energy in light, which is made of photons. Cool huh?

Your cannabis plants will thrive if you give them long hours of bright, direct sunlight. As much as you can give it, really.

That’s why the natural habitat of cannabis is the tropic regions of the planet. Plenty of water there, plus longer days than farther toward the poles.

Back in the dark days of cannabis prohibition, you’d be able to tell in a single puff if your weed was grown indoors or outdoors.

Fortunately for today’s growers, the unique light spectrum of sunlight can be virtually recreated with special grow lamps.

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between indoor and outdoor bud.

Water, Water, Everywhere!

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Water, though obviously an important nutrient for your cannabis plants, can be tricky to administer in the right amount. Humidity control is key.

That’s why expert indoor and outdoor growers know how to use different synthetic polymers called “hydrogels.”

These non-toxic gels are soil additives that soak up and retain water when it’s available. And when the soil dries up, they release the water steadily back to the plant.

They’re cheap and essential kit for growing healthy plants. You can find them at any garden or home store, and most store-bought soil already has them.

Water is an important nutrient for cannabis plants not just to keep them firm and prevent them from wilting.

Water, or H2O, contains oxygen and hydrogen. And these account for another 45 percent of the dry material of your cannabis plants. So yeah, water is important!

N-P-K: The Holy Trinity of Soil Nutrients

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Air, water, and light; you get those from the environment in which you grow your plants. But of course, there are many hugely important nutrients in the soil you’re using to grow your cannabis.

Of the roughly 16 essential nutrients that support virtually every plant in existence, there are three that are the most important.

Your plants need these three nutrients in larger quantities than the rest. That’s why when you purchase commercial potting soil mix, the package is labeled with 3 numbers, indicating the percentage of the three most important nutrients for healthy plants: nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). N-P-K.

As a general rule, go strong on the phosphorus and potassium, and dial back the nitrogen, and you’ll get plump, sturdy, fast-blooming, mega-flowering and overall healthy cannabis plants.

Nitrogen (N)

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

If your soil is nutrient-deficient, the number one culprit is likely nitrogen. And that’s a problem because cannabis uses nitrogen to build all kinds of important things.

Nitrogen forms the building blocks for the plant’s proteins, its chlorophyll, its enzymes, basically everything that makes the plant function.

But above all, nitrogen helps cannabis create its legendary cannabinoids. And where would we be without those!

It’s safe to say that your cannabis plants “know” how important nitrogen is for them, too. They eat as much of it as they can get their roots on!

And that’s why the classic beginner mistake is to add too much nitrogen to the soil. You end up overfeeding the nutrient to your plants, and that will slow its root growth and its flowering.

Nitrogen makes your plants “mature,” and you don’t want them to grow up too fast, now do ya?

If you take a look at commercial potting soil mix, the first of the N-P-K number indicates the amount of nitrogen.

When it comes to making your own soil, there are a few tried and true methods to feed it nitrogen if you think your plants are deficient.

Blood meal or fish meal will provide a ton of nitrogen to your soil at a low cost. So will using plant sprays made with liquid seaweed.

Phosphorus (P)

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

If nitrogen is the bodybuilding nutrient that helps your plants grow up (literally), phosphorus is what makes it flower. It’s bloom food.

Unlike nitrogen, it’s better to risk over-feeding this nutrient than to play it safe. Phosphorus helps the plant produce the unique enzymes and nucleic acids that go into producing cannabis flowers.

If your plants reach maturity with low phosphorus, you’ll see smaller flowers and end up with less product.

Ironically, however, phosphorus deficiency is what turns cannabis plants purple. And folks love their purple weed!

But that’s a sign of a buildup of anthocyanins. Not necessarily a bad thing, if you don’t mind slow-flowering plants and desire the purple coloration.

The best way to get phosphorus to your plants is by using bone meal. Phosphorus dissolves into the soil at a slow rate, so the risk of giving too much too fast is pretty low.

Sometimes, however, you may need to get some phosphorus to your plants quickly. In that case, look for “Blood Food” soil, which has no nitrogen but lots of phosphorus and potassium.

Potassium (K)

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Potassium is the nutrient that gives your plants their strength. It accounts for around one percent of the total dry weight of cannabis plants.

Your plants need potassium to breathe and make proteins. They also need it to keep up the internal pressure that helps your plants stand tall and strong.

Deficiencies in this important nutrient will reveal itself through dead spots on leaves, flimsy stalks, and problems falling over. Low K also leaves the roots more vulnerable to disease.

The best way to give your plants this important nutrient is by mixing wood ash with your soil once a month before you plant your seeds.

With potassium, timing is everything. Mix the wood ash too soon, and water will leech out most of the nutrient. Put it in too late, its higher concentration will burn your seedlings!

Conventional wisdom has it that a few pounds of ashes per plant is a good ratio. And remember to get your ash from burning wood only.

Two Important Macro-Nutrients

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Soil also provides two more super-important macronutrients for healthy cannabis plants.


The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Milk does a body good because the calcium in it helps you build strong bones. But plants need calcium for a different reason.

Most of the calcium in cannabis plants is used for defense. The calcium acts as a shield against other toxic elements that can poison and kill your plants.

There are lots of toxins in the soil with similar structures to calcium that try to imitate it. But calcium stands at the door like a bouncer at a club.

Calcium deficiency will make the leaves of your plants twist up and deformed. So use dolomite limestone to make sure your soil is well supplied with calcium before you plant.


The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

Even though it never stays around in the final product, Sulfur is essential for healthy cannabis plants.

All the proteins made by the cannabis plant are built of two indispensable amino acids. And sulfur goes into making those.

But this one is tricky, because sulfur is a very common soil pollutant, especially in North America.

You’re more likely to have too much sulfur than not enough. And too much will kill the plant’s chlorophyll, which it needs to turn light into food.

Calcium protects the plants from the excess sulfur. And cannabis plants can definitely benefit from it at key stages in the grow process.

You can add it to your soil using gypsum or plaster of Paris. But use it sparingly if you’re going to use it at all.

Important Micro-Nutrients for Healthy Cannabis Plants

The 16 Most Important Nutrients For Healthy Cannabis Plants

The above nutrients are what makeup virtually all of the tissue of your cannabis plants. But there’s still 0.5 percent of that tissue which is composed of “micronutrients” found in soil.

They are:

  • Iron
  • Molybdenum
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Chlorine
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Boron

So while these may not be the “most important” nutrients, it’s hard to say they aren’t important at all. In fact, your plants would be in deep trouble without them.

We won’t go into the details of each. Suffice to say that most of these ingredients are trace metals that plants need to conduct the electricity powering their cells. Interestingly, botanists still aren’t sure about the role of some of these elements, like iron and boron.

All of these metal nutrients are toxic at anything higher than trace levels, and your plants don’t need more than very small amounts.

It’s likely you have too much of them in your soil than too little. Signs that you have too much of these elements include yellowing, dead, or deformed leaves.

If you think you may have too little of these trace nutrients. Add some chelating agents to your soil. These convert the metals into soluble versions (called “salts,” FYI) that roots can actually absorb.

Drury, ByAdam. “Most Important Nutrients To Grow Healthy Cannabis Plants.” Green Rush Daily, 2 June 2017,

Greenhouse Made For Orchids To Be Used For Weed As Demand Rises

The rise in demand for medical marijuana had led to the repurposing of an orchid greenhouse.

The East Coast could soon get a huge new cannabis growing facility. A marijuana company has plans to modify a greenhouse made for orchids so it can be used for weed. When the project is complete and the grow is up and running, it will be the largest cultivation site in the Eastern United States.

Acreage Holdings in New Jersey

A company called Matsui Nursery, Inc., used to run a massive 135,000 square foot greenhouse in Sewell, New Jersey. Inside, the San Francisco based company used to grow tons and tons of orchids. However, a couple of years ago, the company sold the greenhouse.

It stood empty until Acreage Holdings, a marijuana company based in New York, bought the property. Now, the company said it will convert the huge empty greenhouse into a highly controlled and super efficient marijuana greenhouse.

Acreage Holdings runs more than 10 other marijuana greenhouses. It also operates a number of dispensaries throughout the country. But its new Sewell location will be its largest grow site.

To complete this project, Acreage Holdings has teamed up with another marijuana company, Compassionate Care Foundation. This company runs a dispensary and has its own grow facility, located outside of Atlantic City.

Together, the companies plan to grow more than 35,000 cannabis plants at a time. They hope to get in early on New Jersey’s explosive legal marijuana market.

But before they can start growing weed, the companies will have to do some serious renovations. In particular, many of these alterations must be made to accommodate cannabis plants, which need a very different growing environment than orchids.

For example, cannabis requires much more light and more arid conditions than orchid plants. As a result, the companies will have to swap out materials in the roof of the greenhouse to let in more light. Similarly, they will install a new air ventilation system and swap out the irrigation system left behind from the orchids.

Repurposing the Greenhouse for Legalization

Additionally, the companies plan to use this greenhouse almost as if it were a lab. According to local news sources, they are going to install a number of sterilization features to keep bugs and diseases out.

They also plan to grow directly from seed, rather than using clones. From there, they want to test for quality and for certain attributes like THC or CBD content, terpene quality, and more. They can then hone in on the seeds they want to propagate further.

The move to convert the New Jersey orchid greenhouse comes as New Jersey’s legal marijuana scene is blowing up. Earlier this year, the state expanded its medical marijuana program. The changes made cannabis more accessible to a wider number of patients. It also opened the door to a number of new dispensaries and grow sites throughout the state.

Most recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the possibility of also legalizing recreational weed. For example, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney said that he expects lawmakers to vote on a marijuana-related bill as early as September.

Lindsey, ByNick. “A Greenhouse Made For Orchids Will Be Used For Growing Weed.” Green Rush Daily, 24 Aug. 2018,

Medical Marijuana to be Grown at Former Pfizer Site in Puerto Rico

Plants are beginning to replace pills.

There is a silent but rapidly growing trend in the medical marijuana world. More and more, medical marijuana growers and producers are moving their operations into facilities formerly owned and operated by big pharmaceutical companies.

Most recently, medical marijuana company Vireo announced that it had leased a former Pfizer facility in Puerto Rico. Now, the company plans to start a large grow operation on the site.

Vireo Moves Into Former Pfizer Plant

Vireo announced the move recently in a press release. As per that release, the company has started leasing facilities in Puerto Rico that were formerly occupied by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Specifically, the medical marijuana company is now moving into Pfizer’s old 40,000 square foot facility. There, Vireo will establish a new, state of the art cultivation operation.

Vireo’s new cultivation and production site is situated in the Cruce Dávila Business Park in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico.

In addition to leasing the former pharmaceutical plant, the company has also secured medical marijuana licenses in Puerto Rico. Specifically, the company has reportedly received pre-approvals to cultivate, process, and sell cannabis and cannabis products throughout Puerto Rico.

And along with the cultivation side of things, Vireo plans to open up to six dispensaries across the island.

“Vireo continues to seek unique opportunities to drive our science-focused approach into larger markets,” Vireo Chief Executive Officer Kyle Kingsley said. “We are thrilled to expand into the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, one of the largest pharmaceutical hubs in the world.”

He added: “This expansion will gives us access to the island’s deep pool of talented professionals, create a wide variety of jobs, and allow us to help many more patients.”

Vireo Expanding Its Market

With the Puerto Rico deal now in place, Vireo has expanded its market yet again. Specifically, it has received approval and licenses to operate in 11 marijuana markets.

To date, these include Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and now Puerto Rico.

The company currently trades publicly on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker VREO.

Medical Marijuana in Puerto Rico

Vireo’s move into Puerto Rico also promises to continue growing Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana scene.

As outlined in Vireo’s press release, Puerto Rico legalized medical marijuana in the summer of 2017. That year, Puerto Rico passed the MEDICINAL Act. This act created the island’s relatively new medical marijuana program.

And now, just a couple years later, there are reportedly around 72,000 patients registered with the program. Looking forward, Puerto Rico’s Department of Health said it hopes to add at least 100,000 more new patients by the end of 2019.

A New Trend?

According to reporting from Fierce Pharma, it is becoming more common for medical marijuana companies like Vireo to move into facilities formerly run by pharma companies.

For example, medical marijuana company Mile High Labs recently bought a former Novartis pharmaceutical plant in Broomfield, Colorado.

According to Fierce Pharma, there is a lot of logistical and infrastructure overlap between the two industries. And this makes it very easy to transition from pharmaceutical production to medical marijuana production.

“We require many of the same types of machinery and outfitting,” Vireo spokesperson Albe Zakes told Fierce Pharma.

Zakes went on to say these similarities include “strong security systems, clean rooms, testing facilities, laboratories.”

Lindsey, ByNick. “Medical Marijuana to Be Grown at Former Pfizer Site in Puerto Rico.” Green Rush Daily, 27 June 2019,

New Portable Device Can Test Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

The company behind the new device calls it a cross between “23 and Me” and a paternity test for plants.

In the eyes of federal law, hemp and marijuana have long been one and the same. But now that hemp and its derivatives are legal in the United States, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, those tasked with enforcing the rules need a way to tell the difference. And Digipath, a data and media firm working in the cannabis industry, says it has a device capable of doing just that. In collaboration with VSSL, Digipath just filed a provisional patent for a portable device that can test for the difference between hemp and marijuana.

Portable Field Test Can Tell Difference Between Hemp and Weed DNA

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, of course. They look and smell very similarly, they grow best in similar conditions, which makes sense, considering they’re the same species. Despite popular confusion, both hemp and marijuana are members of the plant species Cannabis sativa L. So to get to know what really makes them different, you have to look at their genes.

Hemp and marijuana have different genes, different DNA, because humans bred them that way over centuries. Hemp is a variety of cannabis with genes that tell the story of how humans bred it to produce strong fibers for clothing and other material, seeds, oils and food. So hemp is hardy, leafy, stalky. It doesn’t have the delicate, intricate floral structures of its cousin.

Weed is just another variety, but with its own unique genetic story. That story tells the tale of how humans cultivated cannabis for its medicinal and psychoactive effects. Hence the preponderance of sticky, wet buds and glistening trichomes.

DNA Testing Device is Like 23 and Me for Cannabis Plants

Those genetic differences make it super easy to tell hemp from weed, so long as you have a device capable of testing DNA. And that’s exactly what Digipath’s “Field Testing Kit” can do. Digipath CEO Todd Denkin described the test as a cross between ’23 and Me’ and a paternity test for plants.

“Within minutes, our test can determine the nature of the plant sample and which drug-type it belongs to,” Denkin said.

This isn’t a drug test for humans. It doesn’t determine whether you’ve recently consumed THC or hemp CBD. Instead, its a drug test for plants themselves. Under new federal hemp industry regulations, hemp products must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. (For the record, that 0.3 percent cutoff is an arbitrary number the Canadian research scientist Ernest Small came up with in 1971 to distinguish psychoactive cannabis from non.)

So the portable device analyzes a cannabis plant sample and shows, using a DNA-assay, whether it is a hemp plant with negligible THC or a weed plant above the legal limit. Digipath says the device works with plants at any stage of growth.

If it works, the device is likely to become a staple among law enforcement agencies, regulators and hemp farmers themselves. As the U.S. hemp industry gets underway in earnest, and hemp products start flowing across state lines, police will need to be able to tell the difference between hemp and weed. And that’s something they’re not very adept at currently.

Drury, ByAdam. “New Portable Device Can Test Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana.” Green Rush Daily, 15 Apr. 2019,

9 Ways To Grow Weed At Home

Looking to grow in the comfort of your own home? Here’s a few ways to go about it.

If you want to grow weed at home, you’ve got plenty of options. The method of cultivation you choose depends on a number of variables. This includes local laws, the location you want to grow weed in, how discreet you need to be, and of course, your own personal preference. One way or another, you’ve got plenty of flexibility when it comes to ways to grow weed at home.

1. The Ground

If you live in a place where it’s legal, the most straightforward way to grow weed at home is to simply plant right in the ground. Typically, it’s best to use either clones or seedlings that have already been sprouted from seed.

And of course, this will require some degree of work to amend the soil and get it rich enough to support strong growth. Use organic compost and plant food to give your plants the best shot at producing great flower.

2. A Pot

If you’re looking for a relatively simple and low key way to grow weed at home, try planting your seeds or clones in a pot. One good thing about growing weed in a pot is that you have more control over your plant’s growing environment.

That’s because you get to decide exactly what goes into the soil you place in the pot. To that end, be sure you find a potting soil that is rich in nutrients, and if possible, microbes. Avoid chemicals that could be harmful to you when it comes time to smoking the bud your plants produce.

Once you’ve got your plant potted, you can grow it outdoors or indoors. If you’re growing it outside, be sure it’s legal to do so in your location. If you’re growing indoors, you’ll need to prep a grow room complete with lights, ventilation system, and tools to measure and adjust temperature and humidity.

3. Hay Bale

This one is a unique way to grow weed at home. Interestingly, you can plant and grow directly in a hay bale. Simply dig out a small hole in the top of bale and fill it with nutrient-rich growing soil.

From there, plant in the soil, and care for the plant as you would anywhere else. Water it, feed it organic plant food, and watch out for pests.

As you water, and as the plant sits in the sun, the hay will naturally decompose. This essentially acts as compost, fertilizing your plant as it grows. By the time you’re ready to harvest, much of the hay bale will have broken down, giving your plant tons of all natural nutrients along the way.

4. Closet

This is one of the classic, simplest ways to grow weed indoors. But to succeed, you need to retrofit your closet first. You’ll probably want to line the walls of the closet with some sort of reflective covering. This maximizes the light in the closet and improves efficiency.

Additionally, you need to install a lighting system and adjust the type of light and the amount of light throughout your plant’s life cycle. Similarly, you’ll need to control the odor. This typically requires some sort of fan and ventilation system.

With a few simple modifications, you can turn your closet into a grow room capable of producing loads of world-class bud.

5. Space Bucket

A space bucket is basically a self-contained bucket that has everything you need to grow weed at home. Think of it like a mini grow room contained entirely inside a bucket.

Space buckets can be great options if you’re looking for a small, relatively discreet way to cultivate cannabis in your home. You can purchase a pre-made space bucket. These will come with everything you need to plant and start growing.

Alternatively, check out our guide for building your own space bucket. Either way, growing in a space bucket is compact, clean, and fairly simple to use.

6. Grow Tent

If you want to be a bit more thorough and serious about your home grow, consider growing weed in a grow tent. This will allow you to have full control over your plant’s growing environment. Compared to other methods for growing at home, you may also be able to get bigger harvests with a grow tent.

When selecting a grow tent, you can either go with a simple tent that comes with just the basic tent structure and reflective surfaces. Or you can go with a more advanced tent that come with all components, including lights, ventilation, humidity and temperature control, and more.

7. Grow Box

A grow box is basically a smaller, more compact grow tent. It’s like a mini refrigerator that ‘s equipped with everything you need to grow weed. You can either build your own or purchase one already built and rigged out with all the growing components you need.

If you want to get really high tech, take a look at an automated grow box. These boxes come with lights, fans, vents, and a number of sensors to monitor things like light level, temperature, humidity, and more.

This data is then plugged into some sort of software program that automatically makes adjustments to the grow box to ensure the ideal growing environment.

Automated grow boxes offer a super easy way to grow weed at home. If you do it right, you should be able to simply plant your weed in the box, shut the door, turn on the system, let the software do its work, and get ready for a healthy harvest.

8. Aeroponics System

Aeroponics can be a great option for growing weed at home. This method gives you tons of control over your plant’s growing environment. It can also be a relatively minimalist way to cultivate cannabis.

The key feature of an aeroponics grow is that you don’t use a growing medium. Instead, you use some sort of apparatus to dangle the plant’s roots down into an open space while the rest of the plant grows up above the growing apparatus. You then feed the plant by feeding the roots a solution of nutrient-rich water.

Typically, people use an aeroponics system indoors. This means you also need to provide light and ventilation. Indoor growing also makes it easy to protect against pests.

9. Hydroponics Setup

Hydroponics is one of the most popular ways to grow weed at home, especially if you want to grow indoors. When you grow with a hydroponics setup your plants’ roots will be dangling down into nutrient-rich water.

An effective hydro setup needs to include a pump to circulate the water and inject some oxygen into the water. And just like any other indoor grow, you need to provide adequate light, be sure you’ve got the right temperature and humidity levels, and that all other variables are taken care of.

Hydroponics lets you control your plant’s growing environment. It’s also a great way to avoid any sort of contaminants or pests, and can be a sustainable and relatively quick way to get huge harvests right at home.

Even better, it’s pretty simple to make your own DIY hydroponics system for growing weed. Check out our guide to get started.

Lindsey, ByNick. “9 Ways To Grow Weed At Home.” Green Rush Daily, 4 Sept. 2018,

Colorado Cannabis Growers Want Organic-Like Cannabis Classification

Due to federal prohibition, the USDA can’t certify cannabis organic. So Colorado created its own classification.

Some cannabis cultivators are increasingly turning toward organic farming methods. And in Colorado, a small coalition of such growers alongside industry trade groups have convinced the state to establish an organic-like classification for weed. The new designation would apply to cannabis products grown without pesticides, GMOs and other toxic or synthetic chemicals. Growers say consumers deserve to know they have organic options at the dispensary.

Growers Want Consumers To Know About Organic Cannabis

Prior to legalization, cannabis producers didn’t have to give much thought to the regulatory standards other agricultural and medical products had to meet. But legalization brings oversight, regulations, licensing requirements—all the usual elements of doing business and selling goods to the public. But as states have begun to enforce those new regulations on the cannabis industry, the results have been revealing.

In California, for example, almost 20 percent of products tested under the state’s updated regulations failed to pass. And while labeling issues were the principal cause, contamination from mold, yeast and pesticides was also a problem. With an older legal industry, Colorado’s cannabis testing requirements are already some of the most stringent in the country.

Furthermore, marijuana is entering the mainstream via health and wellness products. In other words, cannabis has been sanitized in the popular imagination not just as a relatively harmless alternative to other recreational substances but also as clean, therapeutic and healthful.

Combined, these consumer trends and heightened regulations are prompting cannabis growers to adopt organic weed cultivation methods. Indeed, many small-scale and artisan growers already have. But there hasn’t been any mechanism to officially recognize organic versus conventionally grown cannabis products—until now.

Colorado Creates Its Own Organic Cannabis Designation

When “organic” shows up on food or another agricultural product, it’s simply designating that the product has been produced through the methods the USDA approves. In short, organic is simply a labeling term. It’s marketing. And essentially, it means that growers have not used toxic or synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, or artificial colors/flavors/preservatives.

Of course, cannabis growers around the country already employ organic growing methods. But there’s just one problem with labeling those cannabis products as such: federal prohibition. Because the federal government considers cannabis an illegal Schedule I controlled substance, the USDA can’t approve any cannabis products as organic.

And that’s why Colorado decided to create its own organic cannabis designation. At the request of growers, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is creating an “organic-like” classification for cannabis produced in the state. Colorado already bans dozens of pesticides and tests cannabis products for 13 of the most common pesticides. That ban has moved many of Colorado’s growers toward organic methods by default. In lieu of banned pesticides, growers have turned to adopting substances with Organic Materials Review Institute ratings.

For Colorado’s cannabis industry, the organic certification can help recognize organic efforts and let consumers know that they have choices when it comes to the source of their cannabis. Whether organic is superior to conventional, however, is still up for debate. But considering the increased risks of inhaling combusted pesticides in contaminated weed, health-conscious consumers may pay a premium for organic.

Drury, ByAdam. “Weed Growers Want Organic-Like Cannabis Classification.” Green Rush Daily, 1 Oct. 2018,

College to Offer First Hemp Cultivation Degree in California

The new hemp-focused courses in SJRC’s Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture programs aim to prepare students for careers in the billion-dollar hemp industry.

A local community college in Santa Rosa, California is about to become the first in the state to offer a degree in hemp cultivation. Beginning next year, students at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) will be able to take courses toward a certificate and degree in growing hemp. And the college’s Shone Farm is already growing a 0.8-acre test plot of hemp plants to use in the new curriculum. The new courses represent a hemp-focused twist on SRJC’s existing certificate and degree programs in Environmental Horticulture. Taking its cue from current trends in the rapidly growing, billion-dollar hemp industry, the new courses aim to prepare students for careers in cultivation.

Hemp-Focused Courses Offered in Sustainable Agriculture Programs

Preparing students for fulfilling careers in the legal cannabis industry isn’t the only benefit to offering courses in hemp cultivation. It turns out that hemp plants also make great teachers for understanding plants of all varieties. “It is ideal for teaching plant science and plant propagation techniques in indoor and outdoor environments,” said George Sellu, a teacher at SRJC who’ll helm some of the new courses on hemp.

Hemp also challenges students to learn about agricultural and ecological sustainability. That will be key as regulators, especially in water-stressed California, put pressure on businesses to shrink their environmental footprint.

But the skills students will obtain through SJRC’s new degree in hemp cultivation won’t just be useful for the hemp industry. Students will also be preparing themselves for careers in the broader cannabis industry and could easily apply their knowledge to cultivating commercial strains of weed. For its part, SRJC is staying agnostic about which industry students actually pursue for careers. But based on market projections for the hemp and hemp-derived CBD industries, hemp cultivation might not be a bad gig.

Cannabis Courses Prepare Students for Careers in Billion-Dollar Industry

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is now legal at the federal level. All states need to do to begin their own hemp cultivation programs is apply through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Under federal law, hemp has a very strict definition: any cannabis plant with under 0.3 percent THC is technically hemp and legal everywhere.

And the same is true for hemp-derived CBD and CBD products. So long as there’s less than 0.3 percent THC, CBD products are also legal everywhere. The market for CBD is exploding right now, especially as word gets around about its significant medical and therapeutic potential. But that’s not the only market for legal hemp. “Hemp is a dynamic crop with myriad uses,” says Sellu, with applications in the food and beverage industries, cosmetics, nutrition, fabrics, textiles, construction materials and more.

So students who enroll in SJRC’s Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture Program‘s new hemp degree will have plenty of options when they graduate. “One of our top priorities is ensuring our career education programs align with current industry trends,” said SRJC’s Dean of Agriculture, Benjamin Goldstein.

Students who have already completed SJRC horticulture courses can also transfer their credits toward the new hemp-focused degree. That will make is easy for new and returning students to take advantage of the hemp cultivation degree opportunity.

Drury, ByAdam. “College to Offer First Hemp Cultivation Degree in California.” Green Rush Daily, 3 Sept. 2019,

California Considers Organic Style Certificates for Cannabis Farmers

In meetings with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, growers are pushing for organic standards that go above and beyond USDA requirements.

Cannabis growers are no strangers to organic farming methods. In fact, small-scale and artisan growers have been developing and perfecting sustainable, environmentally-conscious cultivations methods for decades. But now that cannabis is a legal multi-billion dollar industry with regulatory and licensing requirements, there’s a growing movement to recognize famers who grow organically with an official certification.

There’s only one problem: federal prohibition. It’s the purview of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to certify agricultural products as organic. And since weed is an illegal controlled substance under federal law, there’s no way for state-legal cultivators to obtain a USDA organic label. But the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) wants to change that. And in consultation the industry, the CDFA is working on developing its own standards for classifying cannabis products organic.

California is Developing “O Cal” Standards for Organic Certification

Throughout the year, the CDFA has been holding meetings with a group of California cannabis farmers to work on developing a statewide “almost organic” standard. At first, the plan was to model the “almost organic” standards, which the CDFA is calling “OCal,” on the USDA organic standards. Bringing “OCal” standards as closely in line with USDA certification requirements would potentially make it easy for growers to obtain the federal classification down the road, should the federal government ever legalize cannabis nationwide.

But farmers and members of the California cannabis industry saw a chance to do something more. To go above and beyond USDA organic standards to include criteria like fair worker treatment, respect for civil and human rights, environmental sustainability and community engagement. Some in the industry even proposed setting standards for things like pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminants to the much stricter levels required for organic certification in the European Union. The idea being to make sure that cannabis grown in California might one day be eligible for export to EU markets.

Simply setting “almost organic” standards is only part of the equation, however. There are also market forces to consider. In the first place, there’s the cost of the certification process. To obtain a USDA organic certification, for example, farmers have to invest time and thousands of dollars submitting an Organic System Plan and paying fees to USDA certifiers and inspectors. Currently, there’s no clear picture of what an “OCal” certification might cost growers.

Small-Scale Growers Can Be the Most Organic and Sustainable—But They’re Usually Unlicensed

On top of that, there’s the additional costs of the organic farming methods themselves, which can cut into farmers’ profit margins, especially if they keep prices low to remain competitive against non-organic growers.

Both forces tend to reduce the incentive to cultivate organically. Large-scale growers who prioritize profits aren’t likely to adopt new methods that will raise costs. And small-scale growers with slim margins aren’t likely to fork over the cash to obtain a certification. As a result, much of the cannabis that farmers already produce organically doesn’t have an official label.

Indeed, many of those small-scale and caregiver-growers haven’t yet made the transition to the licensed, regulated market—precisely because of costs. In short, farmers most concerned about sustainable grow methods tend to be in the illicit market. And cannabis consumers who care about how their weed is sourced tend to take their business to unlicensed growers.

Interestingly, in lieu of official organic standards, the cannabis industry in California and elsewhere has developed several unofficial certifications for products. These seals and labels, such as the Sun+Earth certification, apply standards that are very often stricter and wide-reaching than USDA organic standards.

As it develops its own standards for “OCal,” the industry is encouraging the CDFA to adopt those extra standards like sustainability and worker treatment. Setting a high bar could be important down the road, as the USDA will likely look to established state markets for cannabis cultivation standards.

Drury, ByAdam. “California Considers Organic Style Certificates for Cannabis Farmers.” Green Rush Daily, 1 Aug. 2019,

Try Markle Sparkle Exclusively At the NorCal Cannabis Cup

Meghan Markle’s weed-growing nephew is debuting his new stain, Markle Sparkle, at the High Times Cannabis Cup.

High Times is hosting one of the first recreational cannabis events with a recreational smoking license.  The Northern California Cannabis Cup will debut the newest, best and strongest marijuana out there. One of the event’s shining stars will be Royally Grown, the grow op behind the Markle Sparkle, named for Prince Harry’s new bride, Meghan Markle. And Tyler Dooley, her nephew, will be there to introduce attendees to the Markle Sparkle for the first time ever.

Tyler Dooley, Meghan Markle’s Weed Farming Nephew

Try Markle Sparkle Exclusively At The NorCal Cannabis Cup

Tyler Dooley

In case you were too blazed to remember, actress Meghan Markle just married Prince Harry. Back in America, her 25-year-old nephew Tyler Dooley, born Tyler Markle, owns an Oregon-based legal marijuana grow.

Though the West Coast ganja farming side of Meghan Markle’s family is not especially close to the princess, business is booming for Tyler Dooley. Even before Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot, Dooley was working on a strain in their honor. “It was just kind of a tribute to our family,” he explained to High Times.

Markle Sparkle: Here’s What We Know

Try Markle Sparkle Exclusively At The NorCal Cannabis Cup

Tyler Dooley

Markle Sparkle is a Sativa dominant hybrid. It’s a cross between Blue City Diesel, Blueberry Northern Lights and OG Kush.

“Mainly, there’s a blueberry flavored terpene. It’s very light,” Dooley told us. “We tried to make a blueberry OG. We’re trying t make it as ‘berry’ as possible but still have that potency and still have some that that Diesel, OG smell.”

Furthermore, all of Dooley’s products are completely organic. Royally Grown’s clothing line is made from hemp, and all their weed is grown with Oregon soil from Daley Organics. “That’s what gives you the big 15-20 ft tall monsters that we get in Oregon,” Dooley added. “It all comes down to the soil first.”

You Can Only Try Markle Sparkle at the NorCal Cannabis Cup

Try Markle Sparkle Exclusively At The NorCal Cannabis Cup

Cannabis Reports/Flickr

Dooley has big plans for the Markle Sparkle, starting with the High Times NorCal Cannabis Cup. Until the strain’s full roll out later this year, Royally Grown’s booth will be the only place you can try the world-famous strain.

This all started at the 4/20 SoCal Cannabis Cup. There, Tyler Dooley starred in Meet the Markles, a documentary about Meghan Markle’s family, and promoted his brand. “I was at the San Bernadino one filming for a documentary and I loved the vibe so much,” he said. “Everybody was so great, so I’m pretty excited to go back and see everybody again.”

The NorCal Cannabis Cup will also be a licensed recreational smoking event. This means that you can try Markle Sparkle right then and there.

Normalizing the Cannabis Industry, One Princess at a Time

Try Markle Sparkle Exclusively At The NorCal Cannabis Cup

Mark Jones/Wikimedia Commons

Though Dooley has been working in the marijuana industry for years, his aunt’s nuptials gave him the perfect platform. “Millions and millions of people saw what I was doing and it just brought that positive attention to the cannabis industry,” he told us.

One day, he hopes that the UK will follow in Oregon’s footsteps and legalize weed. And with his royal connections, Tyler Dooley wonders if the Royals will ask for his advice. “At some point, they’re going to have to realize the benefits of marijuana,” he explained. “And when that time comes I’d be the perfect person to talk to about it.”

Powell, ByBurgess. “You Can Try Markle Sparkle Exclusively At the NorCal Cannabis Cup.” Green Rush Daily, 15 June 2018,

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates

Live in an arid environment? Your growing cannabis plants don’t have to suffer! Here are the best weed strains to grow in dry climates.

If you live in an arid environment, you need to know the best weed strains to grow in dry climates. Making the decision to grow your own cannabis can be exciting and overwhelming. We hope we can help ease the process.

10. AK-47

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


The AK-47 strain is famous for being the polar opposite of what its violent name suggests. It’s a sativa-dominant hybrid that produces a mellow, relaxed head high due to a high THC percentage. The strain was created using the DNA from sativas originating from Thailand, Colombia, and Mexico, and an Afghani indica. Given the parentage of AK-47, one would think that it would be one of the best strains to grow in dry climates. And to be fair, this strain does thrive in arid environments. But it’s fairly hard to keep alive outside– it’s particularly vulnerable to bud rot.

9. Northern Lights #5

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


Northern Lights is a favorite among cannabis enthusiasts and the #5 strain is no different. This is an indica strain that relaxes the user and eases their pain. It’s definitely something you want to have a steady supply of! While you can grow Northern Lights #5 outside, you might find it challenging, even if you’re an experienced grower. It’s possible, though!

8. Critical Kush

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


When it comes to the best weed strains to grow in dry climates, you can’t go wrong with Critical Kush. This indica-heavy strain does super well in hot climates. And since it requires low levels of humidity for optimum growth and health, a dry, desert-like environment would be ideal.

7. Amnesia Haze

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


Amnesia Haze needs to be grown in a warm environment to thrive. This popular and uplifting sativa strain might prove to be a challenge for beginner cannabis growers. This is because Amnesia Haze is prone to both infections and bugs, especially when growing outside.

6. Jack Herer

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


Jack Herer is a favorite among cannabis enthusiasts; both growers and consumers. Created in the 1990s in the Netherlands, this sativa-heavy hybrid strain quickly rose to prominence due to its strength and energetic buzz it gives the user. Although it can grow well indoors, Jack Herer is known to truly flourish outsides in warm climates.

5. LSD

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


This particular weed strain is known for two things: its high percentage of THC and the euphoric, pseudo-trippy effect it produces. LSD grows well in hot climates, and because it’s prone to mold, dry climates are ideal for cultivation.

4. Tutankhamun

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


Like its namesake, Tutankhamun is a desert dweller. Its parent strain is the aforementioned AK-47, so it has a similar structure. Tutankhamun is thick and dense, thus prone to mold. Growing it in a dry environment will help it thrive. Just make sure it doesn’t get too dry when it’s time to cure your bud.

3. Afghan Kush

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


As its name suggests, Afghan Kush originates near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. This pure indica strain is perfect for total relaxation. While it’s possible to grow Afghan Kush both indoors and out, it would do best in a dry climate to avoid the potential growth of mold.

2. Blueberry

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


This Cannabis Cup winning indica strain is famous for alleviating pain and stress and eliminating insomnia. Blueberry is an easy strain to grow, especially in drier climates.

1. Durban Poison

10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates


A pure sativa, Durban Poison is one of the best weed strains to grow in dry climates. It’s easy to cultivate and able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and environments.

Final Hit: Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates

Being able to grow cannabis is a vital skill. Especially in this age of legalization. Learning how to grow your own medicine is empowering! There are thousands of strains in existence, each having their own nuances and needs. Once you identify what kind of climate you live in, you can make informed decisions about what strains to grow.

Gold, ByChloe Harper. “10 Best Weed Strains To Grow In Dry Climates.” Green Rush Daily, 13 June 2018,

A Quick Guide to Cannabis Appellations: What You Need to Know

California is moving toward adopting official appellations for cannabis, certifying a strain’s regional origin. Here’s your guide for understanding what cannabis appellations are and why advocates hope that appellations will allow small, high-end growers to stand out in the market.

From Maui Wowie to Durban Poison to Acapulco Gold to Humboldt OG, cannabis strains often boast their geographic origin in their names. However, there is currently no system of enforcement that keeps any cannabis strain from claiming it comes from a place that it did not, in fact, come from. And if your dealer tells you they have some quality California pot, you have no way of knowing if that is true or if it is merely something grown in their buddy’s garage in Kentucky. But such a system of enforcement is right around the corner. An official appellation system certifying a strain’s locale of cultivation — based on a system already in place for wine — is coming to California.

In the wine industry, there is a well-established concept of terroir, defined as the mixture of traits produced by a particular region’s climate, soil and terrain that affect the taste of wine. Beginning over 80 years ago in (of course) France, the wine industry has established a certification system giving each production region an appellation. For example, only sparkling wine grown in the Champagne region of France is allowed to call itself champagne; the rest must stick to being sparkling wine.

California, with its legendary climate conducive to outdoor cultivation, is the first U.S. state to move toward adopting such a system for cannabis. Many of its locales, particularly the Emerald Triangle counties of Humboldt and Mendocino, have long been practically synonymous with high-quality bud in popular culture. Small growers are especially hoping that this cachet can give them an edge over the industrial-scale cannabis operations now emerging on the agribusiness holdings of the Central Valley and Salinas Valley.  

Why Do Legacy California Cannabis Growers Want an Appellation System?

Senate Bill 185, establishing a cannabis appellation system, was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 17. Its chief champion was Sen. Mike McGuire, whose Healdsburg district is in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country. One county to the north, the Mendocino Appellations Project is at the forefront of designing such a system for cannabis. Since 2015, it has been mapping the micro-regions of Mendocino, dividing the county into 11 zones by distinctive soil and climatic conditions.

The California Cannabis Industry Association is now hoping to apply such mapping statewide.

“This is really an effort to help those small farmers in rural areas to make sure they’re competitive and make sure we have a diversified market here in California,” the group’s outreach director Josh Drayton told North Bay Business Journal upon passage of the bill.

Drayton noted with trepidation that high-end sungrown cannabis prices have dropped from up to $4,000 a pound a decade ago to as low as $500 today — largely due to competition from large commercial operators with economies of scale. But he sees increasing sophistication about product quality as a significant sign of hope.

“As consumers become more educated on cannabis use and cultivation, they’re going to start to recognize the difference between craft-grown cannabis versus mass-produced,” Drayton said, “which gives cultivators the opportunity to grow more craft strains.”

In a statement, McGuire’s office said the aim of the law is to expand protections for cannabis growers and the authenticity of their product.  

“This law will prevent cannabis manufacturers from claiming, for example, their product is grown in the Emerald Triangle, when in fact it was grown in Sacramento,” McGuire stated. “The law takes into account the critical ingredients to a successful appellation designation such as geographic location, soil types, farming techniques and microclimates.”

Again invoking the precedent in viniculture, McGuire added: “Customers have come to expect truth in labeling in wine and this critical bill ensures manufacturers market products that meet similar appellation requirements with cannabis.”

Details of how the system will work are to be drawn up in the coming months by CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the  California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA). The CDFA is hoping the system will be in place by 2022.

How Do Appellations Work in the Wine Industry?

The CDFA will doubtlessly be looking closely at the appellation system already in place for the wine industry. 

With wine, each country determines its own system for categorizing wines by region, most predominantly in France, Spain and the United States. In each region, there are laws and regulations that determine where grapes are grown and how the wine is made.

This system came to the United States in 1980, when the federal Treasury Department recognized the first American Viticulture Areas (AVAs). One quick note: Viticulture refers generally to the cultivation of grapes, while viniculture refers more specifically to wine production.

There are now some 240 federally-recognized AVAs across the country. Some, such as the Mississippi River AVA, span millions of acres, while others consist of only a few hundred acres. In order for a wine to win an AVA label, at least 85% of the grapes must come from the designated AVA.

France was the first to establish such a system back in 1937. Ironically, this was the same year cannabis was banned by federal law in America. Today, there are over 360 wine appellations in France, mostly within 11 primary growing regions, prominently including the Rhône, Loire, Alsace and Bordeaux.

Italy’s system was established in 1963, in emulation of the French, though it has a complex system with two different types of designations that wine can receive. Spain has a more complicated system still, with three types of designations with varying levels of stringency.

It’s worth noting that Europe also has appellation systems that apply not only to wine but to a wide variety of agricultural products including cheeses, meats, honey and olive oil. So the CDFA will certainly be especially examining this system as it crafts the California cannabis appellations.

We can imagine that the micro-zones of Mendocino will become sub-appellations of the Emerald Triangle, itself a sub-appellation of a North Coast cannabis cultivation area.

Are Other States Looking at Cannabis Appellations?

Oregon may be the next state to adopt an appellation system, as the Beaver State’s Craft Cannabis Alliance has emerged as a powerful agricultural lobby. It was instrumental in the passage of a recent bill putting Oregon on the record as supporting the establishment of an interstate cannabis trade.

But the terroir question has actually pitted wine and cannabis producers against each other in at least one case in Oregon. The trade journal Wine Searcher recently reported on the legal battle being waged by Moe Momtazi, who runs the esteemed Maysara Vineyard in Oregon’s Yamhill County (the heart of the state’s own wine country), against his neighbor Richard Wagner to stop his cannabis grow operation.

Momtazi claims “foul-smelling particles” from the cannabis plants are tainting the prized terroir of his meticulously grown grapes. A rather harrowing account on the case in The Outline magazine last year portrays the rural feud as escalating nearly to the level of a Wild West range war.

Weinberg, ByBill. “A Quick Guide to Cannabis Appellations: What You Need to Know.” Cannabis Now, 15 Nov. 2019,

Climate Change Puts Spotlight on the Drought Resistance of Marijuana

The impacts of global climate change are likely to provide more chances to see whether cannabis is as effective a drought-resistant crop as its boosters claim.

Zambia just became the latest country to legalize cannabis cultivation, but there’s a catch: the southern African country is struggling with an unusual weather event that’s making farming difficult.

Zambia is experiencing its worst drought in a century. As world leaders gathered in Madrid for the UN Climate Summit last month, southern Africa was already experiencing some of the harshest impacts of global warming — with some 45 million people in need of food aid amid crop failures. However, in December, Zambia became the fifth nation in Africa to permit cannabis cultivation, and so cannabis farmers there will now have to grapple with the drought.

The leader of Zambia’s Green Party, Peter Sinkamba, applauded the decision. He was quoted by pan-African news site Sahara Reporters saying the move could earn Zambia up to $36 billion annually. “Depending on how properly this is done, this could just change the face of Zambia’s economy,” Sinkamba said.

The conflict between cannabis and climate is a story that is all too likely to become commonplace in the face of climate change. It raises the question about how drought resistant cannabis actually is — and if there are methods of cultivating cannabis with less water that truly work.

How Drought-Resistant Is Cannabis Really? 

An interesting irony is that, because of cannabis prohibition, even the DEA believes that the cannabis plant can survive without much water.

“Marijuana is a very drought-tolerant plant. It’s a weed, and they grow anywhere,” DEA agent Bill Weinman told Denver’s Rocky Mountain News during a dry spell in 2002. “Drought has little effect on pot crops. Plants prove hearty, surpassing yields of state’s other crops.”

This attitude has been mirrored in the hemp industry, which farms a plant that is functionally the same as high-THC varieties of cannabis — except for the fact that they don’t have THC. In the lead up to the passage of the Farm Bill in December 2018, which legalized hemp (defined as the cannabis sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC), many advocates touted the low-water needs of the plant. Advocates boasted that a hemp field can be grown to harvest on about half as much water as needed by an equivalent plot of corn.

“It uses more water at the very beginning of its growth,” Geoff Whaling, chairman of the National Hemp Association, told the Pacific Standard in May 2018. “But once it kind of passes its early development stage — about three weeks — it becomes one of the most drought-tolerant crops on the planet.”

But there’s a trade-off. While it appears that the cannabis plant can survive without much water supply, limiting water intake too much appears to limit harvests.

In a May 2018 report, Hemp Industry Daily reported on the findings of a Colorado State University study, which found that irrigated hemp produced nearly three times more seed than non-irrigated hemp.

Brian Campbell, a doctoral student in soil and crop sciences, grew two test plots at a northern Colorado site — one irrigated consistently, the other receiving only some eight inches of rainfall throughout the growing season. The irrigated plot produced an average of 1,100 pounds of seed per acre, while the non-irrigated one produced about 400 pounds per acre. Campbell’s research led him to conclude that hemp’s water use is actually high compared to other crops.

“There are a lot of myths about this crop, and one of them is that it doesn’t need much water,” Campbell told Hemp Industry Daily. “It’s not that the plant won’t grow,” he elaborated. “But it’s a no-brainer — you should irrigate your hemp plants if you want them to do well in Colorado.”

Dry-Farming Cannabis

However, marijuana growers have also found a way to grow cannabis without additional water through a technique called “dry farming” — that is, cultivation without irrigation. Dry farming is increasingly practiced in Mediterranean climates, with wet winters and dry summers. Farmers work to trap moisture in the soil that continues to supply the plant on its own, rather than needing additional water from irrigation. (In climes that get rain year-round, irrigation is not an issue — though mold might be.)

Mediterranean climates include California, and dry-farming of cannabis is catching on in the Emerald Triangle as a part of the general trend toward sun-grown and organic product. For example, the cultivators at Sunboldt Grown, which began dry-farming a year earlier on its lands in Holmes Flat, Humboldt County, told Cannabis Now in 2018 that they’ve seen success growing cannabis with the innovative method.

“Dry farming is not for the faint of heart,” admitted Sunboldt Grown’s Sunshine Johnston, recalling her fears as she saw her plants suffering under the hot summer sun. But she resisted the temptation to water them, and the results were very satisfactory — high-resin yields with up to 30% THC.  

“I think what I learned last year is that plants actually prefer less water and no fertilizer,” she said. “They really prefer to be on their own.” 

Also, cultivators of both hemp (cannabis without THC) and marijuana (cannabis with THC) have long maintained that some strains are more drought-resistant than others. The website of Barcelona-based Royal Queen Seeds particularly names the indica-sativa hybrid known as “Critical,” popular across the Mediterranean, as sought among outdoor growers for being “very tolerant of high temperatures and dry weather conditions.” 

Diversion of water for illicit cannabis cultivation has long been a strain on Northern California’s watersheds, threatening the survival of salmon and other local wildlife. This is also now an issue for the legal cannabis sector, and if California has another drought like it did in the 2010s, legal cannabis growers will have to adapt.

In the coming years, it will certainly be a challenge for cultivators worldwide to figure out new ways to grow cannabis with less water.

Weinberg, ByBill. “Climate Change Puts Spotlight on the Drought Resistance of Marijuana.” Cannabis Now, 17 Jan. 2020,

A Professional Cannabis Guide For Farmers

A cannabis farmer finds guidance from sacred herbs and the passage of time.

I never thought I’d be so happy to turn 65. Finally, this year on Feb. 1, the big day has come and while I feel basically the same as I did on Jan. 31, something is noticeably different. Not only do I receive Medicare at last, but I have entered the next stage of life, along with millions of other baby boomers. “OK Boomer” may be the response, but remember, getting older will happen to all of us and should be considered.

Believe it or not, growing older affords a certain amount of righteous entitlement and freedom. Although they say at least 29% of boomers ages 65 to 72 are still working or looking for work, I’m talking about the liberated head space that comes with aging. Clearly, I am in the 29% of working seniors, but it’s just not the same as when I was 30 and working at a daily newspaper. Yes, I still have deadlines looming constantly, but along with age comes the grace to accept them without as much stress and competition.

Same goes for politics. Yes, the world is crazy right now and doesn’t seem to be getting better. Between climate change and corrupt politicians, it seems pretty darn horrendous. Yet I am always reminded of something my father drove into my head when I was a teenager: “History repeats itself.” I refused to believe him back then, when I was a full blown optimistic flower child, but now that I have actually seen history unfold before my eyes, I get it. As we learn from our mistakes, it doesn’t seem as daunting. It’s all about human nature doing its thing.

Of course, I have no doubt that a lifetime of cannabis consumption has helped me to realize these conclusions. Questioning authority and raising my consciousness have been my dear friends, the best techniques to understanding this bizarre human nature that comprises humans. We are what we eat and we are what we smoke. Cannabis has inspired me to both go with the flow and lead the parade, to sit back and watch the show while also being a central character. And with age, comes the revelation that it is all exactly as it is meant to be.

So what if I am working harder than ever in my life at 65, running a cannabis business? It is an opportunity to learn, to meet fantastic new people all the time, and to share knowledge gleaned over my six and a half decades. So what if I have now been diagnosed with moderate COPD, had a hip replacement and some heart issues? Every machine wears down eventually, but the lessons learned from all of those conditions can be used to help teach and guide others on their path. Even the worst most foreboding situations can be seen as gifts from the universe.

Every morning as I awake I recite my six goals for the day: to practice unconditional love and compassion, honesty and humility, discipline and devotion. Then I remind myself of the three little words taught to me by our teacher in India many years ago: ”Have no doubt.” That’s a big one. It is the core essence of finding peace in one’s life — to accept that whatever happens has a valid reason and an outcome of exactly what is supposed to transpire next. The ugly duckling will turn into a swan every time if you let it be itself. Again, go with the flow.

Granted, I do not smoke as much cannabis or take as many psychedelic journeys as I did as a young woman. But as one ages, the need is not necessarily there. So many imprints have been made already, so much guidance has been granted by the sacred herbs, that I feel fortunate to have found them early in my life. My experiences with entheogens has no doubt brought me closer to the understanding of the divine and raised my levels of compassion. They have helped me accept any fears of death and the next great chapter. Funny, they used to talk about “acid and marijuana flashbacks” when I was a kid and I laughed. But now I see how actually beneficial it is to be able to tune back into those other levels of reality at any time. To feel the godliness in me and everything around me, including animals and plants.

I also find that as I grow into my “senior-hood” I recognize how different, and the same, I am from my parents. I watched my parents mellow with age, and I imagine I am doing the same.  I did my “dropping out” several times in my lifetime and I don’t regret a bit of that. Yet, I also see the effects of being a flower child in my youth, who has blossomed now into a full-grown plant full of fruits and flowers. Every plant needs a steady watering to become fully ripe and I have certainly never shied away from growing experiences. If now, at 65, I still need to work to keep this plant blooming, so be it. Every day is a fresh experience, be it on the road going overland to India as I did so many years ago, or here on the ranch as I help guide our business to fruition. It is all part of my complicated karma.

While I cannot prescribe my lifestyle for all, or the cannabis consumption contained therein, it certainly has worked for me and many others of my baby boomer generation. Imagine if all those babies turned into conservative grumps? Thanks to the ’60s and the hippie revolution, we have a balanced population to keep things interesting. Whether you find your peaceful place via meditation, cannabis, psychedelics or doing service for others — or a combination of all of these things — your higher consciousness will be an uplifting force for our otherwise confused world. I suggest you be not afraid of aging, because besides the great benefits of Medicare, there is the calm peace of mind that will take you under its wings if you let it. Embrace it… it’s all going with the flow of life.

Lastreto, ByNikki. “The Joys of Growing Older.” Cannabis Now, 7 Feb. 2020,

The Decade’s Biggest Cannabis Strains

The last ten years in cannabis genetics have been wild.

In this list, we highlight some of the strains that not only caught our attention throughout the 2010s, but also caught the attention of the entire cannabis community. Maybe not every strain on this list is an award winner, but that doesn’t mean Americans weren’t flooded with it at some point over the last ten years.

Most importantly, this is not a ranking, but a group of strains we believe has a seat at the table when discussing the cannabis genetics that made the most waves over the last decade, and it’s meant to acknowledge their place in history where the cannabis genome continues to expand to bold and tasty new places.


At the turn of the decade, a cut of the original Cookies was considered the newest holy grail of cannabis genetics. In a world that loved OG and various Purps, Cookies crashed onto the scene like a tidal wave. It wasn’t just another OG, it’s wasn’t one of the wild Amsterdam cuts that didn’t meet the production requirements of the California market, it was a new creature. And while Florida will always get to hold a little piece of OG Kush’s legacy, Cookies was born in San Francisco only a few miles from where Dennis Peron and his comrades worked to pass Proposition 215, legalizing medical marijuana in California. Cookies is attached to the ethos of good California cannabis forever.


As Cookies continues to have global impact to this day, it seemed like it’s first famous offspring Gelato took the hype torch for a bit after. What also makes Gelato unique is it’s the only strain to catch fire in a crazy way twice this decade. First after Jigga and Sherbinski bred it, then again many years later when the Gelato #41 hit the world. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Sherbinski back in the day to get the whole story of how one of the premier cuts of the decade came to be. Also, shout out to all the Gelato offspring we love, like Gelonade, Area 41 and who knows how many others.


When AC/DC hit Northern California, it was the CBD strain we knew we had been waiting for. Some of the original cuts of AC/DC produced phenotypes with a CBD/THC ratio between 16 to 1 and 20 to 1, and they showed the most promise and potential for the entourage effect around treating a variety of issues. Other strains with public relations teams may have stolen the spotlight, but make no mistake about it: AC/DC was the first of the second generation of CBD strains that helped start the CBD revolution.

Durban Poison

The official strain of the FIFA Men’s World Cup held in South Africa in 2010, Durban Poison carved a place in people’s hearts for a few years after and still floats around to this day in some capacity. The landrace African Sativa provided a completely different terpene profile than what American and European consumers were used to and they ate it right up.


Apart from Cookies and Gelato, it’s tough to argue anything else on this list reached the hype level of Zkittlez in the last decade. One immediately thinks of the work that 3rd Gen Family and Terp Hogz did to bring it to the forefront of modern cannabis. But the strain is so special that others were also able to ride its magic to the top of the mountain, such as in 2016, when the Dookie Brothers took home the Golden Tarp and the Emerald Cup for their legendary batch of light dep Zkittlez. This year, the Terp Hogz again added to Zkittlez trophy shelf, taking home first place in the Emerald Cup Liquid BHO category. When we spoke with Brandon of 3rd Gen Family about his Roze cross that won The Emerald Cup’s Breeders’ Cup in 2017, we dove in a little on Zkittlez.

Forbidden Fruit

To be honest with you, Forbidden Fruit was never really my thing. Sure, it smells cool and different and looks insanely purple, but just isn’t for me. Nevertheless, the masses have spoken and I would be firmly mistaken if I did not include this Cherry Pie x Tangie cut among those that made the biggest impact in the last decade. We spoke with Chameleon Extracts about breeding it.

The Gas

There were so many great cuts over the last decade that made me think I was smelling some kind of industrial accident at a gas station. I loved it. I wish I had enough room to list all that fuel, Petrol and whatever Elon Musk uses. But know that if you grew gassy OG, Sour Diesel, and Chems, I appreciate you. And your art is timeless like a fine wine or pizza.


Nothing defines your cultural impact quite like a lawsuit, and so you know the strain formerly known as Gorilla Glue #4 will be etched in stone forever. Even without lawsuits, people loved awesome Gorilla Glue and the various names it’s called now by people who don’t want to get sued. We loved versions we saw from 3C Farms and Tahoe Wellness in recent years. They were absolutely elite.

Wedding Cake

While Seed Junkie Genetics gave us plenty of hitters in recent years and although I probably like the Animal Mints the best personally, it’s tough to argue against the Wedding Cake having the biggest impact of Seed Junkie strains on the cannabis world. One of the sure signs of its dominance was all the killers you saw growing it early before the blowup that happened like so many of the strains on this list. Versions of Wedding Cake from the farms of Alien Labs and Str8organics are among the best ever cultivated.


From rap songs to the most recent Emerald Cup winner, the times have certainly proven we are now properly prepared to Runtz up our lives. Like any ultra-hype strain, Runtz took a little bit to get the wind in its sails, but after helping Humboldt County defend the Emerald Cup this year from the killers in Salinas and Mendocino Counties, it’s in a hype storm of its own creation. There is a solid argument to be made that Runtz carries the brightest cannabis hype torch into the next decade.

Purple Punch

Bred by Supernova Gardens and further stabilized and spread to the masses by Symbiotic Genetics, Purple Punch was so good it was cursed by its own fame. So many people bought a pack of seeds and then selections from things it would be debatable to call propagations hit the shelves. But when you saw a real all-star Purple Punch cut grown out by someone like The Village or The Jungle Boys (won Chalice with a Purple Punch pheno), you knew how special it was.

Super Lemon Haze

After conquering Amsterdam with back-to-back Cannabis Cup wins in the late 2000s, Super Lemon Haze fully crossed the pond in the 2010s. For the last ten years, it’s been one of the best natural limonene profiles available plus a dash of haze. For many, it’s likely been a spark of creativity or an excuse to eat a sandwich. The best phenotype in the U.S. is grown by C.R.A.F.T. at sea level in California where marijuana doesn’t turn into dust, but we appreciate you, Colorado!


In some of those middle harvest seasons this decade, you would be hard-pressed to find a strain there was more of floating around than Tangie. Some of the most ridiculous farm pictures of the decade where people laying in giant piles of Tangie because they just didn’t care since they had so much of it. Also, it was a wild terpene profile available when we really started figuring out how to best preserve them in sauces.

Miracle Alien Cookies

The Capulator-bred sensation Miracle Alien Cookies (commonly shortened to MAC) is only a few years old, but in that time, few strains have garnered so much deserving enthusiasm. As evidence, it was clearly one of the most popular strains among outdoor farmers this year, with many producing rockstar versions that got some purple hues during the chilly nights of early October. It’s absolute flame and we look forward to smoking it well into the next decade.

Jack Herer

The Sensi Seeds standout is a holdover from the 2000s, named for one cannabis most beloved activists. Thankfully, Herer got to try it himself before he passed away in 2010. But the masses, even if ignorant of how important the man it’s named for is to them smoking pot, love their Jack Herer. While we admit we haven’t seen an all-star version in some time, Jack is timeless, and sales data from across the country confirms consumers still love it. 

Blue Dream

Boy, the Midwest folks love Blue Dream, and California is more than happy to cater to their wholesome flyover tastes. The Blueberry x Haze legend is a big yielder. One of California’s biggest weed companies started because they had a Blue Dream pheno that was producing two and a half pounds a light and they had a ton of trim. Missouri is especially deep Blue Dream country from what I understand. I honestly did see an all-star Blue Dream once by the same guy that grew the best Bruce Banner I ever saw.

Devine, ByJimi. “The Decade’s Biggest Cannabis Strains.” Cannabis Now, 31 Dec. 2019,

A Tropical Sleigh Ride of THC

Giddy yap, giddy yap, giddy yap, let’s go!

It is the middle of September and the heat is intense, sweat is dripping down my forehead as I walk down rows of plants that seem to never end. Myself and my crew, which includes my bandmate Bleezy from our rap group Mendo Dope and our business partner Mark Greyshock of Greenshock Farms, are just finishing up the biggest pheno hunt that any of us have ever done. Our noses are covered in resin after closely examining about 800 plants, searching for the next top strain among the phenos. We literally cannot smell anymore, our nostril hairs are sticky and the tips of our noses are raw.

As the sun sets, the colors in the sky are unreal, almost as if the clouds themselves were on fire glowing in a bright orange. We roll up a Backwood of Sour Apple bud, pack our gear and get ready to head out, reeking of fresh ganja. The road is winding, swerving through the rolling hills with such sharpness that it almost feels like we are on mushrooms as we drive into the night sky.

“We found some winners today,” Bleezy says, still smelling the tips of his fingers that are completely covered in resin.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tropicalsleighridepurple.jpg


Pheno hunting and creating new strains is a lengthy process. Greyshock explains that creating the award-winning Tropical Sleigh Ride strain came after many years of hard work.

“It all started with the Purple Candy Cane, which has placed in the top three at the Emerald Cup two years in a row,” he says of the strain’s lineage. “We got a hold of a Pineapple plant from [noted California cannabis breeder] Mean Gene and just out of intuition, I knew that there was going to be a winner by crossing these two plants.”

The strain was created in 2016 and grown for the first time during the 2017 harvest. Greyshock says he had more confidence in this particular breeding project than others he has worked on in the past. This confidence was due, in part, to the strain’s unique terpene profile. In fact, in 2017, Greenshock’s Tropical Sleigh Ride won the highest total terpene content award at the prestigious Emerald Cup, with 4.8% terpenes.

The fruit-forward Tropical Sleigh Ride has an ocimene-dominant terpene profile, something that is also found in other plants such as basil, bergamot and lavender. In addition, it has a high level of CBG (a cannabinoid that is a precursor to both THC and CBD), generally 2 to 2.5 %.

“It has an overall very high cannabinoid ratio with the THC itself in the neighborhood of 17% at its lowest and all the way up to 27-28%,” Greyshock says. “With high levels of both terpenes and cannabinoids in one plant, it makes this strain a very dynamic combination. The smell and flavor of this flower is unlike any other.” 

It’s an uplifting strain with a woodsy, floral and tropical smell (think oranges, mangos, guava, pineapple, papaya, lemons and hints of pine) that could be applicable to lift a depressive fog, he says.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tropicalsleighridevertical.jpg

“Tropical Sleigh Ride makes you feel happy to be alive. It crushes negativity and brings out positivity. I would say its best medical trait would be treating depression,” Greyshock says. “The flavor is truly delicious and just smelling it will make you feel good. Smoking the Tropical Sleigh Ride is like snowboarding down a mountain of fruit, carving through oranges and mangos jumping over pine trees.”

And, in terms of its growth, Greyshock says the vigorous fast-growing Tropical Sleigh Ride is extremely adaptable.

It handles a variety of conditions very well, performing great in all environments,” he says. “Here in California, we have grown it in the Sierras at 4,200 feet [elevation] and it grew very nicely. This year, we are growing it in San Luis Obispo County in a very hot and dry climate that reaches temperatures of 110 degrees regularly and it is performing great.”

Greyshock says the strain also possess a strong resistance to both bugs and mold, something that becomes very important when picking the winners from a new batch of plants. The buds themselves are generally very solid and chunky.

“Even with the sativa influence, these buds are not loose at all — they are very tight sativa buds,” Greyshock says. “We have had plants started from seed that have grown over 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide, towering over our heads, so she can definitely grow big. One of this strain’s best traits is its ability to fight off mold.”


When it comes to the variations in phenotypes on this strain, Greyshock explains there are two basic types: the green pheno and the purple pheno.

The purple pheno shows a lot of color on the leaves and stalk and a decent amount on the bud,” he says. “About 40% of the phenos exhibit the green version of this strain. One pheno that we love is the Passion Orange Guava (POG) and that is an example of a green variation. Another pheno we have took sixth place [in the sungrown category] at the 2018 Emerald Cup and this one has more of a purple influence that we call the Hawaiian Punch pheno.”

And when it comes to picking which pheno is best, you might as well ask a mother which daughter she favors more.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tropicalsleighride.jpg

“It is hard to say which variation is better, both purple and green phenos are phenomenal,” Greyshock says. “In terms of the overall size of the buds, I’d say about 10% of the phenos have large big buds and those aren’t generally the ones we keep. It seems to be the tighter, medium, chunky phenos that we are after a lot, which fortunately the majority come out to be.”

Even though the Tropical Sleigh Ride is a fabulous smoke, cannabis breeders are almost always interested in taking their strain further.

Once you have these type of plants in your collection, it is always about trying to make new and better things if you can,” Greyshock says. “Right now, we are playing around with the Tropical Sleigh Ride. This last year, we crossed it with another phenomenal California plant that was bred right here in Mendocino County called the Long Valley Royal Kush. Both of these plants have won awards at the Emerald Cup, so the combination of these two plants is making for some really exciting stuff this year.”

Breeder: Greenshock Farms

Genetics: Purple Candy Cane x Pineapple

Yield: Medium to Heavy

Height: Medium to Tall

Harvest Time: 56 to 60 Days

Profile: Sativa 70%/Indica 30%

E, ByOld. “A Tropical Sleigh Ride of THC.” Cannabis Now, 13 Jan. 2020,

Does cloning ruin cannabis strains over time?

If you’re a cannabis enthusiast or familiar with the basic principles of botany, you’ll know that cannabis plants come from two sources: seeds and clones. One of the enduring debates among cannabis growers is the merits of growing from seeds versus cultivating from clones.

Seeds are created by sexual propagation and contain genes from both parents, rendering the seed—and the plant the seed grows into—genetically unique.

Cannabis clones are cuttings taken from a healthy female—called a mother plant—that has been grown from seed or is itself a clone. So cuttings can be taken from clones, or clones of clones, ad infinitum. 

After a cutting of a growing branch is taken, it’s ideally dipped in a hormone medium and then roots out. Through this form of asexual reproduction, identical cannabis plants can be grown abundantly and for free for successive generations. Or can they?RelatedHow to clone cannabis plants

Cannabis cloning represents an incontestably straightforward way of getting identical cannabis. What’s more, it’s currently the most dominant method of cultivating cannabis. In a commercial context where consumers demand consistency, it’s a gift. 

However, there are murmurs among seasoned growers that clones lose potency over time. Some think it’s the phenomenon of clonal degradation: the notion that cannabis clones drift away from the mother plant’s genes over subsequent generations, resulting in weaker plants that yield less and become more susceptible to pests and fungi. 

Clonal degradation: What causes it?

Clonal degradation, or genetic drift as it is sometimes called (though this term is debatable), is fiercely contested in the world of weed: some maintain it is a myth, while others insist it’s a real phenomenon. Cannabis chat rooms are saturated with arguments over how clonal decay occurs, with some blaming mutation in clones, while others point to cellular degradation when they become “cloned out.”

Let’s unpack genetic drift by briefly revisiting some of the basics of high school bio. 

Cloned cuttings can’t change their genetic imprint because a clone is an exact genetic replica of the mother plant. A clone is even the same cellular age as the mother plant—a one-week-old clone taken from a two-month-old mother is actually two months old. RelatedHow to Start Your Own Cannabis ‘Mother Plant’

Genetic variation comes from sexual reproduction, i.e., with seeds. While genetic mutations can occur as a result of growth, it doesn’t mean that the gene pool of cannabis clones dramatically changes from generation to generation. 

But the same clones subjected to different environments often look and grow differently. An under-fertilized clone in a low-humidity environment will grow with less vigor than its sister receiving perfect fertilization and humidity in a grow room across town. Environment plays a critical role in the growth and health of a cannabis clone.

Let’s talk epigenetics and the environment

The field of epigenetics offers valuable insights for understanding how cannabis clones can appear to lose potency. Epigenetics refers to outside stimuli, or modifications, that can turn genes on or off. It’s not that there is an alteration of the genetic code in the clone; rather, environmental factors modify its genetic potential and expression.

“Epigenetic impacts on clone health over time are very significant. Without proper mineral nutrition and biological health, the vigor of a clone will diminish over time as it continually is replicated, thus reducing its viability,” said Russell Pace III, President of the Cannabis Horticultural Association.Genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger.

Epigenetics provides us with a more nuanced understanding of the nature versus nurture paradox. Genes load the gun, as the saying goes, but the environment pulls the trigger. 

So now that we know successive generations of cannabis clones aren’t genetically inferior in some way, what are some of the environmental factors or stressors that affect the growth of clones?

Environmental stressors that affect clones

Environmental elements that are essential to optimizing clone potency include the maintenance of appropriate levels of light, humidity, soil nutrients, and water. Stressors that should be avoided include over or underwatering, over or underfeeding, incorrect soil pH, and inconsistency with light cycles during the vegetative and flowering cycles. Pesticides can be another stressor that can damage plants when misapplied or applied overzealously.

Taproots: they’re important

Another inevitable contributor to clonal decay that isn’t environmental may be the lack of a taproot. Cannabis grown from seed has a taproot—a central root which is sent deep into the soil from which subsidiary roots grow. 

When a cutting is taken from a cannabis plant, the cutting must develop a tangle of roots to funnel up moisture and nutrients. Clones lack a taproot and therefore are structurally (not genetically) distinct to cannabis grown from seed.RelatedCannabis Seeds 101: All You Need to Know and More

“The lack of a taproot definitely affects the vigor of a cloned plant when compared to the growth rate of a seed plant,” said Pace. “A seed plant will be infinitely more robust and have faster growth rates in most cases.” 

Cleanliness is critical to clone success

The mere act of taking a cutting from the mother plant also introduces a host of potential problems. Aside from inflicting transplant shock on the clone, the cut part creates an easy passage for pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi to weave their way in, causing infection. 

“Basically, a clone infected with a virus is like a dud where it grows slow and really doesn’t produce very well,” said Pace. 

Growers who scrupulously sterilize cloning equipment and use proper techniques will have greater success cloning without issue. When every care is taken to ensure that the cutting is taken as gently as possible, and appropriate rooting and hormone mediums are used, the clone is more likely to extend a robust rooting system and grow strong and healthy.

Genetic mutations can occur in clones

That said, however, cannabis horticulturist Jorge Cervantes points out that genetic mutations can and do occur in clone populations as they grow and can be passed on through cuttings. While peer-reviewed studies exploring the intricacies of cannabis botany are still few and far between, there is research to suggest that phenotypic variation—that’s variation in physical characteristics—in plant cuttings is due to sporadic mutations in the DNA sequences. 

A theory known as Muller’s ratchet argues that clone populations are doomed to accumulate increasing numbers of harmful mutations, which inhibit the plant’s ability to grow and thrive. Some interpret it as nature’s way of showing a preference for sexual reproduction in plant populations.

What’s more, telomeres may also play a role in clonal decay. Telomeres are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that ensure DNA is copied accurately when it divides. When telomeres are stressed or damaged, the very end of the DNA strand doesn’t make it into the new copy, which results in a loss of vital genetic information. RelatedIs tissue culture the future of growing cannabis?

It can be helpful to conceptualize this process like a photocopier cutting off the last line of text from a page each time it is copied—analogously, DNA strands may become shorter with every cell division. 

The result is that plants lose their competence to undergo normal cell division, and healthy growth becomes decelerated or arrested. While we still don’t know a lot about how telomeres work in cloned plants, or more specifically in cloned cannabis plants, we do know that telomere shortening can be exacerbated by environmental stressors and physiological processes such as aging. 

And it’s important to only clone from mother plants in a vegetative state as this study shows that age may play a role in clonal genetic mutations. Older mothers that have already been through flowering cycles are not an optimal source for cuttings because the stress of these processes compromises their genetic integrity

How to optimize conditions for your clones

Ultimately, there is a host of factors that may contribute to clonal decay. While the control of some elements is out of our hands, clonal degradation can be somewhat avoided with proper care, technique, and management of clones. Take clones from robust young mothers using sterile equipment, provide them with the best possible environment, and there’s no reason they won’t thrive for generations.

What’s most promising, according to Pace, is that even damaged or weak clones can be nursed back to health with the right growing conditions such as healthy soil.

“I think this is a most promising type of immunotherapy, so to speak,” says Pace. “Healthy soil biology can act as epigenetic gene therapy for plants. The grower attempts to create optimal environments loaded with beneficial biology and a well balanced soil chemistry.”

This epigenetic gene therapy, of sorts, can boost the innate immune systems of clones. “It essentially allows them to express their highest level of epigenetic potential. It’s really fascinating and something I’ve witnessed first-hand,” said Pace. 

Stone, Emma. “Does Cloning Ruin Cannabis Strains over Time?” Leafly, 3 Jan. 2020,

398 Kush


398 Kush is a delightful indica heavy hybrid strain that will melt both mind and body into total relaxation. These flowers smell sweet and earthy. The smoke is a bit harsh, and tastes sweet.

“398 Kush – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,

Alien Inferno

Alien Inferno is an indica dominant hybrid that was created by crossing White Fire x Alien OG with El Diablo. These flowers smell strongly like fuel, pine and lemon. The smoke is smooth with an earthy, woody aftertaste. This strain will leave users with a feeling of total body relaxation.

“Alien Inferno – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginner

The tools and information you need to grow your own weed.

Looking for the basics of how to grow marijuana? Here are the tools and information on how to grow weed affordably and effectively. All you need is a small discreet space and a little bit of a budget to get started on your indoor pot production.

Grow Tools

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners


The first thing you’ll need is a place to grow. I recommend getting yourself a decent grow tent. They’re cheap, made to grow inside of and can be put up and taken down quickly by one person. Some tents come with packages that include all kind of complicated hydroponic equipment. Your best bet is to purchase only what you need inside the tent and to learn how to grow weed without the expensive plastic. Some even have separate chambers for vegetative growth and cloning, making them perfect for people living in one-bedroom apartments or studios with limited room to grow.

First, you’ll need a growlight. I like HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting – HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) or MH (Metal Halide) systems with ballasts, bulbs and reflectors. If heat from these lights will be an issue, there are also LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and CFL (Compact Fluorescent) systems you can employ. Be sure to get a light that covers your tent’s footprint and invest in a decent timer to control when your light turns on and off.

You’ll also need an exhaust fan and activated carbon filter to reduce heat and eliminate odors. Be sure to get one that’s rated for your tent’s size with the proper ducting size. A clip-on circulating fan will keep air moving and stop it from being stagnant. A thermometer/hygrometer is also a must for keeping track of temperature and humidity.

If you don’t have access to marijuana seeds or clones from a dispensary or friend, you’ll need to get some cannabis seeds mailed to you. Don’t have them mailed to the same place you plan to grow if you’re not growing legally. Don’t just learn how to grow weed, learn how to be discreet and not brag or bring attention to yourself.

A simple loose and airy soil mix in 3-5 gallon buckets are great for beginners and much more forgiving than any hydroponic system. Be sure to cut holes in the bottom of the buckets and use saucers under them to catch any overflow. You’ll need to purchase nutrients to feed to your plants as they grow and a watering can as well.

How To Grow Weed

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

After you’ve planted your seeds or rooted your clones, it’s time to get them growing. Lower your reflector so that it’s closer to the plants rather than making them stretch to reach for light. Raise the lighting system as your plants grow. Set your light timer to be on for 18 hours per day and off for 6 hours. During this vegetative stage, the plant will grow leaves and branches but no flowers (unless it’s an auto-flowering plant).

Avoid overfeeding and overwatering your plants at all costs. Err on the side of caution as it’s always easier to add more nutrients or water than it is to take them away. Marijuana roots prefer a wet/dry cycle so lift up your buckets and you’ll get a better idea for if they need watering or not by the weight. The first sign of overfed plants is burnt leaf tips. The first rule of how to grow weed is to learn to stay off of its way sometimes.

Anytime space is limited for growing, some basic rules apply: Since square footage is at a premium, plans must take full advantage of each available inch. This means choosing between growing indica-dominant strains such as Hashplant, Afghani #1 or planning on using drastic trellising and training techniques if growing out sativas such as Super Silver Haze, Jack Herer or Kali Mist.

Pruning For Higher Yield

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

When pruning, start early and often. Cut or pinch branches just above the node where two new shoots will emerge. If you stay on top of this process, you’ll have plants that look like bonsai bushes, with plenty of bud sites but not a lot of stretching out and big gaps between nodes. This is the efficient way to get bigger yields out of small spaces but your vegetating time will increase so factor that into your schedule.

Don’t prune or pinch plants at all once they’ve begun flowering – you’ll only be decreasing your harvest at that point. If the branches are threatening to reach the light, bend them or tie them down to keep them from burning. A trellis system constructed from chicken wire at canopy level (aka the ScrOG or Screen of Green system), will further spread out bud sites and increase your yields considerably. Simply train growing shoots to grow horizontally along the bottom of the screen to fill empty spots.

Flower Power

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Indoors, The decision of when to induce flowering in your plants is entirely up to you. If you want to learn how to grow weed, it’s important to determine how much space you have and to factor in the fact that your plants will stretch for at least a few weeks after flowering is induced. I usually recommend one week per gallon of container, so a plant in a five-gallon bucket should get approximately five weeks of vegetative time.

When you’re ready to begin the flowering stage, switch your timer to a 12 hour on/12 hour off light cycle. Be sure never to interrupt the 12-hour dark period with any light. This confuses your plant and can cause serious problems.

Change your feeding regimen to one suited for flowering. Plant nutrients generally come in vegetative or flowering formulations so switch over to a “blooming” solution. Depending on the flowering time of your strain, determine when you have two weeks or so left and begin the flushing process. If you’re growing a 60-day flowering strain, start to flush your grow medium with only plain water around day 46.

Harvesting, Drying and Curing

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners


Knowing when and how to harvest your buds is as important as knowing how to grow weed.

Use a loupe or a strong magnifying scope to take a very close look at the trichomes; the tiny glandular stalk and head sometimes referred to as “crystals”. Up close, they resemble little glass mushrooms with a stem that forms a bulbous round clear top. Inside that gland head resides the psychoactive compounds (THC, CBD etc). Harvest when the majority of the gland heads begin to go cloudy white and before they’ve gone completely amber. Harvest when they’re mostly amber if you desire a more lethargic stone.

Post-harvest, you will trim and hang up your buds to dry. This process should take about a week or two depending on the humidity and heat in your area. It’s always best to keep this process slower than 3-4 days in order to ensure you aren’t locking in that “green” chlorophyll taste. Add a humidifier to your drying room if you think your nuggets are drying out too quickly. Never leave a fan blowing directly onto your drying colas but make sure air is circulating to avoid mold and bud-rot.

After you’ve determined that your buds are sufficiently dried you’re ready to jar them up for the cure. The stems should snap instead of bending and the outside of the flowers should feel bone dry to the touch. The truth is there is still plenty of water stuck in the bud and the curing process will slowly “sweat” out the remaining liquid.

Always use opaque jars (ones you can’t see inside) and place them in a cool dark place. Open up the jars to determine the level of moisture and leave them open if there’s any condensation forming on the inside of the glass. Slowly but surely, if you open and close the jars once or twice a day, the moist air will be replenished by dry air and the water that’s stuck in the middle of your bud will work its way to the outside and then out into the air altogether. After three weeks to a month or so curing, your buds should burn and taste perfectly.

A key part of learning how to grow weed is mastering drying and curing techniques. You do not want marijuana to dry too quickly or too slowly, as the ideal drying time for a healthy and flavorful marijuana plant is 10 to 14 days. In this video, you will learn the perfect temperature and humidity to dry and cure weed, as well as pro tips that will teach you how to grow weed and trim your plants like an experienced veteran, leaving you with a grade-A product. 

Attention to detail is essential if you are a beginner who is trying to learn how to grow weed. Even the most inconsequential detail could be the difference between a healthy plant and a dud. In this video, learn about the best type of container to use to grow your marijuana plant. We recommend a “smart pot,” which is a container that is made of breathable fabric that allows the roots of your plant to grow much larger. Larger roots mean a larger marijuana plant, which means a more bountiful weed yield when the time comes.

Tips on How to Grow Weed: The Hydroponic Garden

A hydroponic garden, also known as a “hydro” setup, is a very popular implementation to grow high-quality weed. In this video, an expert takes you through the ins and outs of a typical hydro setup, allowing you to see what it takes to successfully implement your own hydro setup at home. For those who are beginners just learning how to grow weed, a hydroponic garden may seem way too complicated to even consider. However, with some assistance from the experts at High Times, you can easily set up a hydro system that will give you an epic yield! 

Pest Control and Management

Looking for the basics of how to grow marijuana? Here are the tools and information on how to grow weed affordably and effectively. All you need is a small discreet space and a little bit of a budget to get started on your indoor pot production.

Grow Tools

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners


The first thing you’ll need is a place to grow. I recommend getting yourself a decent grow tent. They’re cheap, made to grow inside of and can be put up and taken down quickly by one person. Some tents come with packages that include all kind of complicated hydroponic equipment. Your best bet is to purchase only what you need inside the tent and to learn how to grow weed without the expensive plastic. Some even have separate chambers for vegetative growth and cloning, making them perfect for people living in one-bedroom apartments or studios with limited room to grow.

First, you’ll need a growlight. I like HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lighting – HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) or MH (Metal Halide) systems with ballasts, bulbs and reflectors. If heat from these lights will be an issue, there are also LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and CFL (Compact Fluorescent) systems you can employ. Be sure to get a light that covers your tent’s footprint and invest in a decent timer to control when your light turns on and off.

You’ll also need an exhaust fan and activated carbon filter to reduce heat and eliminate odors. Be sure to get one that’s rated for your tent’s size with the proper ducting size. A clip-on circulating fan will keep air moving and stop it from being stagnant. A thermometer/hygrometer is also a must for keeping track of temperature and humidity.

If you don’t have access to marijuana seeds or clones from a dispensary or friend, you’ll need to get some cannabis seeds mailed to you. Don’t have them mailed to the same place you plan to grow if you’re not growing legally. Don’t just learn how to grow weed, learn how to be discreet and not brag or bring attention to yourself.

A simple loose and airy soil mix in 3-5 gallon buckets are great for beginners and much more forgiving than any hydroponic system. Be sure to cut holes in the bottom of the buckets and use saucers under them to catch any overflow. You’ll need to purchase nutrients to feed to your plants as they grow and a watering can as well.

How To Grow Weed

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

After you’ve planted your seeds or rooted your clones, it’s time to get them growing. Lower your reflector so that it’s closer to the plants rather than making them stretch to reach for light. Raise the lighting system as your plants grow. Set your light timer to be on for 18 hours per day and off for 6 hours. During this vegetative stage, the plant will grow leaves and branches but no flowers (unless it’s an auto-flowering plant).

Avoid overfeeding and overwatering your plants at all costs. Err on the side of caution as it’s always easier to add more nutrients or water than it is to take them away. Marijuana roots prefer a wet/dry cycle so lift up your buckets and you’ll get a better idea for if they need watering or not by the weight. The first sign of overfed plants is burnt leaf tips. The first rule of how to grow weed is to learn to stay off of its way sometimes.

Anytime space is limited for growing, some basic rules apply: Since square footage is at a premium, plans must take full advantage of each available inch. This means choosing between growing indica-dominant strains such as Hashplant, Afghani #1 or planning on using drastic trellising and training techniques if growing out sativas such as Super Silver Haze, Jack Herer or Kali Mist.

Pruning For Higher Yield

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

When pruning, start early and often. Cut or pinch branches just above the node where two new shoots will emerge. If you stay on top of this process, you’ll have plants that look like bonsai bushes, with plenty of bud sites but not a lot of stretching out and big gaps between nodes. This is the efficient way to get bigger yields out of small spaces but your vegetating time will increase so factor that into your schedule.

Don’t prune or pinch plants at all once they’ve begun flowering – you’ll only be decreasing your harvest at that point. If the branches are threatening to reach the light, bend them or tie them down to keep them from burning. A trellis system constructed from chicken wire at canopy level (aka the ScrOG or Screen of Green system), will further spread out bud sites and increase your yields considerably. Simply train growing shoots to grow horizontally along the bottom of the screen to fill empty spots.

Flower Power

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Indoors, The decision of when to induce flowering in your plants is entirely up to you. If you want to learn how to grow weed, it’s important to determine how much space you have and to factor in the fact that your plants will stretch for at least a few weeks after flowering is induced. I usually recommend one week per gallon of container, so a plant in a five-gallon bucket should get approximately five weeks of vegetative time.

When you’re ready to begin the flowering stage, switch your timer to a 12 hour on/12 hour off light cycle. Be sure never to interrupt the 12-hour dark period with any light. This confuses your plant and can cause serious problems.

Change your feeding regimen to one suited for flowering. Plant nutrients generally come in vegetative or flowering formulations so switch over to a “blooming” solution. Depending on the flowering time of your strain, determine when you have two weeks or so left and begin the flushing process. If you’re growing a 60-day flowering strain, start to flush your grow medium with only plain water around day 46.

Harvesting, Drying and Curing

How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners


Knowing when and how to harvest your buds is as important as knowing how to grow weed.

Use a loupe or a strong magnifying scope to take a very close look at the trichomes; the tiny glandular stalk and head sometimes referred to as “crystals”. Up close, they resemble little glass mushrooms with a stem that forms a bulbous round clear top. Inside that gland head resides the psychoactive compounds (THC, CBD etc). Harvest when the majority of the gland heads begin to go cloudy white and before they’ve gone completely amber. Harvest when they’re mostly amber if you desire a more lethargic stone.

Post-harvest, you will trim and hang up your buds to dry. This process should take about a week or two depending on the humidity and heat in your area. It’s always best to keep this process slower than 3-4 days in order to ensure you aren’t locking in that “green” chlorophyll taste. Add a humidifier to your drying room if you think your nuggets are drying out too quickly. Never leave a fan blowing directly onto your drying colas but make sure air is circulating to avoid mold and bud-rot.

After you’ve determined that your buds are sufficiently dried you’re ready to jar them up for the cure. The stems should snap instead of bending and the outside of the flowers should feel bone dry to the touch. The truth is there is still plenty of water stuck in the bud and the curing process will slowly “sweat” out the remaining liquid.

Always use opaque jars (ones you can’t see inside) and place them in a cool dark place. Open up the jars to determine the level of moisture and leave them open if there’s any condensation forming on the inside of the glass. Slowly but surely, if you open and close the jars once or twice a day, the moist air will be replenished by dry air and the water that’s stuck in the middle of your bud will work its way to the outside and then out into the air altogether. After three weeks to a month or so curing, your buds should burn and taste perfectly.

Pro Tips for Proper Drying and Curing

A key part of learning how to grow weed is mastering drying and curing techniques. You do not want marijuana to dry too quickly or too slowly, as the ideal drying time for a healthy and flavorful marijuana plant is 10 to 14 days. In this video, you will learn the perfect temperature and humidity to dry and cure weed, as well as pro tips that will teach you how to grow weed and trim your plants like an experienced veteran, leaving you with a grade-A product. 

Tips on How to Grow Weed: The Smart Pot

Attention to detail is essential if you are a beginner who is trying to learn how to grow weed. Even the most inconsequential detail could be the difference between a healthy plant and a dud. In this video, learn about the best type of container to use to grow your marijuana plant. We recommend a “smart pot,” which is a container that is made of breathable fabric that allows the roots of your plant to grow much larger. Larger roots mean a larger marijuana plant, which means a more bountiful weed yield when the time comes.

Tips on How to Grow Weed: The Hydroponic Garden

A hydroponic garden, also known as a “hydro” setup, is a very popular implementation to grow high-quality weed. In this video, an expert takes you through the ins and outs of a typical hydro setup, allowing you to see what it takes to successfully implement your own hydro setup at home. For those who are beginners just learning how to grow weed, a hydroponic garden may seem way too complicated to even consider. However, with some assistance from the experts at High Times, you can easily set up a hydro system that will give you an epic yield! 

Pest Control and Management

As with any garden, when growing marijuana, pests are a constant concern. For anyone learning how to grow weed, it is important to become well-versed in pest management. The last thing you want is for the marijuana crop that you have been working so hard on to be eaten away by a pest infestation. This video teaches you how to ward away pests from your precious plants with integrated pest management, stopping an infestation before it can even happen. Just a few simple steps can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

Final Hit: How To Grow Weed

Now you know the basics of how to grow marijuana from seed to harvest. It’s time to get yourself the tools you need and get started today. And remember to take notes, or even better, start your own anonymous online Grow Diary.

Danko, Danny. “How To Grow Weed: A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners.” High Times, 2 Jan. 2020,

Hemp Cleans Toxic Soil and Produces Clean CBD flower, Study Finds

Researchers found that toxic soil spurred higher CBD production in hemp plants, without tainting the flower. (pingpao/AdobeStock)

The cannabis sativa plant produces more cannabinoids when stressed. That’s a fact long known to growers seeking higher levels of THC and CBD.Researchers found that stressing hemp with toxic soil actually boosted CBD levels.

Stressing plants also comes with risk. Stressed plants have a tendency to turn hermaphrodite—producing seeds and pollen rather than buds laden with cannabinoids. It’s the female cannabis plant that produces flower. That’s why only a reckless or foolish grower will deliberately subject their crop to extremes in heat, thirst, or other things that might freak a plant out.

But when low-THC hemp plants are stressed specifically by growing in soil contaminated with toxic heavy metals from coal mining, the hemp plants produce an abundance of CBD, recent research published in the journal PLos One has found.

And that CBD boost apparently happens without a boost in THC levels, which is critically important for hemp farmers. THC levels must remain below 0.3% for hemp plants to remain legal in Europe, Canada, and the United States.RelatedWhat is CBD oil? A beginner’s guide to cannabidiol extracts

Toxic soil produces clean hemp flower

The heavy metals taken up by cannabis plants grown in coal mining remediation fields were expressed in the leaves of the mature plants. But, critically, the heavy metals did not appear in the floral buds where cannabinoids, including valuable CBD, is concentrated, the researchers told Leafly.

“We did see metal uptake in the leaves and removal from the soil but not in the floral buds,” said Sairam Rudrabhatla, a professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg and one of the study’s lead authors.

Details about the analysis of the flower buds was not published in the study. But when the buds were tested for heavy metals, “none were present,” as Hannah George, lab manager at Penn State’s Central Pennsylvania Research and Teaching Laboratory for Biofuels, confirmed to Leafly via email.RelatedAre High-CBD Hemp Flowers the Next Big Thing in Cannabis?

Cannabis: A known remediation agent

Cannabis’s ability to remove toxic material from the soil—a technique called phytoremediation—is well known. Cannabis phytoremediation has been used to remove radioactive contaminants from areas around the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, and activists are hoping to use hemp to remove plutonium from land surrounding the former US nuclear weapons factory in Rocky Flats, Colorado.

Researchers are still perfecting their techniques with regard to phytoremediation. At Chernobyl, cannabis proved to be an excellent remediation agent, but the plants that did the best job of removing cesium-137, the radioactive byproduct contaminating the exclusion zone, were cultivars of amaranth.

Opens new fields to hemp cultivation

The findings in the recent PLos One study represent the first demonstration that cannabinoid production can be “remarkably influenced by mine land soil conditions.” And they present a new and potentially lucrative opportunity for hemp cultivators seeking available land in the ongoing CBD-fueled hemp boom.

With agricultural production acreage limited due to existing food production and encroaching suburban development, land that’s currently considered toxic and unsuitable for agriculture can be used to cultivate hemp.

The hemp plants will remove some of the toxic heavy metals, thereby unlocking more potential for the previously “useless” mine land soil. And since the hemp will also produce more CBD than hemp grown in clean soil, there’s a built-in financial incentive to grow in those problematic soils, Rudrabhatla said.

‘We expected the plants to die’

“We were very surprised and then very excited to see this kind of thing can actually work. What we were expecting was that all the hemp plants would die,” Rudrabhatla added. “Honestly, that’s what we were expecting.”

“If you remove the word mine land, and introduce a drought stress, or a soil stress, or deprivation of nutrients like magnesium or phosphorous, the response would be very similar,” he noted. “The only advantage with mine land soil is that that soil is doing nothing right now. We can grow on this soil and remediate this soil, so it can then grow valuable food crops.”

Six cultivars of hemp

The researchers obtained six different cultivars of industrial hemp from the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture. Three of those cultivars are recommended to grow for fiber and seed only, while three others are recommended as CBD source material. The researchers grew them in two different types of contaminated soil and in two commercial soils: Miracle-Gro potting mix and PRO-MIX HP Mycorrhizae High Porosity Grower Mix.

Contaminants present in the mine land soil included nickel, cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury.

All of the plants were expected to produced less than 0.3% THC (the maximum allowable THC content in hemp) and no more than 2% CBD.

Greenhouse vs outdoor grows

The researchers grew each plant in each soil in greenhouse conditions as well as outdoors. They grew each variety in between 12 and 18 pots of three seeds each per hemp cultivar, for total of 132 pots in the entire study.

The hemp grown in mine land soil produced 2.16% and 2.58% CBD—perhaps not enough to impress a grower, but “a significant increase” over the 1.08% and 1.6% CBD content produced by plants in the Miracle-Gro soil grown outdoors and in greenhouse conditions, respectively.

“Total CBD content in the floral buds grown in mine land 1 soil in both outdoors and in the greenhouse was higher than the floral buds grown in Miracle-Gro in both environmental parameters and in the field, which can be concluded due to the heavy metal stress,” the researchers wrote.

Stress also boosted THC in one strain

However, the overproduction-due-to-stress phenomenon cut both ways: One strain overproduced THC beyond the 0.3 percent limit, which means the crop would have to be destroyed if it were a commercial harvest.

Why and how does the plant do this? The heavy metals seem to trigger a genetic response in the plants that leads to an overproduction of the acids that determine later cannabinoid production.

“Notably, Cannabidiolic acid synthase (CBDAS) was expressed 18 times higher in the mine land soil,” the researchers wrote, adding that “hemp increased total CBD content under high heavy metal conditions and was a result of enhancement of CBDAS and OAC (oliveatolic acid synclase) gene expression.”Related6 common myths and controversies about high-CBD cannabis

Suitable for human consumption?

What interest the market would have in CBD sourced from such material is a different matter.

In the recent past, CBD advocacy organizations such as Project CBD have drawn attention to CBD products sourced from industrial hemp, observed Chris Boucher, the CEO of California-based Farmtiva and co-founder of the Hemp Industries Association, who has been involved with hemp farming and the hemp business since the 1980s.’The main part of the market will probably be a little fearful of hemp grown in toxic soil.’Chris Boucher, Hemp Industries Association co-founder

“The main part of the market will probably be a little fearful of hemp grown in toxic soil,” Boucher said. “That’s the dilemma I see. Right now, they’re beating the drum: ‘If you don’t use organic , it will be toxic and poisonous.’”

“There are a lot of anti-hemp CBD people in the marijuana industry,” he observed, and if word got out that a certain company was sourcing their CBD from hemp grown on, say, Pennsylvania mine land or Colorado nuclear brownfields, that company’s reputation might take a serious hit.

Not that it necessarily should. As documented in the PLos One study, the plants can absorb heavy metals without those metals presenting in the flower—and what’s left, in addition to cleaner soil that can be put back into the production of food or other crops, is a load more CBD than the seed breeders promised.

“It’s very remarkable,” Rudrabhatla said. “Not many plants can sustain that level of nickel, arsenic, and so many toxins. It’s a remarkable plant, with numerous properties.”

Roberts, Chris. “Hemp Cleans Toxic Soil and Produces Clean CBD Flower, Study Finds.” Leafly, 23 Dec. 2019,

Jack Herer

Jack Herer is a sativa-dominant cannabis strain that has gained as much renown as its namesake, the marijuana activist and author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Combining a Haze hybrid with a Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk cross, Sensi Seeds created Jack Herer hoping to capture both cerebral elevation and heavy resin production. Its rich genetic background gives rise to several different variations of Jack Herer, each phenotype bearing its own unique features and effects. However, consumers typically describe this 55% sativa hybrid as blissful, clear-headed, and creative.

Jack Herer was created in the Netherlands in the mid-1990s, where it was later distributed by Dutch pharmacies as a recognized medical-grade strain. Since then, this spicy, pine-scented strain has taken home numerous awards for its quality and potency. Many breeders have attempted to cultivate this staple strain themselves in sunny or Mediterranean climates, and indoor growers should wait 50 to 70 days for Jack Herer to flower.

“Discover Cannabis on Leafly: Jack Herer Strain Details.” Leafly,

Granddaddy Purple

Introduced in 2003 by Ken Estes, Granddaddy Purple (or GDP) is a famous indica cross of Purple Urkleand Big Bud. This California staple inherits a complex grape and berryaroma from its Purple Urkle parent, while Big Bud passes on its oversized, compact bud structure. GDP flowers bloom in shades of deep purple, a contrasting backdrop for its snow-like dusting of white crystal resin.

Its potent effects are clearly detectable in both mind and body, delivering a fusion of cerebral euphoria and physical relaxation. While your thoughts may float in a dreamy buzz, your body is more likely to find itself fixed in one spot for the duration of GDP’s effects. Granddaddy Purple is typically pulled off the shelf for consumers looking to combat painstressinsomniaappetite loss, and muscle spasms. GDP blesses growers with massive yields which are ready for harvest following a 60 day flowering time indoors.

“Discover Cannabis on Leafly: Granddaddy Purple Strain Details.” Leafly,

OG Kush

OG Kush was first cultivated in Florida, in the early ‘90s when a strain from Northern California was crossed with a Hindu Kush plant from Amsterdam. The result was a hybrid with a unique terpene profile that boasts a complex aroma with notes of fuel, skunk, and spice. 

The genetic backbone of West Coast cannabis varieties, OG Kush arrived in Los Angeles in 1996 when Matt “Bubba” Berger brought it (along with “The Bubba,” which was later used to create the famed Bubba Kush) from Florida to legendary cultivator Josh D. Since then, OG Kush has become a worldwide staple used to create numerous famous strains like GSC and Headband. There are many different phenotypes of OG Kush, including Tahoe OGSFV OG, and Ghost OG.

“Discover Cannabis on Leafly: OG Kush Strain Details.” Leafly,

Green Crack

Don’t let the name fool you: this is pure cannabis. Few strains compare to Green Crack’s sharp energy and focus as it induces an invigorating mental buzz that keeps you going throughout the day. With a tangy, fruity flavor redolent of mango, Green Crack is a great daytime strain that may help consumers fight fatigue, stress, and depression. Because its name perpetuates a negative image of cannabis, some people have taken to calling this strain Cush (with a ‘C’) or Green Cush instead.

“Discover Cannabis on Leafly: Green Crack Strain Details.” Leafly,


GSC, formerly known as Girl Scout Cookies, is an OG Kush and Durban Poison hybrid cross whose reputation grew too large to stay within the borders of its California homeland. With a sweet and earthy aroma, GSC launches you to euphoria’s top floor where full-body relaxation meets a time-bending cerebral space. A little goes a long way with this hybrid, whose THC heights have won GSC numerous Cannabis Cup awards. Patients needing a strong dose of relief, however, may look to GSC for severe painnausea, and appetite loss.

There are several different phenotypesof the GSC strain including Thin Mintand Platinum GSC, which exhibit some variation in appearance and effect. Typically, however, GSC expresses its beauty in twisting green calyxeswrapped in purple leaves and fiery orange hairs. Patients and consumers looking to cultivate this cannabis staple themselves should wait 9 to 10 weeks for their indoor plants to finish flowering.

“Discover Cannabis on Leafly: GSC Strain Details.” Leafly,

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel, sometimes called Sour D, is an invigorating sativa-dominant strain named after its pungentdiesel-like aroma. This fast-acting strain delivers energizing, dreamy cerebral effects that have pushed Sour Diesel to its legendary status. Stresspain, and depression fade away in long-lasting relief that makes Sour Diesel a top choice among medical patients. This strain took root in the early ’90s, and it is believed to have descended from Chemdog 91 and Super Skunk.

“Discover Cannabis on Leafly: Sour Diesel Strain Details.” Leafly,

Blue Dream

Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid originating in California, has achieved legendary status among West Coast strains. Crossing Blueberry with Haze, Blue Dream balances full-body relaxation with gentle cerebral invigoration. Novice and veteran consumers alike enjoy the level effects of Blue Dream, which ease you gently into a calm euphoria. 

With a sweet berry aroma redolent of its Blueberry parent, Blue Dream delivers swift symptom relief without heavy sedative effects. This makes Blue Dream a popular daytime medicine for patients treating paindepressionnausea, and other ailments requiring a high THC strain

“Discover Cannabis on Leafly: Blue Dream Strain Details.” Leafly,

10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places

Looking for the most resilient strains to grow in less-than-ideal climates? We got it covered. Here’s a list of the best weed strains to grow in cold places.

10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places

It was a challenge, but we’ve identified the best weed strains to grow in cold places. Being able to grow your bud outdoors in the traditional fashion is a gift appreciated by only the truest of cannabis connoisseurs. Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t always kind, and we all can’t live in beautiful 80° weather year round. While outdoor growing can prove difficult for those living in a colder climate, it’s certainly not impossible. The first step to growing bud in cold weather is choosing the right strain. Luckily, there are certain strains that thrive growing in cooler temperatures. So without further delay, here are the ten best weed strains to grow in cold places.


Afghan Kush Strain Review And Information

 Green Rush Daily

Afghan Kush is one of the classic strains of indica, and also happens to be one of the best weed strains to grow in cold places. It delivers a potent body high to its users and is great for a relaxing smoke sesh. It was originally grown in the Hindu Kush Mountains, so naturally, it can be grown in cooler climates.


Northern Lights Strain Review And Information

One of the classic strains of all-time, Northern Lights has been grown in virtually every climate known to man. It is one of the most crossed strains of cannabis, which makes it adaptable to different temperatures. It’s typically harvested in late October, so cooler temperatures should not be an issue.


10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places

Blackberry contains the classic sativa buzz, but also contains some indica qualities. The high won’t melt you into a couch, but it is potent and good for anxiety and stress. While it is best grown indoors, it has proven to be a resilient crop. It is highly resistant to mold, making it an ideal choice to grow outside in the cold if need-be.


Super Skunk Strain Information

Super Skunk is an indica-dominant strain that will give you an intense, couch-lock body high. The reason it gets it gets the title “super” is due to its ability to survive through virtually any growing environment. Although Super Skunk grows better in sunny, Mediterranean environments, it’s suitable to grow outdoors if growers manage to keep close tabs on it.


10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places

A pure sativa, Durban Poison is known to give users a euphoric and uplifting high. Although it should ideally be grown in a sunny area, it can easily adapt to growing in cooler climates. However, if it’s a little too cold, you may want to try growing it in a hydroponic environment, something that it typically thrives in.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jack-herer-strain-review-information-3.jpg

Jack Herer has proven to be one of the most popular hybrids of all time, and also happens to be one of the best weed strains to grow in cold places. Its sativa-dominant nature makes it an ideal grow for outdoors. Additionally, its vast genetic background makes it highly adaptable to colder climates, especially when it’s of the auto-flowering variety.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lsd-strain-review-and-information-1.jpg

LSD is one of the most famous hybrid strains and is known for giving users an almost psychedelic high, resembling the drug it’s named after. It’s naturally resistant to parasites and pesticides, so it’s an ideal strain to grow outdoors. LSD is typically grown in shaded areas, so growing it in cooler climates is actually ideal.


10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places

Blue Cheese is known for providing its users with a relaxing high, without getting them too drowsy to function. Originating in Europe, Blue Cheese is naturally resistant to mold and actually prefers to be grown in a colder environment. Growers should have no problem garnering a high yield with Blue Cheese, even in frigid temperatures.


10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places

Critical is a heavy-yielding strain that is versatile enough to be grown indoors and outdoors. A fast bloomer, Critical should be ideally harvested in late September. Its short flowering time makes Critical one of the ideal strains to grow in cooler climates.


10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places

White Widow is perhaps the best weed strains to grow in cold places. The strain is known for the euphoric head high it gives its users, and remains one of the more popular hybrids. Due to its Dutch origins, White Widow is more than capable of handling the cold weather. It’s also naturally capable of fighting off disease and pests, making it an ideal strain to grow in a cold-weather climate.


While finding the right strain isn’t always easy for cold weather growers, there’s clearly a few options available. Obviously, growing outdoors in a cooler climate isn’t ideal, but it’s totally doable. If you do decide to give it a go, make sure you reference this list of the aforementioned strains. It will definitely improve both your yield and the quality of your buds.

Kohut, ByTim. “10 Best Weed Strains to Grow in Cold Places.” Green Rush Daily, 27 Sept. 2017,

11 Strain Names Changed For Legal Reasons

Wondering why some classic strain names have started to disappear? A lawsuit is likely to blame.

Coming up with creative, wacky, or funny names for new cannabis strains has long been a staple of weed culture. Many times, breeders and growers choose names that reference other products or cultural objects. Now, many of those names are coming under fire for intellectual property infringement. Wondering why some of your favorite strain names changed? Consider it one of the unintended consequences of legalization. In any case, here are 11 times strain names changed to dodge lawsuits.


11 Strain Names Changed For Legal Reasons

High Times Archive

This is one of the most publicized examples of a company going after a marijuana strain name. In 2017, the glue company Gorilla Glue filed a lawsuit against the makers of the Gorilla Glue weed strain.

Today, you can still find the Gorilla Glue strain. But don’t look for it under that name. The strain is now called simply GG. Similarly, all the variants of this strain also go by GG, followed by a number like GG #4.


Obviously, this one wasn’t going to stand for too long. This popular strain is explicitly named after the organization for girls that goes by the exact same name as the strain.

Like the makers of the Gorilla Glue—now GG—strain, the folks behind this one went with a simple solution. Instead of calling it Girl Scout Cookies, it’s now simply GSC.


This variation of the GSC strain also ran into the same problems as the original namesake. When it became too risky to brand the strain as Girl Scout Cookies, the name Platinum Girl Scout Cookies also went out the window.

In some cases, strains labeled GSC are actually Platinum Girl Scout Cookies, so ask around to see what this strain is called in your location. This would be a good thing to ask your local budtender about.


11 Strain Names Changed For Legal Reasons

High Times Archive

Like the other Girl Scout-related strains on this list, Thin Mint had to be done away with when Girl Scouts USA sent a cease and desist letter to a dispensary in Oakland called Magnolia Oakland collective.

But given that thin mints are a perennial favorite among purchasers of real Girl Scout cookies, getting some actual thin mints could be a good option for your post-sesh munchies.


The Jägermeister cannabis strain wasn’t all very well known to begin with. And now it’s even less well known. That’s because the makers of this strain apparently ditched the moniker in anticipation of potential legal challenges.

Much like the Girl Scout Cookies strains, this strain is being labeled JGR for short, now.

As far as we’ve heard, the German liquor company didn’t actually file any formal complaint. Instead, it looks like whoever was making and selling this fairly obscure strain simply changed the name before anything bad happened.


George Lucas has built up a massive intellectual property empire. And before legalization started taking off, there was an equally well-known group of cannabis strains with Star Wars related names.

Skywalker was one of the better known Star Wars strains. But that name has since been done away with. As far as we know George Lucas’s company, LucasArts, hasn’t actually filed any lawsuits. Instead, it appears that marijuana companies are changing the name as a preventive measure.

If you’ve been wondering where the Skywalker strain went, legal cannabis brands are calling it Mazar x Blueberry.


Skywalker OG could very well be the most famous and most popular of all the Star Wars-themed cannabis strains. But as happened to its Skywalker predecessor, you probably won’t be seeing the name Skywalker OG on dispensary shelves for too much longer.

Rather than get embroiled in an IP battle with someone as big as LucasArts, marijuana companies are starting to rebrand strains like Skywalker OG.

Like Skywalker, Skywalker OG is now being labeled after its parent strains Mazar x Blueberry OG.


11 Strain Names Changed For Legal Reasons

High Times Archive

This fruity cross between Grape and Grapefruit strains is known for giving consumers a tasty and well-balanced indicaexperience.

And while the strain gained popularity over the last few years, its been called Zkittlez its first cannabis cup award in 2015. You probably won’t see it labeled Skittles anywhere. Rather than face a lawsuit, the creators (3rd Gen Family and Terp Hogz) named the fruity strain Zkittlez.


Earlier this year, Hershey’s went after a couple cannabis companies, claiming copyright infringement. One of the companies Hershey’s targeted was Jolly Meds, makers of hard candy-style edibles.

In this case, it looks like Hershey’s had two main problems with the company. First, they claimed the edibles looked too much like the candy Jolly Ranchers. And second, the name of the product, which references the same candies.

While Jolly Meds isn’t an actual strain, we thought it still deserved a spot on this list since it was a cannabis product that came under scrutiny by a larger company claiming IP infringement.


The strain name Candyland hasn’t necessarily been changed universally. And the makers of the popular children’s game haven’t filed a lawsuit. Despite this, the strain name is still banned in some places because it directly references a well-known board game.

For example, the state of Oregon does not allow dispensaries to sell the strain under this specific name. That’s because the state has laws banning any sort of marketing or branding that could appeal to children or underage consumers.


Charlotte’s Web is on this list for the same reason as Candyland. This is arguably one of the most famous strains in the world. It was designed to be a high CBD, low THC strain intended for children suffering from epilepsy.

And while its name is the same as the well-known children’s book, it was actually named for a young girl who inspired the creators of this strain. Despite this, some places, like Oregon for example, have banned the name for its reference to themes that could appeal to children.


The more that cannabis becomes legally produced, marketed, and sold, the more likely it is that some strain names will come under fire from companies claiming IP infringement.

As you can see from this list, many strains that have been around for years have already faced legal challenges. As a result, many of these names have been changed.

Moving forward, it seems unlikely that breeders and other marijuana companies will adopt referential names. The era of naming weed strains after other foods, products, companies, or brands could very well be a thing of the past.

Lindsey, ByNick. “11 Strain Names Changed For Legal Reasons.” Green Rush Daily, 28 Aug. 2018,

AJ’s Sour Diesel

AJ’s Sour Diesel is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain. These flowers smell like like skunk with undertones of pine and citrus. The smoke is smooth with a slightly earthy, hash-like taste. This strain will leave users feeling stress free, clear-headed and energized with a slightly racy heart rate.

“AJ’s Sour Diesel – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,


XJ-13 is a potent hybrid strain with flowers that smell sour, earthy and slightly sweet like citrus fruit with subtle hints of pine. The smoke is thick and menthol-like on the inhale with more of a spiciness experienced on the exhale. This strain will leave users feeling a beautiful and intense combination of pain-relieving limb numbness and body tingling with mostly clear-headed cerebral relaxation.

“XJ13 – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,

Wonder Haze

This sativa-dominant strain has flowers that smell mildly herbal and earthy with pine and skunk undertones. Intense body tingling and limb numbness will creep in over time, but the energizing euphoria hits immediately.

“Wonder Haze – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,


Yumboldt is a potent indica strain with flowers that smell earthy and sweet like citrus fruit. This strain leaves users with such pleasant feelings of euphoria and relaxation that smiling is almost guaranteed. Yumboldt may also induce drowsiness after a couple of hours.

“Yumboldt – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,

Zeta Stage

Zeta Stage is a top notch strain. These flowers smell sweet like blueberries with undertones of fuel. This strain will leave users with a truly euphoric cerebral buzz.

“Zeta Stage – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,

Afghan Kush

Afghan Kush is a pure indica strain said to have originated in the Hindu Kush Mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan. These flowers smell strongly of earth and wood with subtle undertones of sweetness. This strain is known to induce intense relaxation that may hinder functionality, induce drowsiness and increase appetite.

“Afghan Kush – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,

818 Headband

818 Headband is an absolutely delightful hybrid strain! The smell is earthy and a little bit sour. The smoke is very smooth, and leaves an aftertaste of wood and pine upon exhalation. This strain provides an energizing, yet calming and relaxing cerebral high that would be good for relief from stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

“818 Headband – Marijuana Strains.” MassRoots,

Hawaii’s Big Island Grown

We travel to Hawaii for an exclusive tour of legal medical marijuana provider Big Island Grown’s three retail dispensaries and huge cannabis growing and processing facility.

Meet the team behind a thriving cannabis company in Hawaii that has three retail medical-marijuana shops and a huge grow facility built specifically to cultivate cannabis in one of the world’s most unique climates—the big island.

What’s In Store?

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Hawaii’s Big Island for the first time. My friend James Rushing, CEO of the cannabis-consulting firm White Coat Services, had arranged for me to tour the cultivation facilities of Big Island Grown, locally known as B.I.G. Formerly called Lau Ola, Big Island Grown is a locally owned and operated, vertically integrated company with three medical-marijuana retail locations on the Big Island—Hilo, Waimea and Kona. The Hilo location opened in January as the first cannabis dispensary on the Big Island, and perhaps the only dispensary in the world located on an active volcano.

My trip started with a tour of the Hilo shop, which has a comfortable lobby and waiting area designed with local hardwood and iPads for advance pre-ordering of medicine for those with valid state medical-marijuana cards only. Dr. Jaclyn Moore, Big Island Grown’s CEO, explained that her company wants patients to “understand how their medicine is grown and manufactured… We’re farm-to-patient in our approach to patient education.”

Big Island Grown’s pricing is purposefully affordable, with $30 eighths and $200 ounces available—practically half the price found at other Hawaii dispensaries. The company aims to provide reasonably priced, high-quality medicine with a diversity of options, lab-tested for pesticides, bacteria, mycotoxins, heavy metals and residual solvents, with cannabinoids and terpenes plainly listed at the shops. (There’s even a terpene wheel at the dispensaries that allows patients to enter the feeling and the flavor they desire which then offers product recommendations.)

According to Dr. Moore, when Big Island Grown was awarded one of only eight licenses in the state, it was seen as a responsibility to execute the state’s vision and to serve patients. “We spent every dollar necessary to build a top-notch, medically focused facility,” she said, “because it is truly about providing patients with clean, quality medicine.” While some other dispensaries don’t support home growing, Dr. Moore said that at Big Island Grown, “We support the patients’ right to grow their own if they choose. We want to eventually be able to sell them clones and seeds, which is currently not allowable.”

Hawaiian medical-marijuana legal requirements are very strict with compliance testing, so producers have to have total control over the grow climate to avoid pests. Big Island Grown founder and COO Dylan Shropshire, a fifth-generation farmer on Hawaii, understands the difficulties of cultivating on the Hamakua Coast, but specifically chose it to be his home because of the need for job opportunities since the shutdown of local sugarcane plantations.

“Cultivating cannabis on the windward side of the Big Island of Hawaii, from an integrated pest management prospective, is one of the most difficult places in the world to produce microbe-free, clean, safe cannabis, without the use of pesticides or inoculants,” explains James Rushing, a plant and soil biologist. “Most mainland environments experience periods of reduced pathogen occurrence due to changes in the annual climate. Here in Pepeekeo, we experience regular temperatures of 82°F (28°C) with an average 127 inches of rain a year. The pathogen pressures are immense in this area,” he explains.

After a delicious lunch at the Vibe Cafe next door to the dispensary, Shropshire, Rushing and I headed to the town of Pepeekeo on the Hamakua Coast to tour Big Island Grown’s cultivation center.

Mountain High

We drove up the lower hills of Mauna Kea (the tallest mountain in the world, as measured from the ocean floor) on the east side of the island, near Hilo, to the 35,000-square-foot facility. The building was purpose-built, meaning it was specifically designed for growing cannabis in the Hawaiian climate, effectively mitigating potential environmental and biological pressures. It sits on a former 600-acre banana farm that was once surrounded by sugarcane fields, and it makes great use of hydroelectric generation from spring-fed river flumes that were originally built to get sugarcane down from the mountains to the shore.

Repurposed to generate energy for the cooling rooms that ripened the fruits, the hydroelectric system now helps power the massive indoor pot farm. There’s also a 250-kilowatt biodiesel generator and a solar farm in the permitting stages. Cows and bulls graze around the perimeter to keep back the fast-growing jungle and as an added security layer.

Fresh Air

When I visited, Big Island Grown was utilizing 17,500 square feet of the facility, in which 32 strains were growing in three 2,000-square-foot flowering rooms. With ambient humidity in the area typically around 90 percent, the crew has to use cutting-edge clean-room technology to ensure a pest and pathogen-free environment.

“The key to this level of environmental mastery is positive air pressure,” Shropshire explained. “The flowering rooms are positioned in the center of the building, and all incoming external air is pumped through a HEPA filter into a thermal buffer zone that steps down the temperature [and] provides cooling and dehumidification to the air. That air is then pushed into the tightly sealed rooms at very low CFU [colony-forming unit, a measurement of biological non-contamination], providing a resistance against any airborne pathogens or incoming insects.”

In fact, the doors popped open quite strongly due to the internal pressure, so care had to be taken when entering and exiting the rooms. Multiple Quest dehumidifiers, ultrasonic humidifiers, and three-ton LG split AC units are placed throughout the growing rooms for redundancy. All of the equipment is connected through a series of sensors that monitor CO2, temperature, pH, humidity, and power. A Growtronix computer “brain” system makes real time adjustment from sensor readings to ensure that the vapor-pressure deficit is dialed in at all times throughout the different stages of cultivation.

Clean Water

Shropshire and his team continued showing me some of the technology deployed to ensure successful harvests under strict conditions. With a multiple pound-per-light average yield, Big Island Grown is producing large amounts of medicinal-quality cannabis while dealing with some intense constraints and restrictions.

The farmers at Big Island Grown start with a reverse-osmosis treatment of spring water from a source located on the farm and grow solely in coco coir with some perlite mixed in. They use a proprietary blend of organically derived food-grade liquid nutrients with a Hanna fertigation system utilizing drip irrigation with two emitters per pot for redundancy.

Lighting consists of Dimlux double-ended high-pressure sodium (HPS) rigs with checkerboard double-ended ceramic metal halides (CMH) on Dimlux Maxi controllers. Rotators raise and lower the lights easily.

Plants go from cuttings to the flowering stage in just four weeks. After they’re cloned, they go right into six-inch pots in a high-humidity environment. The pots have their bottoms cut out to avoid transplant shock in the next stage. Once rooted and vegged for three weeks, the plants are placed directly into 1.76-gallon flowering pots and start the budding stage.

Healthy Harvest

Plants are hung whole with just the fan leaves stripped in 50-60 percent humidity for seven to ten days. After that, the flowers are bucked (removed from the main stem) and put into containers for two weeks to cure at a 12-13 percent moisture level. Only then are they hand-trimmed by a professional crew and stored in a climate-controlled area for freshness.

One of Big Island Crown’s signature strains is its Hamakua Banana OG. The strain has acclimated to the islands and reeks of fresh dank bananas, which is quite ironic considering this was once home to the largest banana farm in the United States. The company also grows some Hawaiian varieties including the Big Island cut of White Widow, Maui Girl and Skunk Dog.

Another local favorite that Big Island Grown produces is Dutch Treat, a big yielder known on the islands as just Dutch. The company is also running Humboldt Seeds, CSI and Karma Genetics strains such as Josh D OG, Green Crack and Mendocino Purple Urkle. CBD-rich strains include CBD Critical Cure, a local Hawaii-acclimated cut of Cannatonic, and the in-house 20:1 CBD strain called Mauka Berry. The company plans to roll out over 75 unique phenotypes in the next year.

Entering another wing of the facility, we met Dr. Craig Pollard, who leads Big Island Crown’s manufacturing division. The company produces its own concentrates, including distillate and solventless cartridges, pharmacist-compounded infused topicals, CBD-rich tinctures and some fantastic-looking rosin. Extract artists in the in-house laboratory fresh-freeze harvested flowers, then freeze-dry the ice-water-extracted material that is then pressed into solventless live rosin. Patients can also purchase full-extract cannabis oil in syringes for the potent oral administration of activated THC.

Recently, the law was revised to allow visitors to Hawaii to take part in its medical-marijuana program. Out-of-state patients can purchase medical cannabis by applying for a medical card that is valid for 60 days—so you can now enjoy a trip to paradise and legally acquire and consume lab-tested and sustainably grown cannabis from Big Island Grown.

Danko, Danny. “Hawaii’s Big Island Grown.” High Times, 31 Oct. 2019,

The Best Hydroponic Methods For Growing Cannabis Yourself

Soilless agriculture results in explosive growth rates and huge yields. Choosing the right hydroponic system will determine how much you’ll eventually harvest

Be Like Water

We’ve all heard of hydroponics and the great things that can be done with it. However, choosing which type of hydroponic method to use in your individual situation can be a dilemma. That said, I’ve taken it upon myself to inform and educate you, the information-hungry grower. I’ll cover the commonly used methods, outlining the pros and cons of each. Hopefully, these lessons will rub off on you, and you’ll make the proper decision to suit your individual requirements and situation.

Your hydroponic setup can be as complicated or as simple as you like—it’s up to you. You can incorporate pumps, aerators, valves and switches, or you can fill a bucket with nutrient solution and simply pour it over your soilless growing medium. The flexibility of hydroponics is one of the main reasons it’s so effective and popular.

Individual drippers deliver liquid plant food directly to rock-wool cubes/ High Times

Peat & Perlite (Soilless Mix)

This most basic of methods uses a common planting container filled with peat moss and fortified with perlite. This method is the ultimate no-brainer, requiring little or no maintenance for the entire life cycle of your plants—you simply feed them some nutrient solution once or twice a day and watch them explode into lovely green foliage.

Perlite is required to increase the moisture-holding capacity of your growing medium. It’s cheap, commonly available and wonderfully inert, so it won’t interact with your nutrient solution to rob your pride and joy of essential nutrients.

A rockwool cube with your rooted clone or seedling is slightly buried in the pre-moistened peat and perlite. Be sure not to cover the top of the cube, just its sides and bottom. Peat is very porous, so the roots have a very airy environment to grow through, and this moist, oxygen-rich environment is exactly what they need to gain a solid footing in the growing medium. Rapid and prolific rooting is the key to future foliage growth.

While this method is great, it has the drawback of having the growing medium retain harmful salts left over by the nutrient solution. You can combat this by replacing the nutrient solution with plain, pH-balanced water every four or five days. While this leaches out a large portion of the salts near the roots, it doesn’t get rid of them—they simply migrate down to the bottom of the growing medium.

Another drawback to this method pertains to pests—an infestation of critters is extremely difficult to get rid of with the peat-and-perlite growing medium. This is because the uneven surface of the medium is rife with tiny crevices and holes, perfect sites for any critters to hide and reproduce in. If you have an infestation, you’ll actually have to replace the top inch or two of the medium to get rid of the hidden pests that take refuge there from insecticide. These moist hiding places also conceal insect eggs that can transform into the next generation of pests.

With this method, feeding plants is as easy as watering any other houseplant you may have. You can do it when you come home from work, or before bed. It’s entirely up to you—just be sure to keep the growing medium moist but not extremely wet.

Ebb & Flood

This is the method that I used to cut my teeth in hydroponics. The ebb-and-flood method uses a growing medium of pea gravel, sand or something of the like. There’s a lot of flexibility here. The idea is to allow room for the roots to grow through the medium unimpeded. I’ve heard of people using everything from their childhood marble collection to aquarium gravel. Even rocks dug up from the driveway work (if you clean them well enough).

This method can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. The most basic setup has a growing tray filled with the medium you’ve chosen, with a hose connected to the bottom of it. The other end of the hose is connected to the bottom of a bucket, which is used as a nutrient-solution reservoir. Fill the reservoir with the nutrient solution, and then lift the reservoir higher than the top of the growing-medium tray. The nutrient solution will flow from the reservoir into the tray, flooding the growing medium. Place the reservoir on the floor and the nutrient solution will flow from the tray back into the reservoir. Simple.

The major advantage of this method is that the roots are constantly moist and highly oxygenated. The solid, heavy growing medium—I recommend pea gravel—holds the roots better than do peat and perlite. There’s also ample room between the grains of the growing medium for the roots to grow almost entirely unimpeded. They’ll waste less energy trying to plow through the medium, making an extensive early root system. This lends itself to spectacular results later on.

One drawback to this method is that the tray has to be flooded three to four times daily, religiously. If you have a job, then your plants will suffer because you won’t be able to feed them sufficiently. This is a good reason to explore automating your ebb-and-flood setup. Use a pump to fill the tray, a float switch to signal when the tray is full and an electric valve that opens to allow the nutrient solution to flow back into the reservoir. An electric timer is also a must-have for this system.

You might be scratching your head trying to figure out how to implement this. Don’t worry: There’s a clever solution to this problem. Read on.

Plants grown hydroponically experience explosive growth rates/ High Times

Aerated Solution

If you want to use the ebb-and-flood method because of all of its perks, but you’re not home during the day and you’re no good with electrical things, here’s your solution: Use the same growing tray and medium as you would with the ebb-and-flood method, but don’t use a reservoir. With this system, the reservoir is replaced with an aquarium aerator. Hoses from the aerator are snaked along the bottom of the growing tray, and then the tray is filled with your growing medium.

The idea is to have the growing tray constantly filled with the nutrient solution (and growing medium). The aerator blows air through the perforated hoses on the bottom, keeping the nutrient solution from becoming stagnant. This process is known as aeration, and it’s what keeps the goldfish alive in your aquarium. The rising air bubbles circulate and provide a constant flow of the nutrient solution to the roots of your plants.

With a setup like this, you need only to check for critters every now and then and to replace the nutrient solution once or twice a week. It is the best solution for the working grower, providing absolutely amazing results with minimum complications. I’ve used this setup since figuring it out nine years ago, and I have absolutely no complaints. The pleasant hum of that aerator puts me to sleep at night.

Nutrient Film Technique

The nutrient film technique (NFT) is widely used in commercial operations because it is completely scalable, and it provides amazing results. You can expand your NFT system to cover acres of growing area if so inclined.

Basically, the nutrient solution constantly flows through a flat-bottomed tray or a wide, round pipe (PVC plumbing pipes work excellently for this). The solution is allowed to flow over the roots of the plant, delivering nutrients very efficiently. Because the plant roots are sitting in fast-flowing water, a large amount of oxygen is also delivered to them. Most NFT growers also aerate the nutrient solution in the reservoir to further increase its oxygen content.

No growing medium is used, so the roots expand at a phenomenal rate and amazing growth follows. Some common (legal) crops that are grown using this technique in commercial settings are tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchinis and even pumpkins.

While the advantage of this system is its phenomenal growth and infinite scalability, the foremost drawback is its complexity. To implement this technique, you need a high-flow pump, an aerator and a complicated network of piping or trays. The results are spectacular, but many feel the complexity and level of work involved aren’t worth it.

Another drawback to this method is the expense of setting it all up. The costs of a pump, aerator and assorted pipes add up quickly. It’s also very unforgiving with mistakes or oversights, which will cause headaches later on.

Roots expand quickly when misted with aerated nutrient solution/ High Times


This method is a spin-off of NFT, and the setup is almost the same. What changes, though, is the method of delivering the nutrient solution. Instead of having it flow over the roots, the solution is blown on the roots in a fine mist via a special nozzle, much like the fuel injector on your car. This method is still quasi-experimental, and it isn’t used very often. A major consideration is cost. Another factor is that no way (so far) has been found to keep the nozzles from getting clogged due to nutrient crystallization.


Aquaponics sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s actually the most involved way to grow hydroponically. It is a natural hydroponic method, using next to no processed chemicals. I’m mentioning it here only to be complete, though, as you wouldn’t actually use it in practice to grow your grass.

Basically, a crop is grown in a hydroponic solution (a growing medium is optional).

The nutrients for the solution are obtained by natural means, such as harvesting the effluent from a fish tank (an extremely rich source of the constituents used in regular, nonnatural hydroponics). The system has the benefit of being almost self-sustainable, but it’s extremely involved and labor-intensive to set up and maintain.

I highly doubt that marijuana has ever been or will be grown using this type of setup, but I felt I should mention it anyway.

Some Considerations

While cost is always something to keep in mind, your skill level as a grower is also something that you must consider. First-time growers should use the peat-and-perlite method. This allows you to learn and to improve your grow skills using a very simple and forgiving hydroponic method. While the results won’t be as spectacular as you’d see when using some of the other methods, it’s still a very effective way to grow. You won’t be disappointed.

Another consideration is location. Are you growing is a closet or a basement? Or do you have a dedicated room for your grow? A shed or garage, maybe? With seasoned growers that use only a closet or corner of their basement, the ebb-and-flood or aerated-solution methods should be used—NFT and aeroponics need space and are high-maintenance.

Be realistic about your requirements, space being the first thing to consider and therefore the deciding factor. If you want to squeeze your system into an area barely big enough for it, think about fixing a leak in a pipe with only a few inches between it and the wall. Not good.

Now for cost. The cheapest system I’ve outlined is the peat-and-perlite method, though I recommend the aerated-solution or ebb-and-flood method if you can swing it. The mild increase in cost is far outweighed by the results and the lack of headaches.

So those are the common hydroponic methods in a nutshell. I hope it will be useful to you. Best of luck in your growing endeavors!

Valentine, Thomas. “The Best Hydroponic Methods For Growing Cannabis Yourself.” High Times, 1 Oct. 2019,