Times are certainly changing, especially for marijuana and its related regulations and stereotypes. Even the word has morphed — the preferred term is now cannabis, which sounds more botanical, more chic Marin and less Cheech Marin. Now that cannabis is predicted to be the new wine, if you’re a home hobbyist and over 21 you can grow your own for personal use. That said, here are some fine (and broadleaf) details to know before you grow.
Keep your plant project private in your home or in a secure location, unless you have chill neighbors and there is no local ban on outdoor cultivation. The law is six plants per residence, not per person, although medical users can cultivate whatever they need, provided local zoning regulations permit it.
Sativa: tall-growing, narrow-leafed and frost-tender.
Indica: short, wide-leafed and more frost-resistant. Most growers recommend indica for its relatively easy care.
Whatever unsightly affliction attacks your plant, never spray pesticides as a remedy. Use natural and organic options.
Seeds or clones?
Starting from seeds offers you a wide variety to choose from, and seeds sprout strong taproots to anchor and sturdy the plant. Using clones eliminates the need to learn how to germinate seeds, but clones have shallow roots and are susceptible to fungi, pests and disease.
Consider buying feminized seeds (specially bred seeds that only produce female plants) because they are the only ones that grow buds (the part you smoke).
If want the plant to actually produce a yield, you won’t need an advanced degree in botany, but you will need to learn about light cycles, proper temperature and humidity, sufficient water and nutrients, good airflow, and pruning techniques.
Purchase seeds and clones online or buy clones from large growers like the East Bay dispensary Harborside.
Kit and caboodle
Many styles of grow-box kits exist that include all the serious supplies, such as lamps, fans, growing medium and grow sacks.
As any home brewer, winemaker or backyard gardener will tell you, successes and failures are expected with any DIY project.
NEED TO KNOW
Check the latest rules and laws in your area around growing and selling cannabis.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition under the headline: “Pot Primer“.