Newly legal cannabis crops hit the soil in the coming weeks in what has to be one of the most historic plantings ever for the once-maligned herb. Here are 12 things to know.
WARMTH The last day of frost is rapidly approaching in the U.S.’ domestic cultivation epicenter, California, and well-rooted, one to two-foot starters go into greenhouses this month and next.
LIGHT March 17 is the first day of 12 hours of sunlight per day in San Francisco. Many strains need supplemental light until the days get long enough to prevent flowering. Read up on the topic with the Marijuana Grower’s Handbook, or elsewhere.
BUMPER CROP The U.S. consumes an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 metric tons of pot per year, the majority of it imported from Mexico, though medical cannabis laws have pushed low-grade Mexican out of California, Colorado and other similar places.
GOLDEN STATE In California, one in 20 adults are estimated to have used medical cannabis, and several hundred thousand estimated patients can germinate up to 12 immature plants and keep up to six mature ones. A raft of local bans has sought to curtail the popular activity.
A64 COUNTRY In Colorado, adults 21 and over can grow six plants — three mature — recreationally in an “enclosed locked space” hidden from public view.
EVERGREEN While Washington lacks home-grow for recreational cannabis, medical folks can cultivate up to 15 plants.
NEW STATES In Oregon, Measure 71’s cultivation provisions don’t kick in until July 1, but Alaskan provisions did, and adults 21 and over there can grow six immature marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, in a non-public, secure location that isn’t freezing cold.
HYDRO-ONLY In Washington DC, outdoor cultivation remains illegal, but indoor pot-growing has been encouraged by the Washington DC police chief.
NATIONAL BLOSSOMING Twenty-three states and Washington DC have some form of medical cannabis legalization and four states now have legal weed. Hundreds of thousands of Americans can now cultivate it medically or recreational, provided they follow state and local laws.
BIG GATHERING The gardening industry is likely to see a bump from the new crop of growers. For example, The BIG Horticulture 360 conference debuts in Denver April 14 and 15, bringing together hundreds of cultivation supply brands during the week before Denver’s 4/20. Drawing on the success of the BIG Industry Show, Horticulture 360 is a b2b and b2c event for hoods, lights, nutrients, soils, and education, with a public exposition on April 15.
TRIBAL OPTIONS Indian Tribes are looking to get into the game this year, thanks to an Obama Administration memo allowing the activity on tribal lands. The National Indian Cannabis Coalition (NICC) officially launched at RES 2015, the National Indian Economic Development Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada March 10.
MORE HEMP And hemp will have its biggest year ever in the states, with farms from Oregon to Kentucky hoping to cash in on the food and fiber crop.
MORE HASH And 2015 will see more cannabis grown explicitly for extracting its active ingredients for use in edibles, topicals, tinctures, and good old fashioned hash.