Ask a Stoner: What’s Better for My Home-Grow, Basement or Attic?

Dear Stoner: What’s better for a small home grow, the attic or the basement? My attic is a decent size (about five-foot ceilings) and much more empty.
Joe Shingles

Dear Joe: An attic can be a dicey place to grow cannabis if you’re planning to live in the same home. While five feet might seem tall enough for an attic, you’ll probably want a reservoir to put your plants on so that water and growing mediums don’t spill out onto the attic floor (bad news for the ceiling below), and that can add a couple of feet. Most cannabis plants need more than three feet to thrive, but I’ve seen them grown in more cramped conditions. Still, you’ll probably have a much harder time modifying the electricity and ventilation in an attic to suit a home grow than you would in a basement.

Coloradans are legally allowed to have private marijuana cultivations in their homes if they are 21 and older.

Coloradans are legally allowed to have private marijuana cultivations in their homes if they are 21 and older.

Another downfall of attic grows: They can out your operation. There have been multiple reports in years past of police being able to identify and bust illegal cannabis grows in attics after snowstorms. Why? The electricity from the growing lights melts the snow, leaving the roof buck naked next to its powdery neighbors. So just move all that shit that’s in your basement upstairs, and put the grow below.

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Toke of the Town

Medicine Man Releases Three a Light Home-Grow Weed App for Apple Devices

If you’re thinking about starting a cannabis grow in your house but aren’t an expert botanist, don’t worry: There’s now an app for that. The first app to offer personal horticulture services specifically for weed launched on the Apple App Store at the end of January.

Three a Light, released by cannabis consulting firm Medicine Man Technologies, is based on the book of the same name that uses simple methods to teach regular people how to increase their yields — up to three pounds per light, thus the name of the book — from their cannabis plants. Adults 21 and up and medical marijuana patients in Colorado are allowed to grow anywhere from six to sixteen plants at home, depending on a variety of factors, including where they live and if they have a medical marijuana card.

Joshua Haupt, the chief cultivation officer at Medicine Man Technologies (a cannabis consulting firm owned by the same potrepreneurs behind Medicine Man dispensaries), first published the book Three a Light in 2015 after helping his friends in the Rocky Mountains grow for themselves. “I had a lot of friends with medical issues,” he says. “I made them a little pamphlet that was like, ‘Follow these steps,’ and everyone used it.”

His friends encouraged him to go bigger than a pamphlet, so Haupt wrote Three a Light, filling it with photos and illustrations explaining how to grow the plant to its full potential. There was a hole in the market for this type of book, according to Haupt, who believes there still isn’t literature available that explains the cultivation process from start to finish in a way that the weed-illiterate can understand.

After being out for a few years, he says, the book still maintains a high rating (it currently has a 4/5 rating on Amazon), so why the need to make an app? Shortly after the book came out, Haupt saw a need for customer service. And the most valuable piece of the app, he believes, is the interactive support it provides. The app holds much of the book’s content in a sleek design, with photos for each step of the cultivation process as well as a nutrient calendar and schedule for feeding. Users can sync their plants into the calendar and receive notifications for cultivation reminders.

But the coolest part of the app is the feature that lets growers talk with master growers.

For example, a grower struggling to identify a pest could upload a picture of it to the app and get a response during the company’s business hours. The master growers answering questions have all worked in grow facilities and have thousands of hours of experience working with Haupt.

“Essentially you just get the keys to the castle with the app in your hand,” Haupt says. “You get oversight from people who have been doing this on a much larger scale.” His goal is to help the cannabis industry become more successful and lower wholesale prices of cannabis, while also imparting necessary growing skills to people who need the plant for medical purposes and are choosing to grow at home to save money.

While both the book ($ 500) and app ($ 99.99) prices aren’t pocket change, they aren’t much compared to the startup costs of a home grow — or underperforming plants. “It’s a very expensive learning curve,” Haupt explains. “If you do something wrong, you could lose thousands of dollars.” He says he’s able to double the amount of cannabis yielded per plant through a combination of tactics, including a process called “schwazzing,” which involves defoliating the plants at specific times of the growing cycle.

“If you have a license to grow cannabis, you have a license to lose money — a lot of it,” Haupt says. “This is truly farming, so it’s not gonna be easy. You’ve got to earn every dollar.”

Toke of the Town

N.H. Senate Panel Removes Home-Grow Option

A Senate committee yesterday endorsed medical marijuana legislation that passed the House earlier this year, but removed a provision opposed by Gov. Maggie Hassan that would have allowed patients to grow their own cannabis.

Sen. Nancy Stiles, a Hampton Republican and chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education and Human Services Committee, said she met Monday with Hassan’s legal counsel, Lucy Hodder, and eliminated elements of the bill Hassan won’t support.

“I think the important thing in this process is to get legislation moved forward so that we can begin to help our citizens that are critically ill, and start out with a small process that can be expanded later on if we find that it’s not meeting all of the needs,” Stiles said.

After an hour of discussion, the committee voted, 5-0, to recommend the full Senate pass the amended bill, which would allow seriously ill or terminal patients with cancer and other specified conditions to acquire marijuana from special dispensaries to treat symptoms including pain and weight loss.

The bill next heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

Medical marijuana advocates are unhappy with the removal of the home-grow option. Matt Simon, a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project, said dispensaries could take at least two years to get up and running, and New Hampshire patients in the meantime would be left without a legal option to acquire marijuana.

Simon said supporters are open to some sort of compromise, such as attaching a “sunset” clause to a home-grow option that would repeal it after three years.

“That is the sticking point, politically, in this bill,” Simon said. “Let’s let patients grow their own for two or three years while dispensaries can get up and running.”

But Rep. Donna Schlachman, an Exeter Democrat and the legislation’s prime sponsor, said supporters don’t want to scuttle the bill even if they don’t like everything in the final version.

“We know we’re going to pass something,” she told reporters following the committee’s vote yesterday. “Right now, our biggest concern is whether we’re passing something that meets the needs of patients immediately who . . . have been waiting a long time for legal access to something that is critically important to their health and well-being, given the medical challenges that they face.”

Hassan’s spokesman, Marc Goldberg, said the Senate committee’s changes “represent significant improvements and help address the governor’s concerns” about the bill as it was approved March 20 by the House on a 286-64 vote.

He didn’t rule out additional changes.

“Gov. Hassan looks forward to continuing the dialogue with legislators and all stakeholders as the legislation moves forward, and she is always willing to listen to constructive ideas, while keeping in mind the goal of appropriately regulated use of medical marijuana with controlled dispensing,” Goldberg said.

Bill Tightened

The Senate committee yesterday made a number of changes to the bill, in addition to eliminating the home-grow option. Among other things, the panel:

* ?Eliminated post-traumatic stress disorder from the list of conditions making a patient eligible for marijuana use.

* ?Added a requirement that patients get written permission from a property owner before using marijuana on privately owned land.

* ?Reduced the maximum number of marijuana dispensaries, called “alternative treatment centers,” from five to four.

* ?Required the alternative treatment centers to obtain liability insurance.

* ?Limited the bill’s provision for an “affirmative defense” in court against marijuana-related charges to patients with a valid state-issued registry card or their card-issued designated caregivers.

“This is very tight and very regulated,” said Sen. Molly Kelly, a Keene Democrat.

Assuming the bill passes the Senate in its current form, Schlachman said negotiators from the House and Senate will hammer out a final version in a committee of conference.

“We will definitely provide something that the governor can support,” she said.

Medical marijuana bills have passed the Legislature twice in the last four years, but both times were vetoed by then-Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat.

By contrast, Hassan, also a Democrat, supports enacting a medical marijuana law in New Hampshire.

“I want to emphasize how grateful I am to have a governor who has gone on record in support of the use of therapeutic cannabis. I think that’s critically important,” Schlachman said.

Eighteen states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana since 1996, including the other five New England states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Source: Concord Monitor (NH)
Author: Ben Leubsdorf, Monitor Staff
Published: May 7, 2012
Copyright: 2013 Monitor Publishing Company

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