Start Strong: Tips for Choosing the Right Clones

Growing quality cannabis requires a harmony of many factors. There’s some amount of leeway with light, pH amounts, pests and even mold – but most of these can be easily dealt with as cultivators surf that often-challenging and unforgiving wave of cannabis’ flowering cycle. However, without healthy, vibrant plants at the onset, even the best effort can be for naught and that highly-anticipated Super Silver Haze will likely look and smell more like Super Silver Hay.

Plants that are unhealthy do much the same as humans do when they’re sick – they rest and try to get better. While its healthy sisters race towards the light, be it artificial or the real deal, a weakling plant’s growth stops and stalls. As its leaves clench in frustration, nutrients stop being absorbed and the plant sits in a state of stasis that it might not ever fully recover from. If thrown into flowering, there’s a small chance that the plant might snap out of its slump but that’s pretty unlikely. What will result is a plant that is low in resin, terpenes, potency and yield that gives up the ghost long before finishing time.

Here are a few tips to help with choosing the best clones and getting the best results.

ROOTS

There’s an ancient saying that goes, “From the fruits you shall know the roots.” With cannabis, however, the opposite makes a better maxim. Look for vibrant white roots that are actively shooting from the medium, reaching for more water and nutrients so as to grow strong and healthy. Avoid roots that look brown and inactive. It’s a good indication of what the plant wants to do at that moment in its life. White roots want to thrive; brown roots want to slumber.

LEAF TIPS

Growth is what it’s all about, so the next inspection should be plant tips. Do they have the bright green of fresh growth? Do they look active? If not, the plant may be locked up and is going to take some time to recover. Unless you’re prepared to wait until that plant is good and ready – which will definitely be long after you are – move on to a fresher specimen.

COLORATION

The above two points are easily the most essential aspects to look for when shopping for great clones. However, there are more signs an astute cultivator can tune into to see if the young plant is ready to get it on. For instance, a slight yellowing of the leaves (of an otherwise happy plant) is a sign that the plant wants more nitrogen and is ready to grow more. Develop an eye for what makes a healthy clone and the skill will serve you well in the long run.

A yellow grided card attracts bugs to it, rather than the cannabis plant.

SICKLINESS

Avoid any plant with either current or past signs of insects, be it spider mite webs, pocked leaves or powdery mildew, which presents itself like fuzzy white areas. This probably seems obvious but it’s worth stating again to underscore the fact that unhealthy young plants are a flashing sign that something is wrong.

CONFINEMENT

When importing a starter plant into your garden, have a quarantine space ready that is well lit and with good air circulation, so your new ward can live in a safe little bubble while you treat it with preventative measures.

Harry Resin is a world-renowned cannabis breeder and cultivator with figurative roots in Amsterdam

CULLING

When taking your own clones from your own garden, use only the best and throw away the rest. Some of the most experienced cloners throw away the weakest 25 percent or more of any tray, with the thought that a weak child makes a weak adult. If you want the best possible chance at big robust flowers, you want to start with the best from the very start.

Originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

TELL US, how do you choose your clones?

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7 Beginner Tips for Setting up your First Home Grow

If you are tired of paying for weed and ready to start growing your own, here are 7 beginner tips for setting up your first home grow. It may seem like a big endeavour, but with the right setup (and some patience) anyone can grow great buds! Below are some things to consider when setting […]

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You’ve Grown It, Now Own It: How to Master Drying & Curing Cannabis

Properly
dried and cured cannabis flower buds burn evenly and have a smooth, rich taste.
When smoked, the embers have an even glow and enter the body smoothly. When
vaporized, there should be no apparent “green” taste.

If
flower buds are dried too quickly, chlorophyll and other pigments, starch and
nitrates or other fertilizer salts are trapped within plant tissue, making it
burn unevenly and taste unpleasantly “green.” If buds are dried too slow, or not at all, they rot.

Gardeners can lose some or all of their crop to poor drying and curing cannabis techniques. Here’s how to do it right:

Drying

Drying converts 75% or more of a freshly harvested plant into water vapor and other gases and converts carbohydrates to simple sugars. Drying also converts chlorophyll and other pigments so that no “green” residuals remain.

You
can harvest an entire plant, individual branches or strip flower buds from
branches to dry. When stems are severed, the transport of fluids within the
plant continues, but at a much slower rate. The natural plant processes slowly
come to an end as the plant dries. The outer cells are the first to dry, but
fluid still moves from internal cells to supply moisture to outer cells, which
are dry. When the drying and curing processes occur properly, plants dry evenly
throughout. Removing leaves and large stems upon harvest speeds drying;
however, moisture content within the “dried” flower
buds, leaves and stems can become uneven.

Drying
time depends upon temperature, humidity and bud density. Ideal temperature is
60-70°F and the best humidity range for drying
is 45-55%. Most flower buds will be dry enough in three to five days before
passing to the curing process, but they may take longer. It can take up to two
weeks before all chlorophyll — the stuff that gives the “green” taste — has dissipated from
foliage. Big, fat, dense flower buds can take three to four days longer to dry
than smaller buds. Gently squeeze buds after they have been drying for a few
days to check for moisture content. Bend stems to see if they are dry. If the
stem breaks rather than folds, it is ready to cure. The bud should be dry to
the touch but not brittle. The bud should burn well enough to smoke when dry.

Curing

Even
after plants, branches or buds have dried on screens or been suspended in a
drying room for five to seven days and appear to be dry, they still contain
moisture inside. This moisture affects taste, fragrance and cannabinoid content
(potency). Curing will remove this excess moisture and all it contains.

Curing makes buds uniformly dry and pleasant to consume, and preserves natural cannabinoids and terpenes.

Curing
after drying helps remove any remaining chlorophyll, other pigments, latent
fertilizer salts and so on that have accumulated in flower buds, leaves and
stems. If dried too quickly, flower buds retain more chlorophyll and have a “green” taste, and when vaporized
or smoked are harsh on the pallet and often burn too hot. For some, curing is not
essential. In fact, some medical patients prefer the often minty flavor of
uncured cannabis.

Curing
also allows cannabis to fully dry so that mold does not grow when it is stored.
Well-cured flower buds are soft and pliable but dry inside. Flower buds should
feel like they are dry and only the dry pliable foliage is holding resin onto
stems. Here’s how to cure bud:

Gently place “dry”
flower buds in an airtight container. Clear and opaque turkey bags are popular.
So are food-grade sealable plastic buckets. There are also bags that reflect
heat and are airtight (when properly sealed) and infrared-proof, which protects
them from heat.

Write the date on the containers and place in a cool, dry, dark place. Moisture inside buds will migrate from the center of the stem outward. Check the container after two to four hours to see if buds feel different. Gently squeeze a couple of buds to see if they feel moister now, but be careful, resin glands bruise easily.

Open the drying container two to three times a day for the first seven
days to release moisture. Take a whiff the instant you open the container. The
fragrance should be sweet and somewhat moist. Close the container quickly. If
necessary, remove buds from jar for a short time to inspect for mold and
disease.

After the first week, open
containers once or twice a week for a quick whiff. Do not open too many times
or the slow-curing process will stop. Some gardeners cure flower buds slowly
for six months or longer. However, after two to three weeks they should be
fully cured and remain fresh, firm and pliable. Flower buds can be sealed in
containers and stored.

Things to Avoid

Light — especially ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural sunlight — heat and friction hasten biodegradation of resin glands and cannabinoids. Do not place dried cannabis in hot automobile glove compartments, and keep it away from heat vents and so forth. Friction and rough handling can bruise and rupture resin glands. Even with proper drying and curing, brutal handling of harvested cannabis will diminish cannabinoid content.

TELL US, have you ever grown cannabis?

Originally published in Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE

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High Quality Strains for Hobbyist Growers

I asked some of my favorite seed breeders to suggest their best cultivar for home growers. The stipulations were that each was easy to grow, adapted easily to different environments, and most importantly, that it had a distinctive personality. The breeders responded with some great suggestions for quality strains. 

Each cultivar is handsome, above average and potently effective. A garden featuring these selections will provide you with a library of wonderful sensations to fit time, space and mood. A couple of the strains produce high ratios of CBD.

Here’s the list.:

(PHOTO Erik Christiansen / Nugshots)

Blueberry Muffin

Parents: The Razz (Razzleberry) x P.P.D (formerly known as Purple Panty Dropper)

Indica/Sativa ratio: 65% – 35% 

Breeder: Nathaniel Pennington 

Seed Company: Humboldt Seed Company

Humboldt Seed Company recommends Blueberry Muffin because it is easy to grow. It has a sturdy stalk and resistance to molds, mildews and pests. This strain pretty much maintains itself. 

Blueberry Muffin is a shorter stocky type 65%-35% indica/sativa hybrid that produces bountiful buds for its size, beautifully tinged with purple flakes. With a quick flowering cycle of 45-60 days you will have plump, trichome coated buds before you know it. 

The variety grows well both indoors and outdoors, but it tends to stretch unless it is pruned to branch. Once pruned, it can be trained to a screen of green (scrog). 

Both environments bring out the real blueberry muffin smell that has been compared favorably to the Jiffy brand blueberry muffin mix. The fruity aroma extends to the flavor of the inhalation. Leafly reviews show Blueberry Muffin is the world’s most aptly named strain. A heads up for indoor growers: Be prepared for pervasive terpenes that tend to overpower other varietals in a grow room or greenhouse. 

Blueberry Muffin is also known for the fact that it seems to lack any paranoia inducing characteristics. The high is relaxing and happy and induces a positive attitude. It can be used when doing routine work, but it does not encourage creativity or mind wandering. This is useful for medical patients medicating throughout the day. It’s also a good choice for individuals new to cannabis. 

“Blueberry Muffin is a gentle strain that is here on this earth to help people… she wants to be given organic soil and real sun ideally, but she will provide her medicine whenever and however she is needed”  — Humboldt Seed Company

(PHOTO Ed Rosenthal)

Cheese Quake

Parents: Exodus Cheese X Querkle (Urkle x Space Queen)

Indica/Sativa ratio: 60% – 40% 

Breeder: Subcool

Seed Company: The Dank (Formerly TGA Seeds)

When asked about a recommendation for home-growers, Subcool enthusiastically recommends Cheese Quake. “It’s easy to grow and pretty to look at,” he says.   

It’s a heavy producer with purple leaves and an aroma that is a blend of fruit and cheese, which it inherited from its parents Querkle and Cheese. The buds are more round than cone shape. Cheese Quake grows well both indoors and outdoors. Indoors the plant is short and stocky. Outdoors, it grows over 6 ft tall given enough time without being topped. This variety is perfect for SOG when it is flowered early. Flowering time is 8-9 weeks. 

The terpene profile is high in myrcene, which enables the high to take effect sooner because of its ability to allow THC to reach the brain cells more rapidly. Even Subcool has been surprised at the intensity of the high. He describes it as “mental energy that can be confusing, yet delightful.” However, in reviews two thirds of respondents used the terms, happy, relaxed, and euphoric. Myrcene is also associated with analgesic and anti-depressive qualities. Reviewers also noted relief from stress and anxiety as well as muscular pain. 

Subcool describes the taste as a “grape cheese danish.” It picks up the grape from the Querkle on the inhale and an exhale that is the cherry and the sourness associated with the cheese varieties. 

“By combining the grapey-lavender taste of Purple Urkle with the unique smell and taste of Cheese created a flavor so incredible it instantly became my favorite Cheese hybrid.” ­ —Subcool.

(PHOTO Green Born Identity / GBI)

Mendocino Skunk

Parents: Skunk #1, Haze, and Afghani 

Indica/Sativa ratio: 60% – 40% 

Breeder’s Name: Luc Krol 

Seed Company Name: Paradise Seeds

When asked to recommend a variety for the hobby grower, Mendocino Skunk was the clear choice. It’s part of the Tommy Chong collection. 

Mendocino Skunk is a very manageable plant because it does not get too large, accommodating growers with limited growing space. Size does not limit the yield. The plant is short, with a thick central cola and robust side branches. Indoors the plant grows up to 5 feet. Outdoors, especially in sunny climates and given enough time, the plant grows to 6.5 feet tall. It has a higher flower to leaves ratio and more dry weight than many classic indica skunk strains

The Mendocino genetics make this a good choice for growers in North America, Europe, and Canada. Flowering time is 7-8 weeks. In developing this hybrid, Paradise Seeds created a high that balances the energizing qualities of sativas with the relaxing effect of indicas resulting in an experience generally described as positive and uplifting. Routine daily tasks can be handled as normal, and with even more focus. Myrcene, caryophyllene and limonene are the dominant terpenes. And of course, there is that robust aroma of earthy skunkiness. 

“It was a challenge for us when Tommy Chong asked us to develop seeds that are called Choice of Legends, but we worked hard in our breeding rooms and we are super pleased with the final results.” —Paradise Seeds

(PHOTO Professor P)

Grapefruit Web

Parents: Charlotte’s Web x Grapefruit Web F2

Indica/Sativa ratio: 60% – 40% 

Breeder: Professor P 

Seed Company: Relic Seeds

Relic Seeds’ recommendation of Grapefruit Web is a variety that offers a balanced 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC. The mom, Charlotte’s Web is a legendary high CBD cultivar recognized for medicinal use. The dad provided by SowLow Farms contributed a rich array of terpenes resulting in a very tasty hybrid. 

Both parents passed down performance as high yielders to their progeny. Grapefruit Web is a beast of a plant, producing enormous colas of massive proportions. The breeder advises that stakes are certainly required considering the girth on the terminal buds.   

The plant performs well indoors and out. Grapefruit Web grows in the typical christmas tree shape with large spear shaped colas. There is a slight purple fade during maturation. Flowering time is shorter than average; 7-8 weeks. 

Smelling like fresh cut pink grapefruit, the aroma and taste are refreshing yet calming due to the terpene profile. The top four terpenes are beta-myrcene, linalool, limonene and pinene balancing the alertness induced by pinene with the relaxation associated with linalool.

Grapefruit Web has an extremely inviting buzz, great for users of all levels. It’s an even keeled head/body high that is great for any time of the day.

“She’s an easy plant to succeed with for several reasons: Easy to grow, large yields, and short bloom times” —Relic Seeds

(PHOTO Sensi Seeds)

Northern Lights

Parents: NL #1 x NL #2 x NL #3

Indica/Sativa ratio: 90% -10%

Breeder: Sensi Seeds

Seed Company: Sensi Seeds

Northern Lights is a classic strain and one of the most famous indica varieties. There are now many variations on its name and genetics. During its original development, Sensi Seeds was able to acquire one of three pure types of Northern Lights, and have maintained the intent of plant vigor and potency.

A petite plant averaging between 3½-5 feet, Northern Lights is fast-flowering, resilient, and produces dense, resin-rich flowers. Highly adapted to indoor growing, Northern Lights is a satisfying yielder that can finish in just over 6 weeks. It is very well suited to the ‘sea of green’ method. Because the buds are so dense, be sure to provide a proper airflow to prevent any humidity build-up within them. In cooler climates it will give excellent results when grown in a greenhouse. In warmer climates Northern Lights will do well outdoors developing into massive trees. 

The aroma is a pungently sweet herbal aroma with pepper and citrus notes and the taste is a flavorful mixture of sweet and spice. 

Although Northern Lights is a high THC strain with very little CBD present, the presence of the terpenes myrcene, caryophyllene and limonene result in a very calming effect. This strain is a great variety to relax and can be used to ease stress and pain. It is also well suited to people having issues sleeping. 

“This strain is great one for beginners and experts alike and is available in regular, feminized and auto-flowering variants.”   —Sensi Seeds

(PHOTO Sensi Seeds)

Sensi Skunk

Parents: (Afghani x Skunk #1) x Skunk #1

Indica/Sativa ratio: 80% – 20% 

Breeder: Sensi Seeds

Seed Company: Sensi Seeds

Sensi Skunk is a potent hybrid, leaning heavily towards indica characteristics. The variety is a favorite with beginners and aficionados alike. Sensi Seeds specifically bred the variety for ease of cultivation. It has a vigorous growth pattern with a comparatively short flowering time. 

The plant is average in height with strong branches, easily manageable growth, rapidly-swelling buds and sizable harvest of thick, pungent colas covered in resin. Left to its own devices, this plant grows in a christmas tree shape with a main central cola. The plant can produce a large yield with minimal care; it is easy to grow indoors and outdoors.

Outdoors this plant’s potential is truly expressed, producing high yields between the end September and mid-October. In temperate climates Sensi Skunk grows well in a normal warm summer. The breeder recommends cultivating below 42 degrees north, which covers American gardens from the Oregon-California border across to the New York-Pennsylvania border and south. This also includes Southern Europe, parts of China and even North Korea.

Sensi Skunk delivers an attention grabbing sugary-citrus bouquet that’s uniquely different from the regular skunk funk. A refreshing sweet-citrus aroma infuses each bud. The overall effect of Sensi Skunk is a balanced one. Its effects will make you relaxed, happy, and euphoric, without being overwhelmingly strong. 

“Quick to bloom, thick-budding and potent enough to surprise even a jaded smoker, Sensi Skunk is also very forgiving when growing and flowering, making her a strain that is actually quite difficult to mess up.” —Sensi Seeds 

(PHOTO Justin Cannabis)

Chocolate Tonic

Parents: Cannatonic x Chocolate Kush 

Indica/Sativa:  35% – 65% 

Seed Breeder: The Purple Caper

Seed Company: Purple Caper Seeds

This strain originated from a CBD project designed to help patients with a range of conditions: pain management, seizures, and inflammation, and cancer treatment. The breeder crossed a high THC father with a high CBD mother. Both were chosen for their cannabinoid content, vigor, and yield, and the tendency to pass the desired traits from each to the offspring. 

Chocolate Tonic offers a 2:1 CBD to THC ratio. The typical gardener can expect 14% CBD and 7% THC, as well as small amounts of CBC and CBG. 

Chocolate Tonic is very versatile and can grow in any environment. It takes on a christmas tree shape with little branching so it’s best to prune from above. Plants can reach heights of eight feet outdoors. It’s a strong grower that can withstand heat, drought, and even being root-bound. Outdoors, when planted in May and grown in the ground or planted with 6-foot centers, look for a yield of three pounds per plant. Ripens in October. Indoors flowering time is 8-10 weeks. Expect 1.5 pounds per light. 

Pain relief is a key feature of the high. The numbing and relaxing qualities are also sleep inducing after a long day. Chocolate Tonic lives up to its name with a chocolate, piney, citrus  flavor.

“This CBD strain grows like a weed and can handle abuse.” —Purple Caper 

Excerpted from “Ask Ed: Marijuana Success.”

TELL US, if you could grow any strain what would you choose?

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Cannabis Shortages Spur New Interest in Growing at Home

The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered businesses and sent people hunkering down behind closed doors from coast to coast. In addition to stocking up on canned and dry goods, consumers are worried about maintaining cannabis supply. 

The outbreak was having an impact on the North American cannabis industry weeks before it actually reached the continent’s shores. But with the imposition of “shelter-in-place” orders, tokers started to worry about where their next batch of bud would be coming from. 

On March 16, when six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area issued such orders, there was an immediate run on dispensaries. Spared was Alameda County, where cannabis shops were deemed to be an “essential” service. Facing a public outcry, authorities in San Francisco just one day later decided to follow Alameda’s lead, and lifted the order for dispensaries to close. On March 20, when a statewide lockdown was declared, dispensaries were excluded as an essential service. 

Similar scenes in Denver caused authorities to likewise reverse themselves there.  

But in some places, dispensaries are closed—such as Massachusetts, in spite of the public outcry. And even before the current crisis, cannabis users were turning to the long-languishing American ethic of self-sufficiency to ride out shortages. 

Urban Herb in the Windy City 

The Chicago Tribune profiles the case of local epilepsy sufferer David Kurfman. Following shortages at Illinois outlets,  he recently established a basement grow room. Relying on cannabis oil with a 2-to-1 CBD-THC ratio to control his seizures, Kurfman took advantage of the personal cultivation provision of the state’s legalization statute. Having invested $5,000 in lights, fans and other necessary equipment, he now has his legally permitted five plants putting out their first buds. 

“There’s a statewide shortage of all products, and patients are suffering from that,” Kurfman told the Trib. “I hope to transition to growing my own medicine.” 

A well cared-for five-plant grow can produce far in excess of the one ounce of bud that “recreational” users may possess legally, or the fortnightly 2.5-ounce purchase limit for medical patients.

State law allows medical cannabis patients 21 and over to grow their five plants in an “enclosed, locked space.” There are other restrictions too. Landlords may ban cultivation on their property. It also remains illegal to sell or give away cannabis from personal plants. 

This was actually a compromise measure in the legalization statute signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last June. Earlier versions of the legislation allowed all adults to grow five plants each at home. But law enforcement groups lobbied against this provision, and it was stricken from the bill. Under final version, only patients enrolled with the state’s medical marijuana program are permitted to cultivate at home. The original 2013 medical marijuana law included no provision for homegrown.  

Home-growers may purchase seeds from licensed dispensaries. However, few are offering them for sale—so Pritzker’s administration is working on opening new avenues.  

“The administration is working with various state agencies, cultivators and dispensaries to develop a clear process that will allow the sale of seeds to medicinal users,” Charity Greene, a representative for the governor’s office, told the Tribune. 

Online groups such as the Illinois Medical Cannabis Review Guide have meanwhile emerged to recommend seed banks. Home Grow Chicago, a private business, is also offering classes in small-scale cannabis cultivation. 

Under the mentorship of two experienced growers, Kurfman is now proud of the fruits of his labor—although he has yet to start producing oil. “It turned out magnificent,” he told the Tribune. 

Also quoted by the Trib was Illinois cultivator and patient Mickey Nulf, who produces the Prof. Budz Potcast, and hosts a Facebook page for home-growers. “Let’s put the power back into patients’ hands,” he recently posted, “and let’s take care of our community.”  

TELL US, do you know anyone who has started growing their own due to the COVID-19 outbreak?

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Japan Among the Worst Places to Have Weed

It was proven again this week that Japan is among the absolute worst places you can live if you’re a cannabis enthusiast, never mind a tourist, as the story of a father and son from Nara Prefecture has started to make the rounds.

According to the English language version of Mainichi Shimbun, one of Japan’s major national newspapers, the whole thing started as a Sunday family dispute and ended up with two teenagers being arrested for violating Japan’s Cannabis Control Law. Japanese media have made sure to note one of the 16-year-olds went to private school and the other did not.

According to the newspaper, the public school kid decided to set up a small grow operation in his family’s house but from the sound of it, things never really got off the ground apart from a planter box and undescribed lighting equipment. He would eventually tell his family he was planning to grow the cannabis for profit. At that point, his father allegedly called the police on him after some kind of warning.

The private school kid would end up getting ratted out too. Between the two students, the cops would net less than 5 grams of weed and seeds. They told the police they had scored the cannabis from the internet via Twitter.

Nare Prefecture police are always on the hunt for cultivators. In 2018 they spent six months working on a tip that would eventually net them only 80 plants in the eventual raid.

The actual penalties the two could face are about as draconian. According to Article 24 of Japan’s cannabis control law, anyone who tries to import or grow pot in Japan is looking at a prison work detail of up to seven years. They also face a fine that’s the equivalent of more than $27,000 U.S. dollars.

Even for those with entrepreneurial goals, getting charged with the simple possession of cannabis that’s deemed to be for personal use, as in the courts realize they aren’t looking to make a buck with that pot, are looking at five years.

But what if they can prove you’re looking to sell that sack?

“A person who commits the crime in the preceding paragraph for profit is punished by imprisonment with work for no more than seven years, or, in light of the circumstances, may be punished by imprisonment with work for no more than seven years and a fine of no more than 2,000,000 yen,” the penal code reads.

So thanks to dad for choosing the criminal justice route as opposed to the parenting one, these kids are now looking at possible jail time until they are 23 since they admitted to collaborating on the effort.

The cannabis persecution for the Japanese doesn’t even stop when they leave home. This was again brought to the forefront when Canada legalized marijuana. By the Japanese standard, anyone found to be smoking in Canada, or anywhere else cannabis has been legalized for medical or recreational purposes, could face up to five years in jail. The penal code’s language specifically notes it doesn’t matter if it is medical marijuana. But if you are caught distributing manufactured medical marijuana products in a nonprofit manner you’re only looking at five years as opposed to the seven you would get for selling things the courts don’t find to be for therapeutic purposes. 

Japan doesn’t just put high schoolers with troubled lives at home on blast, every time a celebrity is caught anywhere near pot it’s a big news story. This included last year when the former World Junior Judo Champion, who is now a police officer in Kyoto, was arrested when visiting family in Osaka. On the visit, the police searched his house in connection with a robbery at Kyoto’s police academy. During the search, police found dry flowers and a pipe.

The highest-profile cannabis case in the history of Japan remains Sir Paul McCartney. The former Beatle was arrested at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport while on tour with Wings. McCartney said they decided to bring a half pound because they knew they weren’t going to be able to find anything to smoke. That half pound ended up getting McCartney nine days in jail, which isn’t too bad since he was facing the seven-year sentence we mentioned.

TELL US, Would you bring weed to Japan?

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Spain’s ‘Grandma Marijuana’ Fights the Power

Spain’s foremost cannabis activist is a 76-year-old woman in the southern province of Málaga who has been asserting her right to home cultivation for over a generation now. Fernanda de la Figuera — ubiquitously known as Abuela Marijuana, or Grandma Marijuana — has been busted before, and won a landmark ruling in her favor from the Spanish courts. 

In spite of this, she was busted again, and this time convicted and sentenced. But now she says she will appeal to the European Union’s highest judicial body.  

On Jan. 30, a Málaga judge convicted de la Figuera of drug trafficking, on the basis of a 2014 raid on her home in the small town of Alhaurín el Grande by a contingent of the Civil Guards, Spain’s militarized national police force. The raid turned up her backyard garden of some 180 cannabis plants.

Prosecutors asked for four years’ imprisonment. The judge gave a sentence of just nine months — which is below the two-year threshold for mandatory prison time. This means she could likely receive a suspended sentence and escape actually going to jail, if she confesses to her “crime” and commits no second offense during the nine months.

But de la Figuera isn’t having it. She insists she was growing for her own personal use, and her collective of medical users, and that she has the right to do so — already upheld by the Spanish courts. She told local media that she will now take her case to a higher authority — the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg, France.


’Apostle of Homegrown’ Won’t Accept Deal


De la Figuera considers herself the “apóstol del autocultivo” — the apostle of homegrown. She smoked cannabis for the first time in Paris in the ’60s, and found that it relieved the epilepsy and rheumatism she had been struggling with since childhood. She has been growing the plant since 1973, and won her ground-breaking legal victory recognizing her right to do so more than 20 years later.

In 1995, her same home in Alhaurín el Grande was raided, and she was brought up on cultivation charges. But the judge dismissed the charges on individual liberty grounds. Abuela Marijuana boasted that she’d become the first legal cannabis cultivator in Spain.

The quantity in the case was considerably lesser than the 180 plants in the 2014 bust. But in the intervening years, she had founded MaríasXMaría (Marias for Maria), an “association” of women from across Spain’s southern Andalusia region suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia and other ailments they treat with cannabis. She insisted that her cultivation was “therapeutic work,” for members of the association. 

And in 2015, Spain passed a law expanding on its 1983 decriminalization of cannabis, allowing personal cultivation — provided it is hidden from public view. However, it is uncertain this could apply in de la Figuera’s case, both because it would have to be retroactive and because of the quantities involved. Additionally, it is unclear if backyard cultivation clearly counts as hidden from the public. 

De la Figuera considers the charge against her transparently bogus. “The judge in my town knows that all my life I’ve made my living in the real estate market, and that I don’t dedicate myself to selling marijuana,” she told Andalusia’s El Diario newspaper. “This is not my interest, but to make known this wonderful substance, and how good it is for the health of many people.” 

The 2015 law was designed to protect Spain’s cannabis associations. But an unfavorable ruling of the country’s Supreme Court in 2018 imposed strict conditions on such associations, barring them from most public activity and making them nearly impossible to function legally. 

Rather than appealing within the Spanish judicial system, de la Figuera announced after the verdict that she intends to bring the case directly to the European Court of Human Rights, where a ruling could set a precedent for the entire European Union. 


From Málaga to Strasbourg

Grandma Marijuana just may have the savvy to pull it off. In addition to being a skilled cultivator and medical provider, she is an activist of long years’ experience. In 1995, after her historic court ruling, she founded the Cannabis Party for Legalization and Normalization (PCLYN), Spain’s first national political party dedicated to marijuana liberation.

The following year, she founded the Ramón Santos Association for the Study of Cannabis in Andalusia (ARSECA), named after a late criminal defense attorney who defended many cultivators in the region and dedicated to documenting the medical benefits of the herb. 

And MaríasXMaría is a member of another national organization she helped found, the Federation of Cannabis Associations (FAC). She’s also involved in the Action Group for the Legalization of Cannabis in Spain (GALCE), and its affiliated website, Infocannabis.

And she has taken her work to the continental level, as Spain representative of the European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD).

When her new case was still pending late last year, de la Figuera won an important symbolic victory, at least, when her province’s ruling left-wing coalition, Adelante Málaga, came out unequivocally and publicly in her support, with provincial councilors posing alongside her in a photo op.

Her case may soon have an impact that will resonate across the European continent.

TELL US, do you think it should be legal to grow your own pot?

The post Spain’s ‘Grandma Marijuana’ Fights the Power appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Monday, September 23, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Monday, September 23, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// House Marijuana Banking Vote Officially Scheduled For Next Week, Leadership Announces (Marijuana Moment)

// No Marijuana Banking Without Justice Reform Three Presidential Candidates Say (Marijuana Moment)

// 200 cannabis stores approved by Calgary, more than BC, Ontario, & Quebec combined (Marijuana Business Daily)


Today’s headlines are brought to you by our friends over at Eaze.com, California’s top one stop website for legal marijuana delivery. If you live in the golden state, swing over to Eaze.com to see if they are active in your area. With deliveries taking place in less than an hour, it’s never been easier to get legal California marijuana delivery. And of course, if you don’t live where Eaze delivers, you can still benefit from all the useful bits of industry insight and analysis they’ve developed using their properly aggregate and anonymized sales data stream.


// Former Federal Prosecutor’s Marijuana Legalization Measure Advances In South Dakota (Marijuana Moment)

// Wisconsin Senate leader snuffs medical marijuana bill that appeared to have some GOP backing (Journal Sentinel)

// Veto overridden on New Hampshire medical marijuana prescribing bill (WMUR 9)

// Cannabis Canada: Monthly pot sales in Canada surpass $100M for the first time (BNN Bloomberg)

// Colorado beer makers are expanding to cannabis beverages: ‘Down the road it could be as big as beer.’ (Colorado Sun)

// Bernie Sanders Talks Marijuana With Killer Mike, Danny Glover, And Ben & Jerry’s Founder (Marijuana Moment)

// Colorado marijuana companies are subject to federal labor laws despite being illegal, court rules (Denver Post)


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Monday, August 5, 2019 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Monday, August 5, 2019 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Utah rejects appeals from six would-be medical cannabis growers (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Medical Cannabidiol Board Approves Chronic Pain as Condition, Delays PTSD Decision (WHOTV 13 NBC)

// Nebraska Attorney General Argues Legalizing Medical Marijuana Is Unconstitutional (Marijuana Moment)


Today’s headlines are brought to you by our friends over at Eaze.com, California’s top one stop website for legal marijuana delivery. If you live in the golden state, swing over to Eaze.com to see if they are active in your area. With deliveries taking place in less than an hour, it’s never been easier to get legal California marijuana delivery. And of course, if you don’t live where Eaze delivers, you can still benefit from all the useful bits of industry insight and analysis they’ve developed using their properly aggregate and anonymized sales data stream.


// Portland unveils proposed rules for marijuana businesses (Portland Press Herald)

// Colorado becomes third state to allow doctors to recommend marijuana instead of opioids (The Hill)

// Sununu Vetoes ‘Home Grow’ Medical Marijuana Bill (NH Public Radio)

// A Closer Look at Aphria’s Reported Profit (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Canadian cannabis firm Cronos spending $300 million to enter US hemp market (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canada’s TerrAscend looks to snap up US marijuana firm Ilera for up to $225 million (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Top Senate Democrat Announces Construction Of Only Hemp Seed Bank In The U.S. (Marijuana Moment)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Grow Your Own Plants: Tips From a Cannabis Grower

In Ontario, you can grow four plants at home. Now that you can grow your own cannabis plants at home, a different kind of business has sprouted — including professionals who teach you how to grow your own. David Weaver is a technical sales representative at Sun Parlour Cannabis Grower Supply who has been growing medical cannabis for about five years. “I got my designated grower licence to grow cannabis for patients,” said Weaver. Weaver…