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California Cannabis: get on board or get out

California Cannabis: get on board or get out

So I have been in Northern California on and off for the past couple of months. I mostly live in Denver these days, but I still have my home up in Humboldt.

 

For 15 year’s I’ve supplied the cannabis industry with soil, nutrients and lighting. I sell grow equipment to people all over the country. So I’ve seen several states go legal, so to speak. Maybe regulated is the better term. 

The end, or the beginning?

I saw what happened in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. All three states with cannabis history, but marginally regulated or unregulated cannabis. All of those states progressed in their cannabis movement, cannabis growing, and general awareness about the plant.

Price per pound dropped in those regulated states, and I also stopped having to buy anybody out of jail or refer them to an attorney. Now, there is so much doom and gloom here. So many people think, “the California cannabis industry is over.”

Unfortunately if you’re quitting on California cannabis, or don’t want to be involved in what comes next, it’s over for you. But more people smoke weed every day, and demand for cannabis increases every day. The opportunity to sell regulated cannabis or be involved with regulated cannabis is exploding; and it’s just begun.

Get on board with California Cannabis

What is over? The rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle? The endless buckets of cash? The untaxed income? The vacations, the toys? Yes, It’s a lifestyle change. Now it’s gonna be more like normal farming, but still profitable.  

Four out of five people I talk to are selling their properties and quitting (or they say they are today, let’s see what happens if their properties don’t sell).  I have never seen this much inventory of real estate in Humboldt, Trinity or Mendocino Counties.

Now, in the largest concentration of cannabis production in the world, the government says there are as many as 13,000 commercial farms in Humboldt County alone. This will be a significant impact to the supply chain of the entire cannabis market.

Do it for the right reasons

So here it is. We’re separating the men and women from the boys and girls so to speak. People who were in it for the greed and the people who are in it for the weed.

No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making money, but you have to work for it. Regulations, taxes, government control, or in any business you could ever think about being in. Being involved with several other businesses, these new cannabis regulations are not difficult. They may be confusing, but try to get a USDA composting permit. That is difficult.

My suggestions:

– PTSD’s a bitch. You might have to conquer that one in order to get into the regulated market.

– Stop whining. Put a smile on your face that you’re not going to jail.

– Curtail your lifestyle and spending. This one is also difficult.( turn those month-long vacations into long weekends)

– Learn some computer skills. If you don’t have them already going to need them.

My predictions:

– The market is currently flooded with properties for sale throughout Northern California. Half of those who don’t sell will go back to work, growing unregulated ganja.

– At least in Humboldt County, a chunk of those people are going to be regulated by the county and forced to stop growing. They put up zoning restrictions that fine people $10,000 a day. The helicopter didn’t work but I think this will.

– The price of California cannabis is going to rise. Both in the private market and unregulated market. It’s simple supply and demand. If the private cannabis market is separated from the regulated market, there will not be enough weed for the potential 15 million puffers in California.

– Most of the counties in California are not going to regulate cannabis, leaving the potential production to a smaller and smaller area. Mendocino and Trinity County have limited it to 10,000 ft.². San Luis Obispo is limited to 22,000 ft.².

– Many people that enter the legal cannabis industry will not succeed. They are farmers, not businessman. It’s important to find your place. I’m definitely better at business than farming (Yet my thumb remains Green).

Times are changing, and the California cannabis industry is rapidly changing with them. You can either get on board, go legal and pursue an honest career in the regulated market. Or, you can complain about things changing, quit the unregulated market because you have to, and avoid the new industry for the sake of your pride. Remember it isn’t ALL about your profits, it’s about the plant.

What are Terpenes?

What are Terpenes?

Have you ever picked up some cannabis fresh from the dispensary, crack the jar open and get smacked with a strong berry smell?

 

Maybe it smelled like fuel instead; or flowers. These smells and the effects associated with them all come from terpenes. But what exactly are terpenes and why are they so important?

What are terpenes?

Terpenes are fragrant oils that are secreted by the resin glands in the cannabis plant, just like THC and CBD. At least eighty different terpenes have been found and analyzed in cannabis. Each terpene has its own unique smell, flavor and affect.

While it may be near impossible to accurately describe every terpene, here are some of the more common terpenes you may smell or taste in your next cannabis purchase.

Myrcene

If you’ve ever heard that eating a mango before smoking will make you higher, myrcene is why. Mangos have the same terpene, myrcene, as cannabis, and ingesting more of the terpene may or may not enhance the specific terpene’s effects. There is no empirical evidence supporting this claim, unfortunately.

Myrcene will usually give off an herbal and citrusy smell, and has been known to produce more relaxing and sedative effects. The myrcene terpene can also act as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. Strains with noticeable myrcene terpenes include Blue Dream and Grandaddy Purple.

Pinene

For the untrained nose, a lot of cannabis will smell like a pine tree or a dense forest. An experienced cannabis consumer will recognize these features as signatures of the terpene pinene.

With a smell similar to a pine tree or sage, the effects of pinene can impact memory retention and alertness. Strains like Jack Herer and OG Kush have pinene in their terpene profiles, and this specific terpene has shown to aid in treatment of inflammation and even asthma.

Limonene

Similar to myrcene, limonene is recognized by its strong citrus and lemon scents, without the herbal notes that are found in myrcene. Strains like Sour Diesel and Super Lemon Haze are known to contain this lemon-citrus terpene.

Limonene has acted as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety strain, and some claim its effects are uplifting while relieving stress. If the next strain you pick up smells like the rind of an orange or lemon, you most likely have limonene in your bud.

Really into terpenes? You can become a certified “interpener” with Max Montrose’s Interpening course at the Trichome Institute and analyze every terpene so you can tell exactly what strain you have, even if the name doesn’t match up.

Learn more about Interpening and Max Montrose’s history with cannabis on The Real Dirt Podcast.

Women in Cannabis

Women in Cannabis

The cannabis industry has been booming since it started, and an increasing number of women in cannabis is showing a promising trend for the future.

 

The legalized cannabis market has opened the door to an industry with a much stronger female presence compared to other industries, with more women in cannabis than many other industries.

Women in Cannabis

23% of executives across all US industries are female. In the cannabis industry, that number is a little bit higher, with recent statistics from 2017 showing 27% of executive positions in the cannabis industry are held by women. Additionally, women make up 42% of executive positions for ancillary services companies and 35% of medical dispensaries/recreational stores.

These numbers would suggest that the cannabis industry is more encouraging and accepting of female leaders and women in cannabis, yet the industry is still quite male-focused.

Re-imagining the Stoner

Take the stoner stereotype for example; the typical stoner was a young male who was lazy, sitting on the couch, like The Big Lebowski or Pineapple Express.

Now we all know that this stereotype is untrue for most of us, but the issue isn’t that the stereotype is that stoners are lazy, but that they are mostly men. Statistically, women consume just as much cannabis as men, with a survey from the Cannabis Consumers Coalition finding that 53% of women consume cannabis compared to only 42% of men.

This has led to products and groups created specifically aimed at female cannabis users and the women in cannabis.

A Brand New Marketplace

More feminine branded products like Canndescent are aimed at women who value design as much as they value good cannabis. AnnaBis is a female, odor-proof bag that women can store their cannabis in without having to worry about smell, while still staying fashionable.

With women holding more positions of power in the cannabis industry than any other US industry, we will see a whole new industry dynamic start to form. Other industries will hopefully learn the value of equal representation from men and women in positions of power, and the cannabis industry can act as a guide for inclusivity.

Tune into the new episode of The Real Dirt Podcast with Heather Moore from Earl’s in Leadville, as she discusses running her own grow and how she got into the cannabis industry as a woman.

Craft Cannabis with Dave Perkins – The Real Dirt with Chip Baker

Craft Cannabis with Dave Perkins – The Real Dirt with Chip Baker

 

A little over a year ago, Dave Perkins moved to Washington with his family to pursue his dream of working in the cannabis industry. He would end up working with a cannabis consulting group that aided cannabis businesses in branding, promoting, and even growing their product. He currently works with Artizen Cannabis Company, one of the leading distributors of craft cannabis in the state of Washington.

From modernizing the technology inside the grow to finding the right buyers, Dave helps Washington cannabis brands find their footing and boost their visibility.

“It all comes down to different price points. Different quality. It’s all the same.”

The Washington cannabis market is constantly moving an changing, and staying on top of the trends is essential to staying on top of the industry. The competition in Washington leads to a fight over quantity and price more than quality. Whoever can produce the most decent quality cannabis that consumers still buy, will be the most successful.

Artizen has managed to meet this criteria while still providing some of the highest quality craft Washington cannabis in the state. As one of the top distributors in the state, Artizen grows a variety of strains, some well-known and others exclusive to the Washington cannabis industry. All of their cannabis is vigorously tested and monitored from seed (or clone) to harvest for a top-notch product that consumers love.

Listen to Dave’s story and where he thinks the cannabis industry is moving on this week’s episode of The Real Dirt Podcast!

Craft Cannabis: what is the ‘Craft’ difference?

Craft Cannabis: what is the ‘Craft’ difference?

Many people are exposed to cannabis in a very nonchalant way. They get passed a joint. The uninitiated may take two hits and pass and notice not much difference.

 

Every now and then, however, you will get passed a joint that gets you higher than a Georgia pine. This isn’t just the THC level. When cannabis smells overly aromatic, looks absolutely perfect like breakfast cereal, and sends your brain soaring through the atmosphere, you may have just experienced craft cannabis.

A new love for an old plant

Just like beer and liquor, cannabis can also be grown as a boutique crop. In the past 30 years due to its prohibited nature, cannabis has often been grown in the biggest and fastest way to produce as many grams per square foot. This has promoted really high yields and fast growing cannabis.

However something is lost in the commercialization of large-scale ganja.

Craft Cannabis

Craft cannabis is grown by artisans. They put all of their energy into the cannabis plant to grow perfect looking nuggets that smell and taste incredible. Yield and vigor may not even matter to them. This focus can bring the best out of even the most commercial weeds.

Compared to a large grow operation that produces cannabis en masse, craft cannabis is usually grown in small batches. Each individual plant in a batch gets close attention every step along the way, making it much less likely that a plant develops any sort of mold or disease.

Think about craft beer; microbrews, and slow-brewed coffee. These are all considered “craft” due to their small batch production and high attention to detail, giving way to much better flavors, aromas, and overall quality. Craft cannabis is no different.

Worth the effort?

Let’s not confuse the size of the cannabis operation or their technique to put them in a craft category. Cannabis can be grown on a large scale in this artesanal manner. It requires extra care, extra time and absolutely extra dollars.

Unfortunately, craft cannabis often doesn’t bring any higher price in the marketplace. It requires a certain marketing technique in order to bring a higher price. Think farm-direct or designer model.

So the next time you’re in the circle, and a whiff of blue smoke comes your way, hit the joint and roll the vapor across your palate. Then ask yourself, is this craft cannabis?

And don’t forget to tune in to the new episode of The Real Dirt, Monday February 26th. Chip sits down with Dave from Artizen Cannabis, a craft cannabis company based in Washington.

Marijuana Seeds vs Clones

Marijuana Seeds vs Clones

If you asked a grower if they preferred marijuana seeds or clones, you probably wouldn’t get a straight answer. That’s because there is a divide between the community on which may be better.

 

Cultivation methods are changing all the time. Both marijuana seeds and clones have the potential to grow into a beautiful and healthy cannabis plant. While each has its benefits compared to the other, both also have downsides that should make you question which option is best for you.

Clones

To start with the end, if you are a new grower, clones are the way to go. Unlike marijuana seeds, clones are pieces of the cannabis plant, usually a lateral branch, that is cut off of the mother plant.Taking a clone from one mother strain will result in a plant identical to the one you took from. However, this does not come without any risks.

If the mother plant has a disease that wasn’t caught before clones were cut, those clones will carry that disease. Clones will also be much more sensitive upon replanting, and have an increased chance of transplant shock.

Transplanting alone can cause its own issues for an experienced grower. Newer growers should be wary of the attention a clone may need before sticking it in some soil and assuming it will grow with some water and light. It wouldn’t hurt to get advice from a master grower, which The Real Dirt has already done for you.

Cheap but risky

Clones overall are a cheap option, and sell for anywhere between $2 and $15 with the exception of the higher priced ones. The wide availability of clones has led to plenty of guides and information about growing individual strains. This means you can know what to expect of certain strains before you plant them.

An unfortunate downside to the wide availability of clones however, is just that; there are so many clones being sold and produced that mix-ups can happen, where a strain labeled one name is actually another. Even worse is shoddy clones suppliers that lie about their product in order to sell more.

If clones don’t seem all that enticing, marijuana seeds may be the better option.

Marijuana Seeds

Seeds are the start of life. Marijuana seeds start from the beginning. While for a new grower this may seem very intimidating, the benefits and rewards may well be worth the extra effort.

Because marijuana is an annual plant, it’s life cycle isn’t meant to last more than a few months. Seeds start young and grow a full life-cycle. This gives seeds stronger hearty roots and a firm tap root that a clone simply can’t achieve coming from a mother plant.

A fresh, mysterious start

Marijuana seeds lack the issues like mildew and bugs that a clone might inherit from its mother. They also have additional tolerances to wind and rain that make them much more vigorous and durable.

One of the downsides to seeds is the mystery. Unless you obtain feminized seeds which are bred to always grow female, you will not know the sex of your plant until a few weeks of taking care of it. There’s also the mystery of how a seed will grow, and it can take time with multiple of the same seed to dial it in and figure out the growth patterns. However there are plenty of seed banks that keep track of their specific strains and phenotypes so you don’t have to worry as much.

 

Lastly, marijuana seeds can be expensive. While some seeds can cost less than a clone, others can be outlandishly priced. Normally one can expect to pay around $10 for a single seed of a basic strain.

Which will you choose?

Both seeds and clones have their pros and cons, and choice of which to grow with is a matter of preference. Marijuana seeds will give the full experience of planting to harvesting and all of the knowledge and complications that come with it. Clones give your grow a kickstart, so you don’t have to worry about germinating and all of the other early stage processes. But, you add the risk of inherited diseases and complications of dealing with a clone.

It all depends how involved you really want to be with your grow. Whether just at the beginning to make sure your clone takes off, or there from the start to watch the marijuana seed you planted turn into a beautiful marijuana plant.

 

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