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Grower to Grower with Little Hill Cultivators

Grower to Grower with Little Hill Cultivators

The Real Dirt is known for interviewing some pretty great cannabis growers. But this episode isn’t really an interview.

Jeff from Little Hill Cultivators has been an almost regular guest on The Real Dirt, and one of our most reliable sources of insight into the current California cannabis industry. As a long time medical cultivator, Jeff transitioned into the recreational industry as well after legalization in California.

With any new legal cannabis industry there is bound to be some red tape, but California just about takes the cake, and wraps it up in red tape. Comparatively, Oklahoma has just about none.

Barriers to entry for cannabis growers

We can all agree that there needs to be some barriers to entry for cannabis growers in a legal industry. But each state varies on how many barriers they set up.

Oklahoma legalized medical cannabis in 2018, with sales taking off without a hitch in 2019, faster and with more growth than any other state. This is because they had almost no barriers to entry, and even made it easier for out of state cannabis growers to come in and get started.

Up until the end of August 2019, any potential cannabis entrepreneur could move to Oklahoma, live there for 30 days, get residency and pursue state licensing. Now (post August) anybody trying to enter the Oklahoma medical cannabis industry from out of state must live in-state for two years before getting residency.

California on the other hand restricted anybody from getting a recreational cannabis license that didn’t already have a medical cannabis license and operation. On top of that, the application fees were insanely high, with additional charges for obtaining the license after approval.

Talking grower to grower

Talking about growing cannabis with somebody who just started or even has been doing it for a few years is nothing like two veteran Northern California cannabis growers getting together. There’s no beating around the bush, just Chip and Jeff talking about each others’ grows, what they each do differently and why.

We all know some growers that think they got the best set up, grow the best ganja and won’t hear a word that says otherwise. It takes years of learning, seeing other grows and assessing your own problems that you can really sit down and talk, grower to grower.

And this episode is just part one.

Stay tuned for part two

In part two of Grower on Grower with Little Hill Cultivators, Chip and Jeff continue their conversation about California’s strict regulations, Oklahoma’s growing industry, drip irrigation, industry predictions and more.

Follow us on Instagram (@therealdirtpodcast) and Facebook (@therealdirt) to stay updated on the next episode’s release and get fun cannabis content in the meantime.

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The Future of Cannabis Trimmers with Cullen Raichart

The Future of Cannabis Trimmers with Cullen Raichart

The industry is expanding, and so is your grow. Sometimes you can’t hand trim it all.

It’s sort of a badge of honor to be worn in the cannabis community when you only trim your cannabis by hand. It shows you care enough about how your buds turn out that you are willing to take the extra time to go through each bud by hand to ensure quality.

Of course you can trim poorly and still get bud that doesn’t look great, but in most cases hand trimming produces the best looking final product.

But with more and more commercial grow operations popping up across the country, there is a growing need for commercial harvest solutions. And when a dozen sets of hands for trimming starts to add up, a machine cannabis trimmer becomes more enticing.

Machine Cannabis Trimmers 

A big reason people tend to avoid machine cannabis trimmers is because they are just that, a machine. How can a machine have the same soft, gentle touch of human hands? How can they ensure the buds aren’t getting sliced to pieces from the metal blades in the trimmer?

Science.

The fact is, machine trimmers have come a long way since their inception, and you can now get a machine trimmed bud that looks just like a hand trimmed bud without damaging it or knocking off trichomes. And speaking of the inception of machine trimmers, Cullen Raichart is responsible for just that.

Cullen founded GreenBroz Inc, the first company to produce dry flower machine trimmers for the commercial cannabis market. What is so unique about GreenBroz is how they have designed their trimmers to be so gentle that they literally put their money where their mouth is to prove it.

Compared to other trimmers that tumble the buds around and beat them up to get the leaves off, GreenBroz’s design gently circulates the buds as they are lightly brushed to remove the dried crisp leaves from the service without harming the rest of the bud.

The Future of Automated Harvest Solutions

This week’s episode of The Real Dirt is a deep dive into the story of GreenBroz and Cullen, and where the future of harvest solutions is headed. As the industry continues to grow and expand, so does the acreage that cannabis takes up. More plants means more hands, or in some cases, just one machine cannabis trimmer.

Automation is a natural result of capitalism, and ignoring it won’t make it go away, as much as we would love to keep hand trimming forever. But that doesn’t mean a machine trimmer can’t be an extremely cost effective and impactful in your grow. It’s just your decision to make.

Roll some fo your freshly trimmed buds up and listen to this week’s episode of The Real Dirt right here (top of page) or on your favorite platform.

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Living Soil and Organic Inputs: Understanding Your Environmental Impact

Living Soil and Organic Inputs: Understanding Your Environmental Impact

Growing organically and in living soil might not be as environmentally friendly as you think.

Every grower should aim to grow organic cannabis at least once in their lifetime. It produces a cleaner, safer product for consumption, which means there will always be a demand for it, and it will always be a money maker for growers.

But what does it really mean to grow organic cannabis? 

Organic Inputs in Cannabis

You may be hesitant to grow organic because it limits what you’re allowed to feed your plants. The reality is that there’s a plethora of different organic inputs you can use to produce quality, organic cannabis.

The real question you need to ask before you commit to the organic way of growing is how sustainable are the organic inputs you use?

Bat and seabird guano are two of the most popular organic inputs for organic cannabis cultivation. They provide great amounts of potassium and phosphorous, and even nitrogen in certain types. But here’s the catch; to get those guanos, they need to be dug up by huge excavators. They get the potassium and phosphorous rich guanos from the top layers, and dig down even further for the nitrogen rich guanos.

In other words, for guanos to be obtained they are more or less strip mined. This destroys the homes of the seabirds and bats that lived there, displacing them and restarting the cycle of guano production in that region. A lot of organic inputs are unfortunately mined from the earth, with not much in the way of renewability.

This has become somewhat of a moral dilemma in the grow community, as in order to grow organically, you need organic inputs. But certain organic inputs are not renewable or sustainable and using them is in a way condoning how they are obtained. However before you decide that organic growing just isn’t for you based on how organic inputs are obtained, there are organic inputs that are renewable, sustainable and safer for the environment.

Sustainable organic inputs

There are plenty of renewable organic inputs from feather and bone meals, to fish emulsion, earth worm castings and kelp. Which ones you choose to use are up to you, and that will take some research on which organic inputs work best.

The most organic option however is composting. You can make it yourself, turn it into a tea, and feed your plants a full serving of essential nutrients without harming any ecosystem or wildlife. But it isn’t easy.

That’s what this week’s episode of The Real Dirt is all about. At a live talk at CannaCon in Oklahoma City in August 2019, Chip shared his knowledge on organic inputs and the true environmental impacts of growing organic cannabis. Hear that full talk right now and stream this episode of The Real Dirt now.

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Autoflower Cannabis: The future of home growing featuring Chef Anna with The Pot

Autoflower Cannabis: The future of home growing featuring Chef Anna with The Pot

Chef Anna grows some of the best autoflowers in the game with a personality to match. But it’s not just Chef’s grow skills that make him so special.

What makes Chef Anna so unique is that he is, for lack of a better word, kind of crazy. Most people would never walk through a Walmart trying to convince elderly white folks they dropped a jar of ganja on the ground. But that’s exactly what Chef Anna does.

Chef has quickly become a cannabis community influencer on Instagram with his hilarious videos. These clips include handing cannabis out to random strangers at grocery stores, to hiding an ounce in the shelves and making a post on Instagram to come and find it for locals in the area.

However Chef Anna was popular well before he started making videos.

Who is Chef Anna?

The question over 50,000 Instagram followers probably want to know is, just who exactly is Chef Anna? Your guess is as good as ours!

You will always see Chef with a hat or hoodie on, and his signature polarized snowboard goggles to hide his face. While there probably are people out there who know who he is at this point, his persona is all people need to see to get hooked.

Chef’s original rise to Instagram popularity is due to his to book, #GROWLIKECHEF: a complete beginners guide to growing autoflowering marijuana at home. And if you didn’t get it from the title, Chef Anna is a chef of high quality, autoflowering cannabis.

Autoflower cannabis and growing at home

With more states allowing personal cultivation of cannabis at home, a lot of people are growing cannabis for the first time. Autoflowering cannabis is a very enticing option for these growers that want something easier to manage.

The genetics of autoflower cannabis allow for faster flowering that doesn’t require lighting changes to transition from the vegetative stage to the flower stage. With this unique characteristic, autoflower cannabis also grows smaller than your average cannabis plant. This makes it ideal for growing in small spaces, and for getting guaranteed yields.

This doesn’t mean autoflowering cannabis is just for the new guy. Chef Anna has been growing autoflower cannabis for years, and has mastered the cultivars he grows. And he’s been sharing his knowledge with the world for just as long.

This Week’s Episode

Chef Anna is on the forefront of evolving autoflower cannabis cultivation. As genetics get stronger, and yields get bigger, autoflower cannabis is becoming more and more popular. Does this mean that autoflowering cannabis is future for home growers?

In this week’s episode of The Real Dirt Podcast, Chip talks with Chef Anna about autoflowering cannabis, how it works, and where it’s going. Plus we get a deep dive into the Instagram personality of Chef Anna; why he does the crazy things he does, changing the perception around cannabis, and more.

Roll a fat one up, sit back, relax and enjoy this episode of The Real Dirt featuring Chef Anna.

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Toklahoma: Growing cannabis in Oklahoma

Toklahoma: Growing cannabis in Oklahoma

It’s time to get growing in Oklahoma.

Right now is a great time to be growing cannabis in Oklahoma. For starters, it’s legal as long as you have a medical card. Second, Oklahoma has some of the most accessible cannabis laws in the country, making it super easy for anybody to start growing cannabis for themselves.

But for some, growing cannabis and using cannabis is still a taboo they are trying to overcome. This is in part because of Oklahoma’s inexperience with cannabis culture.

Oklahoma Cannabis Culture

“What is that?”, is probably what a lot of people in Oklahoma would say right now if you asked them about Oklahoma’s cannabis culture. That’s because up until 2018, it was pretty much non-existent.

Cannabis is very new to the state of Oklahoma, a traditionally red, conservative state that sits in southern-middle America. Compared to Colorado, California, Nevada and other larger states that have legalized cannabis, Oklahoma is pretty small.

Oklahoma City has a population of less than 650,000, with the next biggest city, Tulsa, having just over 400,000. Even with big city hubs, Oklahoma is still pretty rural. In other words, there was little interest in cannabis culture in Oklahoma until recently.

But with the state’s new laws, many are seeing the opportunity as more than just a new medicinal avenue, but a business avenue. It’s no secret that cannabis brings a lot of business, jobs, and money to wherever it becomes legal, medical or otherwise. So it should come as no surprise that people in an agricultural state like Oklahoma would jump on the opportunity to start growing cannabis.

Growing Cannabis in Oklahoma

It may seem simple enough as a traditional farmer or vegetable grower when growing cannabis for the first time; just plant the seeds or clones, give them water and sunlight and you’ll get results. But cannabis is not quite that simple like other vegetables or field crops.

Especially if you’re growing cannabis to distribute to dispensaries and processors, you want to grow the finest cannabis possible, not the easiest or simplest. The first thing you need to decide has already been mentioned, and that’s deciding whether or not you’re growing cannabis from seeds or clones.

The smartest and easiest things to do for new growers just growing for personal use is to buy clones. These are precut pieces of cannabis mother plants that have tested, proven quality genetics that will produce a plant just like the mother. Clones save you the trouble of having to grow out seeds for a couple months just to weed out the males (pun intended) and realize they were half of your stock.

For commercial growers however, building a cannabis business means standing out from the competition. You can either grow consistent, quality cannabis from clones of other growers’ gardens, or you can develop your own strains. Obviously breeding cannabis is no amateur task, and takes patience, trial and error.

But growing from seed gives growers the ability to pollinate and cross-breed their favorite strains to create new ones, an ability not afforded by clones since they are all female. A general tip to remember is that clones are more sensitive at first, and more prone to disease compared to seeds which are heartier, but overall clones are much easier to manage for a new grower.

Everything to know before you grow

In this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast, Chip talks to Darryl Souza and Chris Bane of Cultivate Denver and Cultivate OKC. Darryl and Chris combined have been in hundreds of grows and they have seen how cannabis is grown, right and wrong, indoor and outdoor, so they know a thing or two about growing cannabis of high quality, consistently.

Tune in as the three talk best practices for growing cannabis in Oklahoma, which lights, soils and nutrients are best and more on another knowledge-packed episode of The Real Dirt Podcast.

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Inside The Alabama Hemp Industry

Inside The Alabama Hemp Industry

Hemp is legal in Alabama…and everywhere else in the US. But that doesn’t mean all the laws are the same.

The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized industrial hemp, opening up a brand new marketplace for interstate commerce with federal regulation. This is a huge step for hemp and cannabis (since they are the same thing), but the bill isn’t perfect.

One unique aspect of the bill is that it gives states a year from its passing (December 2018) to either draft their own industrial hemp laws that still fit within federal regulation, or get rid of any hemp laws they currently have, and accept the new federal regulation as their own.

While states like Colorado — that had an amendment to its constitution allowing for the production of industrial hemp — voted to remove the amendment from the constitution to avoid any backlash from federal government, others still have hemp laws on the books.

Alabama is one of them.

Hemp Laws in Alabama

To get the most accurate description of Alabama’s new laws, the best place to go is the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Hemp is now deemed an agricultural commodity and is no longer classified as a controlled substance in the US, and in turn, Alabama. It is important for the public to understand that hemp is not legal to grow or process in Alabama until a plan is developed and approved by the United States Secretary of Agriculture.

The USDA will require participating states to include information on applicants, testing procedures, inspection of growing/processing facilities and disposal procedures. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) will work in consultation with the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office and law enforcement agencies to create a plan of action regarding statewide regulation.

So, while hemp is federally legal and Alabama is not fighting that, the state is still setting up its legal industry. At the time of this writing (April 2019), Alabama will have already closed its application window for growers, processors and distributors.

Over 180 farmers have been approved, with some 60 processors in addition.

This Week’s Episode of The Real Dirt

One such person that was able to obtain a farming license for industrial hemp in Alabama was Brett Terry. A longtime friend of Chip’s, Brett works with Front Range Biosciences in Boulder, Colorado.

Front Range Bio is working to rapidly advance the growth methods and techniques for cannabis and industrial hemp, from cleaner farming practices to cell cultures. Originally from Alabama, Brett saw the massive market potential for hemp in the state.

As a strong agricultural provider for the country, Alabama is packed with farmers looking for new opportunity. While those that didn’t meet the March 1st deadline must now wait until October to apply for licensing, Brett is already getting started.

Hear Brett’s story and what he’s experienced so far in Alabama’s legal hemp industry in this episode of The Real Dirt Podcast.

Join our private Facebook Group for conversations with other ganjapreneurs and cannabis updates you won’t get anywhere else!

And join our new Real Dirt Alabama Group for exclusive Alabama hemp news, tips and more.

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