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Things To Do Before You Can Grow Cannabis From Seeds

Nicholas Demski
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Ready to try to grow cannabis from seeds? There are some things you need to consider and a few things to gather before you start.

Have you ever had two slices of warm, homemade bread with garden-fresh vegetables (your garden) and organic pesto in the middle of ‘the perfect sandwich’? Have your foraged for mushrooms or truffles in the forest? Perhaps fished for the family dinner? If you have, then you’ve experienced the exact feeling that people get when they successfully grow cannabis from seeds for their own medicine. Dare I say the latter is a wee bit more satisfying.

It comes down to one important question in life: Would you rather have that perfect, hand-made sandwich or a machine-pressed, fast food burger?

If You Chose The Sandwich Option, Read On

If you’re looking to become a cannabis grower in North America, please check your local laws. Cannabis plants are not potatoes and you can’t simply place these in the ground, even if you have a license to grow your medicine. It seems like every state and province has a different set of rules for medical cannabis patient, so it’s best if you look into provincial/state stipulations and bylaws.

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Things To Do Before You Plant

Get Your Medical Cannabis Card/Recommendation/Prescription

For some states and provinces, having the legal ability to purchase cannabis for your condition does not automatically mean you can also grow. Sometimes you need to apply for a grow licence as well.

And even in regions that have fully legalized, growing is not an automatic right. There are limits to location, such as no growing beside a school or day care. And there are limits on number of plants. Typically this number is based on gram/day of your prescription. In Ontario (Canada) for example, 10g/day means you are allowed to grow 150 plants. The fly in the ointment is that the bylaws have to support that number. You will usually get approved for a lot less. It all depends on the size of your property and its proximity to public buildings. Again, every region varies.

In some U.S. states, there are little bonuses to having a medical card, even in a rec state. Some state dispensaries offer cannabis patients a reduced price. State law can also favor having a medical cannabis card. Colorado, for example, offers 15% State Retail Marijuana Sales Tax to offset the cost of medication.

Other states have zero tax on medical cannabis: Delaware, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington DC.

The final, important medicinal benefit for card holders is access to higher limits in potency. That limit varies from state to state, but it can be a big hinderance to getting proper pain relief. The limit change can be very significant, like in California were patients can access tinctures with double the THC allowance (from 1000mg THC for recreational tincture to 2000 mg THC for medical cannabis patients).

Head Off Trouble with the Law (or Your Landlord)

Even if you live in a legalized recreational state, and even if you have a medical cannabis card, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can start growing cannabis. For example, patients in Florida are not allowed to grow their own cannabis, with the exception of one case.

If you don’t own your own home, you also need to check in with the clauses in your lease and have a conversation with your landlord. That means you not only need to understand your locality, you also need to understand your lease. Does your landlord allow people to grow their own cannabis on site?

Due to the damage that can occur in an improperly managed grow, landlords are not required, by law, to allow it and can place a cause in your lease prohibiting cannabis cultivation on the property.

In short, do a top-down examination of your situation, knowing the legal hoops will prevent you from getting shut down before harvest.

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Prepare to Pay Your Electricity Bill

If you’re going to be growing cannabis for the first time, prepare to see a spike in your electricity bill thanks to your new lighting system. You’ve been warned, now prepare appropriately and remember that the cost is for better, home-grown medicine. It’s also money that would otherwise go to someone else to grow it for you.

You’re also going to be laying out a fair bit of cash to set up your grow room, including climate control, ventilation, and fans. Take an audit of your resources. You’ll need to answer questions such as:

  • How much floor space do I have/
  • How much overhead space is available?
  • Is there sufficient ventilation?
  • How is the climate controlled?
  • And more

With these questions answered, you’ll be able to select the best equipment for your needs. To grow cannabis from seeds, in addition to the above, you’ll need things like:

  • A nutrient-rich medium
  • An irrigation system
  • Lights, hoods, reflective shield

Of course, you can also grow outdoors, saving money on electricity. You’ll still need the other pieces as you start the seedlings indoors so that you can regulate light cycle for maximum veg. In cooler climates, like Canada, plants can’t go out until ‘after the first full moon in May’ or when the risk of frost is zero. If growers in Canada don’t start indoors, they may not reach optimal harvest before the first frost.

Choose The Right Seed For Your Set Up

With your dimensions set, you’ll be able to select a chemovar that will likely fit well with your set. If your ceilings are vaulted, you might be inclined to grow six-foot sativa varieties. A smaller set might require a short, stocky plant.

Selecting the right seeds requires as much forethought as creating the perfect set up. A little bit of research into genetics and phenotype will help you get the medicine you need that is compatible with your grow space.

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Most Important: Carefully Tend to Your Plants

Mites, mildew, and moody cats. There are all kinds of risks to watch out for when trying to grow cannabis from seeds. A lack of ventilated air can help pests quickly overtake a crop. Poor climate control might lead to mold on your buds. An unlocked door could let in a curious cat that likes to dump plants off the grow table and shred them (don’t ask).

There are so many things to consider, but the most important is to love your plants and don’t be intimidated by the process. Mistakes will happen, your first grow could even be a total fail, but very soon you will be an old pro growing your own healthy, chemical-free medicine. Totally worth it.

Oh! One more thing. When you’re done, save the roots! These are important medicine.


Nicholas Demski

I like to smash stigmas of all types. I'm a full-time single father, world-traveler, and an advocate for medicinal plants being treated for what they are: plants. You can follow my life's journey on the following platforms: Instagram @TheSingleDadNomad YouTube and Facebook: The Single Dad Nomad Blog: Also, feel free to have a look at my portfolio of work:

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