One advantage the educated and licensed pot purveyor has over his illegal competitors is consistency. “With legal products you know exactly what you’re getting,” Adams says. “There are pesticide tests to make sure there are no residues on the plants. If you get it from an illegal supplier, those guys aren’t allowed to test their products. You have no idea what they’re putting on their plants. You don’t know how they’re handling it. If you get it from a licensed producer, you know that it’s clean and a lot safer.”
A marijuana field. Photograph: Stephanie Paschal / Rex Features
“A lot of people are buying marijuana,” Adams says. “There’s no doubt about that.” But does that mean the would-be marijuana seller has a built-in clientele? Not necessarily. “It’s going to be quite competitive,” she warns. “There are conglomerates who have already joined. There’s some big money involved. And I think you’re going to see a lot of it move more in that direction.”
3. Build a client base – and keep them
“I’ve done a lot of consulting work,” Adams says, “and one of the main issues that I see, especially in startups, is that there’s a knowledge gap between the marketing guys and the people on the ground. The people who work in the facility really need to be able to communicate with the patients and marketing side of things, and vice versa. It’s important that both sides understand each other.”
Legal in Canada … for medicinal purposes. Photograph: Alamy
2. Get to know the logistics
“As with any agricultural crop,” Adams says, “there are going to be ongoing issues with pest management that you need to look at.” Energy consumption, too, poses challenges few people consider. “Indoor facilities especially have huge electrical bills,” Adams points out. “For a four- to five-thousand square foot place you’re looking at around $30,000 a month. That’s a lot. That’s $360,000 a year for the lights in just a small facility.”
I spoke with Tegan Adams, the programme’s developer and primary instructor, to get a clearer idea of what those eager for education in the discipline can expect.
Extra fertilizer helps make plants grow tall, strong and leafy, but is less useful during the flowering stage.
"Drought stress is commonly associated with high quality herbs and spices," said Caplan. Evidently, this applies to cannabis as well as other herbs that find their way into your kitchen pantry.
Tip #1: If you want buds, turn out the lights
With legalization, it looks like that may change, and one of the people leading that change is Deron Caplan, who recently finished his PhD in cannabis horticulture at the University of Guelph.
In preparation for the legalization of recreational marijuana possession in Canada on Oct. 17, Caplan hopes to share his knowledge of bringing science and cultivation together.
Tip #4: For potent pot, a little (drought) stress is good
Not surprisingly, the soil you grow your plants in will have a big impact on how well they produce. And while it might sometimes be called a weed, prime pot needs just the right kind of dirt to do its best.