Updated: May 5, 2019
Welcome to GreenNurse on the Grow, where our GreenNurse Jodi shares her experiences through our media platform as she embarks upon the journey of growing her own medicine.
Jodi Chapin RN
Blog One - GreenNurse Jodi
I can’t successfully grow a tomato…so, what makes me think I can grow cannabis??!!
I’ve been a nurse for 30 years and have no problem nurturing a human being. But a plant? Forget about it!! Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve kept a number of houseplants (barely) alive and have had great success at STARTING a vegetable or herb garden. I’m not sure what happens. I forget to fertilize or water, and BAM the whole garden is a dead mess!
There are a few reasons why I wanted to grow my own cannabis plants such as saving some money over time, the connection to the plant, the ability to grow specific strains for treatment of my assorted ailments, and even just as a fun new hobby. I decided to get a few books and visited some how-to-grow websites. I was more intimidated than ever! Some people may say to you, “it’s a weed, how difficult could it be to grow??” But, I’m here to tell you that growing your own cannabis plants will require that you do some research, obtain the necessary tools and supplies, as well as maintain a good amount of patience.
Benefits of Growing Cannabis
You’ll Save Money Over Time
Sure, the initial start-up cost associated with home growing is a major concern for many who are worried that their cultivation won’t pay itself off over time.
Then you have ongoing costs which include electricity, reverse osmosis water, hydroponics nutrients, grow light bulbs and air conditioning. However, if you look just at the economical side, in just one indoor season with a modest grow room, which averages between 300 and 500 bucks, you have the ability to harvest two pounds of premium dried bud — worth about $6000 retail in today’s market.
Connection To The Plant
In all honesty, what could be better than starting your day off by watering some luscious herb plants while marveling at how quickly they grow? There’s something that’s just so fulfilling and grounding about digging your hands deep into cool soil.
The best reason to grow cannabis is the enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from forming a personal relationship with this fascinating plant. This is truly the only addicting aspect of marijuana.
When you buy retail cannabis, you won’t always get the complete run down on its genetics or how it was grown. One of the biggest decisions you’ll get to make when cultivating cannabis will be deciding which strain(s) to grow. Cannabis seeds are available online from a wide variety of seed banks and reputable dealers and can be shipped easily, discreetly, and legally to a variety of places around the world.
There are some benefits from being able to choose which strains to cultivate. Such as selecting for height, grow time, aroma, taste, and the wide spectrum of the cognitive and physical effects the varieties have to offer.
Many medical cannabis patients prefer to have the control over their medicine that a personal garden allows, with the knowledge that it is grown safely and organically.
Growing cannabis at home allows you to become your own master at cultivation, giving you complete freedom to control every aspect of the cultivation process.
By having plants, you’ll have access to a lot more buds than you would normally, as well parts of the plant which you usually can’t get your hands on like trim and roots.
Unfortunately, due to prohibition many people have lost sight of the many uses of the cannabis plant and its stems, leaves, and seeds. By growing your own cannabis, you will be able to experiment with these parts of the plant and create a whole bunch of exciting new products.
It’s Legal (Depending on Where You Live)
As of 2018, you can legally grow cannabis (with varied restrictions) in thirty-three states and the District of Columbia in some form. As long as you meet the requirements to cultivate within these states, you’re free to grow your own. Pretty exciting, right?
Most states allow you to grow between 4-6 plants, although there are some stipulations in certain states that allow for larger plant counts.
Massachusetts Cannabis Laws
Possession/Use Limits: Adults 21 years of age and older may possess any combination of the following:
Up to one (1) ounce of usable marijuana in a public setting;
Up to ten (10) ounces of usable marijuana in a private (home) setting;
Up to five (5) grams of cannabis concentrate.
Adults over the age of 21 may cultivate up to six (6) mature plants per person for personal use (with a maximum of 12 regardless of number of adults in the residence), and plants must not be visible to the general public.
A qualifying medical marijuana patient
A qualifying medical marijuana patient with a hardship cultivation registration may cultivate a limited number of plants sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply solely for that patient’s use. He or she may apply for a hardship cultivation registration if the patient can demonstrate that his or her access to a registered medical dispensary (RMD) is limited by:
Verified financial hardship
Physical incapacity to access reasonable transportation (an inability to use public transportation or drive oneself), lack of personal caregiver with reliable transportation, or lack of RMD that will deliver to the patient’s or personal caregiver’s primary address
Lack of a RMD within a reasonable distance of the patient’s residence and lack of a RMD that will deliver marijuana to the patient’s or personal caregiver’s primary address
To obtain a hardship cultivation, a registered qualifying patient shall submit:
A non-refundable registration fee (unless waived due to financial hardship)
Information supporting a claim that access is limited to one or more of the above circumstances
An explanation including lack of feasible alternatives to mitigate limitations claimed
A description and address of the single location that shall be used for the cultivation of marijuana, which shall either be the registered qualifying patient’s or personal caregiver’s primary residence
A written explanation of how the qualifying patient will cultivate marijuana
A description of the device or system that will be used to ensure security and prevent diversion of the marijuana plants being cultivated
Written acknowledgement of the limitations on his or her authorization to cultivate, possess, and use marijuana for medical purposes
The Department shall review and approve or deny an application for a hardship cultivation license within 30 calendar days of receipt of a completed application.