Luce Farm Partners with Brewer to Make CBD Beer

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The organic family farm, Luce Farm, has officially partnered with Long Trail Brewing Company. While business partnerships are commonplace, this particular one has us interested. In fact, the goal of this alliance has us downright excited. Luce Farm and Long Trail Brewing Company have co-created a CBD beer.

Luce Farm

Luce Farm Partners with Brewing Company to Make CBD Beer

Vermont’s Luce Farm is a gorgeous sight unto itself. (Facebook/Chris Lillie for Luce Farms)

For the past decade, Rebecca and Joe Pimentel have cultivated the land of Luce Farm. Located in Stockbridge, Vermont, the farm was founded in 1820. There, the Pimentels and their friend-turned-business-partner Tyler Wakstein grow organic herbs and produce and raise farm animals.

In 2016, the Pimentel’s decided to add another crop to their roster.

Their choice? Hemp.

But not just any kind of hemp. High-CBD hemp. Their first crop of 100 hemp plants proved successful. The Pimentels were thrilled! Here was a crop that not only had myriad health benefits but also fared well in New England’s soil.

This year, they started making and selling hemp CBD-infused honey, bolstered by a Vermont-based apiary.

“We do have our own bees, but more for the health of the farm and for the planet in general,” Joe Pimentel told High Times, taking the time to talk to us about Luce Farm and their latest business venture.

He explained that to get a consistent supply of honey, they’ve formed a partnership with Champlain Valley Apiaries. The honey is where this story truly takes off.

The Beer

Luce Farm Partners with Brewing Company to Make CBD Beer

Long Trail Brewing had their CBD-infused Hemp Honey Ginger IPA tested by PhytoScience Institute to determine the dosage rate of a 12-ounce serving. (Facebook/Long Trail Brewing)

A friend of the Pimentel’s, a bartender at Long Trail restaurant, Matt Kopicki, started using the CBD honey to alleviate pain. Since it worked for him, he began to recommend the remedy to his customers.

Eventually, word of Luce Farm’s miracle honey reached the manager of Long Trail Brewing Company, Brian Sherwood.

“We originally partnered with them to get our honey on their cheese plates and on the shelves in their gift shop,” Pimentel said. “We got a call three days later saying ‘hey, why don’t we try brewing a beer with it?’ It sounded like a great idea.”

And it was.

The team brewed a batch of 15 gallons of Long Trail’s Honey-Ginger IPA. It was an existing recipe, but this time, they used Luce Farm’s hemp honey.

The result? A CBD beer.

They launched the product this past Labor Day Weekend at the Brewery. Pimentel describes the immediate response as “outrageous.”

They sold over a hundred jars of honey. But the real victory? Their supply of CBD beer was tapped out in two hours.

Final Hit: Luce Farm Partners with Brewing Company to Make CBD Beer

Luce Farm Partners with Brewing Company to Make CBD Beer

Joe and Rebecca from Luce Farm sample their CBD-infused beer. (Facebook/Long Trail Brewing)

The next time the team sold their CBD beer was on Columbus Day Weekend.

To prepare for the sales, they brewed twice the amount. Pimentel also disclosed to us that they’re really close to brewing another big batch and are also looking to make it available outside the confines of the brewery.

“Right now, we’re definitely keeping it in Vermont,” he said.

Still, that doesn’t mean that other states will never get to experience Luce Farm and Long Trail Brewing Company’s CBD beer. Anything is possible, so we’re fantasizing about the day we can get a six pack at any corner store. Especially since it has had so much immediate success.

“It’s been totally wild!” Pimentel laughed.

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GOP Congressman Wants to Help Businesses Sell Weed

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Opposition to cannabis legalization often comes from the Republican side of the aisle. And when Republican politicians decide to break ranks and advocate for legal weed, they usually make their case from the business side of things. After all, legal cannabis can be a serious boost to state economies, particularly when it comes to tax revenue. But federal prohibition puts extra pressure on state-legal marijuana businesses. And that’s why one GOP congressman wants to help businesses sell weed.

Rep. Mark Sanford: This GOP Congressman Wants To Help Businesses Sell Weed

In a recent Facebook post, Representative Mark Sanford, a Republican representing the First District of South Carolina since 2013, announced that he had co-sponsored the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017.

The bill is a major piece of legislation that would significantly impact marijuana sales in states with legal weed businesses.

So what exactly does the Tax Equity Act propose to change? And how will it help weed businesses turn a profit?

Legal Weed Businesses Face Tax Inequity

Back in 1982, Congress easily passed a measure adding Section 280E to the U.S. tax code. Essentially, the law prohibited any business that “trafficked in controlled substances” from taking advantage of the many deductions and credits available to every other business.

These deductions include things like overhead costs, employee-related expenses and usual business stuff.

As a result of all those breaks, designed to support small business owners, a typical company could expect to pay a roughly 30 percent tax rate.

But state-legal weed businesses do indeed traffic in what the federal government still considers a “Schedule I” controlled substance. So they can’t claim those deductions.

As a result, weed businesses can pay effective tax rates that are as high as 70 percent.

Suffice to say, these sky-high tax rates make it difficult to keep a legal cannabis company afloat.

GOP Congressman Wants To Help Businesses Sell Weed By Leveling The Playing Field

Cut taxes for businesses and reduce federal overreach—a mantra for the GOP if there ever was one. And one that Rep. Mark Sanford (SC–R) has embraced on behalf of legal weed businesses.

Indeed, the crux of Sanford’s co-sponsored bill, the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017, is to make weed businesses eligible for the same deductions offered to all other legal businesses, regardless of federal laws pertaining to the products.

“The principle here is simple,” Sanford wrote in his Monday Facebook announcement. “If a state makes something legal […], it ought to be treated in par and equally with other legal businesses in the state.”

Furthermore, Sanford is asking other congresspeople to support the Tax Equity Act, whether or not they support legal cannabis. One’s views on weed, he feels, shouldn’t distract from the GOP’s commitment to shrinking the federal government.

“Whether you’re for or against the medical use of marijuana matters less than whether we really subscribe and adhere to the founders’ belief in federalism,” Sanford went on to explain. “In short, even with ideas we may not like, it’s important to adhere to federalism if you believe in limiting the size of our federal government.”

It is certainly true that giving weed businesses access to crucial tax deductions can help them stay in the black. Sanford’s bill would also address the apparent hypocrisy of a federal government collecting extra tax revenue from the sales of a substance it prohibits.

And that’s how this GOP congressman is working to help small businesses sell weed.

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How To Get Your Legal Weed Permits in California

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It’s officially time to start looking into legal weed permits in California! The state is about to fully legalize recreational cannabis. If you want to break into the industry, it’s time to prepare.

The Steps For Licensing

The new year is a time for new beginnings.

In California, January 1, 2018, will mark the day when the Golden State starts the task of issuing legal weed permits in California. For those in the state who hope join the Green Rush and get in on the action, this date is everything.

If you’re planning on starting your own weed business, here’s a simplified, yet comprehensive, guide on how to start.

First Thing’s First

There are two important things to know before we start. If you’re an eager beaver and planning to apply for legal weed permits in California during the first couple of months of legality, you will only be able to get a temporary license.

This is because the state still has not finalized everything regarding regulation on their end.

And before you can obtain a statewide permit, you will need to apply for and be granted a local permit. Since both local and state permits are necessary to start and maintain cannabis businesses, you will also need to wait until your city finalizes local regulations.

The Application

You will be able to submit your application one of two ways. You can send your application through the mail if you don’t trust the Internet. Or you can apply online if you don’t trust the humans working in the mail system.

Either way, you’ll need the following four things:

1. Permission from the Government

This should be obvious, but unless you can show proof that you’re authorized to open a cannabis business, you won’t be able to move forward with your application for legal weed permits in California.

2. Business Information

You don’t need to present a detailed business plan.

For this component, you pretty much just need the basics of your business. Useful and required information includes the name of the business, relevant contact information and a brief summary of what your business will be.

And speaking of what kind of business you’re planning on having…

3. Your Desired Type and Class of License

You’ll need to officially decide upon what avenue you’re traveling on in terms of business.

In other words, pick a side: medical cannabis or recreational cannabis.

From there, you will need to specify what kind of business you will be running. Some options for this include retailer, testing lab and distributer, among others.

4. A Basic Floor Plan

This doesn’t have to be too detailed. The people reviewing your application just want to know the layout of the rooms and divisions of your business.

When you submit an application for a permanent license, though, you’ll need to provide more details, like what kind of security measures you will have.

Final Hit: How To Get Your Legal Weed Permits in California

None of this sounds too daunting, right?

Compared to the college application process, this seems like a walk in the park. Hey, no one’s asking you to write an essay explaining why you’re special and different from the millions of other students vying for a spot!

Again, keep in mind that this is a simplified and streamlined guide to legal weed permits in California. For more detailed information, visit the official website of the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control. Good luck, everybody!

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Nevada Marijuana Sales Continue to Soar to $33M for August

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Nevada marijuana sales are going through the roof! In fact, the state’s legal marijuana market is proving to be a dominating arm of the national cannabis trade.

So what are these exact figures? What has everyone so floored?

The Numbers

The numbers are in from Nevada’s Department of Taxation.

According to the latest statistics, dispensaries in the Silver State sold in upwards of $33 million during the month of August. This number includes both medical and recreational marijuana. That’s about $6 million more than the state’s first month of recreational sales.

During that month, it raked in a record-breaking $27 million. It’s even more than the states of Colorado, Washington and Oregon collected during their first month.

This means that the Department of Taxation was able to deposit a substantial amount into Nevada’s “rainy day account.” Around $5 million in tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana if you want to put a number on it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a “rainy day fund” is a fund set up to pay for emergencies. The government, however, will use some of the money to help schools, as the state originally planned. 

Here’s something that makes these figures even more impressive. None of the tax revenue is generated from the medical marijuana sector.

So basically, Nevada marijuana sales prove helpful to the state and the well-being of the residents.

Follow The Money

Governor Brian Sandoval may have underestimated things. He predicted early on that the state would generate $100 million in taxes and fees over the next two years. But let’s consider how the state’s pot market looks coming out of the gate.

State officials now expect a much bigger number. They’re reportedly gearing up to see closer to $120 million.

“I think it is a good indication that there was a large, pent-up demand that was being served by the black market,” Andrew Jolley, president of the Nevada Dispensary Association, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In just two months, Nevada has shown signs of becoming one of the largest legal marijuana markets in the nation.

The latest figures for August show the state outpaced Colorado by more than double during its second month of operation. This, in turn, is almost seven times more than Washington.

Still, we’re waiting to see how the state will hold up against California—especially when the latter launches its recreational sector early next year.

A recent study from the University of California Agricultural Issues Center suggests the Golden State’s legal marijuana market could be worth $5 billion.

Final Hit: Nevada Marijuana Sales Continue to Soar

Senator Tick Segerblom, one of the key legislative forces pushing marijuana reform laws in Nevada, told reporters that he was concerned at first that the recreational marijuana sales would begin to decline after experiencing such an impressively bang-up month in July. However, he now believes the overall demand is simply finding its footing in the newly legal environment. He doesn’t expect the state to see any kind of leveling off for another two years.

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Support For Legal Cannabis At All-Time Highs

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A recent Gallup poll shows support for legal cannabis at all-time highs. While this is certainly news worth celebrating, we need to examine some key factors first. What caused the increase in support? And what exactly is this huge number that’s got us so excited?

The Poll

Support For Legal Cannabis At All-Time Highs

From October 5 to October 11, Americans participated in Gallup poll about cannabis. Specifically, the Gallup poll asked for their opinions on cannabis legalization.

While we’ve been optimistic about the changing views and evolving social and political standards of our fellow Americans, nothing could prepare us for this result.

The Gallup poll revealed that a record-breaking 64 percent of American adults support the legalization of cannabis.

To put this number into context, let’s look at some previous Gallup polls about cannabis legalization.

The analytics company first asked American adults about their opinion on the subject way back in 1969. That year, 12 percent of Americans said that they supported the legalization of marijuana. According to Gallup, that number increased dramatically by the end of the 1970s—more than twice as many people reported being in favor legalization.

Interestingly, the percentage plateaued during the ’80s and ’90s before increasing again in 2001, when one-third of American nationals voiced their support. The number has been steadily increasing since then.

In fact, since 2013, more Americans supported legalization than those who did not.

Partisan Divide

Support For Legal Cannabis At All-Time Highs

When it comes to cannabis legalization, it seems that everyone has an opinion. And, let’s be honest, there has historically been a substantial split between the political parties.

This divide applies to a multitude of matters, especially in our current political climate. The issue of weed legalization is no different.

2009 marked the year that the majority of self-identified registered Democrats supported cannabis legalization. In 2010, Independent voters followed suit. This is the first year, ever, that the majority of Republican party members have supported legalization.

Fifty-one percent of Republicans support the legalization of cannabis. Last year, the number was only 42 percent.

Final Hit: Support For Legal Cannabis At All-Time Highs

Support For Legal Cannabis At All-Time Highs

While it’s easy to just congratulate ourselves and our compatriots on our expanding minds and evolving opinions about a plant, we need to analyze these numbers. We especially need to analyze them in context.

Why are we seeing support for legal cannabis at all-time highs?

The answer might be that Americans are paying attention to the latest data and research. The current research about cannabis suggests that consuming it is not harmful and actually has health benefits. Given this and the fact that 64 percent of Americans now support cannabis legalization, we might surmise that 64 percent of Americans are forming their opinions based on scientific evidence. At least in this case.

There’s also the fact that Americans have been steadily becoming more liberal in social issues. Gallup has even compared the upward trajectory of support for cannabis legalization to that of same-sex marriage.

We also need to talk about a certain high-ranking member of our current administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has openly displayed militantly anti-cannabis views. And now he’s officially in the minority on that front within his own party. While the margin is still small, if more Republicans start to voice their support for legalization, Sessions could find himself at odds with his constituents.

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Bill Would Allow for Use, Sale and Growth of Pot in St. Louis

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A brand new bill proposed earlier in the week would allow for the use, sale and growth of pot in St. Louis, all while reducing unfair penalties stemming from former cannabis-related violations.

One of the ordinance’s main goals is to help free up law enforcement’s time, in order to focus their energy and resources on crimes with actual victims, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

A Step in the Right Direction

The bill, which is sponsored by Alderwoman Megan Green, would make it illegal for the city of St. Louis to impose laws that allow “the civil or criminal punishment for the use or possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia against any individual or entity.”

However, there are some key exceptions.

Criminal or civil penalties can be enforced in the following circumstances:

  • Someone using marijuana under the age of 21,
  • Selling marijuana to someone under 21,
  • Possessing more than two ounces of marijuana or more than 10 marijuana plants for cultivation.

Additionally, cannabis consumption would be mostly restricted to private residential property, with limited public use.

The bill would also make it illegal to discriminate from hiring or terminating a current employee for smoking cannabis under the stipulations of the deal.

Missouri and Marijuana

Despite St. Louis’ progressive approach in attempting to lessen marijuana-related penalties, the state of Missouri as a whole has been far more stringent. Cannabis has yet to be decriminalized in the state, even for medicinal purposes.

However, there was a bill passed in 2014 which allowed the use of CBD oil for minors who suffered from rare cases of epilepsy.

Additionally, there have been small revisions to Missouri’s strict cannabis rules in recent years, at least in terms of petty possession. The recent criminal law change eliminated jail time for first-time offenders convicted of possessing 10 grams or less of marijuana.

Final Hit: Bill Would Allow for Use, Sale and Growth of Pot in St. Louis

Surprisingly, this isn’t the first bill of its nature to be proposed in the city of St. Louis.

Back in 2013, the Board of Aldermen actually passed an ordinance that similarly reduced penalties for those caught with small amounts of marijuana in their possession.

“I think this is a good step for the city of St. Louis,” Alderman Shane Cohn said at the time. “It doesn’t legalize marijuana, but it gives fairness.”

The ordinance, which is still in effect today, enforces a $100-$500 fine for a small possession of pot. Additionally, it gives police officers the option to issue a court summons to first and second-time offenders possessing less than 35 grams of pot. This essentially transforms would-be criminal cases into trivial municipal affairs.

Prior to the bill, first-time offenders caught with a small amount of marijuana (between a gram and 35 grams) were charged with a misdemeanor, which would result in up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Furthermore, a second offense for possession of over 35 grams would be considered a felony.

If Megan Green’s recently proposed bill is passed, it would take the place of Cohn’s current ordinance.

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Man Busted For Disguising His Pot Plants As Bonsai Trees

The post Man Busted For Disguising His Pot Plants As Bonsai Trees appeared first on High Times.

Satoshi Ohashi, a 35-year old janitor living in the Higashiyodogawa Ward of Osaka, Japan, was arrested at his home last month for cultivating and selling “taima”—the Japanese word for marijuana (pronounced “tie-mah”)—which resembled bonsai trees due to his unique cultivation methods.

Ohashi treated his pot plants as if they were bonsai trees, rather than employ the usual cultivation and production methods to grow pot plants, which normally grow over a meter high. Ohashi’s plants maxed out at 40 centimeters (15.748 inches) high instead.

Bonsai Trees: Here’s What You Need To Know

Man Busted For Disguising His Pot Plants As Bonsai Trees

Literally translated, “bon-sai” means “planted in a container.”

Bonsai defoliation involves cutting all the leaves of the tiny tree during the summer. In doing so, you force the tree to grow new leaves, leading to a reduction in the size of the leaves and an increase in ramification.

Another very important aspect of a bonsai is its “nebari” (Japanese for “root-flare”)—the surface roots that provide visual balance to a tree.

Creating a nebari can be done using two methods: by regularly pruning the downward growing roots, or by applying a propagation technique called “toriki,” or “air layering.”

The principal of layering is to force a tree or branch to form new roots at a certain point by interrupting the stream of nutrients from the existing root system. Air-layering can be used for several purposes: reducing the length of a trunk, growing a better nebari, or selecting a branch to be grown as a separate tree.

Police discovered 21 bonsai pot plants, each approximately 12 to 15 inches high, in Ohashi’s house.

Man Busted For Disguising His Pot Plants as Bonsai Trees

Approximately 212 grams of cannabis worth about 1.2 million yen (equivalent to $10,550) was confiscated during the bust. Ohashi was arrested and charged with “suspicion of cultivating 21 cannabis plants.”

According to the Kinki Welfare Bureau Narcotics Control Division, Ohashi explained to police how he had used bonsai techniques to trim, prune and manicure the plants—so that he could maximize his grow yield in his small apartment space.

Ohashi matter-of-factly told the authorities that this was the first time he had produced such a great cannabis crop.

Marijuana Cultivation In Japan

Man Busted For Disguising His Pot Plants as Bonsai Trees

Growing weed in Japan is notoriously risky, especially considering that Japanese authorities treat it with the same disdain, punishment and drug class distinction as heroin. Jail time is almost always a certainty.

Another Japanese marijuana grower, Sataru Washimi of Hokkaido, was recently incarcerated after the authorities were alerted in response to an incessant smoke alarm emanating from his home.

The alarm was set off by a space heater that was drying a crop of harvested pot plants, hanging upside-down in his apartment. Unfortunately, Washimi was in Tokyo at the time and had ignored his friend’s advice not to leave his plants unattended.

The Mr. Miyagi Of Cannabis

Man Busted For Disguising His Pot Plants as Bonsai Trees

High Times will stay tuned to find out if Ohashi, dubbed the “Mr. Miyagi of Cannabis” by the Japanese media, is eventually willing to take on a Daniel-san or two, to benkyo (study) bonsai bud cultivation from the Osaka-based master. Asahi TV aired a video clip of the adorable pot plants disguised as bonsai trees.

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Ex-NBA Commissioner Says Legalize Weed in Sports

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In an interview with former NBA player Al-Harrington, ex-NBA Commissioner David Stern said that the sporting world should embrace medical marijuana and that he believes it should be removed from the NBA’s list of banned substances.

“I’m now at the point where, personally, I think [cannabis] probably should be removed from the ban list,” Stern said while appearing on the digital sports program Uninterrupted. “I think there is universal agreement that marijuana for medical purposes should be completely legal.”

A Changing Landscape

Stern, now 75, was the NBA’s commissioner from 1984-2012 and was highly opposed to marijuana during his reign. He spearheaded a policy that took a tougher stance on drugs, and ironically enough, cannabis was at the forefront of the drugs he opposed.

Stern explained players were oftentimes showing up to games high, so he had to “tighten it up.”

Now, however, Stern has changed his tune.

“It’s a completely different perception,” Stern told Harrington. “I think we have to change the Collective Bargaining Agreement and let you do what is legal in your state. If marijuana is now in the process of being legalized, I think you should be allowed to do what’s legal in your state.”

Stern admitted that back when he was commissioner, cannabis had a far more sinister rap than it does today.

“People accepted the generally-held wisdom that marijuana was a gateway drug,” Stern said.

Al Harrington: A Cannabis Connoisseur

Harrington, who produced the documentary, played in the NBA for 16 years for the Pacers, Hawks, Warriors, Knicks, Nuggets, Magic and Wizards. The former power forward is now heavily invested in the cannabis industry and has invested more than $3 million in his own weed business.

Harrington says he began using medical marijuana as a result of a botched knee surgery he underwent while he was a member of the Denver Nuggets.

He went on to say that he believes “over 70 percent” of professional athletes—not exclusively NBA players—smoke cannabis regularly. This echoes the sentiment of another former NBA player Jay Williams, who said in an interview with FoxBusiness that “80 percent of the league” smokes weed.

However, Harrington took it a step further and went as far as to say coaches and front office members indulge in the green stuff from time to time.

“Not only the players, but I think coaches consume, I think the owners consume. I think in sports it’s very prevalent and it’s right there,” Harrington said.

Final Hit: Ex-NBA Commissioner Says Legalize Weed in Sports

While Stern’s words do hold weight in NBA circles, it’s unlikely we will see any immediate change in the league’s drug policy.

Although current NBA commissioner Adam Silver has recently said he’s “open” to legalizing medical marijuana in the league, he’s also gone on record saying that there’s “no need” to change the NBA’s current policy on the plant.

If the NBA did uplift their ban on pot, they would become the first professional sports league to do so. However, with Stern’s ringing endorsement, that notion may not be as far-fetched as we previously thought.

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Beginner Grow Tips: Topping, Water Stress & the Root Zone

The post Beginner Grow Tips: Topping, Water Stress & the Root Zone appeared first on High Times.

Each week, High Times Cultivation Editor Nico Escondido brings us three beginner grow tips to help ease the novice cultivator into the art of growing. Today, we cover topping, water stress and the inner-workings of the root zone.

Topping To Increase Overall Yield

Beginner Grow Tips: Topping, Water Stress & the Root Zone

“Topping” plants, or cutting off the top terminal shoot, results in multiple top shoots growing out directly under the cut.

Beginner Grow Tips: This will increase the number of top colas and the overall yield of your plants.

How Water Stress Affects Plants

Beginner Grow Tips: Topping, Water Stress & the Root Zone

Water stress is the lack of water, or too much water, for a plant. The former results in wilting, with dry, crumbly leaves; whereas the latter causes drooping of moist, heavy, sagging leaves.

Beginner Grow Tips: This stress causes abscisic acid to build up and closes down stomata in leaves, thereby slowing photosynthesis to a crawl.

Root Zone Must-Knows

Beginner Grow Tips: Topping, Water Stress & the Root Zone

There is a shift from leaf production to root production during the dark cycle as leaves transfer stored energy down to the root zone.

Beginner Grow Tips: Shut down supplemental CO2 during this time and boost oxygen to the root zone. It’s one piece of advice you’ll be glad that you remembered!

Final Hit: Remember These Beginner Grow Tips

First, let’s remove any fear you may have that growing cannabis is going to be difficult. It is not. We call it “weed” for a reason—because it grows easily and anywhere, like a weed.

That being said, it’s easy to get bogged down by dense grow guides and obscure technical jargon that often comes second-nature to seasoned cannabis cultivators; we often don’t even realize we’re using it!

That’s what makes these weekly tips so handy. You can use these bite-sized tidbits of weedy wisdom to gradually increase your grow knowledge as you dive into the finer intricacies of cannabis cultivation.

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New Landmark $5.5 Million Study Will Explore Effects of Legal Cannabis

Main content colorado landmark study wide

As state-legal medical cannabis programs are becoming the rule rather than the exception, researchers are looking to replace long-held myths about cannabis users with scientific facts. The National Institute on Drug Abuse is stepping in to fund one of the largest studies on cannabis use to ever be undertaken in the U.S. In the $5.5 million study, researchers will look at 5,000 twins to determine how cannabis legalization has shaped their lives.

University of Colorado researchers will be partnering with the University of Minnesota to conduct the study, with each university looking at 1,250 pairs of twins located in their own state. Researchers hope to compare the impact of legalization by comparing twins from the canna-legal state of Colorado to twins from Minnesota, where the drug is still illegal. By looking at pairs of twins, the researchers will be able to better assess whether genetic or environmental factors are influencing any possible negative outcomes of cannabis use.

“Increasing numbers of states are legalizing recreational marijuana, but we know almost nothing about the health and social consequences of this dramatic and rapid shift in public policy,” said John Hewitt, director of the Institute of Behavioral Genetics at CU Boulder and co-lead of the study. “There is clear need for solid scientific evidence, and the experiment now unfolding in Colorado provides a rare opportunity to accumulate such evidence.”

A long-term study of this scale can literally take a lifetime, but the researchers have already been studying these twins for 15 to 20 years in other longitudinal studies. As part of this research, the twins have already been asked about their use of cannabis, along with alcohol and other drugs. The research team plans to conduct additional surveys among the twins in Colorado to determine how their cannabis use has changed since legalization. “There is a big cultural change of how marijuana is being used as a result of legalization,” Hewitt said. “Dabbing is just as legal as smoking your grandmother’s grass but the consequences could be very different.”

Researchers will ask the twins, who are between the ages of 23 to 29, about their relationships with family members, whether they are facing any legal or psychological problems, and whether or not they are fulfilling their career goals. Hewitt said that he expects that “some people will be fine” and that “some people will benefit” from cannabis use. “But for a subset of people, we suspect there will be adverse consequences,” he added.

The researchers say that although twice as many adults have reported past-year cannabis use over the past 15 years, there is still very little information on maximum doses of cannabis, or whether certain groups of individuals should abstain altogether. “If you go to a doctor’s office, there are established guidelines for what you might call safe and appropriate use for alcohol, but doctors have no idea what they should be telling patients when it comes to marijuana use,” said CU psychiatry professor and co-lead researcher Christian Hopfer.