Big Weed and Craft Cannabis

Whether you call it Big Weed and Craft Cannabis or Corporate Marijuana and Artesian Weed, there’s a huge shift in the cannabis industry which is driven by legalization and regulation. As more and more states open up to medical and recreational cannabis, the local players (legal, grey and black market) are all vying for: growing spaces, skilled resources and money.

The Hard Reality

In 2020 the economies of scale will be more important than ever for cannabis companies. More acreage will be planted by sophisticated growers with lots of money, which will drive down the prices and squeeze smaller, struggling, producers. This is the price of Big Cannabis.

How will Smaller Producers Survive?

Artisanal cannabis cultivators always have differentiated their brands by producing exceptional quality cannabis; this allows them to command premium pricing, making their extra effort worthwhile. This trend will continue in 2020 along with sustainable and ‘social purpose’ brands. These product categories are growing in popularity as customers become savvier consumers.

In addition to the demand for ethical, green, products, cannabis tourism is growing in popularity and, especially for hemp producers, the opportunity to host Guests at Farms expands in 2020 and provides a unique revenue stream.

2020 will not be easy for most cannabis operators. In addition to the shift which looms with Federal legalization, the COVID-19 new ‘normal’ will impact every aspect of cannabis production, from growing and processing to retail and even consumption.

Let’s Define Craft Cannabis

To understand the dangers a craft cannabis company faces, it helps to understand how industry stakeholders define “craft.”

Generally, it comes down to a set of factors which are based on how craft brewed beverages are defined:

  • The business is majority-owned by locals and also sources its inputs locally, produces locally and employs locals.
  • The business produces a smaller amount of product compared to larger competitors. (Exact numbers haven’t been defined.)
  • The business stresses values – such as compensating employees well and contributing to the community – and puts them ahead of the bottom line.
  • The business uses only organic or natural products and environmentally friendly methods.
  • Growers, processors and other employees are able to offer personal care to individual plants and products that larger operations can’t provide.

What Experts Say

“Craft weed is artisanally produced, smaller-scale cannabis that is grown on family farms. That is in contrast to the rise of what I describe as Big Marijuana, which is large-scale cultivation of cannabis typically in massive outdoor fields or in large warehouses.

I think California is probably on the forefront of a lot of these issues, especially from a cultivation standpoint, which makes sense because they’re the largest producer of cannabis in the US. But they have been thinking about these issues, like sustainability and environmental regulations, for a long time.

The California Department of Agriculture is moving forward with an appellations project that would certify designations of origin. And historically, they have promoted small-scale farming by having an acreage limit on cannabis farms. You could only grow up to one or two acres of plant canopy depending on the type of permit you have. I think they’re thinking about this in a lot of really good ways”

Ryan Stoa, author Craft Weed

And Let’s Not Forget About Hemp

Hemp, the source for CBD in many non-psychoactive products, will expand internationally as well, driven by the CBD’s demand. The CBD market will grow to $2.1 billion in consumer sales by 2020 according to the Hemp Business Journal, with $450 million of those sales coming from hemp-based sources.

(source: Forbes.com)

Craft and Commercial

Just as there are hybrid strains of cannabis, so goes the cannabis industry – a hybrid of Corporate Weed along side Craft Cannabis. This landscape is identical, in fact, to the Wine and Beer industries.

Given how similar Craft Cannabis is to Craft Beer and Wine, can the normalization of cannabis consumption be far behind? Will Corporate America ever acknowledge the ‘two bowl lunch’?

What’s a Consumer to Do?

Seems like the best plan going forward is to buy what you want to buy, depending on where you live or are visiting. If you’re in an area like Northern California’s Wine and Weed Country, you can jump on board Happy Travelers Tours Dispensary Tour and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Book a Tour

Happy Travelers Tours navigates both the Commercial and Craft Cannabis worlds. Book a Tour today and get up-close-and-personal with cannabis plants.


Cannabis Education Tours and Party Bus Tours

What makes cannabis education tours and party bus tours different? Mostly everything! The goal of cannabis education tours is to normalize consumption and de-stigmatize cannabis use. At Happy Travelers Tours we also introduce new and experienced consumers to the inside world of cannabis and cannabis production.

A party bus is pretty much self-explanatory. For the purposes of this post, party busses let Guests consume cannabis (either personal stash or after a stop at a dispensary) while the bus is in motion. Typically, Party Busses stop at dispensaries and cannabis operations and either wineries or breweries.

Note: many party bus tour guests report they're too inebriated to get home safely and need a designated driver.

In Sonoma County there are a couple of expensive party bus tours. However, there's only one Sonoma County-based cannabis education tour, Happy Travelers Tours.

Happy Travelers Tours

Established in 2018, we're very proud Happy Travelers Tours is the original Sonoma County cannabis tour focused on supporting our local cannabis community.  By providing Certified Tourism Ambassadors on every Tour, we bring quality education, history and cannabis information directly to our Guests.

Our nationally recognized MountainTop Wine-and-Weed Tour puts you up-close-and-personal with Cannabis. Book your Tour Today and get up-close-and-personal with cannabis plants!

Cannabis Education Tours for Education Professionals and Medical Practitioners

happy travelers weed cannabis toursA Happy Travelers Tours cannabis education tour puts Guests up-close-and-personal with cannabis. These educational Tours are designed to help professional educators develop progressive curriculum advancing Cannabis Education.

Medical practitioners who wish to better understand the cannabis industry will benefit as well. Our goal is to provide educators and medical professionals with a solid foundation and overview of the contemporary Cannabis Industry in California.

With our exclusive five activity itinerary, our cannabis education tours focus on getting up close and personal with cannabis. On Tour our Guests learn:

  • How to grow and process cannabis
  • What types of ‘finished’ products are available
  • How to safely consume cannabis, and
  • A two-part hands-on session about cannabis economics post-legalization. Our Guests work with cannabis and learn about production. This part of our experience is the highest (pun intended) rated part of our itinerary!

Download our Ultimate Tour for Cannabis Educators and Medical Professionals Guide!

Information for Educators

If you’re looking to build curriculum for a class at your school or university and/or if you’ve made the decision to finally learn about the rapidly changing cannabis industry, join Happy Travelers Tours on our Cannabis Grow tour and get the cannabis education tour you deserve! And, when the day is done, you'll have enough information to generate a course outline! Email: [email protected] for more information.

Information for Medical Professionals

Medical Practitioners: if you prescribe cannabis, do you want to know more about production and the supply chain? While our Tours focus on educators, medical practitioners will gain real-world knowledge that will help them more confidently prescribe cannabis as a treatment option.

The New Wine and Weed Country

Happy Travelers Tours is a Sonoma County-based company which is a locally owned and operated cannabis tour company run by Wine and Weed Country natives. Our up-close-and-personal cannabis experiences bring Guests directly into the Sonoma County Cannabis Community and the California Cannabis Lifestyle because our business 'grew' directly from this close-knit community.

Our Team of Sonoma County locals take you behind the scenes of the legal cannabis marketplace: from growers to production to retail, Guests meet with some of the best operators in NorCal while enjoying beautiful, scenic, wine and weed county, Sonoma County style.

The best part is: all of our education partners are 'deep roots' cannabis community members here in Sonoma County. When you're on a Happy Travelers Tours experience, you meet folks who are the 'real deal'.

The Most Unique Team Building Experiences

What makes a good Team Off-Site Experience? Is it about building communication and inter-personal skills? What about creating a lasting impression or building a life-long workplace memory?

If you’re looking for a unique team off site, Happy Travelers Tours has the experience for you! We’ll visit an indoor growing operation and enjoy a custom ‘back-room’ Tour. From the Tour we’ll move through their retail operation to learn about Cannabis Point-of-Sale marketing.

In addition to spending time exploring cannabis production we provide a catered lunch and finish our day with a picnic and wine tasting, in true wine weed country fashion.

  • Add-on Activities and Special Guest speakers are available to ‘brand’ your Team Off-Site with your stamp-of-approval.
  • More information is available by emailing: [email protected]

Recreational Cannabis Experiences

One way to spend a perfect day in wine and weed country is to get on Happy Travelers Tours Dispensary and Winery Tour. Why? Because you can explore scenic vineyards and enjoy a wine (or beer) tasting experience and get up close and personal with cannabis plants, all while experiencing the best in Sonoma County Dispensaries.

So, if you’re looking for some west coast cannabis while on a Sonoma County wine country vacation, hop on board a Happy Travelers Tours Dispensary Tour and enjoy a truly unique and memorable experience.

Schedule an Experience Today!

Follow these links for more information about Happy Travelers MountainTop Grow Tour or our Dispensary and Winery Tours. Book or schedule an experience today or call 707-386-9859 for more information! Or download your copy of the Ultimate Cannabis Vacation Guide today!


California Black Market Cannabis

California Black Market Cannabis (or the grey market for that matter) is booming despite legal cannabis being available in the state. Why is California Black Market Cannabis thriving? Simple. Most of California is a Pot Desert.

What? How can that be? California allows counties and cities within counties to make local cannabis policies, and, because of this, most of California restrict dispensaries in their communities. So, without a local dispensary, how does a legal consumer get legal cannabis?

Delivery Services

Only via cannabis delivery services. And, if you live outside of a delivery service zone, what do you do then? Well, you’ll either have to travel to where you can get legal weed or you’ll have to reach out to the grey market and get it from the guy you’ve known for years.

Grey Market versus Black Market

Gray market is a label applied to cannabis outlets behaving and advertising themselves as legal businesses with only some or none of the required business certifications legally required to sell cannabis. Gray Market operations may possess a legal state business license and even rent and pay taxes for a physical storefront, but they are still strictly illegal operations because they don’t follow their jurisdictional regulation on the sale of cannabis.

Another example of the grey market is when someone buys pot from another person who is growing for personal use. Anyone in California can grow up to six mature cannabis plants. Some of the people who grow for personal use are very good growers and, in many cases, their six plants produce many pounds of weed, far more than they will personally consume.

When a ‘personal use’ grower sells cannabis to someone, that is a grey market transaction and it supports the illegal cannabis industry.

Grey vs. Black

So, what’s the difference between grey market cannabis and black market cannabis? Black market cannabis is often grown in old-style “guerilla grows” where the growers are squatting on someone else’s land (or on the State or Federal Government’s land) and their intention is purely economic. They’re growing for money and have no regard for how they treat the land or what the put on the plants to get them from seedling to harvest.

One other common characteristic of black market grows is the growers are criminals; in some cases gangs and in some cases cartels. Regardless, some sound advice is: don’t buy black market weed.

Back to the Black Market Dispensary

Another characteristic of a black market dispensary is the way they source their products. While it might be packaged appropriately and look legitimate, the product itself was (most likely) not produced with the “track and trace” system and this means the cannabis was not tested throughout it’s grow cycle for trace residues of chemicals, pesticides and other impurities (e.g., mold).

Again, we fall back to: don’t buy black market weed.

Black Market Cannabis Bad, Grey Market Cannabis LESS Bad?

Local laws allow cities and counties to outlaw cannabis sales (and commercial production) or limit how those business can operate. Because of this, huge parts of California are “dry” and getting legal weed just isn’t practical.

This is why no other state which has recreational cannabis is experiencing the same black market cannabis issues California has.

Part of the issue is the way businesses can operate online – it’s impossible to distinguish legitimate cannabis retailers from black market operators online. One observation about this is: most grey market operations DON’T advertise online.

Where Is the Grey Market?

Less than 25 percent of the Golden State's cities allow legal sales. So, everything else is either black or grey market. But, if the grey market doesn’t advertise, where IS it?

Rewind 10 years – the grey market is the guy you went to when you wanted to buy some cannabis. Typically THIS cannabis was being grown for medical purposes and your ‘retailer’ had access to inventory (or was the grower) and was “slinging” some bags on the side.

These guys didn’t advertise then and they don’t do it now, but, they’re still part of the grey market. So, you either know a guy, or you know someone who knows a gal or you still have your buddies from ‘back in the day’ and they’re still doing what they do best.

In any case, the grey market is the market where you gotta know someone to get in. And, from the point of view of the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the grey and black markets are indistinguishable from each other.

What is California Going to Do?

2020 is the year the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has increased it’s enforce budget specifically to deal with black market cannabis dispensaries and growing operations. What impact it will have remains to be seen.

It turns out, as much as 80% (!) of cannabis sold in California has come from the black market, with an estimated value of $3.7 billion in 2019. That is four times the value of the legal cannabis market and illustrates the magnitude of California’s black market cannabis problem.

To learn more about the Legal Cannabis Market, Book a Cannabis Dispensary Tour with Happy Travelers Tours!


Cannabis Tolerance Break

Take a Cannabis Tolerance Break? What? Are you kidding me? The first time you smoke cannabis might be the most memorable of your experiences. Over time, you might wistfully recall that first experience and wonder why you don’t seem to get as stoned as you once did.

This is due to the development of a tolerance level, and, as with any mood altering substance, the way to re-set your tolerance levels is to take a cannabis tolerance break. How long a break will depend on the individual, some folks feel refreshed after just a couple of days and other folks want to go a couple of weeks or longer.

It really just depends on you, your use case and your personal goals.

What is a Cannabis Tolerance Break

A T-Break, slang for a tolerance break, is a short-term (a few days to a few weeks) break from cannabis consumption so your body and clear the cannabinoids from your system. Two quick notes about this:

  • If you drink water as your daily primary beverage, you are helping to flush your system of cannabinoids to some degree, but, periodically, to really clear your system, you will also want to take a t-break
  • Drinking more than eight glasses of water per day (as part of your normal, healthy lifestyle) helps with the natural detox process.
  • Past Research. There are research studies which have determined that folks who consume cannabis on a ‘chronic’ or regular basis, do, in fact, build up a tolerance over time.

How Do You Take a Cannabis Tolerance Break?

Depending on your consumption frequency and how strong the cannabis strain is (and the relative THC/CBD ratio’s of your favorite bud), you might end up ‘highly’ tolerant of that cannabis and, one way to reduce your tolerance is to either take a cannabis tolerance break OR change up what you’re consuming … try a different strain of marijuana or vape some concentrates instead of smoking pot.

Changing up your consumption routine can also help reduce your tolerance levels, so, if you’re typically a “wake and bake” type of person, you might consider holding off that first blast until lunch time or, if you can swing it, later in the day.

On the other hand, if you feel the best way to detox your system is to take a cannabis vacation, then, we recommend you follow your gut and do that very thing: take a cannabis vacation and let your body clean itself out.

Reasons to Take a Tolerance Break from Cannabis

There’s a whole bunch of reasons why you might take a break from cannabis. Some of them are personal choices and some of them are situational choices.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to take a cannabis vacation:

  • New Job = Drug Test
  • Court Orders or Other Legal Requirements
  • Traveling to states or countries which are not cannabis-friendly
  • Money (cannabis ain’t cheap, even if it does grow on trees)
  • Fasting and other Spiritual Reasons

One thing is almost certain: taking a cannabis tolerance break can result in a new, refreshed, outlook on cannabis and other things. Remember: cannabis is part of life, not the reason for it!

How Long Should a Cannabis Tolerance Break Last?

Here’s a chart with some information about t-break durations:

DURATIONEFFECT
A Few DaysAbstaining for a few days will result in noticing some of the more profound effects of cannabis when you consume again
Two WeeksTaking a two-week cannabis vacation allows your body to flush cannabinoids and your lungs to get a healthy break
30 Days or MoreTo completely clear your body and system of any built up cannabis residue (which store in fat cells), you need to take a cannabis tolerance break for at least 30 days

What Should Consumers Expect on a Cannabis Tolerance Break?

This seems to be obvious. You should expect to do all the things you’ve been doing, just without being stoned. So, continue to stay active and drink 64 ounces of water a day. Do what you usually do: work out, play music, go to work, take care of your family … you get it: live your life, just without smoking any weed!

The Difference Between Recreational Use and Medical Use and a Cannabis Tolerance Break

While both recreational and medical cannabis consumers can be “chronic” in their consumption, people who smoke medical marijuana are, typically, using their medicine per some direction from a health care professional, and, as such, should speak with their Doctor or clinician before they ‘titrate’ off their current cannabis doses.

Chronic recreational consumers might consider a cannabis tolerance break to clean out their systems and let their chemical balances ‘re-set’. The truth about cannabis is it is not physically addictive (like an opiate) however, depending on the individual user, there are psychological dependencies to consider.

Again, if you’re consuming cannabis per a Doctor’s recommendation, then, we suggest you speak with your Doctor before taking a cannabis tolerance break.

The Difference Between Chronic, Medical and Recreational Consumption

Let’s define some terms:

  • Chronic: Someone who consumes cannabis on a ‘chronic’ basis, meaning, several times per day.
  • Medical: This type of consumption is done on a schedule and under the direction of a Doctor. This means the medicine which is consumed (including, in some cases, the strains and the CBD/THC ratio’s – think “Charlotte’s Web”) is done so under a Doctor’s supervision.
  • Recreational: The classic examples of chronic recreational users are the gang from ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ and ‘Cheech and Chong’. If you smoke as much cannabis as any of these guys you are definitely a Chronic Consumer.

It makes sense the more you smoke cannabis the more important it is to take a t-break now and then, so, we’re going to focus on the group of consumers known as ‘chronic’ consumers.

There’s no single definition of ‘chronic’ consumption, however, if the AVERAGE cannabis consumer in the United States only smokes on occasion (one report indicates this to be 12 days a year) then, anyone who smokes more frequently than 12 days a year would be a heavy, or ‘chronic’ consumer.

For the purpose of this post, let’s say a ‘chronic’ consumer is someone who smokes some cannabis daily.

Chronic Medical

If you’re consuming medical cannabis then, as discussed above, we recommend you speak with your doctor before engaging in a cannabis tolerance break. You Doctor might prefer you to consume a different strain or use a vape instead of smoking especially if your medicine helps with mood or physical issues.

Chronic Recreational

If you find yourself ripping bong loads for breakfast and finishing your day with something from the dab rig, you might consider taking a cannabis tolerance break on a regular basis. Perhaps taking a two or three day t-break every two months.

The bottom line on cannabis vacations is this: you should consider taking one when you feel like you’re not getting the ‘bang for your buck’ when you smoke weed.

Disclaimer!

For the record, we are neither medical professionals nor are we your parents, but you already knew this!

If you’re interested in learning more about cannabis, cannabis culture and the cannabis lifestyle then consider booking a tour with Happy Travelers Tours!


Cannabis is an Essential Business

The stories are out there: cannabis is an essential business, pot deliveries boom during pandemic, curb-side services now available and, even, drive-through cannabis dispensaries!

It’s almost unbelievable how critical cannabis has become, all of a sudden, to the point that many communities are keeping dispensaries open (while closing libraries, restaurants and movie theaters).

Go Figure!

10 years ago, heck, 10 WEEKS ago, cannabis as an essential business would have been inconceivable and today, “everybody must get stoned” (thanks, Bob Dylan!).

Across the country, state after state has determined marijuana and hemp to be an ‘essential’ part of life. This is a huge validation for the industry; with this new status has come a surge in sales as consumers stock up on the weed they need to get through these most trying of times.

Many states have changes their cannabis rules to allow for either delivery or curbside pickup (or both). Considering how glacially marijuana laws have changed historically, it will be very interesting to see if states try to “back-pedal” from these rules when the pandemic dies down.

Given cannabis delivery has become the best way to purchase cannabis, it seems reasonable to presume delivery services will be an industry standard nation-wide from this point on.

Things to Think About

It’s fascinating the way previously “un-movable” positions taken by states and local governments have given way to the notion that cannabis is an essential business and cannabis delivery is an important business function. Pretty sure there’s some “confused” law enforcement officials who are now scratching their heads in wonderment.

One of the things about smoking (or vaping or eating) cannabis is, for the most part, it’s a social thing. Now, clearly, there are people who use cannabis for medical reasons and their use cases are, mostly, different than an average recreational user (we’re not talking about chronic consumers) in that, medical marijuana is often solitarily consumed.

However, on the recreational side of cannabis use, many people enjoy consuming cannabis in groups or, in many cases, sharing a smoke with someone else.

Consuming Cannabis During a Pandemic

This is a tricky thing, especially with a Respiratory Virus. Presuming you’ve been “sanitizing” every thing you’ve been bringing into your home since SIP was implemented in your area, then, those same protocols should be used when bringing packages of cannabis into your home.

So, disinfecting the packages with a spray or a wipe has to be Step One of your new cannabis consumption ritual.

If you smoke from a pipe, bong or other device, you must make sure you’ve cleaned it since the last time it was used with a group of people. Use disinfectant to clear all the surfaces and make sure you clean the inside of your device as well.

The third step is either the hardest or easiest going forward. From now on, no more sharing of your personal paraphernalia. And, no more sharing of joints either.

This applies to the post-pandemic world for the simple reason that, until there’s a vaccine, there’s a “killer on the road” as it were and we should consider modifying our consumption routine until there is.

Now, in order to ensure we’re not creating any, or adding to any confusion, we present Five Facts About Covid-19 from the Center for Disease Control’s website.

FactItemDetails
Fact 1Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can cause people to avoid or reject others even though they are not at risk for spreading the virus.
Fact 2For most people, the immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.
Fact 3Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
Fact 4There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Fact 5You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms:• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath
Fact 5 continuedSeek medical advice if you:• Develop symptoms
AND
• Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

What Are We Going To Do?

It seems like we're going to be doing a lot of soul-searching and careful consideration on what kind of a world we want to live in. Maybe it's time to learn a new language or how to dance. Maybe you've always wanted to grow cannabis but didn't have the time to figure out how.

Maybe you're going to be inspired to start a new business or write a song - one thing seems certain, if you're reading this blog post, you're probably going to be getting stoned sometime soon!

Are you planning on coming to California? Check out the educational cannabis tours available at Happy Travelers Tours!


The Best Soil to Grow Cannabis Plants

Soil. Dirt. Earth. The stuff we grow cannabis plants in. Do you ever think about what makes “dirt” into “soil”? Have you considered how the right type of soil helps to maximize a cannabis plants production? In other words, have you thought about which soil is the best soil to use to grow cannabis plants in for the highest quality yield?

Have you researched the difference between growing outdoors and indoors and how the soil impacts the success of your grow?

There’s quite of dirt to dig through and we’re going to touch on several important topics. We’re really only scratching the surface and there are several topics we'll uncover which you might want to dig deeper on.

(Editor’s Note: we apologize profusely for this paragraph)

Let’s Get Digging (last one, we promise)

Here are some ways which soil can vary from place to place and, among the categories of soil, type to type:

  • Drainage
  • Texture
  • Water Retention
  • Nutrients
  • pH Level

Types of Soil

First, let’s talk about the types of soil (credit Wiki):

  • Sandy Soil is a soil with a high percentage of sand, or large soil It mainly consists of rock particles such as limestone, shale, granite and quartz. Water travels through sandy easily, so nutrients leach out quickly.
  • Silt is granular material of a size between sand and clay, whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar.
  • Clay is a finely-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with possible traces of quartz (SiO2), metal oxides (Al2O3 , MgO) and organic matter.
  • Loam is soil composed mostly of sand, silt  and a smaller amount of clay. By weight, its mineral composition is about 40–40–20% concentration of sand–silt–clay, respectively. These proportions can vary to a degree, however, and result in different types of loam soils: sandy loam, silty loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam, silty clay loam, and loam. In the United States Department of Agriculture textural classification triangle, the only soil that is not predominantly sand, silt, or clay is called "loam".

Here’s a summary table:

Soil TypesCharacteristics
Sandy Soil* Large Granular Size
* Lower pH
* Pro's
-Good drainage
-Prevents conpaction
-Easy to work
-High O2 levels
* Con's
-Dries out quickly
-Nutrients wash away
-Poor water retention
Silt Soil* Medium Granular Size
* Pro's
-Contains nutrients
-Stabilizes plants
-Retains water
* Con's
-Easily compacted
-Poor drainage
Clay Soil* Small Granular Size
* Higher pH
* Pro's
-Stabilizes plants
-Provides minerals
- Retains water
* Con's
-Hard to work
-Heavy
-Poor drainage
Loam Soil*A mixture of all three types of soils
* Different ratio's create different characteristics in the loam

 Signs of Good Cannabis Soil

What are the signs of good soil to grow cannabis plants in? Are there things we can look for which will give us a sense of how healthy the soil is?

As most backyard gardeners know, there’s something about good soil which makes the work of potting plants or planting a flowerbed worth it. If you’re growing a veggie garden, then, you also know what “good earth” smells like … the richness of it, the color of it and how it feels in your hand.

There’s no real difference when it comes to soil to grow cannabis plants – you still want the same characteristics you’ve always looked for.

To be more specific: the soil should be dark and rich, loose (you can grab handfuls but some will slip through your fingers) and it should drain well; it can hold water but it drains so that it doesn’t get lumpy or muddy.

As we discussed above, there are different types of soil (sandy, silt, clay and the combination of all three: loam) and (as discussed below) there are amendments to the soil that allow for more oxygen absorption, better root-ball development and more complete drainage.

Nutrient Amendments

And then there are all the nutrient amendments you can work with. These include:

  • Bat guano
  • Fish meal
  • Crab meal
  • Bone meal
  • Blood meal
  • Azomite
  • Pumice
  • Kelp
  • Dolomite lime
  • Greensand
  • Mycorrhizae
  • Leonardite

Soil Amendments

This table is a list of the most common soil amendments used to grow cannabis plants.

 

AmendmentCharacteristics
Perlite•Perlite is a very common soil amendment.
• It is a very light, airy white "rock" and it adds oxygen while increasing overall drainage ability by creating space within the soil.
Vermiculite• Vermiculite holds water much better than perlite, but is not as effective at adding aeration and drainage.
• Together, perlite and vermiculite should never make up more than 50% of your soil.
Coco Coir• Coco coir is made from coconut husks.
• Coco improves water retention, but doesn't make soil heavy.
• Roots tend to develop faster and plants are less likely to suffer from overwatering in coco coir.
• If you're adding it to a soil mix as an amendment, you might add 10-30% coco coir.
Worm Castings• Cannabis plants love this stuff!
• Improves texture, drainage and moisture retention
• Add a natural source of nutrients that breaks down slowly
• Usually contains high levels of beneficial micro-organisms due to going through a worm's digestive system
• Add up to 30% worm castings in your soil

When You Buy a Mix at the Store:

  • Don’t Buy "Time Release" Soil 

    • The issue is: these types of soils are “preloaded” with nutrients that are “wrapped” in a cocoon which slowly dissolves over time. The problem is, there could be too much nitrogen released during the flowering stage, for example, and this would severely stunt the plant’s production.
  • Is the Soil "Light"

    • What does “light” soil mean? It means it has a light, airy, texture which seems almost fluffy when it’s dry. There are two benefits to this soil: cannabis roots love to push through this type of soil and it will, most likely, drain well, which helps with water management.
  • Look and Touch

    • If you grab some and form it into a ball, does it stick together and then fall apart with a squeeze? It’s a good sign if the answer is Yes!
  • Is the Soil Dark and Rich

    • Pretty self explanatory. If the soil doesn’t look and smell right, it probably isn’t.
  • Does the Soil Have Perlite In It

    • If you see perlite dispersed through the soil like popcorn, then, that is a good sign. It means the soil is intended to have good drainage.

Cannabis is a Weed

Cannabis is often considered a weed (hence the name) because the plant can pop up and thrive in diverse conditions. And we’ve been discussing ways to ensure your working with soil which will grow cannabis plants.

We’ve discussed:

  • Proper drainage
  • Good water retention
  • Beneficial soil amendments

Now, it’s time to talk about soil pH.

Best Soil pH for Cannabis

pH means “potential of hydrogen”. It is used as a chemical scale to specify the acidity or basicity (alkalinity) of a substance (usually a liquid).

Since soil contains water, it also has a pH. Cannabis likes its’ soil slightly acidic, which means, to keep it simple, the ideal pH level is 6; cannabis can also flourish on either side of 6, ranging from 5.8 to 6.3.

What the tradeoff if the soil pH runs outside of this 5.8 to 6.3 range? The plant won’t produce as much, or as high a quality, cannabis as it could.

The magic number is “6”

Ok, so, how do I measure that? The answer is simple, you’ll need a pH tester. You don’t have to spend a lot of money (maybe $10 to $15 online) but you do need at least one. So, spend the money, get the tester and stick it … into your dirt to see where you stand.

Best Soil to Grow Cannabis Plants Outdoors

How are you growing?

If you’re going to grow directly into the ground, you’ll potentially need to augment the natural soil with nutrients, something to give the root-ball room (perlite) and other amendments. A way to determine what the soil is lacking is the “eye-ball” test: does it ‘look’ right? And, to go one sense further, does it smell right?

Again, you’ll know good soil when your hands are in it and the only way to really know what you need in your spot is by trial-and-error.

And, don’t forget the pH meter!

Now, if you’re going to build raised beds and build your soil from scratch, as it were, you’ll want to review your research and make a determination about what type of soil or super soil you’ll want to work with.

There is always a learning curve with any subject and finding the right way to grow cannabis plants in your micro-climate will require some testing to get it right.

Read more about Growing Cannabis Outdoors

Best Soil to Grow Cannabis Plants Indoors

There are several factors to consider with indoor grows soil, primarily: temperature and humidity. We’ve been talking about the learning curves and the trial-and-error of finding the perfect soil to grow cannabis plants in general and now we have to factor in the characteristics of your grow room.

Does your room run hot? How’re you controlling humidity? For example, if you have a hot room which runs ‘dry’ and you put in a very quick to dry soil, your plants might be too thirsty too often.

One of the good things about growing indoors is you can test different kinds of soils in different pots (or sections) of your room and, after just a couple of grow cycles, you should have the (R)oom + (S)oil = (P)erfect Cannabis equation figured out!

Read more about Growing Cannabis Indoors

To learn more about growing cannabis either Indoors or Outdoors Book your adventure with Happy Travelers Tours today!


Cannabis Cultivation Indoors – A Primer

Cannabis cultivation indoors can be daunting process. After all, growing weed indoors requires you to replicate Mother Nature’s great outdoors inside a space – you’re bringing outside inside. Cannabis cultivation indoors is no small task and, when done right, it’s amazingly rewarding.

In this post we will cover the keys to cannabis cultivation indoors: selecting/creating a space, lighting and ventilation, control systems and growing medium/process, nutrients, water and pest management.

Select/Create Your Cannabis Grow Space

Start Small

With cannabis cultivation indoors, it is easier to learn, and fail, with a small amount of plants (2 or 3) than it is when you’re starting out with 15 or more! Unless you’ve already grown some other plants indoors (orchids, veggies) or you have an especially green thumb, you will have failures your first time or two.

One way to mitigate failure is to work with a mentor; if you don’t know someone who is already good at growing weed you’re working from a disadvantage. Having someone to talk with about your grow is an important part of learning to be successful on your own.

Think Big

Even though you’re starting out with a handful of plants, you still have to build out your space for a maximum load. As you scale up, you’ll want to have your infrastructure in place so all you have to do is get more clones, not re-configure the entire room each time you set up a grow (you’ll already have to clean it thoroughly between cycles ESPECIALLY if you had a pest issue).

Cannabis cultivation indoors is not easy. There's a lot of detail work and each time you cycle the room you've got to clean it as part of getting ready for the next cycle.

Keep it clean

The two biggest systemic problems you’ll have are: mildew and pests. One way to mitigate them is by keeping your grow room clean during the grow cycle, and by performing a complete cleaning of the room between grow cycles.

You’ll want to keep the room as clean as you can regardless; you don’t want to smoke weed which has been grown indoors in a room which ISN’T clean … lots of things can happen to the plants which aren’t good!

Keep it secure

We mean “secure” two ways: secure from unwanted visitors and secure from unwanted pests.

Convenience

By convenience we mean: Access. You’ll want to have an easy way for you to gain access and you’ll need to make sure “prying eyes” can’t. After all, even if cannabis cultivation indoors is legal where you live, you probably don’t want your neighbor’s to see it or smell it.

Temperature and Humidity concerns

The most important elements to control in an indoor grow are temperature and humidity. Balancing these two is critical to having a successful grow which doesn’t develop any pest or mildew problems.

Stealth

Here’s the thing about building an indoor grow: you have to be ‘stealthy’ if you want to keep it secure. Something’s are obvious (like a load of lumber being delivered so you can reconfigure your garage) and some things are just weird, like adding external ventilation ports to your roof.

The less obvious (and weird) the better – in some states the Utility Company will become suspicious if you start to use too much electricity all of sudden, which brings us to Lights.

Lights

Since you’re recreating the outside environment in your indoor grow, the most important thing is Light (and temperature and humidity as noted above, however, these can all be managed by using the right lighting system).

Tradeoff's

Choose carefully, there are tradeoff’s including efficiency and heat. At this point in time, Spring 2020, LED Grow Lights have become very reliable alternative to heat generating HPS lights (see table below). And, with LED systems, you can mimic the UV Spectrum of the sun as it changes over the course of the outdoor grow cycle (think about how the sun changes from Spring to Fall, LED lights can provide the same types of UV light which occurs outdoors).

TYPE OF LIGHTKNOWN ASTRADEOFFS
Metal HalideMH* Ballasts create significant heat
* Expensive to run
High Pressure SodiumHPS* Ballasts create significant heat
* Benefits the Flowing Phase the most
* Expensive to run
Fluorescent High OutputHO* Ballasts create heat
* Expensive to run
LED Grow LightsLED* Expensive to setup - needs technology infrastructure
* About 25% less expensive to run than ballast driven lights
* Programmable and can replicate natural UV settings thru the entire grow cycle

AIRFLOW

With cannabis cultivation indoors we care about airflow for these reasons:

  • The breeze the fans will create make the plants stronger. Think about how the wind helps plants outside get “big and strong”
  • Correct airflow (including creating negative pressure in the room) helps to manage Temperature and Humidity.

Temperature and Humidity

Once again we point out how important Temperature and Humidity are to a successful grow room. When you have the right combination of lights, growing medium and airflow then controlling temperature and humidity is much easier.

The goals for Temperature and Humidity are show in the table below:

MEASUREMENTGROW PHASELEVEL
HumidityClones and Starts70%
HumidityVegetative = 40- 60%

40% - 60%
HumidityFlowering40% - 60%
HumidityFinal 3 Weeks40% - 45%
TemperatureLIGHTS ON70 - 80 degrees F
21 - 27 degrees C
TemperatureLIGHT OFF5 to 10 degrees cooler

Pests

There are several types of pests to manage:

  • Soil borne
  • Airborne
  • “Hitchhikers”

Soil Borne

Soil borne are the critters (like mites) which came in with your soil (if you’re growing in dirt). One way to fight mites is to release ladybugs into the room. Ladybugs are like Rumba vacuums, they’re always crawling around on the plants eating pests and cleaning the plants as they go.

Airborne

Airborne flew in when the door was open. Creating negative pressure in the room can help to mitigate this, as will have fine screens on your intake and output vents.

Hitchhikers

“Hitchhikers” came in on your clothes and shoes. You can step into some bleach before entry to take care of your shoes and you might consider getting a ‘clean room’ jumpsuit to put on over your clothes.

Controls and Monitoring

Cannabis cultivation indoors depends on the types of controls and monitoring you're doing during the grow cycle. Here are some things to think about:

Lighting Timers

When plants are seedlings (and during the vegetation phase) the lights should be on 18 – 20 hours per day. Once you’re ready to trigger the Flowering Phase you’ll “flip” the lights to 12 hours on and 12 hours off.

Simple systems use a timer on the power box, more complex systems use a computer to control the lights and their relative UV output (e.g., LED Lighting Systems)

Temperature and Humidity Controls

As we discussed in the previous section, controlling temperature and humidity is critical. One way to help manage this is to incorporate a de-humidifier into your room.

Again, you’ll need to monitor the room for temperature and humidity to maintain the optimal settings during each phase of your grow cycle.

H2O Ph

The Ph of the water you’ll be using needs to be established at the start of the grow. Once you know what the Ph levels are you can manage by filtering the water and adding nutrients to the water when it’s time to feed the plants.

Most “nutrient systems” (e.g., General Hydroponics) have balanced their products to work with Ph neutral water.

Cannabis Grow Medium

Soil or hydroponic? Amended soil or DYI? These are just some of the questions to consider with cannabis cultivation indoors. Remember: you're trying to replicate Mother Nature so the medium you choose is critical.

Potting Soil

We mean regular, generic, potting soil. Not necessarily the best option, but, if you don’t have a choice it will work. Be wary of soil borne pests.

Super Soil or Amended Soil

Super Soil, like Fox Farms brand, is configured with nutrients added for cannabis production. Things like bat guano and worm castings which provide nitrogen.

DYI

If you’re REALLY into dirt you can Do It Yourself using your compost pile. A “home brew” customized to your specific needs!

Typically, DYI dirt is made after you’ve got some experience with your indoor grow and you understand your Grow Room’s specific challenges.

Hydroponics

Growing hydroponically is complex and will require a stand-alone Blog post. The key difference is: you don't use soil and you need a more complicated system for keeping the plant's roots wet.

Plant Containers

Remember at the beginning of this post we talked about the Goal of your Grow Room? This gets to the heart of the Plant Containers conversation.

Everything gets down to how “big” (height and diameter) you want to grow your plants.

Cannabis Plant Roots

Cannabis plants have a “root ball” (insert picture) which resembles cotton candy. How big the plants will grow depends on how much room there is in the container. Once a cannabis plant gets ‘root bound’ it won’t grow either taller or in diameter.

The factors in the table below all contribute to the decision about how large (and what type) of plant containers to use.

  1. ITEMCONSIDERATION
    Plant Yield GoalThis may take some time to actualize. It is good to have a goal and work your room to maximize it.
    Size of RoomIf your room is a converted garage, you might choose to use 5 gallon ridge pots. If your room is 1/2 a closet, you might consider 1 gallon soft pots.
    MediumIf you're in soil, the same example above applies.

Nutrients

All plants need nutrients to supplement what’s in the soil and cannabis is no exception to the rule. In fact, cannabis growers spend a lot of time working on their nutrient mixes.

Cannabis requires different nutrients during different phases of the grow cycle. Basically, when they’re young and vegging the plants crave nitrogen. During the flowering and finishing phases, they drink up phosphorus and potassium.

This chart shows the Marco (and Micro) nutrients needed during the grow cycle:

CATEGORYNUTRIENT
MacroNitrogen (N)


Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
MircoCalcium


Magnesium
Iron
Copper

Flushing the Grow

A word about “flushing”. During the last three weeks (or so) of growth, you will stop adding any nutrients to your water mix and just give the plants water. The last three or four watering cycles are just water so that the plants can flush out any accumulated nutrients in their systems. By just giving them water, they can remove any residue left behind.

So, how do you know if the cannabis you’re smoking was “flushed” correctly? The proof is in the pudding, or, specifically, the ash left behind (really easy to see when you use a pipe of bong).

Properly flushed cannabis ash will look like the remains of a burnt butterfly wing – very light and slight, more white/grey than black. If the ash looks like this: Good Job!

Black Ash: Not Good

If the ash is black and/or chunky, someone did NOT flush correctly and that weed is still full of residue and whatever else was used during its’ grow.

Water

We discussed the importance of knowing your water’s Ph level and we mentioned one of the ways to manage water impurities is with filters.

We haven’t discussed the frequency of watering, which can be the #1 cause of problems in an indoor (or outdoor) grow. So, let’s discuss.

Frequency/Overwatering

How much and how often should you water your plants? One thing to remember is cannabis originated in an arid, desert, environment and the reason it’s been called “weed” was the notion it grew like weeds.

This is why the cannabis root-ball is such a delicate network: it absorbs minute amounts of water very efficiently.

Use Your Finger!

So, what’s a good strategy? Use your Finger! When the soil in a plant’s container is dry all the way down when you stick your finger in the dirt, then, it’s PROBABLY time to water them. The other sign you’re looking for is: are the leaves drooping or are they still pointing up?

Typically, in a room which is running with the right temperature and humidity settings, this will be every 3 to 4 days.

One more note about “reading the leaves”: cannabis leaves are very responsive to water. When they’re thirsty and the leaves are drooping downward, you can actually watch and see how, after you’ve water them, they stand back up and “reach” upward towards the light.

How Much Water Do I Apply?

The last piece of the puzzle is: how much water should I apply when I’m watering. The answer is: you have to figure that out as you go. Remember, the goal is to water the plants every 3 to 4 days, so, if you SOAK the dirt it will take longer to dry out.

Remember: it’s a Weed!

Pest Control

This section will review some common pests in an indoor cannabis grow and ways to mitigate them.

Common Pests

We mentioned spider mites and gnats earlier in the post. ADD MORE PESTS

Ways to mitigate

We talked about setting up a bleaching station for your shoes and even investing in a ‘clean-room’ jumpsuit to wear inside the grow room. One very important other mitigation technique is: don’t let anyone in the room, especially if they’ve been at another grow before visiting you.

Don't Let Them In

If you have to show them your indoor cannabis grow, then, make sure they bleach their shoes before entering (at a minimum) and if you have another jumpsuit, ask them to put it on.

You don’t want any hitchhikers from the other grow site to contaminate your room and all your hard work!

Join Us On Tour

For more information about growing cannabis indoors Book a Happy Travelers Tours Cannabis Dispensary Tour and go on our exclusive ‘back-room’ tour at our indoor grow partner!


The Best Ways to Break Up Weed without a Grinder

The post is all about the best ways to break up weed without a grinder. We're going to talk about tools found at home, as well as ways to break up weed on the road using things you carry with you all the time. Of course, we recommend you clean any of these tools before and after use. So, if you ever find yourself with a bunch of pot and now way to process it for smoking, look no further!

Now, let's take a look at some solutions -

  • Your Hands

Always with you, use your hands when you don’t have access to any other tools! Wash them first! I guess this needs to be said for all these alternative methods, the tools and surfaces you use should be clean to start with.

Now, if you don’t want to deal with sticky fingers AND you’re at home (or have access to a store) you can always use: parchment paper. Or gloves.

  • Pressing with Parchment Paper

One of the qualities of parchment paper is it doesn’t stick, that’s why bakers use it with sticky dough and things like that. So, you get a sheet of parchment paper, fold it and the you put the bud inside and pick it apart though the paper. Or just get your Hulk on and smash it!

  • Keys

Everyone always has a key with them and so this tool should be readily available for use. Remember: you want to clean the key before and after use as you don’t want to gum up the key’s lock! Use the key like a saw and ‘cut’ the weed using a ‘sawing’ motion … you know what to do, just try it!

  • Credit Cards

Back in the ‘bad old days’ we used to use credit cards to chop up line … er, never mind. That was a long time ago. BUT the idea is still useful. Just lay out your bud (you might want to use your fingers to break it up a bit first) and then, using a ‘chopping’ motion, use your credit card to chop it up as fine as you want it for your smoking apparatus … joint, pipe, bong or vaporizer!

  • Brute Force

Ok, so, you’re on the road (or at home) and you’ve got a bag of weed and No Tools at all so you just beat the crap out of the bag. Now, we would NEVER recommend this method as pulverizing your pot isn’t the best way to go, but, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

  • Penny and a Pill Bottle

Now, this is a trick we hadn’t heard about until doing the research for this article, but, it’s brilliant! Just follow these steps:

  1. Get a pill bottle and make sure it’s clean
  2. Put some marijuana in the pill bottle, typically, just a bud
  3. Find a penny and clean it
  4. Put the penny in the pill bottle and put the cap on
  5. Shake it. Think Martini Shaker
  6. Open to top and pour out the contents!
  • Shot Glass and Scissors

Another technique we learned about writing this story: the shot glass both holds the cannabis AND restricts the range of movement of the scissors such that you can efficiently process a small amount of weed at a time.

It might take a couple of ‘rounds’ but, soon enough, you’ll have enough trimmed pot to smoke!

  • Cutting Board and Knife or Pizza Cutter

This part of our list includes the “Classics”. Starting with a cutting board and knife or pizza cutter. Simple, yup. Effective, depends on the cannabis you’re working with. Fun? Maybe … depends on what you consider fun!

  • Cheese Grater or Microplane

You’ve got one of these in your kitchen and again, depending on what kind of marijuana you’re working with, using a grater or microplane to “grate” the bud is definitely a way to do it … again, you’re gonna have to clean everything before and after when you do this.

  • Mortar and Pestle

Another ‘brute force’ method is the mortar and pestle. This will work well with really dry weed. If it’s almost ‘crumbly’ in your fingers, then, using a mortar and pestle is a good option to not having a grinder handy!

  • Coffee Grinder

Now, in our opinion, this is a tool which everyone should have anyway. Either dedicate an old grinder to this job or get yourself a new one, but, either way, using an electric coffee grinder makes short work of process cannabis for consumption … just fill up the chamber with some weed, put the top on and GRIND that stuff up!

Here’s a table of these techniques along with categories of use, either: “at home” or “on the road”.

Technique At HomeOn The Road
Your HandsXX
Pressing with Parchment PaperX
KeysXX
Credit CardXX
Brute ForceXX
Penny and a Pill BottleXX
Shot Glass and ScissorsX
Cutting Board and Knife or Pizza CutterX
Cheese Grater or MicroplaneX
Mortar and PestleX
Coffee GrinderX

If you want to learn more about how to consume cannabis without a grinder, sign up for a one of Happy Travelers Tours Mountain Top Grow tours. We’ll teach you how to trim and process cannabis as part of the Tour!

Book Your Seat Today!


How to Build a Cannabis Greenhouse

Many cannabis consumers reach a point in their relationship with cannabis where they decide they want to grow their own and so, they set out to build a cannabis greenhouse. Often times these fledgling farmers fail – growing quality cannabis is hard. However, when you do finally want to put “shovel to earth”, before you build your cannabis greenhouse, the first thing to do is think about the end game: what are you REALLY wanting to do?

Is your goal to grow for personal use? Or, do you see yourself as a ‘player’ in the cannabis game? Both of these paths require a different launching point.

Geography

Terroir and microclimate are two terms most typically associated with vineyards, however, they’re equally as important when thinking about your cannabis grow – especially if you’re thinking about growing outdoors.

So, what does geography have to do with a Greenhouse grow? The answer is: quite a bit. If you’re going to be growing year round, for example, does it snow where you live? Is your area a high wind zone? What about rainfall and mildew?

The challenge when growing in a greenhouse (or indoors) is you’ve got to augment (either with lights or fans or both) your environment in order for it to be a productive grow.

In addition, you have to think about the cultivars and strains you’re planning on growing – there are lots of things which can go wrong which might be mitigated by very thorough planning.

Bureaucracy

Permits, you gotta find out if you need permits. Not for the cannabis (unless you’re growing more than personal use, then, yes, permits for cannabis too), but for the structure and your property.

Some communities have very tight zoning regulations which can impact:

  • What kind of greenhouse you can build
  • How big a foot print you can have
  • Where you can place the structure on your property

You should consider speaking with someone in your community or network who has successfully built a greenhouse in your area to find out what challenges they had to overcome and to see if they have any thoughts on ways to get through the process easier.

Drying and Curing

Since you can’t dry and cure your cannabis in the greenhouse, you have to plan for how you’re going to do this very important part of the grow cycle. Specifically, you’ll need an enclosed space which is dark and which doesn’t get too hot or humid.

The Science of Cannabis Curing

There’s a science to curing which says: 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 60 percent humidity. The goal is to cure the cannabis for about 12 to 14 days. You’ll know it’s ready when a bud (or flower) ‘snaps’ cleanly off the dried branch, which should take about two weeks.

Once you get your room running at these outputs, you’ll be able to cure your cannabis appropriately.

How much space will you need?

Two things to consider: cannabis plants can easily reach six-feet in height or more AND you don’t want the plants to touch the greenhouse plastic as that can create condensation inside the greenhouse.

So, you’ve got to plan to have enough room inside the greenhouse or you’ll just create problems for yourself during production.

Building a Hoop-Style Greenhouse

The easiest and least expensive design to undertake is the hoop-style greenhouse design. It follows a simple concept:

  • A set of PVC pipes are bent into arches and erected to create half-circles, all at a set distance apart from each other
  • These are attached to a frame of base boards for stability.
  • Plastic is then placed over these arched pipes to protect the interior, letting in sunlight and diffusing it for maximum coverage.

Basic Materials

Here are the materials you’ll need to build a simple hoop-style greenhouse based on a dimension of 12’ H x 12’ W x 12’ L. This dimension can comfortably fit 6 cannabis plants which is the legally allowed personal use limit in California.

Materials List:

6 - cedar 2 x 4’s for base boards

6 - 2 foot long by 1/2 inch diameter rebar stakes

1 – sledgehammer, mallet or post setter

3  - 20 foot long, 1.5 inch diameter PVC plastic pipes

3 - 12 foot long, 1.5 inch diameter PVC plastic pipes

1 - sheet of plastic sheeting: 6 mil polyethylene, 24’ x 20’

1 - heavy duty stapler and staples

1 - roll of duct tape

(Optional) Landscaping fabric as shade cloth, 24’ x 20’

 

Construction

  • First you need a spot of ground which is at least 12 feet wide and 12 feet long. It should have a southern exposure to get maximum sunlight.
  • Put together your frame using the wood planks.
  • Use a pole setter or a sledgehammer to pound the rebar 1 foot into the ground as measured and marked in your preparation.
  • Now you can slip one end of a 20’ long PVC pipe over a rebar stake, bend it, and put the other end of the PVC pipe over the rebar stake on the opposite side. Continue this until you’ve placed all your PVC
  • You’ll need to add the spine— this connects each arch to each other – secure the 12’ PVC with duct tape.
  • Now you need to add in the other 12’ PVC as the crossbar and attach it to the structure about 5’ off the ground (or halfway between the ground and the spine).
  • Repeat the process and attach the second crossbar to the other side.
  • Now you’re ready to put on the plastic cover. This is a Team Thing and is best when you’ve got three people. And, if you can, do this on a warm day as the plastic will stretch.
  • One thing to note about this step is that you should “separate” the plastic cover from the PVC. You can just use an old piece of plastic or you can use some white duct tape. The reason to do this is because of the off gassing from the PVC, which causes the plastic cover to deteriorate.
  • Secure the plastic sheet with staples on the base boards. It should be taut enough that there are no sags or billowing when the wind blows.
  • Be sure to leave some plastic on the ends. This will act as a curtain for entry/exit and can be clamped “open” for ventilation.

A note on “light deprivation: if you’re going to use a shade cloth, make sure you have a piece big enough to cover the entire structure.

The Hard Part: Controlling the Environment

When you put up a greenhouse (or indoor grow) you have to deal with “the hard part” which is to say: creating and maintaining a nurturing ecosystem within your structure.

In other words, you have to figure out some “HVAC” stuff and make sure your greenhouse has ways to control: airflow, humidity and temperature.

Airflow

In order to prevent mildew, and strengthen the plants stalk, you need to keep air moving inside the greenhouse. You can do this with strategically placed electric fans or, depending on where you are, you can roll up the lower part of the plastic and let the breeze blow in.

Humidity

When cannabis plants are young, they like a 60 to 70 percent humidity level. As the mature, the prefer about 40%. You’ll need to measure the humidity level in the greenhouse (use a hygrometer) to keep things at optimal levels.

Temperature

Cannabis loves moderate climates with 68 to 77 degree Fahrenheit being an optimal temperature. Use a thermometer to check on a regular basis.

Now You’re Ready!

As with most things, the first part is just the first part. It takes a lot of work to successfully grow quality cannabis – here’s hoping this article gets you on the way!

To learn about Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation read this Blog

Join us on our MountainTop Tour or our Dispensary Tour and get up close and personal with cannabis plants!


Cannabis Dispensaries in California

What SHOUD have been a boom! is more of a blah … that's the reality of cannabis dispensaries in California as of January 2020. You would think, given the state has 39 million residents and receives 42 million visitors each, that California’s vision of billions of dollars of tax revenue would have been realized, but the truth is, not even close.

Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in January 2018 and the ‘Green Rush’ was on. However, the state empowered each county and municipality to set local rules, ordinances and tax assessments, which has created a situation where it’s easy to get cannabis in some areas and much more difficult in others.

In California, legal sellers face long and expensive licensing processes, quality control standards and high taxes. But 80 percent of California municipalities don’t allow dispensaries which means the majority of the state is a ‘pot desert’ without any legal, licensed, way for consumers to get cannabis, except via delivery services (if those are available in their area).

This means that illegal weed sales proliferate. A recent audit by a cannabis trade organization found approximately 2,835 unlicensed dispensaries, versus 873 licensed sellers in the state.

In addition, another reason the black and grey markets are thriving in California is the consumers: for many California Cannabis Consumers, getting their weed “the old way” is still their preferred way and there’s not much incentive for them to change their ways.

Let’s discuss the Grey and Black Markets

Grey Market – Outdoor Farmers

These are the folks who’ve been growing outdoor, artisanal, cannabis for years, usually on the ‘down low’. Typically adhering to the six personal plants rule in California, these farmers have become expert at growing the strain(s) they produce in their terroir and micro-climate.

If you know one of these farmers, and you can get your cannabis “grower direct”, you can save money; it’s often the most economical way to go!

Grey Market – Indoor Growers

The next level on the grey market scale are the indoor growers. You know: the guy who has converted his garage or an extra room on the property. These folks are a step up from the six outdoor plant farmers and are, typically, focused on ‘cycling’ their grow room as many as 4 times per year.

Still, someone good to know!

Black Market

If you know people who engage in growing for the black market, well, here’s a tip of our hat to you. If you don’t know black market growers, keep it that way!

What does the Law Require

To buy recreational marijuana at a dispensary in California, customers must show a valid ID to prove they are 21 or older. A driver’s license or passport is sufficient.

This is the only information dispensaries are required to check for walk-in recreational customers under Proposition 64.

All Our Stops are Legal

At Happy Travelers Tours all our stops are legal and licensed. Whether we’re heading up the mountain to see our Outdoor Grow, or in Santa Rosa to experience our Cannabis Dispensary Tour, all our Partners are licensed, safe and secure.

List of Cannabis Dispensaries in California

Here’s a table of California Cannabis Dispensaries. We up date this periodically to keep it current!

Adelanto2
Antioch1
Aptos1
Arcata3
Arieta1
Arnold1
Atwater2
Bellflower3
Ben Lomond2
Berkeley5
Bishop2
Boulder Creek1
Calexico1
California City1
Cameron Park1
Canoga Park4
Carmel2
Castroville1
Cathedral City13
Ceres1
Chatsworth3
Clearlake3
Cloverdale1
Coachella1
Coalinga1
Colfax1
Cotati1
Cresent City1
Crows Landing1
Davis5
Del Rey Oaks1
Denair1
Desert Hot Spings8
Diamond Springs1
Dixon1
El Cajon1
El Sobrante1
Emeryville1
Encino2
Escondido1
Eureka6
Fairfax0
Farmersville2
Felton1
Fort Bragg3
Garberville1
Gardena2
Goleta3
Grover Beach3
Gualala1
Guerneville1
Harbor City1
Hayward2
Hollister1
Hopland2
Imperial1
Isleton1
June Lake1
La Mesa3
Lake Elsinore1
Laytonville1
Lee Vining1
Lomita2
Lompoc7
Long Beach 19
Los Angeles76
Los Gatos1
Malibu2
Mammoth Lakes2
Marin del Rey3
Marysville2
Maywood4
McKinleyville2
Mendocino2
Merced1
Mission Hills2
Modesto11
Mount Shasta3
Napa1
Needles4
Nevada City1
North Hills1
North Hollywood9
North Palm Springs1
Northridge3
Oakdale2
Oakland10
Ojai3
Pacifica2
Pacoima1
Palm Desert5
Palm Springs10
Patterson2
Perris9
Petaluma1
Playa Del Rey1
Point Arena1
Port Hueneme7
Ramona3
Redding4
Redway1
Reseda3
Richmond3
Rio Vista1
Riverbank2
Riverside1
Royal Oaks1
Sacramento28
Salinas3
San Andreas2
San Bernardino2
San Diego17
San Francisco35
San Jose16
San Leandro3
Santa Ana19
Santa Barbara4
Santa Cruz8
Santa Rosa10
Seaside5
Sebastopol2
Shasta Lake3
Sherman Oaks3
Shingle Springs3
Sonora1
Soquel2
South Lake Tahoe1
Stockton3
Studio City 7
Sun Valley5
Sunland1
Sylmar4
Torrance3
Tujunga2
Tulare2
Ukiah5
Union City1
Vallejo11
Van Huys6
Venice6
Visalia1
Vista2
Weed1
West Hollywood5
Willits1
Wilmington1
Woodlake1
Woodland Hills11

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Citations from:

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/23/style/weed-church-california.html
  • https://www.politifact.com/article/2018/feb/13/how-much-privacy-do-you-have-when-you-buy-marijuan/