MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMES TO MASSACHUSETTS
As I look forward to teaching at the Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum, I can’t help but reflect on the fact that, last November, the people of Massachusetts did a wise and wonderful thing: They approved a medical marijuana law that allows some patients to grow their own plants.
On November 6, 2012, 63 percent of Massachusetts’ voters approved Question 3, making their state the 18th to enact a compassionate medical marijuana program. While more attention was focused on the election results for full legalization in Colorado and Washington, this vote was a major win for medical marijuana advocates.
Once the law is fully implemented, there should be up to 35 nonprofit dispensaries statewide. Patients will be able to cultivate a limited supply of marijuana if they are granted a hardship registration due to financial or other hardship. Personally, I feel that the right to grow your own is an important element of safe and affordable access—it should not be limited by income status. For people who want to grow professionally, legal cultivation jobs will be available through licensed grow facilities in the state.
Without the constraints of prohibition, techniques for growing marijuana will advance rapidly, especially if growers take a tip from the Netherlands. This tiny country, with poor-quality soil and terrible weather, is one of the world’s largest agricultural exporters. They produce high-value crops so the return on their space is high. Other factors that keep the industry competitive are economies of scale and automation. The key to the Netherlands’ farming success is to run extremely efficient operations using specialized machinery and tools that increase worker efficiency. Although it is often called “weed,” cannabis is not that easy to grow. It takes skill to cultivate a successful crop of marijuana. The Massachusetts Cannabis Knowledge Forum, September 28-30, 2013, will help the state get off to a great start.
Coming to three locations in Massachusetts, the seminar series will explore the newly adopted medical cannabis regulations and provide real background from industry experts on the opportunities of their implementation. Topics will include understanding the new regulations as well as my favorite subject: personal and commercial cannabis production. Attendees will also receive a complete library of books that includes a copy of my Marijuana Grower’s Handbook.
I’ve always said that while marijuana is not addictive, growing it is. This is a warning to everyone considering taking my “Let’s Get Growing” cultivation class at the forum. This seminar will help y ou develop a garden that produces heavy yields of A+ buds.
See you soon: Boston, 9/28 (Seaport World Trade Center); Lowell, 9/29 (UMass Lowell Inn); and Dartmouth, 9/30 (Rachel’s Lakeside)