Thanks to Prop 207, it’s legal to grow cannabis at home in Arizona. Here’s 10 tips on buying marijuana seeds, growing flowers from gardening experts. As of October 17, 2018, the cultivation of cannabis seed is permitted in accordance with the requirements of the Cannabis Act and Regulations. The use of high-quality seeds is one of the key requirements for growing healthy cannabis plants. It is true that the final yield depends on numerous factors including adequate watering, availability of nutrients, and good light quality. However, it all starts with superior genetics. In order to ensure that you receive the exact genetics you […]
‘They’re all plants:’ 10 questions answered about growing cannabis at home in Arizona
The passage of Proposition 207 in Arizona, legalizing recreational cannabis, ushered in a new opportunity for the home gardener. Adults ages 21 and older are now allowed to grow a limited amount of cannabis plants at home for personal use.
“We don’t see any difference between growing cannabis and growing vegetables and growing lavender, they’re all plants,” said Ryan Jerrell, co-owner of Dig It Gardens in Phoenix.
But like growing any plant, it can be easy to overthink it, he said.
The Arizona Republic asked two experts to share their tips for beginners: Noah Wylie, master grower at The Mint Dispensary based in the East Valley, and Josh Sundberg, farmer and co-owner of Community Roots AZ in Cornville, southwest of Sedona.
Wylie has been cultivating cannabis since 2002, when he first started growing for patient use in California. Sundberg cultivates cannabis for personal use and offers workshops for other growers.
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How many cannabis plants can I grow?
Adults can grow six cannabis plants at home or no more than 12 plants in a house with more than one adult.
People can grow plants from seeds or cuttings off an existing plant, also known as clones. Sundberg said cuttings are a gray area because it’s unclear whether a cutting that hasn’t taken root yet is counted as part of the six or 12 plants Arizonans are allowed to grow.
How long does it take to grow cannabis?
On average, a plant takes 50 to 60 days before it’s ready to harvest, Wylie said. Once harvested, the plant needs to be dried for about 10 to 14 days. Growers then have the choice of consuming their cannabis, or curing the flowers another week or two for higher quality, he said.
Where can I buy cannabis seeds?
At local supplier Phoenix Seeds & Clones, people can purchase a grow consultation ranging from $75-200, including 5 to 20 seeds. Strains offered include Gorilla Cake, Tangie Cookies and Kino Vision, a high CBD strain.
As of Oct. 19, the company was sold out of seeds, but people can join an email list for an update when seeds are back in stock: phoenixseedsandclones.com.
People can also purchase cannabis seeds on websites such as Leafly. Sundberg warned that quality seeds can be pricey. Seeds are also a gamble because only female plants flower, and there’s no guarantee how many female seeds are in a packet. Feminized seeds are genetically engineered to grow only female plants, but tend to cost more.
Buyers should go with vetted sources to avoid fraudulent sellers. Sundberg recommended Canna Genetics Bank, a retailer that sells seeds from various breeders, and Neptune Seed Bank, both based in California.
Growing from seed is a trial and error process and people should be prepared to “have a few rounds that are really disappointing” before they find that one best phenotype, he advised.
Eddie Smith, co-owner of The Plant Stand of Arizona, confirmed his south Phoenix nursery would be selling cannabis seeds in the future.
Ryan Jerrell, co-owner of Dig It Gardens in central Phoenix, also said his nursery plans on selling cannabis seeds in the future, as well as “starter kits” for first-time growers.
Where can I buy a cannabis clone?
Phoenix Seeds & Clones also sells clones.
A clone is a cutting from a living cannabis plant, which can grow into a plant itself. The new plan has the same genetic makeup as the original plant, hence, a “clone.”
Wylie believes cuttings are easier than seeds for beginners., but as Proposition 207 is so new, he isn’t aware yet of any legal businesses in Arizona that sell cuttings.
If people want to clone their own plants, he recommended they plant multiple seeds at once, label each plant, and take a cutting from each one before they flower. People can then grow the cutting from whichever plant yields the best harvest.
What’s the easiest cannabis strain to grow for beginners?
Wylie suggested first-time growers start with a hybrid strain and stay away from strains that have OG in the name or are labeled “exotic,” which tend to be finicky. Popular 50/50 hybrid Blue Dream, for example, is a resilient plant that can take higher and lower temperatures, he said.
Other hybrids he suggested for beginners include Green Crack, Grape Diamonds and Cherry Garcia.
What else do I need to grow a cannabis plant?
Both Wylie and Sundberg said the key items you need to grow cannabis are nutrient-rich soil, water and light.
Both The Plant Stand and Dig It Gardens sell FoxFarm soils, a popular brand in the cannabis-growing community. Sundberg likes to use Nectar of the Gods, Blend #4, which he said can be found at PHX Hydro in west Phoenix.
Indoors, cannabis thrives best in full spectrum light similar to sunlight, so a standard incandescent bulb won’t cut it, Wylie said. He recommended starting off with an inexpensive light made for growing. Sea of Green Hydrogardens in Tempe sells various grow lights.
“I warn people… crawl before you walk,” Wylie said. “Learn to get your plant to grow all the way to fruition, harvest it, dry it, cure it. Then you can build from there. Don’t run out and buy thousands of dollars of equipment.”
Sundberg described living soil, which has active microorganisms in it, as a major game changer. Compost, mulch and worm castings can be found at the Arizona Worm Farm in Phoenix.
Where is the best place to grow my cannabis plant?
Wylie said most people will likely grow indoors, in a closet or garage, for example. About 75 degrees, more or less, is an optimal temperature, he said. In a small space with stagnant air, he suggested using a fan to move air in and out. A beginner can start in a closet with a 100-watt grow light and oscillating desk fan, and it’s enough to get going, he said.
Some people use grow tents, which look like black boxes, but cannabis can really be grown most places as long as people are able to adapt to the environment, Sundberg said.
Sundberg said cannabis can be grown outdoors in Arizona, where come August the plants flower as the days get shorter and they’re ready to harvest by about October. It’s doable in Phoenix, even with the heat, but extra steps have to be taken to protect your plant, he said.
He recommended adding mulch to keep the soil cool. For a pot, the bigger the better for creating a buffering zone — five gallons is a good minimum, he said. Putting the pot in another pot or putting some sort of insulation barrier around it can also prevent the pot from directly baking in the sun.
While it may be tempting to spray your plants in the middle of a burning, sunny day, the water droplets on the leaves can act like tiny magnifying glasses. As with other types of plants, it’s best to water early morning. If you have to water in the middle of the day, first discharge the hot water from your hose if that’s what you’re using, and water the soil around the plant, not the leaves, he advised.
How much light does my plant need?
Once planted, the cannabis plant needs a ratio of about 18 hours light, 6 hours darkness to grow in what’s called the vegetative stage, which doesn’t produce flowers. How long you let the plant grow in this state depends on your space constraint, but Sundberg recommends beginners start small.
After a few days, growers can switch to a ratio of 12 hours light, followed by 12 hours of consecutive darkness to activate the flowering stage. If growing outside, the light of a full moon is about the maximum amount of light a plant should receive during the darkness period, Sundberg said.
How often should I water my plant?
Wylie recommended plants should be watered when the soil is dry. Growers can test this by sticking a finger into soil about halfway between the plant and edge of the pot. If the soil is warm and dry, it’s time to water.
Quality of water can make a difference in the quality of flowers. It’s worth filling up a jug of distilled or purified water at one of the various water dispensers around town to use specifically for your plants, rather than use tap water, Sundberg said.
When can I harvest my flowers?
Wylie said that after switching to the 12 hours light, 12 hours darkness stage, it takes about 50 to 60 days until it’s time to harvest. People can additionally purchase an inexpensive jeweler’s loupe if they want to look at the trichomes, or crystals, on the flowers. The plant will be ready to harvest when the majority of the trichome caps turn from translucent to milky-looking and about 10% of the caps turn an amber color. The plant can still be harvested a little earlier or later, however.
After harvesting the plant, the grower should hang the plant upside down to dry for 10 to 14 days, he continued. The stems should feel brittle when dried. After that, trim the leaves off the flowers and put the flowers in an airtight container, like a mason jar. While the flowers are consumable at this point, the flowers can be cured for a better quality.
To cure the flowers, seal the container and open it up for 20 minutes every 24 hours. It’s important that the flowers are completely dried before they’re sealed up because moisture could lead to mold, Wylie added. After a week or two, you should have the highest quality flower, he said.
Where to shop for cannabis gardening supplies in Phoenix
Phoenix Seeds & Clones: 602-883-2672, [email protected], phoenixseedsandclones.com.
Dig It Gardens: 3015 N. 16th St., Phoenix. 602-812-7476, digphx.com.
The Plant Stand of Arizona: 6420 S. 28th St., Phoenix. 602-304-0551, plantstandaz.com.
PHX Hydro: 3309 W .Catalina Dr., Suite B, Phoenix. 602-840-2080, facebook.com/PHXHydroAZ.
Sea of Green Hydrogardens: 1828 E. University Dr., Suite 11, Tempe. 480-967-2045, sea-of-green.com.
Regulation of cannabis seed
As of October 17, 2018, the cultivation of cannabis seed is permitted in accordance with the requirements of the Cannabis Act and Regulations.
CFIA’s role in the regulation of cannabis seed
The CFIA regulates the import, export, certification and grading of cannabis seed under the following acts and regulations:
The CFIA’s Seeds Act and Regulations and Plant Protection Act and Regulations regulate cannabis seed in the following ways:
- delivery of the pedigreed seed crop inspection system
- labelling requirements of the Seeds Act and Regulations will apply to seed of cannabis
sativa outlines the import requirements for plants and seeds
- The Seeds Act and Regulations will regulate the import of cannabis seed. The ABCs of Seed Importation into Canada outline these requirements
Cannabis with novel traits
Cannabis could also be subject to assessment under the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations as a plant with novel traits, if a novel trait was introduced in to the crop.
Things to know about cannabis seed quality before growing
The use of high-quality seeds is one of the key requirements for growing healthy cannabis plants. It is true that the final yield depends on numerous factors including adequate watering, availability of nutrients, and good light quality. However, it all starts with superior genetics. In order to ensure that you receive the exact genetics you…
The use of high-quality seeds is one of the key requirements for growing healthy cannabis plants. It is true that the final yield depends on numerous factors including adequate watering, availability of nutrients, and good light quality. However, it all starts with superior genetics. In order to ensure that you receive the exact genetics you are looking for, it is important for you to source high-quality cannabis seeds. This will not only provide you the cannabinoid and terpene profiles you desire but will also help get rid of dud seeds.
According to information from i49 , an authentic cannabis seed bank, there are several factors to be examined and evaluated while purchasing seeds. There are certain signs that clearly indicate whether the seed is worth all the effort and hard work or not. Mentioned below are some of these factors.
Feel and Appearance : One of the easiest ways to evaluate the traits and quality of cannabis seed is to get accustomed to their appearance. In general, the outer shells of genetically superior and healthier seeds tend to have darker shades. One of the most obvious signs of some good seeds is grey and black shades with the occasional display of a tiger stripe. The appearance of healthy seeds will also resemble a wax coating on the shell surface, particularly when exposed to bright light.
In addition to a darker shade, better-quality seeds are quite firm and do not bend or break when squeezed between the thumb and index finger. On the other hand, old or poor quality seeds crack and crumble easily under pressure. Please remember that these seeds are nothing but pods of plant genetics. Over a period of time, they get aged and are no longer fit for use. Therefore, do not waste your time on seeds that are past their prime.
You should also avoid using seeds that are immature and young because they are unlikely to germinate. Even if they do, it will take much longer. These seeds can be identified by their green and white appearance.
Avoid Seeds from a Bag : You may consider yourself lucky to find some seeds in your cannabis bag. However, these seeds are not good for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is an indication that the grower has messed up and allowed an invading male to pollinate the female plants. Once pollinated, the female plants shift their focus entirely towards producing seeds and stop producing THC-containing resin. Moreover, the seeds also add to the bag’s overall weight. This certainly means less weed for your money.
Germinate the Seed : One of the best ways to evaluate the genetic potential of cannabis seeds is to simply put them in the soil. You will see the result within a very short time. This option is ideally suited for home growers with adequate time and space to spare. However, this may not be a suitable alternative for commercial growers.
Proper Sourcing : Without any doubt, the most trustworthy source to find great seeds is a reputable seed bank . These organizations have excellent breeding skills and are known to deliver exactly what they advertise to their customers. Many of these seed banks have an excellent reputation in the market.
Float Test : If you are not satisfied after analyzing the appearance and toughness of the seeds and still have doubts about seed quality, carry out the float test. Fill up a glass jar or drinking glass with water and place the seeds on the surface. Seeds that remain floating on the water surface are likely to be of poor quality. On the other hand, healthier seeds will sink to the bottom.
Be patient while conducting the float test because the result may not be seen immediately. Some high-quality seeds need time to absorb enough water and sink to the bottom of the container. Therefore, before confirming the results, you must wait for 1-2 hours.