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7 Things ‘Disjointed’ Gets Right About Dispensary Life

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With adult legalization live in California, more Americans than ever have the opportunity to give legal, tested, regulated cannabis products a try. But millions of people have still never stepped foot inside a legal dispensary, and they lack an understanding of what these spaces really look like, how they’re managed, and what sort of products they stock.

For the uninitiated, their first taste of a dispensary may come from pieces of pop culture like Disjointed. Created by sitcom guru Chuck Lorre and starring Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates, the Netflix series shines a humorous spotlight on the management of a California medical dispensary.

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With a new batch of Disjointed episodes dropping this week, we’re sharing the new trailer, along with a look at seven things the show gets right (or almost right) about cannabis dispensaries.

Cash On-hand

In California and elsewhere, banking is still a challenge for medical and recreational dispensaries. Ruth’s habit of stashing bundles of bills in secret safes and ceiling tiles is played up for laughs…but honestly, not by much.

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The Daily Special? Blue Dream

Yup, this checks out. Blue Dream remains among the most popular strains available, especially in California, which is where this crowd-pleaser originated.

Blue Dream on DisjointedProduct on display at Ruth’s Alternative Caring. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Legal Battles

The recent repeal of the Cole Memo isn’t the end of the world for medical and recreational cannabis in the United States. But the latest move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions has some cannabis advocates and dispensary owners getting ready for legal challenges. Unlike the court scenes in Disjointed, there’s nothing funny about it. 

Olivia’s Shitballs

The show’s trademark edibles are pretty gnarly-looking. With that in mind, we have seen less appetizing edible options on dispensary shelves—albeit with slightly better marketing (though many edible manufacturers can’t seem to be able to resist a groan-inducing pun in their product branding). 

Boxes of edibles on the set of DisjointedOlivia’s Shitballs are a trademark of Disjointed. (Courtesy of Netflix)

On-site Consumption

Okay, this one’s still mostly wishful thinking, but there’s reason to be hopeful that the enlightened attitude toward on-site cannabis consumption on display in Disjointed is coming to real-world dispensaries soon.

California is letting municipalities be the final word on taking taste tests at dispensaries, which could open the door for farmers in the Golden State to show off their wares right where they’re grown—a model that’s proven wildly successful for the state’s vaunted wine industry. Farther north, Alaska is accepting public comment on whether to allow the practice statewide.

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Security Staff

Expect any legal dispensary you visit to have a security guard on-hand (but don’t expect that guard to be as good-humored as Carter, who mans the door at Ruth’s Alternative Caring). Have your identification and a smile at the ready as soon as you enter.

Pipes and vaporizers on DisjointedLike most dispensaries, Ruth’s Alternative Caring also stocks vaporizers and pipes. (Courtesy of Netflix)

Accessories Abound

Cannabis products are the headline item at medical and recreational dispensaries, but many will also have the gear you need to partake in stock, from rolling papers and grinders to pipes and high-end vaporizers. When it comes to the latter, Ruth’s team seems to have pretty good taste—we’re big fans of the Pax 3 that you can see on set.

Grower Stories: How 5 Cultivators Came to Thrive in the Legal Cannabis Market

Cannabis has been stigmatized and criminalized for decades, and throughout prohibition the farmers who grow it have often faced the largest risk. Historically, most growers have remained underground, operating in the shadows, and often hiding their passion from even those closest to them. With local legalization efforts comes the opportunity for them to openly put their skills to work, but still there are stereotypes of how a cannabis grower looks and acts.

We’ll spare you some of the descriptors, but most of these stereotypes do not shed light on the technical skill, passion, and dedication to the craft that is necessary to produce high-quality flower or breed exotic varieties. Longtime growers are the ones responsible for passing down their knowledge of the plant and evolving the various cultivation techniques into how we currently farm cannabis today.

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The reality is that it’s not uncommon for the modern cannabis grower to have an extensive background in horticulture, commercial farming, or a formal degree in plant science. Many others start as hobbyists and let their passion for the plant guide their growing efforts. To paint a more genuine picture of the present-day grower and share their own stories, we’ve profiled five growers from legal markets across the country.

Josh Kelsch, Pure Joy Family Farm

(Courtesy of Pure Joy Family Farms)

“If you don’t teach yourself, the plant will teach you.”

Josh Kelsch, 35, of Pure Joy Family Farm in Cheney, Washington grows cannabis indoors using a custom, organic coco/soil blend. He has been growing for over 10 years. Before legalization, he held down sales jobs and worked in fabrication while growing purely for economics. Over time, growing became more about the passion for the plant and sharing it with others.

Education is paramount for new growers, so Josh recommends immersing yourself in every aspect of what you’re doing because you’re working with a living plant. There are a lot of moving parts to manage with any garden, and they all must be working together to maintain an efficient garden. To Josh, keeping that harmony can be the hardest part of growing cannabis professionally. Luckily, hearing the enjoyment and receiving positive feedback from the community that tastes their products lets Josh and his team at Pure Joy know they are doing it right.

The future of cannabis cultivation is bright! Josh is particularly excited about the innovation and scientific understanding that continues to build and legitimize the industry. He explains that, “the research that will come out in the next decade will undoubtedly touch on almost everything we do.”

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Sierra McDonald, The Giving Tree Wellness Center

(Courtesy of The Giving Tree Wellness Center)

“It’s so great when you hear patient success stories where cannabis was able to alleviate them of their chronic pain or addiction.”

Sierra McDonald, 29, grows cannabis for The Giving Tree Wellness Center in Phoenix, Arizona where they grow most of their crop hydroponically using a coconut coir medium. The exception being their CBD strains, which they grow using a no-till, living soil method. Before she started cultivating for The Giving Tree one year ago, she was putting her horticulture degree from the University of Georgia to use as a farmhand and research assistant at the university’s organic agriculture research farm.

Cannabis piqued Sierra’s interest as she was looking for jobs in the commercial greenhouse industry. Once she overcame the misconception that she wasn’t qualified enough, she leapt into the industry head first. She’s learned to follow her curiosities and question everything. “There are no real standards in this industry yet and different methods work for different environments,” she explains.

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For Sierra, the most challenging part of growing cannabis so far has been the limited scholarly resources at her disposal. That has challenged her to do her own research which has helped her gain a deeper understanding of cannabis’ resilience. Apart from simply loving the plant, the most exciting part of being a cannabis grower is the opportunity to take the world of holistic and conventional medicine to a whole new level.

Corey Barnette, District Growers

(Courtesy of District Growers)

“Cannabis users are developing their perception of quality beyond that of mere potency.”

Corey Barnette, 47, grows cannabis for District Growers in Washington, DC.  Growing since 1992, he’s amassed over 25 years of experience working with the plant as both a hobbyist and a commercial grower. His preferred gardening method is to utilize aeroponic techniques to maintain a perpetual growth system. Before growing became a full-time profession, he found success as a financial sponsor working in private equity and serving on the board of the San Diego Medical Collective. SDMC exposed the opportunity to do good by helping others, as well as a promising career path in the cannabis industry.

Farming cannabis presents many speed bumps and hurdles to overcome – especially in areas like recruiting talent, where finding employees that can routinely conform to and maintain commercial standards is difficult. On top of that, achieving consistent quality and yields with an agricultural product can be a complicated balancing act.

The future of legal cannabis cultivation is still uncertain, but moving forward Corey sees two distinct paths for cultivators: those who are true craftsmen will be able to provide exotic, high-quality flower, and the rest can focus their efforts on providing a consistent supply to extract producers and other product manufacturers. Regardless, Corey explains that cultivators need to keep in mind the evolving perception of consumers who are thinking beyond potency and have more discerning tastes when it comes to aesthetic, fragrance, and flavor of their cannabis.

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Theodore Huggins, Solstice

(Courtesy of Solstice)

“If we choose to love and respect this plant the way it loves and respects us, we can all win. If we abuse it or let one person own it, no one will.”

Theodore Huggins, 28, has been farming organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers professionally using sustainable practices for the last 10 years. He refocused his efforts towards cannabis once he saw the potential to learn from the industry and guide growers towards more sustainable cultivation methods. At Solstice, in Washington State, the focus is on minimizing resources and total waste, while increasing total productive capability. They have found success by incorporating sustainable practices into their farm’s overall hydroponic growing methods.

The plant will teach you a lot, so he encourages growers old and new alike not be afraid of new ideas and be eager to learn. Theodore will tell you that the hardest part of growing cannabis commercially is refuting the black market and back alley growing techniques that are based on weak merit. It can be a challenge, yet the sweet, uplifting scent from a farm full of gorgeous cannabis makes it all worth it.

As we look towards the future of cannabis, Theodore dreams of an industry full of small companies using ethical and sustainable cultivation techniques that don’t cause negative impacts to the earth or the consumer.

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Katariina Lindholm, The Giving Tree Wellness Center

(Courtesy of The Giving Tree Wellness Center)

“No one grower knows everything about growing but every grower has something they can teach you.”

Katariina Lindholm, 27, of Phoenix, Arizona has been growing commercial cannabis for The Giving Tree Wellness Center for over a year and a half. She has a Master’s degree in Plant Breeding and wanted to find a career where she could leverage her knowledge of plant science and pursue something that she loves. She grows indoors using a coco coir growing medium.

Katariina’s academic background posed a new challenge when she quickly realized the lack of reliable cannabis research that made finding solutions to grow-related issues nearly impossible. However, being surrounded by a community of passionate growers has taught her that work doesn’t really feel like work when everyone loves what they are doing. Growing cannabis can teach you so much more than just plant science. It can teach you a lot about yourself. Katariina explains, “the more you learn, the more you grow.”

Looking forward, Katariina envisions a dichotomy in the cultivation landscape. Similar to what we see in grocery stores today, she believes a pronounced divide will separate the organic, no-till grows and the major commercial production facilities built off efficiencies, and that there is room for both to coexist in the marketplace.

Your Regional Guide to Growing Healthy Cannabis Plants Outdoors

When growing cannabis outdoors, location is everything. Just as large cash crops demand specific climates for optimal growth, so does cannabis. Climate, soil, water, and genetics all dictate whether a cannabis strain can be produced in your region.

Fortunately, cannabis plants can thrive in different climates around the world thanks to the diversity of its genetics. Sativas, with their airy bud structure, can tolerate hotter, more humid climates. Indicas grow dense and resinous buds as protection against the elements and the cold.

Not everyone lives in climates suitable for cannabis, so in many cases indoor gardens with controlled environments make the most sense. But if you’re looking to harness the vast outdoors for cannabis cultivation, this guide can help you understand some of the key factors affecting the outcome of your plants, including climate, genetics, grow medium, and water. Specific geographic regions and their climate attributes may affect your grow, so learn how you can adjust your crop accordingly.

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The Best Climate for Cannabis Plants

We all know that climate varies from region to region, but what’s the perfect climate for cannabis, and where might a grower choose to grow indoors instead?

Outdoors, most cannabis thrives in climates akin to the Mediterranean region. This climate can be described as warm to hot in the summer followed by mild fall weather with minimal rainfall. Cannabis plants love the hot days followed by warm nights. The West Coast – California, Oregon, and some parts of Washington – best match this Mediterranean climate in the U.S.

In areas with more rain and lower temperatures, your choices of cannabis strains become much more limited. Certain genetics can grow in wetter, drier, colder, or hotter climates. Some regions have cold fall temperatures that require strains with faster flowering periods. Knowing your strain’s genetics is just as important as knowing the climate in which you’ll be growing.

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Growing indoors will allow you to grow cannabis in regions that are generally unsuitable for outdoor production. However, controlling the climate indoors can be difficult in areas with extremely hot or cold temperatures; furthermore, the costs associated with running A/C or heaters can cut deeply into your profit margin.

Greenhouses are another popular alternative, as they allow you to harness the natural sunlight while protecting the plants from the elements. You can also control flowering cycles by using a light deprivation system to control a plant’s exposure to sunlight. While greenhouses might still require additional heating or A/C, the costs tend to be significantly less than indoor operations.

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Cannabis Genetics and Their Preferred Climates

As mentioned, different strains are suitable for various climates, depending on their genetic makeup. Genetics dictate a flower’s structure, which helps it to survive in its local environment.

There are three primary cannabis types that are involved in breeding and strain development, and each offers different benefits as they adapt to a particular climate.

Sativa: Historically, sativa genetics have thrived in equatorial regions around the world. The plant and bud structure are generally more airy, which helps the plants handle high temperatures and humidity levels. For this reason, sativas are popular in areas with higher humidity and rainfall.

Here’s the downside: sativas tend to have long flowering cycles. Tropical climates generally don’t have cold seasons, so sativas can take their time flowering – sometimes taking as long as 14 weeks. For regions with colder autumns, that lengthy flowering cycle won’t work.

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Indica: Indica plants come from the dry, mountainous regions of the Middle East. With a plant and bud structure that is typically short, bushy, and dense, indica plants can handle colder temperatures. However, they perform poorly in areas with high humidity and heavy rainfall. Anticipating the cold fall season, indica strains tend to finish flowering quickly – typically in 7 to 9 weeks – making them a suitable choice for areas with shorter summers and colder autumns.

Ruderalis: Ruderalis is a type of cannabis commonly used in the breeding of autoflowering and high-CBD strains. It can thrive in inhospitable regions such as Alaska and Russia, and while it doesn’t produce a high THC content, it can be bred with more potent genetics to produce more resilient hybrid strains.

Optimal Cannabis Grow Mediums

A garden is only as good as the ground it grows in, which is why all cannabis cultivators must take great care in their soil.

Few growers will use soil native to the land they’re planning to till. However, if you believe this local soil to be rich and healthy, you can test its nutrient and pH levels to see if it’s indeed suitable. Ideally, soil will contain micro and macro nutrients and have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. After receiving the test results, you can amend your soil by adding any missing nutrients and balancing the pH level.

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Consider these tendencies when evaluating your soil:

  • Sandy soil tends to be more acidic, with lower nutrient levels.
  • Clay soil is more alkaline with a high pH level, but will be nutrient-dense.
  • Soil fed by plant debris is considered a woodland soil – it will be closest to a balanced pH level with a variety of nutrients.

If a quality soil is not available locally within your price point, consider growing with hydroponics. Sourcing a hydroponic medium in a dry, arid climate can be cheaper and easier than sourcing quality soils.

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Water Quality by Region

Even water differs from region to region, and it’s important to know the pH level of your local water supply. If the pH level is too high or too low, it can shock your plant and prevent it from taking in the nutrients it needs to thrive. Generally speaking, water on the West Coast and in the Midwest have a higher pH level than water on the East Coast, especially the Northeast.

To fix the pH level of the water, add either pH-up or pH-down solutions. Acidic or alkaline water is one of the most commonly overlooked issues in cannabis gardens – pH levels can change in your water source without you even noticing!

You should also note that well water varies in mineral content across different regions, but an RO filter can be used to remove extra minerals and chlorine. If you’re aiming to maintain rich microbial life in your water, consider using local water testing to determine what filtration is necessary.

Regional Growing Tips

Click to enlarge. (Amy Phung/Leafly)

Northwest: West of the Cascade Mountain Range is a wet place; heavy rains and a lack of sunshine can make it difficult to cultivate cannabis outdoors, and constant attention to mold development is required. Growing in greenhouses or indoors, however, can fix these problems. West of the Cascades, the woodland soil is rich with nutrients and may demand few amendments before planting your garden.

East of the Cascades, the climate is much drier with lots of sunshine. This region can be great for cultivating cannabis, but cold fall temperatures can become an issue. In general, early flowering hybrid strains are ideal for the Northwest. The soil in this region is less rich and will need to be supplemented with nutrients before planting your crop.

The Northwest region offers plenty of fresh, clean water to keep your plants healthy and happy.

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Southwest: The Southwest’s dry climate can become debilitatingly hot. Cannabis plants thrive where nighttime temperatures stay above 60°F, while daytime highs over 100°F will slow their growth. When relying on A/C, growing indoors in this region can be costly, especially in the summer.

Sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids are the best choice for outdoor growers in the Southwest, as they can handle higher temperatures and will have time to finish their long flowering cycles.

Soil in the Southwest is often lacking necessary nutrients, so purchase your own soils or utilize a hydroponic system. Water is more scarce and expensive in the Southwest, so it’s a good idea to use conservative hydroponic methods and drip lines.

Midwest: The Midwest has extremely variable climates. Summers can be hot with thunderstorms and short periods of heavy rainfall. Moisture followed by high temperatures can lead to molding. Also, winters may arrive early, preventing strains from fully completing their flowering cycle. When choosing a strain, keep in mind that quick-finishing indicas and indica-dominant hybrids can better handle temperature swings.

Soils in the Midwest can be nutrient-rich if they haven’t been farmed, but land that has seen heavy farming without crop rotation might lack nutrients. Get your soil tested to see if it’s usable before purchasing new soils. Check the pH level of your water and be aware that any active mining practices can drastically alter the quality of a water source.

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Northeast: The Northeast can be a great place to cultivate cannabis outdoors, though temperatures can be a bit variable. Its fall season is shorter and its summers humid, but overall this climate is good for cannabis cultivation. When growing in this region, you want to have early-finishing strains that can also handle summertime humidity. Try growing hybrid strains that are less dense and finish flowering early.

Soils can be rich and healthy in the Northeast, so consider amending the soil already available to you. However, rocky and heavy clay soils are also common. Fresh water in this region is abundant and generally increases in quality the further north you go.

Southeast: The high humidity levels of the Southeast region require you to stay away from indica genetics. Buds must be light and airy to survive without molding, and they also need to be able to handle high temperatures. Sativa genetics fare best in these conditions and will be able to finish with the mild fall weather. If you want to grow a diverse range of genetics in the Southeast, indoor gardens are probably your best bet.

Southeastern soils can be rich and healthy; this soil may be suitable for your cannabis garden with a few nutrient amendments. Carefully monitor the pH level of your water for changes.

Cannabis Distillation: The Last Mile in Extraction

In this four-part series, The Original Resinator and four partners discuss the equipment, support, and methods they use to produce pure and potent cannabis concentrates and extracts. Part 4 is sponsored by The Original Resinator, the largest capacity multi-use botanical extraction unit on the market, and Summit Research, the leading producer of distillation equipment for the cannabis industry.

Creating an extract is one thing—really refining it is another. For consumers seeking the purest THC experience available, the choice is clear: cannabis distillate. The same basic process that produces spirits from fermenting grain is now being fine-tuned by entrepreneurs crafting cannabis concentrates of unparalleled potency.

Distillation has been a part of civilization for millennia, with ceramic stills appearing in the archaeological record more than 1,500 years ago. And at its heart, the process remains the same today as it was back then. Start with a solution containing a substance you want to isolate. Apply heat until the desired ingredient evaporates, capture and isolate it in another container, then let it cool until it condenses back into a liquid, separated from unwanted additives or impurities.

Summit’s SPD-4 Modified Path Distillation Head is the fastest path to purified CBD distillate. (Courtesy of Summit Research)

Today, cannabis producers and processors are putting this same system to work crafting potent cannabis concentrates. The equipment, though, has come a long way from the ceramic stills of ancient times. Modern distillation experts like the techs at Summit Research are bringing tools like precision temperature controls, high-grade vacuum pumps, and custom glassware designed especially for the cannabis industry to processors, making it easier than ever to enter the growing market for cannabis distillates. 

Extraction’s Final Frontier

When it comes to cannabis, distillation is the ultimate way to achieve purity and potency. Before entering a piece of Summit Research’s industry-leading patented gear, cannabis has to be processed into a winterized extract, usually through a BHO or CO2-based process.

Only then is it prepared for the next step: distillation into translucent, highly pure oils averaging more than 90% THC content that packs a potent punch and is suitable for use in a wide array of products including topicals, edibles, and vaporizer cartridges.

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Distillation also lets users decide how close to the original product they want an oil to be. If you’re aiming for an edible where consumers should be tasting chocolate, not cannabis, a neutral oil with no flavors is the way to go. But if you’re crafting an oil that tastes like cannabis in a vaporizer, distillation leaves you the option of identifying compounds like terpenes using mass spectrometry and reintroducing them to the final product—one that’s precisely engineered and eminently reproducible.

Cannabis distillate produced by Summit ResearchSummit’s patented hardware has achieved record-setting purity and potency, producing distillates with as much as 99.58% THC. (Courtesy of Summit Research and Helix Extracts)

That reproducibility is going to be a key to success in the cannabis industry, says Summit Research founder Elliot Kremmerman. The growth of adult-use and especially medicinal markets will demand products that can be depended on for a reliable result, every time.

“If you’re a doctor recommending a treatment, you’re not inclined to suggest something that has a lot of non-medicinal dissolved plant matter in it,” says Kremmerman. “Medications have proven, tested chemical profiles, and distillation is letting us create them for cannabis products.”

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Those interested in creating their own distillation buildout can get a leg up from Summit Research right off the bat. The company’s trusted operating procedure is freely available on its website, helping users reach the limits of cannabis distillation and chromatography.

The Road to Summit

Kremmerman had long been exploring different cannabis extraction methods before he started experimenting with distillation. His earliest experiences with the technique, though, were trying, to say the least.

“I was a really early adopter when it comes to cannabis distillation, but when I got started, I was working with equipment that didn’t perform as advertised,” says Kremmerman. “That was a mistake that cost me just about everything I had.”

Instead of getting out, though, Kremmerman doubled down, dedicating himself to crafting high-performance cannabis distillation equipment, and providing buyers with the know-how to get the best out of it. Summit Research got its start in a barn, with Kremmerman himself making door-to-door sales calls.

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Now, the company provides high-end distillation equipment to small operations and large processors alike. While Summit Research’s original two-liter short path distillation setup was once the bread and butter of the company, customers are increasingly looking to larger products capable of processing five, 10, and even 20 liters at a time. The demand for more capacity, he says, reflects the growing awareness of how much cash there is to be made in the distillate space.

“The purity, potency, and long shelf life of distilled cannabis oils mean they have some of the best margins to be found on the modern cannabis marketplace,” says Kremmerman, who believes that demand for those oils is only going to grow. “In the coming years, there are a lot of consumers who aren’t going to be looking for the best flower, but for the best profile that you can put together mathematically.”

Summit’s team is always working to develop new products and practices aiming at making those profiles more precise. Among the latest distillation developments they’ve released is the fraction finder, a tool that allows processors to get a real-time readout of the chemical makeup of a distillation that made its debut this fall at MJBizCon in Las Vegas.

A steady stream of new products from Summit Research sets them apart from the competition. (Courtesy of Summit Research)

Other new innovations from Summit’s team are helping to set the pace for the cannabis distillation industry by making previously unheard of processing speeds possible. Tools like their FC series distillation heads improve on previous gear, employing fraction collection technology to keep condensation at bay and nearly doubling processing speeds. The newly introduced linear monocow replaces inefficient hoses with an all-glass adapter that can cut the time from crude to distillate even more.

In addition to a steady stream of new products, Summit Research seeks to educate processors—and potential processors—about the science behind distillation by offering everyone access to their research Treasure Chest, a repository of free information and content, from tutorials and cleaning tips to advanced techniques and internal test results.

“It’s in our interests to share information that can help everyone succeed in this industry,” says Kremmerman.

Increasing Efficiency with The Original Resinator

Since distillate is an extract of an extract, it takes a lot of cannabis to produce just a little oil. That means that accessorizing a distillation array with gear like The Original Resinator is a must for producers with efficiency in mind.

Powerful custom motors, customized micron screens, and temperatures well below freezing let The Original Resinator separate an unparalleled amount of dry sift kief from raw cannabis flower and sugar leaf.

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That trichome-rich kief is a perfect base ingredient for more potent concentrates such as cannabis distillate. The Resinators’ subcritical extraction process, which employs liquid CO2, results in a pure, residue-free kief. That naturally potent product is ready to go straight into winterization, which in turn shortens the path to the highly potent distillate at the end of the rainbow.

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“The Original Resinator started out as a backyard contraption involving duct tape, bungee cord, and a rotisserie barbecue motor,” says The Original Resinator co-founder TJ Arnovick. “But we weren’t satisfied with the other solutions available, and we knew we weren’t alone in that. So rather than settle for less, we devoted ourselves to designing, researching, and developing a solution from scratch. The result is the Resinator, which has been embraced by processors from all corners of the cannabis industry.”

Pairing the Resinator’s innovative technology with Summit’s short path distillation hardware makes it possible to process 10 times as much material in the course of a day, increasing the efficiency of any concentrate production line with minimal training. Undesirable compounds left over from traditional extraction methods may include pigments such as anthocyanin, chlorophyll, tannins, saponins, and lipids from cellulosic materials, but the Resinator makes it possible to start any extraction process without these factors present. This makes for better extracts without sacrificing returns.

And since the Resinator can run material multiple times—first as a dry sift, and then again as a “bubble while you tumble” ice water extraction—processors can start the next steps of their extraction process confident that they’re getting the most from their raw material and not leaving anything behind but undesired plant particulates. That makes the two products a powerful combination.

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“Summit’s hardware can take that high-quality crude from the Resinator through high-refinment distillations and all the way through chromatography that helps process understand and identify their final product,” says Kremmerman.

For those running Summit’s fastest distillation systems to date, a steady supply of easily extractable material from the Resinator will be necessary just to keep up.

How to Make the Most of Cannabis Plant Count Grow Limits

Dealing with state-mandated cultivation ordinances can be frustrating for home growers. In virtually every state that allows legal cultivation, there are laws stipulating how much cannabis an individual can grow at a given time. Some jurisdictions, for example, limit the square footage allowed in a grow, while most others keep growers “in check” by establishing plant limits.

Under these laws, growers can cultivate their cannabis with the stipulation that they must only grow a limited and defined number of plants per household. This number can vary, but typically falls between 6-12 plants per “dwelling” unit for most adult-use states (barring some medical exceptions within these areas that allow for larger quantities to be grown).

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The grow laws in your state may seem strict, but home growers are left with no choice but to abide by them in order to legally produce their own herb. Fortunately, there are several ways to make the best of this situation. Here are five ways home cannabis growers can make the most of plant count limits in order to maximize production in their gardens.

1. Start With Quality Genetics

The absolute most important thing a grower can do to ensure they’re maximizing their harvests is to begin the process with proven genetics. This doesn’t mean that using bag seed (cannabis seeds found in products labeled as “sinsemilla”) won’t produce a higher yield or superior-quality harvest. However, using genetics that have been rigorously tested to produce consistently high-quality cannabis is always recommended.

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Using proven genetics isn’t just recommended for seeds. Many states allow nurseries and dispensaries to distribute clones as well, which can prove to be an even better starting point for some growers because the cutting is an exact replica of a proven cultivar. Using a clone essentially guarantees a grower is getting a plant that will produce (given ideal conditions).

If your state allows for home cultivation, chances are that there will be venders in the area that can provide you with quality genetics to start with.

2. Train Your Cannabis Plants

The fastest way to turn a six-plant grow operation into a behemoth harvest is to incorporate plant training. There are many ways to successfully train a cannabis plant, from low-stress principles to high-stress and beyond. Each methodology offers a unique take on topping, manicuring, and pruning, all of which are important strategies for maximizing both yield and potency from a limited number of plants.

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A single cannabis plant, when trained correctly, can produce well over a pound of dried herb in a single harvest. Multiply that by six and you can begin to see how crucial it is to understand the fundamentals of training.

When incorporating these techniques into a grow, it’s important to take into consideration that various genetics will respond differently to varying conditions. Some strains prefer a certain training style over another and will produce higher yields and more potent buds. If the information on training your specific strain is not available, a bit of trial and error research may be necessary to find the best method for your plants. Rest assured that once you dial these practices in, the results will be astounding.

3. Establish a Perpetual Harvest

For the uninitiated grower, a perpetual grow is when one chooses to spread their plant harvests over a period of time by staggering the start dates of each plant (or group of plants) as opposed to starting everything all at once. By spreading start dates out over several days or weeks, this ensures you’ll get many perpetual harvests.

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The benefits of a perpetual grow are multifaceted. First, a grower ensures that they aren’t suspending an entire operation every few months on account of a large harvest, allowing them to continue to grow without interruption.

Second, growers who use perpetual harvesting will always have fresh cannabis on hand. As opposed to a single harvest, which can leave a grower high and dry for long periods of time, the perpetual grower always has a new crop on deck to work with. Every few weeks a new strain finishes up as another goes into the ground, resulting in at least one plant in every stage of the grow cycle at all times.

Due to these factors, perpetual grow operations can arguably produce higher yields, a benefit to anyone wanting to make the most of plant limits.

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4. Store and Trade Crops

Did you know that most states with home grow laws allow for cultivators to keep their stash on their property without having to worry about possession limits? (Before you get too excited, make sure to check up on your specific jurisdiction before jumping ahead.)

Furthermore, many states allow for trading (or gifting) of cannabis between persons up to a certain legal limit. This is a terrific loophole for home cultivators as it allows virtually limitless possibilities for storing, preserving, and trading harvests. Many states hold strict possession limits when it comes to store-bought cannabis. These limits, in many cases, do not apply to home grow harvests, allowing growers in these states to keep their crop without worrying about exceeding these legal limits.

Whether or not growers choose to harvest perpetually, this loophole ensures one can “store up” as much product as they desire. For some growers, training and perpetual harvests aren’t a viable option, but under these guidelines, a grower may only need one harvest once per year to store up enough for the interim.

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Trading is another great way to diversify a stash. Although possession and gifting limits are restrictive in many areas, trading harvests can still be a great way to get your hands on some new flavors without having to break the bank. Rest assured, bartering is alive and well in the cannabis community, and there are many forums where home growers can gift and trade their bounties while fully abiding by state and local ordinances.

5. Grow Outdoors if Possible

Depending on where you live, there may be a possibility that you’ll be able to cultivate outdoors. This may not be the case in some states or counties, but after checking your local laws, if this the case you’re in luck. Cultivating indoors can still yield very impressive results from a harvest, but nothing compares in size to a sun-grown behemoth that has been trained correctly and has virtually no spatial restrictions.

For those who choose to cultivate outdoors, there are a few important considerations to take in mind. Consider proper support systems for your plants (especially if you plan to grow big!), pest mitigation, larger pots if you intend to grow above ground, and proper irrigation.

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In most cases, successful outdoor grows begin with healthy transplants as opposed to direct seed sowing to give the young plant safety in the first few weeks after germination. Plants grown outdoors need to be planted in the early spring to get best results, and growers should avoid planting any other time of the year unless supplemental lighting or climate-controlled greenhouses are available.

When it comes to restrictive plant limits (under six), the best way to obtain a formidable yield outdoors is to give your root systems the room they need, the water they deserve, and the sunlight they love, while protecting them the best you can from the elements of nature.

Plant count limits do not have to be a hindrance to the home grower. If you know what you are doing and practice these tips and tricks, it’s surprising how much you can accomplish with just a few plants. Happy growing!

We Asked a Scientist: What’s the Right Dose of CBD?

This article is sponsored by Tilray, one of the largest and most sophisticated producers of medical cannabis in the world. Tilray is dedicated to providing safe, consistent, and reliable products to patients and furthering clinical research.


As research into the medical applications of cannabis compounds steadily increases, scientists and doctors are shedding new light on how cannabinoids interact with not only the human body, but with other cannabinoids. New studies are providing further insight on why these substances work, how they can be used most effectively, and what new applications they may have in the future.

We sat down with Nick Jikomes, Leafly’s in-house neuroscientist, to learn about what researchers are learning about the cannabinoid CBD, and how different doses can be put to use in treating a variety of conditions.

Nick Jikomes (Julia Sumpter/Leafly)

Tilray: Let’s start with the basics: what is CBD, exactly?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the major cannabinoids produced by Cannabis—typically the second most abundant after THC. It’s like THC in that it’s a plant cannabinoid with a similar chemical structure, but it’s also very different in terms of physiological effects.

The most obvious way that it’s different is that it’s non-intoxicating—CBD doesn’t get you high the way that THC does. There are also a lot of interactive effects between THC and CBD. They can enhance each other, but they can also get in the way of one another. Some of those interactions have potentially interesting medical applications.

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What do we understand about that relationship between THC and CBD, and what are we learning about it?

The first thing to understand is how they both interact with receptors in the nervous system. The major receptor in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis is CB1, a receptor found predominantly in the brain. For classic psychoactive effects to be felt, THC needs to bind to that receptor and activate it.

CBD also interacts with the CB1 receptor, but in a different manner. It doesn’t activate that receptor; in fact, it makes it harder for the receptor to be activated by other compounds. CBD is essentially getting in the way of THC’s ability to bind the CB1 receptor, which is why the presence of CBD has a significant impact on the psychoactivity of THC-containing products. This is why the ratio of the two compounds is important for anticipating the effects of cannabis products.

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The other thing to keep in mind is that most compounds, CBD included, interact with many different receptor systems. So, it’s not just the relationship with THC that’s interesting; CBD is interacting with many other receptors and having many different effects through those systems.

CBD droplet bottles from TilrayCBD is available in numerous forms, including liquid drops. (Courtesy of Tilray)

CBD is recommended for a wide range of symptoms and conditions—are there instances where you’d want some CBD with your THC, and others where you want just CBD?

Basically, yes. CBD may reduce many of the unwanted side effects of THC, such as short-term memory impairment and anxiety, which are more common at higher doses of THC. Often the more CBD you have relative to THC, the less of those things you should expect.

While THC and CBD have different pharmacological properties, they can both have similar physiological effects, probably acting through different mechanisms. For instance, both compounds can have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects; they likely act through different mechanisms, so having THC and CBD could potentially enhance an outcome surrounding pain relief.

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Are we at the point in research where we can better understand, based on the condition a patient might have, what could be the most useful blend? Or is there still some trial and error involved for patients finding what is going to work best for them?

I don’t think the clinical evidence is currently at a point where you can say you want this particular ratio for this particular condition to a specific patient. If you are a patient who finds that a 1:1 THC to CBD blend is perfect for you, that’s great. But you’re most likely going to have to get there through some trial-and-error, and when you do, there are good reasons to think that blend won’t be perfect for you forever.

That’s because people’s physiologies change over time, including the ECS and how densely receptors are expressed in the brain and the body. These things change over the lifetime of an individual, and so the optimal ratios and doses of these compounds, whatever they may be, are probably going to change as well.

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CBD dosesMedical cannabis providers carefully measure CBD for dosing. (Courtesy of Tilray)

It sounds like the proper dose, in the long run, can be kind of a moving target?

It can, and that’s one reason to be very cautious about being overly prescriptive about doses and ratios. There’s an interesting study on this topic looking at THC in mice, and the results suggest that the same dose of the same compound (THC, in this case) has very different behavioral and cellular effects depending on the age of the subjects.

This is a very common thing in the world of pharmaceuticals—different doses of a drug can have different effects. With substances that bind to a lot of different receptors, like CBD, there’s often a sweet spot around a mid-sized dose. That means you can’t necessarily expect the substance to be twice as strong if you double the dose—in fact, you might see the opposite.

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And that article points out that there are also different conditions for which different dosages are effective?

Exactly. And that’s likely because CBD is binding to many different receptors throughout the body. At a fairly low dose, it will mainly hit the receptors it has the highest affinity for, or that are the most densely expressed. At higher doses, those receptors can become saturated, so the remainder of the CBD will interact with other receptor systems, and that’s where you may start to see different effects.

Are we starting to see a ceiling on effective dosages of CBD?

It depends on the condition you’re trying to treat. If you’re using CBD for anxiety, there may be that sweet spot middle dosage that has the best effect, and can become less effective if you increase the dose.

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In epilepsy, that hasn’t been seen yet. They’re using very high doses in that treatment, and no one has yet observed a diminishment in effect as the dose goes up.

Marley Natural’s New Smoked Glass Accessories Make a Statement

This article is sponsored by Marley Natural, the official Bob Marley cannabis brand, offering cannabis, lifestyle accessories, and body care products that are responsibly sourced, integrity-driven, and crafted with awareness and respect.


Bob Marley was passionate about appreciating the beauty of the outdoors, living actively, and protecting the natural world, from his native Jamaica to the vibrant locales he visited on tour. The high regard Bob showed for all creation even shaped his relationship with his most famous inspiration: cannabis. That’s why a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship is baked into the DNA of Marley Natural.

“For my father, herb was a spiritual thing that made him feel connected to God and the earth,” explains Cedella Marley, Bob and Rita Marley’s eldest daughter. According to Cedella, her father “embraced the herb like he embraced all natural things—with great respect.”

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That respect shapes every aspect of operations at Marley Natural, which was founded to celebrate and spread Bob’s belief in the positive potential of the herb. The brand’s inaugural collection of cannabis products, smoking accessories, and body care items like lotions and salves launched last year in Los Angeles, and each product reflects a commitment to Bob Marley’s legendary values.

Marley Natural black walnut smoking accessoriesSustainably sourced woods are at the heart of Marley Natural’s Black Walnut Collection of smoking accessories. (Courtesy of Marley Natural)

Sustainable Smoking

When it comes to smoking accessories, Marley Natural is known for creating pieces that are produced sustainably but don’t sacrifice style. Its first line of accessories, the Black Walnut Collection, featured wood accents carefully sourced from sustainably farmed trees. As the brand developed its latest lines of smoking accessories, the team remained committed to operating sustainably while still producing elegant and functional pieces.

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Marley Natural’s new Smoked Glass Collection is a suite of richly tinted pipes, bubblers, tasters, and other accessories available online at the Marley Natural Shop. Introduced earlier this year, the collection effortlessly balances form and function for an elevated smoking experience. Each piece is made from durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass, which holds up well to travel and heavy use, and is designed to fit comfortably in your hand as you enjoy the benefits of your herbs with every hit.

marley natural glass smoking accessoriesCarbon offsets make sure that Marley Natural’s Smoked Glass line is kind to the earth, too. (Courtesy of Marley Natural)

Keeping Emissions in Check

Thanks to a partnership with the climate action organization CO2Logic, these pieces don’t just look good, they do good, too. Marley Natural partnered with the crew at CO2Logic to understand the environmental impact of producing the collection and to determine how to best offset that impact.

“CO2 emissions know no borders and have social and economic consequences for our civilization globally,” says CO2Logic US CEO Arnaud Brohé. “Companies like Marley Natural that work to reduce and offset their climate impact are not just talking about dedication to social justice and sustainable development, they are demonstrating it.”

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In partnership with CO2Logic, Marley Natural is offsetting its emissions by supporting non-profit companies that help design and distribute more efficient cook stoves to people in Uganda. Over the course of a year, a more efficient stove can keep almost three tons of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere. More efficient stoves can also help reduce the rate of respiratory ailments by improving air quality in homes. By supporting the non-profits that help develop these stoves, Marley Natural is able to keep its Smoked Glass Collection climate-friendly and environmentally responsible.

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Rise Up

Making a new product line environmentally conscious is a major process for any company. But for Marley Natural, which has been dedicated to supporting social and environmental justice causes since it was founded, it’s second nature.

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To help carry out Bob Marley’s message of positive change, Marley Natural created a social impact initiative called Rise Up that supports communities in Jamaica and the United States that have been impacted by cannabis prohibition. In Jamaica, Marley Natural supports several non-profits, including the Oracabessa Fish Sanctuary, a marine sanctuary and coral garden on Jamaica’s north coast where fishermen and conservationists work together to restore damaged coral reefs and protect them for future generations.

boats at Orcabessa fish sanctuaryMarley Natural supports projects like Jamaica’s Orcabessa Fish Sancturay. (Courtesy of Marley Natural)

Other projects supported include the Golden Valley Farmers Group and Farm Up Jamaica Ltd., which benefit local agriculture. According to Cedella, it is important that the brand continues to give back.

“People around the world listen to my father’s music because his message of unity, personal freedom and social justice is universal,” says Cedella. “Compassion for humanity is part of my father’s legacy, and it must always be a part of the Marley Natural brand.”

Marley Natural and Leafly are both owned by Privateer Holdings, Inc.

Making Medical Cannabis Easy in New York

This article is sponsored by PrestoDoctor, revolutionizing access for medical marijuana card recommendations through the comfort of your own home.


As New York’s medical marijuana program continues to add qualifying conditions, more folks throughout the Empire State are looking to get their New York medical marijuana cards. For those in the five boroughs and beyond, getting a medical marijuana recommendation requires a doctor’s consultation, which means one more appointment to make, then wait for, and finally get to on time (assuming their train is running that day).

To save time, patients from Buffalo to Brooklyn are increasingly turning to telemedicine services like PrestoDoctor, which starts serving patients in New York state this week. These remote visits turn a doctor’s office visit into a convenient online meeting that can be conducted from the comfort of home.

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Qualifying Conditions for New York Patients

New York’s list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana is evolving continually. But many of the qualifying conditions, including cancer and nerve damage, share a common symptom—pain, which is often treated with medications such as opioids. For some of the physicians working with PrestoDoctor, that treatment regimen piqued their interest in medical cannabis in the first place because they were seeking alternatives that better serve their patients.

Dr. David Nguyen greets a patient at a telemedicine appointment. (Courtesy of PrestoDoctor)

“I was working in pain management, which meant sending many of my patients home with opioid prescriptions. I started to feel like there had to be a better answer out there,” says Dr. David Nguyen, a California anesthesiologist who has been working with PrestoDoctor since 2015. “They don’t teach you about cannabis in med school, so I started doing my own research, and pretty soon I was sold on the potential of medical marijuana.”

Dr. Nguyen is hardly alone. Throughout the state of New York, more than 1,300 doctors are now registered to recommend medical cannabis. In an area with nearly 20 million people, though, that means patients with qualifying conditions may be put off by long waits for an appointment with a doctor who is qualified to make a recommendation for medical marijuana.

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PrestoDoctor has been using telemedicine to help medical marijuana patients in California and Nevada to connect directly with physicians registered to recommend medical marijuana since 2015. For many patients, though, the idea of making a doctor’s appointment without actually being in the same room as the doctor can be off-putting—especially when they’re preparing to learn about a treatment that may still be unfamiliar.

Telemedicine for Beginners

An online medical marijuana evaluation is like any other doctor’s appointment, just conducted from the comfort of your home. Patients should be ready to start their call on time and be prepared to help the physician understand their condition and concerns.

Telemedicine appointments make the doctor’s office as close as your living room. (Courtesy of PrestoDoctor)

Patients should also be ready to share details of their medical history and help a physician understand what brought them to the appointment. Since you’ll be discussing private matters, you’ll want to be in a private space where you feel at ease.

Additionally, patients should be prepared to share some non-medical details during a PrestoDoctor appointment, as a physician’s recommended medical marijuana treatment may be influenced by those factors.

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“If I’m consulting with a dad of small kids, he may not want a grinder and other paraphernalia around the house, for instance,” says Dr. Nguyen. “In that case, I’d probably recommend something like a vaporizer with a little lower profile. It’s all about finding a solution that works for every patient as an individual.”

Medical Marijuana Made Personal

One of the perks of telemedicine is that it makes it easy to have a trusted friend or family member in the appointment with a patient, if they choose to do so. Talking about medical issues—especially ones involving chronic pain—can be hard, and some patients find the support of another person helpful. Just make sure they show up on the video screen so your consulting physician can see and hear everyone involved, says Dr. Nguyen.

Of course, some patients will prefer to keep their medical issues close to the vest. In these security-sensitive days, individuals concerned about sharing information about their medical history over the internet can relax. Telemedicine services like PrestoDoctor employ HIPAA-compliant, secure video-conferencing links that keep the conversation strictly between patient and doctor.

A treatment plan is standard issue following a physician consultation via PrestoDoctor. (Courtesy of PrestoDoctor)

Above all, it’s helpful to remember that physicians recommending medical marijuana via telemedicine services are aiming to help patients get better, not just help them get cannabis. Expect a consultation to be thorough, and take as long as a normal doctor’s appointment would—minus travel and time spent in the waiting room leafing through old issues of People, of course. And if it turns out that medical cannabis isn’t the right treatment option for you, there’s no charge for the consultation through PrestoDoctor.

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Unlike other services, PrestoDoctor’s physician recommendations come with medical marijuana treatment plans personalized to every patient. Patients who receive a medical marijuana recommendation will also receive information on dosage, frequency, delivery systems, and more from physicians with experience recommending medical cannabis.

“As a doctor, having good staff is half of your success, and something that’s really struck me with PrestoDoctor is the quality of their service and support,” says Dr. Nguyen. “I chose PrestoDoctor—and I choose to stay only with them—because of the system they’ve created, which has patient needs at its heart.”

Grow Room Humidity Control: 5 Tips for Indoor Growers

This article is sponsored by Quest Dehumidifiers.


Lights. Air conditioning. Humidity control.

Those are the three things Gary Howard, who has nearly two decades of experience in the cannabis industry, will never cheap out on. But it’s the last one—humidity control—where he sees too many growers taking too many risks and making mistakes.

As owner of Urban Garden Center and managing director of Safe Alternatives Dispensary in Maine, Howard has witnessed the errors of other growers—and yeah, made a few of his own along the way. Those mishaps include everything from employing undersized dehumidifiers to operating with poor air circulation, resulting in stagnant growing environments.

Gary Howard works in his cannabis grow room in Portland, Maine. (Courtesy of Quest Dehumidifiers)

“The biggest mistake we see growers make is that they don’t want to put money or resources toward humidity control when they start growing,” says Howard. “It’s not until after they develop a problem, like powdery mildew or bud rot, that they take it seriously.”

Howard and Clif Tomasini, another industry veteran and business director at Quest Dehumidifiers, have several tried-and-true tips that any indoor cannabis grower, from home hobbyist to commercial cultivator, can implement to perfect humidity levels for their operation.

Seal and Insulate Your Room

Building techniques have come a long way, and one of the best ways to create a stable environment that allows for humidity management is to make sure your room is properly sealed and insulated, says Tomasini.

Commercial builders know this and use things like foam insulation to create a thick barrier between the grow room and the outside environment. This is critical not just in regions where outdoor humidity is high, but nearly everywhere, including Colorado and New Mexico.

“It prevents outside factors like wind, humidity, and direct sunlight from impacting the grow,” Tomasini says. “Some of those factors affect temperature and, in turn, affect humidity, so it’s all connected. Luckily, a well-insulated room can help keep those variables at bay.”

Control Your Temperature

Temperature is a concern for every grower, given the immense amount of heat that lights can produce. But, when controlling temperature, consistency is key.

“Too often, growers oversize their air conditioning to an extreme degree,” says Tomasini. “Our guts may tell us that a giant AC system is the answer, but in reality, if it’s too big—or too small—a system will cause temperature fluctuations that adversely impact plants and humidity levels.”

Two factors contribute to the temperature fluctuation in air conditioning systems: the deadband and short cycling. The deadband is a three to five-degree Fahrenheit range around the temperature a thermostat is set to. At the upper edge of the deadband, an AC unit will cycle on to keep things cool; at the lower end, the AC shuts off to prevent things getting too cold.

Air movement, humidity, and temperature are just some of the many factors indoor cannabis cultivators have to manage. (Courtesy of Quest Dehumidifiers)

Given the nature of this band, oversized AC systems tend to run in brief periods or short cycles, which not only gobble up excessive amounts of energy, but also create an unstable growing environment in which temperatures and humidity spike and dip rapidly over a brief span of time.

Oversized air conditioners aren’t the only problem growers face, though. When an AC unit is too small, the temperature gradually rises over time. As temperatures rise, withering becomes a major problem for cannabis plants, which thrive in a predictable, consistent climate.

According to Tomasini, the key to effective temperature and humidity control is to size your AC so it runs consistent cycles for longer durations to minimize changes within the deadband.

Pictured on a graph, a proper temperature and humidity cycle would look like a long, shallow wave rather than a jagged reading with lots of spikes and valleys. Sizing your AC also requires understanding of the region where you grow, number of lights in your grow, and how your room is insulated.

“Short cycles create spikes in temperature. Humidity is relative to temperature, so when temperature goes down, humidity goes up, and vice versa,” Tomasini says. “Those fluctuations impact plant growth and create unstable environments where mold and mildew can take hold.”

When an AC unit is sized properly, it also helps pull more water from the air, which puts less strain on your dehumidifiers and helps them work in a more predictable fashion.

Air Movement Is a Must

Despite the fact that it holds water, humid air is lighter than the rest of the air surrounding it, so it rises to the top of a grow room. CO2, critical for plant growth, settles near the bottom of the room.

For those reasons, Howard and Tomasini agreed that circulating air is a vital component in a healthy grow.

Oscillating wall fans can help move air in a grow room, but they’re not enough on their own. (Courtesy of Quest Dehumidifiers)

“Air movement is critical, but oscillating wall fans aren’t enough,” says Howard. “Those cool the temperature on your canopy but they don’t circulate air. We need air in a room coming from the top, the bottom, and the walls.”

Floor fans are the easy answer, Howard says. These fans can pull air through the plant canopy, helping to create a more consistent environment with balanced humidity levels and a more equal distribution of CO2.

Manage Standing Water

One of the simplest and cheapest things growers can do to manage humidity, Tomasini says, is managing standing water effectively.

This simple solution is one of the most commonly overlooked. Growers should ensure the grow room has proper drainage, so that if overwatering occurs, stagnant water doesn’t pool on the ground adding unnecessary humidity to the space. In addition, any water reservoirs in a growing space need to be covered to keep that water where it belongs.

“I’ve seen grows where the humidity control system is dialed in but they’re still seeing fluctuations in humidity levels,” says Tomasini. “On occasion, it’s been because a large water reservoir is exposed, releasing moisture into the air.”

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Use a Dehumidifier (and Size It Properly)

It may sound obvious to use a dedicated dehumidifier when trying to control humidity, but in all his years of experience, Howard says it’s an area where he has seen many growers—particularly new ones—try to cut corners.

“They’ll go to one of the big retailers and pick up a cheap, 65-pint unit, meant to pull a little bit of water out of a home,” Howard says. “That’s not going to cut it.”

Residential dehumidifiers are a poor choice for a grow room for a couple of reasons. First, they are inefficient, using a lot of electricity to do fairly little work and resulting in outsized electrical bills. Secondly, and more importantly, they simply aren’t built to hold up under the workload of a grow room, which needs the capacity of a commercial dehumidifier.

A Quest dehumidifier at a cannabis growing facility. (Courtesy of Quest Dehumidifiers)

“The initial investment for a commercial unit can seem high, but once growers have a problem, whether it’s mold or high utility bills, they get on board quickly,” Howard says. “The money saved on electricity and replacements over a residential unit will ultimately pay off.”

As with air-conditioning, knowing how to size a dehumidifier for your room is also critical. Plants transpire about 97 percent of the water they absorb, so you want a large enough dehumidifier, or multiple units, to pull that amount from the air, while also having redundancy built into the system so that if one piece needs maintenance, the rest of the setup hums along efficiently.

“You never know when something is going to stop working, and growers have a lot on the line in terms of product and revenue,” Tomasini says. “Having redundancy built in prevents those worst-case scenarios where humidity spikes and mold takes hold.”

Recreational Legalization Won’t Make Medical Marijuana Cards Obsolete

Sponsored by Nugg MD, the nation’s leading telemedicine platform for cannabis, with over 100,000 patients served.

With cannabis laws changing faster than ever, it’s natural to have questions about how these changes will affect patients who have long used medical marijuana for a variety of conditionsDo you still need a medical marijuana card in 2018? Will you be able to find nearby medical marijuana doctors? How is the process for conducting a medical marijuana evaluation going to change?

An Evolving Situation

In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, legalizing recreational cannabis use for adults. Anyone over the age of 21 in California can now possess up to one ounce of cannabis or eight grams of cannabis concentrate. Adults can also transport, obtain, and give cannabis away to other adults, so long as no money is exchanged.

With a market transformation due in 2018 when further changes take effect, it’s a great time to brush up on the law and services that can help you navigate this evolving ecosystem. After all, both medical and recreational consumers look to cannabis to relieve stress, not increase it.

Medical Marijuana Cards Aren’t Going Out of Style

Despite the continuing evolution of adult-use laws across the United States, a medical marijuana card can still come in handy and ensure your access to cannabis for any qualifying condition. That’s important, because the wheels of legislation turn slowly. And thanks to telemedicine services like NuggMD, the process of getting approved for a medical cannabis card near you is easier than ever.

medical cannabis <a href=card doctor consultation" width="840" height="525" />Patients using cannabis as part of treatment can consult with a physician to maintain their medical marijuana card. (sturti/iStock)

California dispensaries are not allowed to make recreational sales until licenses start being issued in January 2018. This means that, depending on where you live, it could be months before recreational cannabis is easily available. Whether you get it from a family physician or a licensed doctor online, having a local medical cannabis recommendation in 2018 guarantees that patients using medical marijuana have unchanged access to the products, dosages, prices, and dispensary locations they’re accustomed to.

There are also some handy fringe benefits to keeping your card current, like the tax-exempt status of medical marijuana. Under Prop 64, recreational cannabis retailers will be taxed by the state, and that’s before considering local city or county taxes that could drive prices up further. Recreational consumers are poised to pay more than medical marijuana patients, with the possibility of even higher taxes down the line.  

Under Prop 64, adults are only allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. But medical cannabis card holders are exempt from this restriction. California’s medical marijuana laws place no limit to the amount of cannabis patients can possess, though the amount has to be reasonable for their condition.

Medical marijuana patients in California also have no limit to the amount of plants they can home grow within reason, unless local governments enact their own laws. In contrast, recreational consumers can cultivate just six plants.

How to Get a California Medical Marijuana Card Near You Today

California’s Proposition 215 has long established a wide array of ailments and conditions “for which marijuana provides relief.” Since its passage in 1996, the state has made it reasonable for anyone 18 or older with proof of US residency to access medical marijuana to treat a variety of illnesses, including (but definitely not limited to) chronic pain, depression, and insomnia.

To access these treatments, patients first need to get a valid medical marijuana card, which they can do in a couple different ways. If you have a primary physician or family doctor, they can issue a medical cannabis recommendation based on your qualifying symptoms or conditions.

If you don’t have a family doctor, or don’t want to consult with them about these options, you can visit a local physician specializing in medical marijuana evaluations. While there are many doctors in the Golden State that fit this bill, it still requires a trip to the doctor’s office, which is nobody’s idea of a good time.

Telemedicine, Delivery, and More

medical marijuana telemedicine appointmentTelemedicine services like NuggMD can make it easy to consult with a physician from your home. (kupicoo/iStock)

Got better things to do than hang around a doctor’s office? Don’t worry—there’s a third option, too. Use a telemedicine service like NuggMD and you won’t even have to conduct a search for “medical marijuana evaluations near me.” Instead, you can consult with a California medical marijuana doctor online from the comfort of your home. The process takes about 10 minutes, costs less than an eighth, and there’s no risk; if you don’t get approved, you don’t pay a thing.

If you’re not leaving the house for a doctor’s appointment, why would you leave it to go to a dispensary? Marijuana delivery services like Nugg (NuggMD’s sister company) can deliver your medical (and soon recreational) cannabis products right to your door. Enter your address to get a list of local dispensaries, in-stock products, competitive prices, and reviews before placing your order. And no worries if you’re not California-based—medical marijuana patients on the east coast can take advantage of telemedicine, too, with NuggMD launching recently in New York.