Category: Growing Guide

Ten facts about medical marijuana cultivators in Ohio

Ohio is still more than a year away from fully launching the new state program that will oversee medical marijuana use in the state.

But in the 12 months since lawmakers passed and Gov. John Kasich signed the legislation allowing the drug in Ohio, three state agencies and a new panel have been busy finalizing the rules that will control how marijuana is grown, processed, tested and sold.

Here are 10 things you should know about where things stand on medical marijuana in Ohio:

1. The Beginning: HB 523 outlined the process for adopting rules for the cultivation, testing and dispensing of the drug, with three state agencies spearheading the process.

The Department of Commerce is handling the licensing of cultivators, processors and testing laboratories. The state pharmacy board will license retail dispensaries and handle patient and caregiver registrations. The state medical board will issue certificates for physicians who will recommend use of the drug.

2. Progress to Date: The Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee had its first meeting in November, around the same time that initial rules were released for public comment.

To date, more than 30 rules have been adopted, mostly related to cultivators, the groups that will be growing medicinal marijuana in the state.

Kerry Francis, a spokeswoman at the Ohio Department of Commerce, said the initial rules focused on general definitions and other groundwork for the program, plus those that will control the cultivation of the drug.

Ultimately, state officials are focused on two things: “We want to make sure that we are protecting the safety of the public (and ensuring) a safe medical product,” Francis said.

3. Growing Marijuana: Don’t expect to drive through the Ohio countryside past green fields of marijuana waving in the wind. Rules require the plants to be grown in highly secured facilities, out of the public eye.

Growers have to complete an extensive application process to be considered for the limited number of licenses that will be made available.

There are two levels of cultivator licenses. Level I will cover larger facilities (initial operations up to 25,000 square feet), while Level II will cover smaller ones (initial areas up to 3,000 square feet).

There will be a dozen licenses awarded by state officials for each level (24 total), with provisions in the rules for additional licenses in the future, should demand warrant increased production.

Level II applications will be accepted between Monday and June 16, while Level I applications will be accepted June 19-30.

4. Show Me the Money: There’s a cost to get your foot in the door. Level I applicants have to pay $20,000 up front, while Level II pay $2,000 when submitting their initial application.

Those initial fees are nonrefundable.

If selected for a provisional license, cultivators will have to pay an additional $180,000 for Level I and $18,000 for Level II certificates. Licenses have to be renewed annually, at a cost of $200,000 for Level I and $20,000 for Level II.

5. Who Gets Licensed: The application process is extensive, requiring names of people involved, criminal background checks, disclosures of ties to marijuana operations in other states and evidence that proposed cultivation sites are either owned or leased by applicants.

That’s not to mention business plans, details about proposed facilities, staffing and employment information, inventory tracking methods and disclosures of everything from the types of fertilizers and pesticides to be used to how waste will be disposed.

Just because you pay your application fee and submit all of the requisite paperwork, that doesn’t mean you automatically get a license to produce medical marijuana. There’s a scoring process the state will use to make final licensing decisions.

6. Restrictions Apply: Growing facilities can’t be located within 500 feet of schools, churches, playgrounds and parks, and other public areas.

Also, municipalities have the authority to restrict or prohibit cultivation and other medical marijuana activities.

7. The Application Itself: There’s also a whole series of specific submission requirements for the actual application paperwork.

For example, submissions must be hand delivered to the Ohio Department of Commerce’s offices near the Statehouse between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the acceptance periods for the two application levels.

Applicants must include “one paper copy of the application in 12-point font on standard white 8.5×11 copy paper, with margins no smaller than 3/4-inch.” Applicants also must provide digital copies of their submissions on a CD or DVD.

An information packet posted online notes, “Applications that do not contain all of the required elements in the required format will not be accepted.”

8. The Approval Process: Francis said there’s no timeline for when decisions will be made on which cultivators will receive licenses, though that process likely will be completed before the end of the year to provide time for licensees to have their operations in place by September 2018, when the program is supposed to be fully up and running.

9. What’s Next: State officials tackled the cultivator rules first, but there are other rules that will be developed in coming months covering testing labs, processors, dispensaries and doctors who will recommend the use of medical marijuana.

10. Reminder: Under Ohio’s medical marijuana law, doctors will have to direct medical marijuana use for their patients, with limits on the amount of the drug they could possess. The law lists more than 20 medical conditions that would qualify for marijuana use. It also bans smoked forms of the drug and homegrown supplies.

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Step By Step Basics For Growing Marijuana

leafGrowing one’s own marijuana is becoming a trend these days as it contains immense positive associations. In spite of legal issues, people want to try their hands at growing their own marijuana plants. Speculations on this plant, its sub-standard market quality, use of harmful fertilizers and superficial claims by the sellers bring in a lot of dilemma before buying marijuana. To clear such uncertainties individuals, continue to grow their own marijuana. The first step begins with choosing either an indoor or an outdoor setup that would ideally suit the growth of marijuana. Subsequent decisions on the type of strain and equipment required have to be made.

Growing marijuana is also highly fulfilling like growing other horticultural plants. Once the plant grows, a feeling of triumph comes along with it. Growing a single marijuana plant is enormously beneficial in several ways. Concentrated efforts towards a single plant make it grow much better. With one plant, legal issues reduce down. The cultivation process remains inexpensive because it reduces the number of resources, need for expensive equipment and larger growing setups. To begin with, it’s always better to grow one plant a time as it saves time and money. Also, the need for nutrients, soil, light and water to grow one marijuana plant is just minimal.

grow-weed-in-tent-300x300Now to proceed further it is important to know certain basic information about marijuana. Marijuana is also called as a flowering weed. It grows its bud only once in a year. As the sunlight begins to decline the plant starts to grow its bud. Even if the plant is grown in an indoor setup, lighting continues to influence its growth. 12 hours of exposure to light allows the plant to begin flowering. If the plant begins to flower early it would contribute to a smaller harvest. The plant takes about 45 days’ time to reach its vegetative state. The higher the sunlight, the better the flowering during the vegetative state.

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Factors Swaying The Growth Of Marijuana

AK_47Lighting plays an important role in the growth of marijuana plant during its vegetative state. For a single plant, the lighting costs are low. In the case of a window located adjacent to the plant, a fluorescent light can prove to be the best lighting option when the sun sets. Other options that provide minimal light on and off the day include a T5, a T8 or a CFL. In the case of the absence of a window, maximum light is required for the growth of marijuana. A 250-watt light bulb, HPS bulb and MH bulb provide bright and maximum lighting to support the plant’s growth.

Temperature and humidity are among the most important factors that influence the growth of marijuana. The temperature during the day should be around 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and during the night it should drop down by 15 degrees. A relatively dry environment has to be maintained around the plant. Dry atmospheres allow easy and quick respiration by removing the moisture from marijuana leaves. This offers a better environment to support the plant’s growth. But if the temperature is too warm along with a completely dry environment it deprives the plant of its healthy growth. Strike a right balance between temperature and humidity to optimize growth.

new-moms-a6The quality of water and process of watering are the other prime aspects that support the growth of marijuana. Chlorinated water is not suited for marijuana plants. The water has to be treated with anti-chlorine drops before use. Water used should be brought down to room temperature as ice-cold water brings lethal shocks to the plant. The quantity of water used also plays a crucial role. For plants growing in three gallons of soil, three quarts of water are required. The moisture has to be evenly maintained in the soil. Overwatering is a serious concern when plants are constantly watered without a proper need.

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