How Cannabis Makes Horticulturists Out of Average Joes


There are currently thirty-eight states in which medical cannabis is legal. Among them, a dozen allow patients to grow a certain number of plants for their own use. The net effect is that average Joes in those twelve states are becoming seasoned horticulturists. It is an amazing thing to see.

The thing about cannabis is that it’s not just one plant. There are now hundreds of varieties created by enterprising growers who have learned how to isolate certain cannabinoids and terpenes. Through crossbreeding and controlling growing conditions, they are capable of creating unique strains with somewhat unique properties.

What does this mean for medical consumption? It means, at least in theory, that patients in states that allow home grow could develop their own strains unique to their needs. If that sounds farfetched, consider a recent court case decided in New Zealand.

Busted for Home Grow

Medical cannabis is legal in New Zealand. However, it is very restricted. Patients only have access to a limited number of THC-derived medicines, and they usually come in the form of oils. Recreational cannabis is strictly prohibited. So is growing, possessing, or distributing cannabis outside the confines of the legal medical program.

With that in mind, a Napier man was arrested a while back and charged with illegally cultivating and selling cannabis. According to news reports, he started out by developing his own cannabis strain to treat chronic pain. Getting to the point of having a plant that worked for him led him to tell friends about it. Police say it was not long before he started selling his cannabis to others.

A raid of his house revealed a rather sophisticated growing operation. The man had modified his garage and made it accessible from the house with a doorway concealed behind a movable bookshelf. In the garage, police found plants, seeds, fertilizer, and no shortage of growing equipment. They also investigated his cell phone records and discovered evidence of transactions between him and his buyers.

Examining the Medical Aspect

In court, the judge acknowledged that the man did suffer chronic pain as the result of an injury. He also gave the man credit for being incredibly careful about developing his own cannabis strain. But the law is the law. The defendant was found guilty and sentenced. To his credit, the judge mentioned he was being punished for illegally growing and distributing cannabis. He wasn’t being punished for using cannabis medically.

The most amazing aspect of this story is that the man knew enough about cannabis to develop his own strain. That is the basis of this post’s argument that cannabis is turning average people into horticulturists. Developing a unique cannabis strain requires quite a bit of knowledge about the plant, its cannabinoids, its terpenes, and so on. You also need to know how to manipulate the plant to get the cannabinoid and terpene profile you’re after.

Cannabis Patients Are Knowledgeable

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the New Zealand man was capable of doing what he did. According to the people behind the website, medical cannabis patients – particularly chronic pain patients – are fairly knowledgeable. They go out of their way to educate themselves in order to understand how their medicines can help them. Obtaining a bit of knowledge about horticulture is often enough to motivate patients to learn how to grow.

There is a good chance that many home-grow patients in the twelve states that allow it are just as knowledgeable as the New Zealand man. Perhaps even more so. That’s just one of the things that cannabis legalization seems to encourage.