By James Wyche
What's up y'all I'm James aka Spice, representing Baltimore, Maryland. During this COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen the cannabis industry surge in terms of profits while the rest of our country’s industries are getting slammed hard. Whether you’re stuck home staying lifted all day or smoke after working your essential job, you have probably noticed that the prices of cannabis; whether from your local dispensary or your local dealer prices have gone up. With so many people hit hard financially from this pandemic you or someone you know doesn't have the luxury of having enough dispensable income to purchase some sticky icky. One way stoners have circumvented paying exuberant prices for their cannabis is to grow their own.
The cultivation of Cannabis can be dated back to Asia over 3,000 years ago. Since then people from your ordinary guy down the street to the Founding Fathers have grown or attempted to grow a plant or two. In states such as Colorado, Washington, and California patients are allowed to grow six plants total, though if you're a caregiver you can grow up to 36 plants in some states. Unfortunately, in my home state of Maryland and several other states including New York that have legalized medical cannabis, local governments still don't allow patients to cultivate their own medicine. In Maryland, we have 92 registered dispensaries throughout the state; that's among the highest in the country and cannabis hasn't even been legalized for adult-use yet. In 2019, $252 million in cannabis sales were made in Maryland making it one of the most profitable medical markets in the country. Also within a year, the number of new cannabis patients in Maryland had increased dramatically. As it stands of almost 6.1 million people in Maryland almost 2% of the population are a part of the medical cannabis program. I tell you this information to ask the question I wanted to write this article about, why are Maryland and so many other states dragging their feet on this issue of patients being allowed to grow their own medicine?
One reason is that the people and entities that own these grow operations and dispensary owners are worried their profits will take a hit. As I've shown you earlier in this piece, the statistics contradict their worry. As a Maryland patient, I think it's time we have the right to grow our own because in the past some of the biggest growers and processors in Maryland have come under fire for their profit-focused tactics. In 2018 Forward Gro was fined $125,000 for using banned pesticides, and had to destroy products that were produced before the recall date and had to refund countless patients. Also in 2019 Curio Wellness, one of the 14 growers/processors at the time, filed a lawsuit against the MMCC after the commission had put in motion to give new licenses to try and increase diversity in the cannabis industry in Maryland. Curio stated in their lawsuit that the commission had not done a study to show that more growers were needed in the Maryland market and that the supply of cannabis products being produced was more than enough for Maryland at the time. To the surprise of no one, Curio came under heavy fire from patients, dispensary owners, and even other growers and processors. A sit-in was organized by patients to stand outside Curio's headquarters showing their frustration for the lawsuit. Shortly thereafter Curio dropped the lawsuit and their president later stated that the lawsuit was to " protect the interests of the people we employ and our investors."
In my humblest opinion, home cultivation should be legalized to give patients and caregivers the option of whether they want to buy from a dispensary or not. We've seen with the Forward Gro and Curio situations that some of the people in charge of these cannabis companies are only worried about the green of money and not the green of cannabis. Allowing patients to grow will give them the chance to study what is required to make sure their favorite strain comes out perfectly. There is a reason that family member you have with a beautiful garden takes so much pride in it regardless if they’re growing flowers, vegetables or fruits. They took time out of their day to care for and feed those plants to make sure they come out as beautiful or taste as good as it's supposed to be. Plus thanks to the internet there are countless brands of home growing kits so you don't have to run to Home Depot. In addition to the countless videos on The Weedtube and Youtube alike of people giving tips on how to maintain their first grow. Furthermore, there are countless websites where you can purchase the seed of your favorite strain or a strain that can help you with any medical effects you're looking for.
I hope this article made you consider growing some cannabis yourself! Until next time Happy Munkey Fam!