Lighting Up With Emerald Mountain

Oregon photographer takes vivid cannabis photographs by paying close attention to his environment.

Cannabis photography is basically a zero sum game: you either get a vivid encapsulation of the natural magic and majesty of the world’s most controversial plant or an unremarkable snapshot of some dried up flowers.

And for a masterful expression of the professional end of the spectrum, you can’t do much better than the work of Martin Henderson — the man behind the curtain at Emerald Mountain Media, which produces some truly exquisite pot pictures.

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Microlife: Growing Cannabis Organically

Regenerative farming literally feeds the earth.

The pear tree in Meg Fender’s backyard is her pride and joy. She said, in many ways, it’s one of the key elements of her garden’s health.

“That tree has been producing major amounts of fruit for over a decade,” Fender said. “So much that I sometimes can’t even keep up with it during the picking season. A lot of it ends up on the ground.”

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Becoming a Marijuana Farmer

Growing cannabis for the first time can alter a relationship with the plant.

In November 2012, my Colorado neighbors and I voted to legalize adult-use cannabis.

The following month, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Amendment 64 into the state constitution, immediately legalizing the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana – though the legal sales would take more than a year to begin.

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Inside a Colorado Grow

Exploring an indoor grow in Colorado that houses cannabis targeted for the recreational and medicinal markets.

The pungent smell of cannabis permeates the air in front of the row of industrial buildings on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado. I’ve arrived at Bloom County Growers, a 2,000-square-foot operation that grows cannabis for both medical and recreational sales. Beautiful buds – Durban Poison, Grape Stomper, Bubba OG – grow alongside each other. The only difference that makes one plant medical and another recreational lies in the RFID tracking tag wrapped around the stem – yellow for the medical herb and blue for the recreational.

“It’s all very strange,” grower Scott Pope said of the dual recreational and medical cannabis markets present in Colorado.

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An Essential Element

The male plant, while less glamorous than the female, is a key piece of the botanical puzzle.

The art of cannabis photography typically tends toward glorifying the dazzling female flower, with its full bud expressions, colorful blossoms and rich terpene aromas. While less glamorous, the cannabis plant’s male counterpart can also be an exceptionally beautifully plant and is an integral piece of the propagation puzzle.

Cannabis cultivators the world over know the obsessive, purgatorial feeling of waiting for their plants to mature to discern sex – female, male or hermaphrodite. A male plant, while essential for reproduction, can also run rampant across a garden and devastate an entire crop of flowering female plants — intended for consumption — by inadvertently pollinating them and causing hermaphroditism. If culled and managed correctly, the male becomes a key part of this sustainable, perpetuating reproduction process.

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Start Strong: Tips for Choosing the Right Clones

You can do everything right, but you won’t get far if you start with the wrong clones. Here’s some tips for picking the right genetic material to start your garden!

Growing quality cannabis requires a harmony of many factors. There’s some amount of leeway with light, pH amounts, pests and even mold – but most of these can be easily dealt with as cultivators surf that often-challenging and unforgiving wave of cannabis’ flowering cycle. However, without healthy, vibrant plants at the onset, even the best effort can be for naught and that highly-anticipated Super Silver Haze will likely look and smell more like Super Silver Hay.

Plants that are unhealthy do much the same as humans do when they’re sick – they rest and try to get better. While its healthy sisters race towards the light, be it artificial or the real deal, a weakling plant’s growth stops and stalls. As its leaves clench in frustration, nutrients stop being absorbed and the plant sits in a state of stasis that it might not ever fully recover from. If thrown into flowering, there’s a small chance that the plant might snap out of its slump but that’s pretty unlikely. What will result is a plant that is low in resin, terpenes, potency and yield that gives up the ghost long before finishing time.

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How-To: Curing Your Medicine

An excerpt from “Secrets of the West Coast Masters: Uncover the Ultimate Techniques for Growing Medical Marijuana” by Dru West.

There is a widespread misconception about what curing really is and exactly how it is done. To understand this process you must first understand what it is you are trying to do. Curing is the process of extracting chlorophyll from the buds. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color and is an important factor for photosynthesis, since its function is to absorb light and turn it into energy. It does not, however, taste good. After marijuana has been harvested and dried, microorganisms in the air will begin to break down the unnecessary chlorophyll as time goes by. The by-product of this process is ammonia, which explains why bags of grass clippings from the lawn take on that smell after they sit in the garage for a while. To cure your buds is to extract the ammonia-producing chlorophyll. This can be done in a controlled fashion by containing your buds in airtight glass jars. This will accelerate the rate of the curing process by trapping the multiplying microorganisms inside the jars. Follow these steps for reliable results every time.

1. Loosely fill the jars with your buds and seal the lids.

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Mean Gene: Making Marijuana Masterpieces

With a lifetime of knowledge and a genetic archive reaching back decades, the award-winning Mendocino breeder spreads the foundational flavors of cannabis seed by seed.

Breeding a new strain of cannabis is like painting a picture: the end result is a culmination of the medium and colors you used, the techniques you applied and the vision you had when you sat down at the canvas.

And many of the strains you find on the market — even some of the top-shelf offerings from boutique dispensaries — are the cannabis equivalent of landscape paintings by students of Bob Ross; competent reproductions and variations on the same theme with minor stylistic flourishes.

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Trademarking ‘Humboldt’

A map of cannabis’ potential new ‘appellations’ in California.

All the folks that want to “regulate weed like it’s wine” will get at least one of their prayers answered. California regulators are under orders to create local trademarks for medical cannabis agriculture.

Like wine from Napa, or “champagne” from Champagne — California-grown cannabis has a great reputation all over the world, and words like “Humboldt” and “Mendocino” carry great weight with aficionados.

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Book Review: “Idiot’s Guide: Growing Marijuana”

Big Lit makes a move on America’s new botanical sweetheart — cannabis.

It finally happened. One of the “Big Four” publishing firms, Penguin Random House, at last saw an opening and jumped into the cannabis game with the new release “Idiot’s Guide: Marijuana Growing.” Responsible for the launch of hit titles ranging from Ralph Ellison’s classic “The Invisible Man” to a host of Dr. Seuss staples to Ann Coulter’s recent “In Trump We Trust,” Penguin’s worldwide readership is decidedly vast and varied.

Just think, you’ll soon be able to openly read in public about the systematic manufacture of marijuana and attract little more than a “hmm” from the average passerby. Quite a change from the first, popular MJ title – most notably the seminal grow book “Marijuana Growers Guide Deluxe Edition,” written by Ed Rosenthal and Mel Frank in 1978. Clutching a copy of that title has always felt like an act of defiance throughout the cannabis prohibition years. Not quite on level with “The Anarchist Cookbook,” but close to it if you lived in a state where a loose joint could get you a couple years in a prison labor camp. In fact, “Marijuana Growers Guide” caught fire so swiftly across the nation in the ‘70s that it even garnered a book review by the New York Times.

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