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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Pinkleberry – Pretty in Pink

Green Source Gardens grows luscious, pink outdoor cannabis from seed using sustainable cultivation techniques.

Amidst the forested foothills at the junction of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountain ranges, a steeply terraced hillside garden sits resplendent with row after row of dazzlingly vibrant cannabis in magnificent full bloom.

On this south-facing slope in southern Oregon, chuffy colas gleam with vigorous vitality as they bask in the midmorning sun. A kaleidoscopic array glows in vivid shades of green, splashed with bright yellow fennel and dotted with plush purple buds radiating florid fuchsia pistils.

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Home Gardening 101

When a backyard suburban garden produces enough cannabis to sustain 20 of your closest friends for a year.

“It’s pretty wild to see a marijuana stalk grow to the circumference of a man’s bicep,” says Daniel Bennett as he circles around a raised bed garden in his backyard near San Francisco. “And the crazy thing is, this plant has about eight weeks more to mature before we harvest.”

The garden that Bennett is referring to rests on a suburban hillside in a quiet little neighborhood he’s lived in for 18 years. Thirty miles up the coast you can just barely make out the jagged skyline of downtown San Francisco hovering over the summer fog.

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Shooting Shotgun Willie’s Secret Stash

A through-the-lens look at an outlaw icon’s special suppliers.

Cannabis photographer, Kristen Angelo, has seen many facets of the industry.

“In the cannabis industry, I’ve met retired teachers, people from the insurance industry,” she said. “Everyone across the board, from conservatives to liberals. And I’ve enjoyed telling their stories.”

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30% THC Alert: High-Octane, High-Performance

Western U.S. growers RB26 have a Cornell business school background and a 100-pound back-order list.

People who wonder what cannabis will look like in five years should try to keep an eye on the nimble little Western U.S. cultivation brand “RB26.” Winners of nine cannabis awards and hyped by VICE for growing the ”strongest strain in the world” the four-year-old California company has grown from a 12-light operation to over 250 lights, and from one full-time employee to 12.

Driven by founders Grayson Miller, and Mike, RB26’s high-octane, boutique herb isn’t some mystical aberration. The New Yorkers apply high technology and business school acumen to produce, elite, top-shelf Gorilla Glue #4, #5, and other exotic strains that are snatched up off shelves in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley.

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Tissue Culture & Synthetic Seeds: Buds Without Borders?

“Synthetic seeds” may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but some industry experts say — if it gets big enough — the cannabis cultivation industry might decide to use them. Could this be the far future of flowers?

Forward thinkers in the cannabis space are looking for ways to ensure that access to essential cannabis-based medicine is not defined by one’s zip code. And one answer — at least for the distant future of cannabis cultivation — might lie in tissue culturing and synthetic seeds.

Reggie Gaudino, vice president of scientific operations and director of intellectual property at Steep Hill Labs, has looked into these alternative methods for growing marijuana to see if they can potentially resolve a major stumbling block for cannabis distribution; the federal restrictions on transporting it from state to state.

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LISTEN: Talking Gelato with Sherbinski

In issue 25 of Cannabis Now, we explored the origins of Gelato, a strain that’s inspired such ferocious excitement that people have their exact favorite phenotype dialed in “down to the number on the pots.”

From issue 25:

It’s been three years since famed San Francisco cannabis breeders Mr. Sherbinski and Jigga crossed two crowd favorites (Sunset Sherbert and Thin Mint Cookies) and created a strain that’s been endlessly hyped, right down to the number on the pots — Gelato.

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Marijuana Migrations

How pot growers are adapting to a changing climate.

By 2013, Jacob Sullivan had seen enough. Plagued by fickle growing conditions, consecutive scorching hot days, water right issues and topsoil problems, the farmer finally decided to pack it in and move 500 miles north, from Northern California to Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

“After six years of drought,” he said “it was time to admit that growing marijuana in that part of California had become unmanageable for me.”

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Name Generator: What’s Your Pot Grower Alias?

Regardless of how quickly legalization continues to spread across the U.S., growing marijuana remains a federal offense—which is just one of the many reasons a pot grower might prefer to use an alias, as opposed to his or her real name. Figure out your cannabis cultivator name below:

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Sir Richard Branson Tells Farmers to Ditch Cows and Grow Cannabis

Sir Richard Branson, the progressive billionaire businessman and philanthropist, is recommending that New Zealand cultivate cannabis instead of cows.

Cannabis, illegal but sort of tolerated, is one of the most widely available illicit drugs in the country, according to the New Zealand Police.

Branson, who was in New Zealand speaking at a charity event, predicted cannabis would be as acceptable as wine in 10 years’ time.

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