July 13, 2021 at 2:46 pm

Cannabis users are out of the closet in New Mexico, and one of the first things they want to do is grow weed. The public has long been a connoisseur of good wine; now they have also become connoisseurs of fine cannabis. However, it’s no more than the 1960s when a quarter of the Panama Red or Acapulco Gold you bought illegally was seed.

The paper. spoke to Travis Chapman, General Manager of AHL Garden Supply in Albuquerque, about growing cannabis at home. AHL is the oldest indoor grow shop in New Mexico, and at 28 years old, one of the oldest in the country. Chapman has worked in the store for the past 24 years.

“With legalization, adults aged 21 and over can grow and own six flowering plants and six non-flowering plants or a total of 12 cannabis plants. The maximum amount for a household is twice that. Even if you have four adults in the same household, you can only grow 24 plants, ”Chapman said. Medicinal cannabis home growers were allowed a total of 16 plants, but only four could be fully grown flowering plants. At this point, the Ministry of Health’s plant number for medicinal and recreational use is the same.

Any adult in New Mexico can grow at home right now – but where do you get seeds? “If you don’t have a health insurance certificate, there is no legal way for adults in New Mexico to purchase seeds, cannabis cuttings, or plants. It’s still a gray area because they’re figuring out how to implement the laws, ”explained Chapman.

Once the Recreational Act goes fully into effect and there are retail stores selling recreational cannabis products, they will be selling seeds and cloned plants. “The only options right now are to get seeds from a friend as gifts, or to buy seeds or clones on the black market. If you have seeds, you can now legally grow those seeds because you owned them, ”Chapman said

Obtaining seeds is difficult because most of the plants grown today are unpollinated female plants that do not produce seeds themselves. Commercial breeders eliminate males that produce pollen sacs from their gardens once they identify them and produce sinsemilla cannabis. The term is derived from the Spanish words “sin” (“without”) and “semilla” (“seed”) or “without seed”.

“Occasionally you will have a seed here or there. However, cannabis is essentially grown seedless. Seeds are pretty rare unless they come from Mexico, and then everything is a different story. You may still find a lot of seeds. I’ve heard of cuttings from really sought-after plants that sell for up to $ 500. It’s probably really typical of $ 10 to $ 20 per seed, ”Chapman said.

To reproduce directly from a cannabis plant, clippings are taken while the leaf and stem structure is being built up, dipped in a rooting hormone or clone gel, and placed in some soil or a starter plug. A moisture dome and seed tray can hold moisture in the cutting until it takes root. “Some cannabis growers who produce very popular strains will sell you a cutting or seed. However, you must agree that you will not reproduce it and sell it to other people, ”Chapman said.

A grow light that tries to replicate what the sun does is the most expensive aspect of the investment required to produce high yielding, high quality flowers. “If you choose to grow outside, it could be stolen as soon as someone identifies it. It happens all the time, and it will continue to do so in a legal environment, ”warned Chapman.

Inside, the plants need 16 to 20 or even 24 hours of light daily during the vegetative phase. And then, in order to trigger their flowering phase, it takes 12 hours of light and then 12 hours of absolute darkness. The flowering time is 6 to 10 weeks. Various loads can take longer. The flowering period for external growers in Albuquerque begins in late July through early / mid-August. Cannabis should be brought outside in early to mid-June.

There is a class of cannabis plants called “autoflowers” that have been genetically bred so that they do not need the specific photoperiods to initiate flowering. “They bloom automatically and continue to bloom until they mature, regardless of the amount of light they receive. And that’s the $ 500 seeds, ”Chapman said.

“It’s likely possible to grow into equipment for less than $ 500. You will be compromising on so many things, however, that your cannabis taste, aroma, flower density, and percentage of THC and other cannabinoids are not the quantity or quality that most people are looking for, ”Chapman said.

If you’re struggling financially, Chapman recommends growing outdoors. You need high quality soil, plant food and nutritional supplements. Disease risks and pests such as spider mites, aphids and whiteflies are mitigated by suitable natural pesticides and organic pest products to prevent them and, if necessary, treat them. Outdoor plants are particularly at risk for locusts, caterpillars, and worms.

Curing cannabis is far more complicated and difficult than growing it. The most important parts of growing cannabis are the harvesting, drying, and curing processes. You can’t just pull it out of the ground, hang it upside down until it’s dry, and smoke it. The ripening process can be long-term storage of the flowers through various techniques until they are ready to be consumed.

“For some growers, it takes months and months and months to cure. Some people heal six months after the harvest. Waxing is a lot easier than what comes after. If you want to perfect your craft, go online, ”said Chapman. Websites, forums, YouTube, and blogs are supportive.

“We encourage people to start small and keep making basic expenses while they learn to grow cannabis,” advised Chapman. “When people are too busy with their project, they lose the joy and fun of it if it doesn’t go well.”