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Old 07-12-2018, 03:36 PM #1
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Tour of a 502 Grow: Legal Recreational Cannabis

Recently I had the opportunity to drive to Yakima and check out the legal 502 recreational scene. I learned quite a bit. Mostly that the state fucked the growers and consumers over when they did away with the medical cannabis shops and growers.
My friend with the grow has been through spectacular failure after failure. As have most of the 502 growers. It does help that he's more of a businessman then a farmer.
He's the kind of guy the state wants in their 502 program. Has connections and experience making money. He's been smoking pot since his college days, growing legally has always been a dream. He has the finances to follow through on it and is serious enough about making money he's willing to do what it takes to make a profit.
He's learned that it's farming like growing any other crop. He's made cut after cut after cut of expenses until he's down to a bare bones crew of 6. He's doing light deprivation with hoop houses under the powerful Eastern Washington sun.

He plugs them in, starts them flowering immediately. It's all bottom line, any Veg time is a waste. He gets the clones cheap, $3 or less each. Uses a bulk chemical hydroponic-like bloom fertilizer. Since cannabis is not approved by the FDA it can't be certified organic so he sees no point in using organic sources. Plus it would be too expensive.

His flowers smelled nice, he had good strains. Purple Glue was my favorite wonderful sweet skunky smell. He had quite a few rows of CBD strains.

He had just put in his natural sun 'main run' crop. They were rows of scraggy little clones. Just from Vegging through July he'll have a big harvest in October the sun over there is incredible.
His entire harvest is converted to Hash Oil. He sells it direct to the manufacturer for $200 a pound. Yes that's right ounces used to go for $300 an ounce and he's selling pounds at $200. Welcome to the legal cannabis world.
He can't afford to pay trimmers. It's too much overhead. The only way he can turn a profit is to make it into oil. The drying and trimming is by far the biggest cost.
He can't afford to grow big plants, he wants to grow small plants with small buds. He says the buyers only care about THC%. They don't care about anything else. Terpenes, color, organic, all that shit is meaningless now. Larger buds have more plant matter which means lower THC levels. They will only buy the highest THC strains so he had plenty of Bruce Banner.
The state has the growers weigh and dispose of the leaves and stems. So handling and destroying all that plant matter is a large cost. Small plants produce less leaves and stems. It's another reason for his light deprivation and late start on his main run.
He was proud he didn't use pesticides, I was glad he didn't. Everyone has broad mites the clone dealers have seen to that. He had predatory mites he's looking into ways to keep them around because most of the time they have nothing to eat.
The entire time we were in the field there was a plane circling the sky above us. He said there's more DEA agents in Yakima County then almost anywhere else. I don't know what the plane was doing but there certainly wasn't anything to look from up there. Besides ganja fields. He had hundreds of cameras everywhere. The state seems a bit paranoid.
It was good to see he'd figured out how to succeed and make a profit. Fun to see thousands of ganja plants. Otherwise it was a depressing trip, kind of like a smack in the gut.
He told me the Tier 1 growers have been selling at a loss to take out the small growers. He thinks it's just a matter of time until the price drops to hops prices, $20 a pound. Lots of hops in the field next door.
I estimate the cost for trimmers alone is $200 a pound. He's selling pounds at that rate. With the cheapest chemicaliest fertilizer. With small light deprivation plants, tiny buds, mass production, high THC % is all that matters. Everyone who hasn't made these adaptations is out.
If you're thinking of getting a 502 license think it over long and hard it ain't your old time grow show. Sad to see the future of the plant I love getting perverted by legalization.
Glad I've got my medical card I'd hate to buy the shit from those Rec shops.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:56 PM #2
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^Nice write up.

It is interesting to see cannabis turn into another commercial agriculture product. Many people are predicting concentrates and oil is the next big thing.

$200. a lb is like .50 a gram and to think it will probably go to the price of hops $20. a lb that would be .05 a gram. Seems like any money would be in marketing, packaging and retail.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:16 PM #3
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Thanks for letting us know whats going on there, and whats soon to come.
Very disgusting, but what do you expect when money and people come together.

Do the tier 1 folks really need to push out the small growers? Would that really make an impact?
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:17 PM #4
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Yeah those tier 1 growers are some greedy motherfuckers.
A couple other things I didn't cover. He said all the weighing and bagging is automated now. Too much of an expense to pay someone to sit there weighing and sealing the packets. To be profitable you have to buy a machine that does it.
He also says freeze drying is becoming the big thing. They're realizing they can save time and money. He says it's a decent product, gets you stoned and tastes all right. A bit crumbly but not to the point it ruins the pot.
It amazes me how quickly everyone has switched to buying from the Rec stores. I imagined there'd be vestiges of the black and medical markets but every stoner I know buys from the stores. Even if the store is more expensive people like the convenience and 'selection'.
It's so strange to me. It turns out to be just another commodity like Gatorade and bubblegum. The people who think it's somehow special, there's a spiritual connection between the plant and the consumer are fooling themselves. Most people don't see the weed they smoke as any different then a six pack of Budweiser.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:39 PM #5
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Nice hay farm.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:20 AM #6
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The state of Washington and the voters of the state are entirely to blame. The medical people campaigned their asses off to save their livelihood and their industry. The state voters and legislature ignored them and this is the result. Pot is legal, we won yeah. Growing is illegal, possession of over 42 grams is illegal, both are felonies. Only a few people are allowed to grow and those people have to push balls to the walls to make a profit.
I forgot to mention how big the crop is, how many rows of ganja there were. There were dozens of rows like the ones in the picture. Next time I'll try to get some perspective to show how huge it is.
He had over a thousand lbs that was going to be ready in 3 weeks. Took him 8 weeks to grow. Then another batch goes in another thousand lbs.
I'm guessing the final run will be 4000 lbs. It's crazy. I can't imagine how much tier 1 producers are doing, does anyone know? 20-50,000 lbs seems credible. I've heard some stats that I don't quite remember but tier 1 producers may be growing 70% of the ganja in the state.
Is this really better then the black market? The casual smoker doesn't have to worry about getting a misdemeanor. Those evil black marketeers are eliminated so we can get high with a clear conscious, knowing we paid taxes and the profits don't go to the middle east to fund terrorists.
From what my buddy said a lot of growers are using chemicals to control broad mites. There is no effort to grow organically. At least the average consumer has a choice now. Not sure how great that choice is.
Damnit I'm getting preachy and bitchy. I need a beer. Washington said it made the laws it did to be a model of how legalization should be. When the rest of the country goes legal legislatures will look to the wisdom of Washington and how they did things the right way and copy that model. Fuck that.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:37 AM #7
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Is this really better then the black market? The casual smoker doesn't have to worry about getting a misdemeanor. Those evil black marketeers are eliminated so we can get high with a clear conscious, knowing we paid taxes and the profits don't go to the middle east to fund terrorists.
From what my buddy said a lot of growers are using chemicals to control broad mites. There is no effort to grow organically. At least the average consumer has a choice now. Not sure how great that choice is.
Damnit I'm getting preachy and bitchy. I need a beer. Washington said it made the laws it did to be a model of how legalization should be. When the rest of the country goes legal legislatures will look to the wisdom of Washington and how they did things the right way and copy that model. Fuck that.


So its a bad thing to be a black markter?
Wow i wonder how many on icmag would disagree with this lol
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:11 PM #8
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I manage to abuse Poe's Law too often on this site. Around here there's quite a few people who don't speak English as a first language, I'm thinking that and all the bong hits add to the confusion.
Poe's Law is discussed more often on sciencey intellectual sort of sites I'll look at occasionally. This is it: Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won't mistake for the genuine article.
This covers all sorts of facetious or cynical humor, both terms people have mistakenly used when describing me.
I checked out a couple of the 502 websites. Sure enough pounds are going at .40 cents a gram. Indoor is going for $1.25 which ain't much better. I'd chalk up almost the entire outdoor harvest going to oil, I can't imagine properly trimmed cannabis going for that price. As far as indoor how does that cover the light bill?
I also compared tier 1 to tier 3, the farm I toured was tier 3. A lot of tier 1 farms aren't making shit, you can see who the big boys are. If I had money I'd be buying up licenses and putting them on cool down. Squeezing down the production instead of increasing it.
Washington needs an OPEC. Everyone is doing the opposite, prices drop so they ramp up production because they think it will increase their profit. Stupid stupid.
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Old 07-13-2018, 02:39 PM #9
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As a Washington state resident and a guy who has lived in seven states, I can tell you that Washington is the most overly regulated and oppressive state I've ever seen.

I was a Democrat and a liberal all my life but this state made me see the dark side of that philosophy. You can talk all you want about hard core right wing states but hard core left wing states like Washington want to know all about your business, public and private and then it wants to tell you all of the things it will and will not allow you to do. It's oppressive.
It's all about the state and how much of a cut it is going to take to fund all of the programs it has created to further it's philosophy. How it has handled marijuana is a perfect example of that. Look what it has done to our beautiful plant. Turned it into low grade, cheap oil.

Run for the hills because he's with the government and he's here to help.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:05 PM #10
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Originally Posted by EvergreenState View Post
As a Washington state resident and a guy who has lived in seven states, I can tell you that Washington is the most overly regulated and oppressive state I've ever seen.

I was a Democrat and a liberal all my life but this state made me see the dark side of that philosophy. You can talk all you want about hard core right wing states but hard core left wing states like Washington want to know all about your business, public and private and then it wants to tell you all of the things it will and will not allow you to do. It's oppressive.
It's all about the state and how much of a cut it is going to take to fund all of the programs it has created to further it's philosophy. How it has handled marijuana is a perfect example of that. Look what it has done to our beautiful plant. Turned it into low grade, cheap oil.

Run for the hills because he's with the government and he's here to help.
The whole system is whack. To be fair, I believe most people fall, for sake of conversation somewhere in the center. Extreme anything, left, right, religion, or whatever only lends to prejudices and hate... what I find to be a bit ironic is how the process plays out... goes from complete prohibition to medical use. To get to medical, it’s the growers who push the ‘my patients rights’ agenda... state votes, law passes everything is fine. Next political cycle the ‘business men’ and profiteers come in pushing the ‘bottom line’ agenda... so basically the business men allow the medical industry to open the doors then storm in guns ablaze and rob the small growers and the patients that truly need the medicine all for a dollar
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