Marijuana is on the ballot in nine states this November. California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts are considering adult use weed legalization, while North Dakota, Arkansas, Montana and Florida looking at medical marijuana.
More than tens of millions of marijuana plants are grown in the country already. But with new popularity and legislation, pot farms are poised to get much more common. This video by Learning Cannabis, a pot growing Youtube channel, takes us inside a cannabis farm. With a GoPro strapped to his head, the grower films a day of work cultivating weed.
He begins with pouring a gigantic load of soil and perlite, small chips of high-water content volcanic glass to improve soil aeration, into a large pot. Then he takes baby cannabis plants from smaller pots and transfers them to the large pots of soil and perlite so they have space to grow bigger. He then manicures these newly potted plants and labels them before placing them under acqua-color grow lights in an indoor growing facility where hundreds of potted plants are lined up on shelves.
In another section of the growery, this time under a reddish light, he transfers potted plants to new shelves. Then he waters them with a small hose, filling the surface of the pots with nearly a puddle of water, each.
Each of the plants grows through a netted trellis, particularly important for indoor plants that don't naturally grow tall toward the sun. To make sure all the buds get enough light, the canopy trellis force the stalks to bend a little, so that they grow somewhat sideways instead of straight vertically. This is important because whereas in natural sunlight, the sun moves across the horizon throughout the day lighting the top and the sides of the plant, in indoor grows, no such natural arch of light exists—hence why the sides of the plant need that special attention. Trellising can increase yield by up to 30 percent.
As legalization for adult use or medical marijuana sweeps the country, growers will need to be particular about their yields, ensuring that they're producing just enough, not too little or too much, for the kind of license they hold. In California, for instance, Prop 64 to legalize adult use marijuana would set up 19 different kinds of licenses, some of which for different sized grow operations, affecting how growers choose to breed (indoor versus outdoor) and how they'll manage their yield.
Before we know it, breeding cannabis could become as popular as growing tomatoes.