Homegrown: Plant That Bell And Let It Ring

By Dr. Rick Freeman

Homegrown is alright with me

Homegrown is the way it should be

Home grown is a good thing

Plant that bell and let it ring.

 

            Neil Young, “Homegrown,” American Stars and Bars, 1977


Neil Young has written some classic songs about marijuana, and he’s been “rocking in the free world” for decades.   As a businessman, Mr. Young has built and sustained a long-standing “brand” that still sells after 50 years – a brand based on a large, diverse body of music with themes ranging from personal anguish to love, pink cars and social causes.  What’s more, Neil has gone further by directly engaging in these struggles for justice and environment.  Clearly, Neil Young’s business acumen, musical talent and a dedication to doing the right thing have made for a potent mix – one that appeals to the hearts of everyday people all over the world.

Neil’s successful mix of quality and social message is well-suited as an example for us in the fledgling marijuana industry, which recently arose from an ongoing social struggle.  Whether creating a brand for an individual company or creating an image for the industry, a focus on community benefit can boost any business model, and of course, a community focus is a natural fit for the marijuana industry.  From my perspective, an obvious starting point for community action is embracing the legal homegrown movement.  Homegrown marijuana production  directly supports the causes of community health, sustainability, self-reliance and the personal liberty to grow pot, and it represents significant business opportunities.

Marijuana consumers would benefit greatly from a robust community of homegrown enthusiasts while expanding and diversifying the marijuana industry’s customer base.   The benefits to consumers and community are promising, starting with obvious cost-savings and health and quality guarantees – clean, green and not-mean!  At a home scale, the economics of growing extremely clean pot are much more flexible than growing clean at industrial scale.  So, homegrown offers the consumer peace of mind and reliability.  Plus, growing marijuana is FUN. It makes an excellent hobby and one can enjoy tangible benefits at beginner level, learning and improving along the way.  (I make my own biochar, composts, bulk media, whatnot, but one can buy all that.)  What’s more, the satisfaction of burning some properly grown and cured herb is beyond words.  Finally,  but significantly, growing herb represents two of our most revered, traditional values – the sanctity of individual liberty and its companion, self-reliance.  Given the significant material and cultural benefits of growing at home, a LOT of people will come out from hiding and grow sustainable, clean herb when empowered to grow their own.

These industrious home-growers will expand the marijuana market and help support a plethora of goods and services providers.  As with any market sector devoted to a hobby, the home grown market sector will be hungry for  a wide range goods and services.  From cultivation and curing gear to paraphernalia for packaging and consuming, home growers will buy products from a variety of businesses.  These market opportunities will only expand as Cannabis integrates into the mainstream, attracting long-time food gardeners – at a time when food gardening is rapidly expanding.

Empowering marijuana home production is appealing on so many levels, and the timing is perfect. Let’s “plant that bell and let it ring.”

You’re Ready To Grow Your Own Pot, Travel Guru Rick Steves Says

WASHINGTON: Rick Steves doesn’t think Big Marijuana should control your pot. That’s one reason people in Washington state should be able to grow their own weed, Steves told KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel.

“I don’t want marijuana to go the route of tobacco and have Joe Camel and Big Tobacco and Big Marijuana” dominate the industry, Steves said. “If there’s money to be made, it’s going to attract big corporate interests and they’re going to have the clout. I like the idea of having home grow because it gives people an option to having to buy something from a giant organization. They can just have a few plants on the window sill, and it’s not a big deal.”

The host of Travels With Rick Steves was a big supporter of the state’s original marijuana initiative, I-502, which passed in 2012 and took effect last year. Now he supports a proposal to allow people to grow six of their own marijuana plants. It could be considered next year in the state Legislature.

Scotts Jumps Into The Marijuana Market With Deal For Hydroponics Company

OHIO: The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. offshoot that targets young, urban gardeners has acquired a Santa Rosa, California-based hydroponics company popular with marijuana growers.

Hawthorne Gardening Co., a Scotts subsidiary formed in October, purchased General Hydroponics Inc. and Bio-Organic Solutions Inc.

Terms were not disclosed, but the acquisition should position the company in the growing marijuana market.

New Bills Introduced Would Allow Personal Marijuana Home Grows

WASHINGTON:  Two bills introduced Thursday would allow people at least 21 years old to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use.

Senate Bill 6083, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and House Bill 2196, sponsored by Rep. Brian Blake, would allow only one home grow per residence, and anyone who grows marijuana for personal use would be able to possess up to 8 ounces of usable marijuana and donate up to one ounce to another adult without compensation.

Bill sponsors said the legislation would help eliminate the need for multiple regulatory schemes and remove incentives driving the black market.

“This bill would protect patients as well as recreational users,” said Kohl-Welles. “It also would create a bright line for law enforcement officers so that they could easily assess how many plants are growing in a residence, check for age and quickly decide if the operation is legal without hassling residents.”

“This bill is about consistency, congruency and especially, freedom” said Blake. “Adults in our state can brew their own beer and make their own wine for personal consumption. Just like alcohol, marijuana can be used safely and responsibly, so it makes sense to allow adults to home grow their own if they want to.”

 

Senator: Fight For Homegrown Medical Marijuana Not Over In Washington

WASHINGTON: When three state agencies published a list of recommendations for the Washington Legislature to consider the next time it tackles medical marijuana, alarms went off in the besieged medical cannabis community.

Chief among the concerns was that a system for cannabis grown and used for medical purposes would be limited to the legal recreation market created by I-502, the rules for which have recently become law. [Read more…]