As you know, a lot of states are becoming more and more accepting of cannabis. Most states are making it legal to use on a recreational level. That means a lot of people are jumping into the cannabis market. From retailers to farmers.
Here in New Mexico, and I’m sure several other states we’ve seen successfully operating vegetable farms make the conversion to cannabis, we’ve seen many with no growing experience throw their hats in the ring, or should I say their wallets, and we even have the long-time traditional growers starting up micro farms. What’s a micro farm you may ask…. Well short answer. It is a way for the small person with a little budget and a big passion to get into the industry, but on a small scale. To better understand what a micro farm is and what it takes. I spoke with Josh H., a long-time grower and micro farm owner.
So the easy one first…. What do you go by and what do you do?
I go by Josh. I grow cannabis.
How long have you been growing?
What got you into cannabis and growing it?
Growing up I saw how much money you could make growing cannabis, and I was poor, so naturally I was interested in finding out more. From there I was hooked and just couldn’t stop growing, I fell in love with it.
Now that New Mexico made it recreational, how do you feel?
Super excited for what the future holds, lots of new business and endeavors to explore and I can’t wait to legally smoke at a concert for the first time in my state.
But on the flip side, extremely disappointed in the way the state is handling licensing. Licenses went extremely slow with little to no guidance to know if your license was even turned on correctly. Many growers were not allowed to produce any product for the April 1st opening of cannabis legalization. Growers were just simply waiting on a license and retailers had little to no products to open their doors. Also the governor made promises that were straight up lies, like New Mexicans would be first served, and that minorities that have been hurt by the war on drugs would get seniority, it was just propaganda. Big businesses moved in from out of state immediately and somehow got licensed before local.
What will be the biggest concern and problem for all of the new growers besides the licensing BS?
Fake Information. There are a lot of people out there that can talk the talk. But few that can walk the walk. Beware of people making big promises with little information.
Another big problem for growers is banking. It sounds crazy, but finding a bank that will work with you is a nightmare. Cannabis is a new industry and people are trying to figure things out still. Banks included, there are only 2 banks to choose from in my state. If you can’t get an account, you’re in a cash only market.
What method/style of growing do you do?
I use a peat moss/perlite medium in a hydroponic setup indoors. We use double ended HPS lights. Led’s are way overpriced and not worth it. LED companies make huge claims but I don’t believe them and you should be skeptical of anyone claiming more than 3 lbs a light fixture.
Ok, one of the big questions…. Seed or Clone and why?
Depends, If you’re looking to sell cannabis to the public, clones. With clones you will have a repeatable, consistent product that the return customer will be able to rely on for quality and taste.
If you are looking to start your own strain, you will want seeds. Carefully selecting the right plants to grow from seed is how new strains begin. These plants will become the mother plant that makes all your clones.
Gonna hit you with another big one….. Auto-Flowers or Photos and why?
Don’t grow autoflowers. They are unreliable for yield and seeds are prominent because of hermi characteristics. The high is no good either, more like a headache.
Photoperiod seeds are the way to go. You are in charge of how big they get by controlling when the flower cycle starts.
Could you give all the new growers out there ONE BIG TIP to help their garden?
Keep all trash and dead leaves out of your grow room. Keep the floor clean. Mold and pests are your worst enemy.
Now growing and smoking legally after so many years of it being illegal I feel so happy and free. What about you? What do you think of all this and where do you see this industry in the next 5 years?
I’ve Been a criminal my whole life because I grow cannabis. I think I have a little PTSD honestly. I’m still uncomfortable smoking in public and constantly worry. It’s gonna take a while for me to be happy and free.
What is the easiest part of growing? What’s the hardest part of growing?
The easiest part of growing is the first 5 weeks of the flower stage. You just sit back and water the plants. The hardest part of growing is the time. Plants go through an entire life cycle and can last anywhere from 3 weeks to a year in a regular grow. Knowing how to keep that all going smoothly is the hardest part.
Hmmm.. what may I have missed? Kinda high.. the herb you grow is amazing…
If you’re thinking about getting into the cannabis industry, know that it’s farming. Like actual shovels in dirt manual labor farming. It’s hard work and the plants will not stop growing for anyone so vacations are slim. The reward though is amazing and the first time you smoke your own cannabis you’ll understand.
Wow well I’d say you grow and know what you are doing. I’m sure so many are excited to see what your farm (LX Farms) puts out and excited to try their hands at a grow big or small.
The Cannabis Cactus Magazine has more great interviews.