Seeding Cannabis

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Buy Cannabis Seeds Online

Last month the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) quietly confirmed that cannabis seeds with less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive compound THC are classified as “hemp” and are federally legal to possess and sell. SEED Initiatives is the first U.S. government program to fund equity-centered community investment grants from local cannabis tax revenue. Marijuana Seedlings Now that your marijuana seeds have sprouted, what’s next? How do you care for your little baby marijuana seedlings? Your germinated seeds must be placed in a more suitable

Ganja Gardener: Seeding the Future

Last month the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) quietly confirmed that cannabis seeds with less than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive compound THC are classified as “hemp” and are federally legal to possess and sell. This comes as great news to budding marijuana DIY growers who may want to spice up their cannabis collection with genetics from other states like California, Washington or Colorado.

The news was delivered to attorney Shane Pennington with the legal firm Vicente Sederberg LLP after he asked the DEA for a determination on whether cannabis seeds, tissue cultures and genetic samples containing less than 0.3 percent THC were considered hemp.

Hemp was defined and legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. “Whether a particular sample of CBD (or any other cannabis-derived material) is a controlled substance doesn’t depend on the sample’s source,” wrote Pennington. Rather, in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill, the analysis depends entirely on whether the sample contains 0.3 percent delta-9 THC or more on a dry weight basis. If so, it’s schedule I ‘marihuana.’ Otherwise, it’s hemp.”

The DEA responded to Pennington’s request by confirming his position and effectively legalizing the sale and possession of cannabis seeds since they don’t contain THC.

Seed Banks

This opens up a lot of options for home growers who can now legally purchase seeds from seed banks across the nation and aren’t limited to the selections available at local dispensaries. Online seed banks are not only a great source for novel strains; they also come with other benefits like germination guarantees and improved pre-sale storage.

A great rule of thumb when shopping for seeds online is to note your favorite strains and do a Google search to identify who is breeding them. The seeds from most of the popular strains available in dispensaries can usually be found online and sold by their source.

Photoperiod vs. Autoflower

While shopping for seeds, you will come across the terms “photoperiod”—strains that are light sensitive and require strict light cycles to flower at the proper time—and “autoflower”—strains that will start flowering about halfway through their life cycle regardless of the amount of light they receive.

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Photoperiod strains are the more common of the two and will produce larger harvests of arguably better cannabis. The downside is they require more attention to detail and stricter light cycles based on natural lighting conditions.

Autoflower strains are hybridized, containing Cannabis ruderalis genetics. Ruderalis strains come from Russia where the plants evolved to become especially hearty. These strains can withstand cold temperatures, tend to take up little space and will flower at a certain time in their life cycle rather than waiting for specific light conditions to be met. This makes autoflower seeds a great choice for first-time growers with little space to operate. The downside is that autoflower strains are generally thought to be of lower quality than “normal” cannabis seeds.

SEED Initiatives

SEED Initiatives is the first U.S. government program to fund equity-centered community investment grants from local cannabis tax revenue.

The New Vision

Social Equity & Education Development (SEED) Initiatives is supported by an ongoing $1 million in cannabis tax revenue allocation and a vehicle for single-source monitoring, measuring, and reporting on the city’s cannabis tax revenue.

Portland City Council’s decision to allocate ongoing funding to the SEED Initiatives is one small step toward rectifying past racially-biased cannabis policies and disparate cannabis-related arrests. This commitment has the potential to begin to repair the lasting legal, social, economic, and inter-generational consequences past cannabis prohibition has had on Black and brown communities.

The History

In November 2016, Portland voters approved Ballot Measure 26-180 to impose a 3% local tax on adult-use cannabis retail sales. Since then, over $14 million in cannabis tax revenue has been allocated across various City of Portland bureaus to support street infrastructure improvements; DUII training; drug rehabilitation; criminal justice, expungement and re-entry services; and small business owners from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.

For more detailed information about the history of Portland’s local cannabis tax, please review these additional resources:

    , prepared by City Budget Office (2020) , prepared by the Cannabis Program (2019)

SEED Grant Fund

In alignment with the Ballot Measure 26-180 passed in 2016, the SEED Grant Fund prioritizes Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and women led/owned small business initiatives and/or projects, programs or services that support economic and educational development of Black and brown communities, which were most impacted by cannabis prohibition.

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The SEED Grant Fund supports nonprofit and for-profit entities of any size, including community-based organizations, individuals, firms, teams or consultants. Newly-formed groups or initiatives with fiscal sponsorship from a nonprofit entity are also eligible. Multi-entity collaborations, coalitions and/or consortium efforts are encouraged to apply.

The SEED Grant Fund distributes funding across a range of projects, programs and services within the following designated priority areas, but are not limited to:

  • Education development
  • Entrepreneurship and economic development
  • Social justice

In the 5 cycles of the grant program, the SEED Grant Fund (formerly Cannabis Social Equity Grant) has awarded $4,379,415 through 42 grants.

Marijuana Seedlings

Now that your marijuana seeds have sprouted, what’s next? How do you care for your little baby marijuana seedlings? Your germinated seeds must be placed in a more suitable growing medium if you have started them in paper towels, rock wool or peat pellets.

Seedling containers

  1. Small planters utilize your space better
  2. Small planters grouped together are the most efficient way to use your grow light source
  3. A small container keeps the roots together and is easier to feed and water.

Planting your marijuana seedlings

Place garden soil in your container up to about 1” from the top. Pack l ightly . Make a hole with a pencil, eraser-side down about ½” deep and put in your germinated seeds, root side down and cover with soil. If your seedlings are already in a seed-starter of some sort, simply bury them in the dirt and cover with ¼ to ½” of soil. Water until the soil is damp, not soaking. It is not necessary, but some marijuana growers like to give the young plants some support. Long wooden kitchen matches (minus the head) work well.

Watering and feeding your seedlings

During this phase, feeding or the adding of nutrients or fertilizer will not be necessary unless you have chosen a soilless mix. Watering should be done perhaps twice per day with a misting bottle for the first few days. How often you water will depend greatly on temperature and humidity. Once the marijuana root is better established, you can slowly cut back to watering every 2-3 days. If you are not sure, you can test by placing your finger into the soil. If it feels dry, then add water. It is important to note that the number one cause of early crop failure is overwatering. Wilting or drooping leaves on your plants are a sign that your plant is thirsty. Plants will revive quickly from such dehydration. While many gardeners use tap or well water, the more sophisticated growers use reverse osmosis, filtered or bottled water and adjust the pH (acidity/alkalinity) of the water. If you are using municipal tap water, fill a bucket or a reserve reservoir and let it sit for several days. This allows most of the chlorine present in the water to evaporate. DO NOT water directly on the plant. They are very delicate at this stage and the stem and roots are easily damaged. Water around the seedlings a few inches base of the plant. It is best to water your plants first thing in the morning for best uptake.

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Marijuana seedlings lights

Marijuana seedlings require very little light and can be grown under CFLs (spiral compact fluorescents), tube fluorescents, LEDs and the blue light from Metal Halides (MH). Stay away from incandescent lights as they put off too much heat and too little light. The higher the Wattage your light source, the further away it should be from your seedlings unless you are using LED grow lights with good ones running nearly cold. Too far away and the plants will stretch towards the light making them weak and spindly. Too close and the bright light and heat may damage them, except with LEDs. Let us say you are using fluorescents or LED grow lights. It would be fine to place the light a foot above your plants to start and give the seedlings a chance to ‘harden up’. If they react favorably, you may lower the light a little bit each day until the lights are maybe 4” above your plants. Blue light dominant LEDs and full spectrum LED grow lights offer an excellent start, lower electricity costs and very little if any heat. High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights are generally not used for seedlings as they do not require the amount of light that HPS puts out, and more importantly, HPS is deficient in blue light. Blue light is what plants use to point them towards the light source. This is called phototropism. Have fun and good luck growing out your marijuana seedlings!

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