Intensive course offered on growing cannabis for medical marijuana patients


Young hemp plants (photo courtesy of Wepa Farms)

Medical marijuana patients in Connecticut were granted the right to grow their own cannabis plants this month and, according to a local hemp grower, hundreds of patients have since asked for help growing their own. own green thumb.

“We see a good number of people trying their hand at least at the factory,” Luis Vega, founder of North Haven Wepa Farms, said Monday. “People are very excited about the way the law has evolved. There are a lot of people out there who want to make sure they grow up law-abiding.

Connecticut has had a medical marijuana program on the books for nearly a decade, and the number of participating patients has grown to nearly 54,000. But until October 1, cannabis had to be purchased at one of 18 dispensaries. state medical services.

The recent change is the result of this year’s law, which legalized adult cannabis use and laid the groundwork for a recreational vending industry. Advocates fought for the inclusion of local provisions over concerns from Governor Ned Lamont’s administration that it would be difficult to regulate.

The law will be expanded on July 1, 2023 to include anyone aged 21 or over. But for now, approved medical patients who are at least 18 years old can grow up to three flowering plants and three immature plants in their homes as long as they are secure indoors.

Wepa Farms recently partnered with CannaHealth, a company that certifies patients eligible for the medical marijuana program, to offer a four-hour course for novice cannabis growers. In less than a month, Vega said more than 250 new growers had sought advice.

“We’re basically giving a crash course for the medical home grower,” Vega said. “We start with the equipment you need, we give you a basic understanding of what the plant does and current state laws. We also give you an overview of the plant on the agricultural side as it grows. We provide information on the plant life cycle, pest preventative maintenance options, and the cleanliness of your location.

Vega said medical growers can also purchase starter kits with the equipment needed to start their own growing operations. He said these kits should include plant nutrients, grow pots and a light source, as well as a fan and filter for air circulation. New cannabis growers will need to procure seeds and a grow tent to help regulate the environment for their plants.

While setting up a small grow business can be expensive up front, it should help lower the cost of cannabis for medical patients. Connecticut’s medical marijuana law does not explicitly require health insurance companies to cover treatment. At a legislative hearing in February, a patient with lupus told lawmakers her annual cost of medical marijuana was almost $ 6,000.

In all likelihood, Vega said most patients who chose to grow at home would not produce enough cannabis to completely eliminate trips to medical dispensaries. But he said many growers find that just taking care of the plants is beneficial in itself.

“They are starting to incorporate the actual growth of the plant into part of their therapy,” Vega said. “There is a concept of herbal medicine. When you take care of a living plant – any living plant for that matter – you also begin to heal yourself from within. In fact, taking care of the plant and cultivating it is as much therapeutic as the finished product.

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