how to start growing weed in florida

For some people, cannabis cultivation is a hobby. Others a life-long passion. But it’s unique in its vast demographic appeal. “Everyone I know grows,” Lipton said. “There are people in their 20s doing it. I know people in their 60s. It’s a fun thing for people. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.” Here are Lipton’s tips on growing your first plant.

“Growing cannabis in tight spaces is not my usual recommendation,” said Stephen Lipton, the cultivation manager at The Farm Recreational Marijuana Dispensary, an award-winning recreational facility in Boulder, Colorado, specializing in what it calls “craft cannabis.” At any given time, Lipton oversees close to 15,000 plants across seven different facilities in Boulder County. “If you have a really tight space and it gets too hot or too humid, you’re going to have big trouble.”

Temperature: 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. “A tool you should always have is a little temperature gauge,” Lipton said. “They call them hygrometers. They’re cheap and tell you both the temperature and the humidity.”

Foster the right growing environment.

While most, if not all, medical and recreational farms cultivate cannabis from seeds, guaranteeing that their plants are free from viruses, most home growers, even those with experience, typically begin with clones — essentially trimmed pieces of female cannabis plants that have been rooted in separate pots. “When most people think of cannabis — you know, what you smoke — they’re thinking about the flowers of female plants,” Lipton said. “When you grow from seeds, half of them will be males. If you’re only going to do one or two plants, you don’t want to waste your time with that stuff.” A clone sourced from a dispensary or a knowledgeable friend guarantees that the plant is female and will eventually produce bud pending proper care. “You can get up to four ounces off the right plant — if you know what you’re doing.”

Both medical and recreational dispensaries now sell female cannabis clones, which retail for about $15. Alternatively, it’s commonplace for home growers to gift clones to their friends. “When you get a clone, someone will likely give it to you in a four-inch pot. You’re skipping that whole step of having to germinate seeds. You’re already 10, 14 days ahead of the game and basically ready to plant.”

Sticking to that schedule is key, he added. “Say you’re at day 30 of the flowering cycle and you come into that closet when it’s supposed to be dark and turn a bunch of lights on. You’re going to throw the whole cycle off and that’s the end of that. It only takes 10 seconds.”

The last step involves curing the bud. “Curing is just as important as the growing process,” Lipton added. “We do a slow cure, which means that it takes anywhere from three to six weeks depending on variety.” Temperature and humidity play a large role during cure and must be maintained to ensure a great final product. “Our actual cure process is somewhat of a secret, so I cannot share the fine details,” Lipton said. “But it’s an art form and extremely crucial to our success.” The reason growers cure bud after harvesting is that it creates a smoother smoke and increases its potency. Detailed recommendations for proper curing can be found online, here and here.

Light: 2,200k. “For a closet set up, I would recommend a 175-watt HPS light,” Lipton said. “Some people try to use fluorescent lighting, but I wouldn’t recommend that. You’re just not going to get a very good outcome. Nowadays, HPS lights can just go right into your home outlet, and you’d just need a timer [to set the intervals]. Position the light directly overhead. They can be pretty powerful, so you’re going to want it at least two feet from the top of the canopy [to prevent the plant from overheating].”

Before someone even begins to consider the genetics of their preferred strain, they should first ensure that their apartment is cannabis-friendly. There are five main factors to consider: space, temperature, humidity, the pH of water, and the amount of light.

Know the law.

Space: 3 x 3 x 5 feet, minimum. “The bigger the space, the better. With all the lights, closets get hot,” Lipton said. That said, closets help growers control light pollution when the plant is in its flowering cycle — one of the main reasons home growers favor them over larger spaces, such as living rooms. “If you have a spare bedroom, or a basement even, you can just use that and close the door,” Lipton said.

Cannabis plants yield the highest-quality (and quantity) flowers after maturing. This usually takes about a month to happen. “I recommend planting in a five-gallon Home Depot bucket,” Lipton said. “It’s really important to have proper drainage, so you want to drill some holes in the bottom. The biggest mistake people make is that they overwater and suffocate the roots. Cannabis likes to be watered and dried out before it’s watered again.” During the vegetative cycle, the plant should be exposed to a minimum of 18 hours of light. Remember to open the closet door while the lights are on to prevent the space from heading north of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another layer to consider is that cannabis cultivation must happen “out of plain sight.” “You can’t have any odor. If it’s offending people in the neighborhood, then it’s an issue.”

Even with a healthy clone, however, cultivating cannabis can be a long and arduous process — especially in tight indoor spaces. “A lot of people think growing is easy, but it’s not,” Lipton said. “You have to be really on it. Not everyone has success, obviously.”

Plant and maintain the vegetative cycle until the plant is mature.

Though the 12-hour interval is fairly universal, knowing exactly when to induce flowering is less clear. For the home grower, it usually comes down to space; the longer one waits to trigger the flowering cycle, the taller their plant will be. A good rule of thumb: cannabis will only continue to grow 30 to 50 percent once the light source is reduced. If the plant is growing in a closet, growers should trigger the flowering cycle, understanding that there must be more than two feet of space between the canopy of the plant throughout the entirety of its life.

Even in our most progressive states, however, the law is far from simple. “In Colorado, it’s now county-specific,” Lipton said. “When the amendment first passed, they said you could grow six plants per person. But now, certain counties and municipalities have come out and said it’s just six per house — there’s no combining plant counts. That means you can have three vegetating and three flowering at any given time.”

It’s important to remember that cultivating even one cannabis plant for personal consumption is felony on the federal level and punishable by up to five years in prison. Meanwhile, four US states — Alaska, Colorado, Washington D.C. and Oregon — have passed local amendments, allowing citizens who are 21 years old and over to grow a limited number of plants without fear of persecution.

Despite the hurdles, many first-time growers still choose to cultivate cannabis indoors (which is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Washington D.C. and Oregon), and there are steps to maximize a plant’s chances of succeeding. It all starts with a plant’s genetics. “For your typical closet setup, you’re going to want a plant that stays short,” Lipton said. “A lot of time that means an indica. Sativas are really tall and lanky.” (More on the difference between those two families here.)

pH of Water: 6.3 to 6.7. “You’ll need a meter that you can stick into your water and tell you the pH,” Lipton said. “You want something between 6.3 to 6.7 pH for watering your plants. That sounds like pretty sophisticated stuff but it’s really not. A lot of times your tap water will be 7.8. You can use what they call pH down. That’s a crucial step.”

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – What if you could turn your work shed into a legal marijuana grow house? It’s really a possibility that Florida voters may get a chance to vote on it next year.

Cole Peacock owns Seed and Bean Coffee Shop in downtown Fort Myers and while he supports recreational use believes it may still be too early for Florida to approve it.

First, though, activists need to get 225,000 signatures just to get the courts to review it to decide if it can even be placed on the ballot.

“We’re talking about possessing and growing a plant,” said Eli Joyce. “Adults have the right to deserve that option,” said Eli Joyce.

The group believes it is a constitutional right for Floridians to have access to cannabis whether they are medical patients or not.

“I can say I’ll probably have fewer patients but there are still medical patients that really need a lot of education,” Dr. Auld said.

“If you grow it yourself you have the ability to use it raw, and when you use it raw, it doesn’t have any psychoactive effect,” Dr. Auld said.

The constitutional amendment being proposed would allow those 21 and older to grow their own marijuana. But it could only be grown inside a locked room.

In 2016, 70 percent of voters approved a constitutional use of medical marijuana. Polls now show more than half of voters support recreational use, however, it would take 60 percent of voters to get the measure passed.

“The focus needs to be getting these [petitions] in the hands of voters,” Joyce said. “We’re going to mail these out.”

The proposed constitutional amendment said those 21 and older could grow nine plants indoors or 18 per household, and they could not sell it. Dr. Heather Auld prescribes cannabis and said buying from dispensaries can be quite expensive.

Eli Joyce with the grassroots group Regulate Florida is pushing to get recreational use on the 2022 ballot.

She admits legalizing marijuana recreationally could cost her some patients; she still supports the idea.

Activists will need to obtain 891,000 signatures to officially get it on the 2022 ballot.

(6) “Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, use, growing up to nine mature flowering marijuana plants and possessing the harvest therefrom , delivery, transfer, or administration of an amount of marijuana not in conflict with Department rules, or of related supplies by a qualifying patient or caregiver for use by the caregiver’s designated qualifying patient for the treatment of a debilitating medical condition.

The proposed ballot summary is as follows: [2]

The measure would amend Amendment 2 (2016), which legalized medical marijuana in Florida, to redefine “medical use” under the measure to include growing up to nine marijuana plants. The measure would also add a definition for “marijuana plant.” [1]

Constitutional changes.

After the 2019 changes, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) issued a statement, wherein he argued all forms of CBD oil, apart from Epidiolex, were illegal under state law. [9] Several state’s attorneys expressed disagreement with the Attorney General’s statements. Aaron McGown and Tom Wollman, state’s attorneys for Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, respectively, issued a joint statement where they said the discrepancy left legality open to differing interpretations. Mark Vargo, the Pennington County state’s attorney, said his office would not prosecute CBD cases based on his interpretation of the state law. [8]

Idaho: In 2015, the Idaho State Legislature passed a bill legalizing certain types of CBD oil that was later vetoed by Governor Butch Otter (R). In response, Otter issued an executive order allowing children with intractable epilepsy to use Epidiolex in certain circumstances. [6]

In Florida, the number of signatures required for an initiated constitutional amendment is equal to 8% of the votes cast in the preceding presidential election. Florida also has a signature distribution requirement, which requires that signatures equaling at least 8% of the district-wide vote in the last presidential election be collected from at least half (14) of the state’s 27 congressional districts. Signatures remain valid until February 1 of an even-numbered year. [11] Signatures must be verified by February 1 of the general election year the initiative aims to appear on the ballot.

On March 27, 2020, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed House Bill 1008 into law, which legalized industrial hemp and CBD oil in the state. [10]

The measure would amend Section 29(b) of Article X of the Florida Constitution. The following underlined text would be added: [2]

ARTICLE X, SECTION 29.– Medical marijuana production, possession and use.

Proposed measures are reviewed by the state attorney general and state supreme court after proponents collect 25% of the required signatures across the state in each of one-half of the state’s congressional districts (222,898 signatures for 2022 ballot measures). After these preliminary signatures have been collected, the secretary of state must submit the proposal to the Florida Attorney General and the Financial Impact Estimating Conference (FIEC). The attorney general is required to petition the Florida Supreme Court for an advisory opinion on the measure’s compliance with the single-subject rule, the appropriateness of the title and summary, and whether or not the measure “is facially valid under the United States Constitution.” [12]

Ballot title.

(11) “Marijuana plant” means a plant, including, but not limited to, a seedling or cutting. To determine if a piece or part of a marijuana plant severed from the marijuana plant is itself a marijuana plant, the severed piece or part must have some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs. Callous tissue is not readily observable evidence of root formation. [3]

As of May 2021, 36 states and Washington, D.C., had passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana . Additionally, 10 states had legalized the use of cannabis oil, or cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the non-psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana—for medical purposes. [4] In one state—Idaho—medical marijuana was illegal, but the use of a specific brand of FDA-approved CDB, Epidiolex, was legal. [5] Based on 2019 population estimates, 67.5 percent of Americans lived in a jurisdiction with access to medical marijuana.

Peaceful Minds for Medical Marijuana is leading the campaign in support of the initiative. [2]

The requirements to get an initiative certified for the 2022 ballot:

South Dakota: In 2019, the South Dakota State Legislature passed a bill amending one section of law by adding Epidiolex to its list of controlled substances. The bill also exempted CBD from the state’s definition of marijuana in that section. [7] Elsewhere in state law, CBD was not exempted from the definition of marijuana. This discrepancy led to confusion that left the legal status of CBD in the state unclear for a year. [8]

Text of measure.

(b) DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

The proposed title is as follows: [2]

In Florida, proponents of an initiative file signatures with local elections supervisors, who are responsible for verifying signatures. Supervisors are permitted to use random sampling if the process can estimate the number of valid signatures with 99.5% accuracy. Enough signatures are considered valid if the random sample estimates that at least 115% of the required number of signatures are valid.