Buyer Beware, become a better marijuana consumer

Unregulated dispensary pose risk!

The headline shock factor alone will get your skin crawling even though it may only be partially true. Unregulated businesses that supply good and services to the public can pose a risk.  It depends on the commitment and ethics of the people involved.

And the same goes for the unregulated marijuana industry.  Oddly enough the marijuana industry’s been operating for decades serving hundreds of thousands of people with no government regulation and not one was killed by bad marijuana, it just didn’t do what you wanted it to do.

For instance, that day you wanted a nice mellow toke of marijuana but the guy down the street doesn’t sell that so instead you get some hair straight back variety that’s got you swearing to god you’ll never touch that stuff again.

Or, you’re in dire pain and what you need is something that’s going to knock you out but the guy down the street only’s got some lame duck stuff that made you hack your guts out last week and now it’s the bottom of the bag (and they want twice as much money for it!)

Not everyone has access to medical marijuana dispensary in their neighbourhood and not everyone has a doctor that’ll write a prescription allowing them to access the licensed producer or to grow their own.  

 And not everyone likes the licensed producer.  My Kind of Meds has had customers return because they were not satisfied with the product or service at the licensed facility.  And not everyone can or wants to grow their own.  It’s costly to set up and there’s not always the space and the right location.

This leaves a lot of people between a rock and a hard place.  So the unlicensed dispensary becomes the next best thing for folks.  Trouble is, they only exist in marijuana friendly cities and touch a small portion of patients.  

This is why My Kind of Meds online marijuana dispensary helps people quickly and easily.  By streamlining the application process, your application can be received and your first order processed and shipped within 24 hours.  

Then there’s the issue of quality assurance.  According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, mold and bugs were found on 3 samples of marijuana obtained from unlicensed dispensaries in the Toronto area.  This isn’t a surprise.  It’s indicative of grow rooms that are overcrowded and under ventilated.  Hygiene could be a problem here, too.  

There’s easy and safe ways to guard against mold and bugs.  Controlling the humidity and heat in the room is paramount to controlling mold and bugs.  Controlling the number of plants per room also prevents nasty consequences.  And cleaning the room.  Wash down the walls and floors between crops is good common sense prevention.  My Kind of Meds has been doing it without having to be told since 1983.

Anyway, if you’re a home grower and you get mold on the top of a bud, bag the effected area, cut it out and discard immediately.  If you’re producing for someone else, bag the whole plant and remove it from the room. Try not to shake it around.  Check the rest of the plants in the room.  Treat the plants in the room to a milk bath.  Mix 1 part whole milk to 1 part water.  Have the liquid at room temperature and use a sprayer to mist the leaves.  This concoction can be safely sprayed at anytime during the growing stages.  The lactose bacilli in milk kills the mold spores.  (Now’s not a good time to be lactose intolerant).  Cheap, easy and non toxic.  It dissolves within 24 hours taking the mold with it.  You can wash or wipe the fan leaves afterward it you want but very little residue is left.  

Climate control is the no brainer way to control this problem for good, though, and requires paying attention to make the necessary adjustments and bring the room into balance.

Bugs are another problem that comes about because of lack of ventilation and overcrowding.  But the most common cause of mites are clones received from an outside source.  Clones are notorious for getting mites and remaining asymptomatic.  In other words, you can’t see them and they aren’t doing any damage, yet.  But introduce them into your world and you’ll have a terrible of a time getting rid of them.  

Hand removal and washing the bugs off the plants with water are good natural ways to control an infestation.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac recommends 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup buttermilk in 1 gallon water.  Mix well and spray them down.  Again, it’s all about staying on them if you got them and don’t let up.  If you can move them outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine without burning the plant, this also beats back the mites.  They don’t like direct sunlight but prefer artificial illumination.  

They also don’t like diatomaceous earth crystals.  Made from ground up fossils, sprinkled on the top of the soil of your plants, it prevents root worms, leaf cutters, mites and any other bug that wants to take refuge in the soil.

Here’s just a few ways that mold and bugs can be controlled naturally.  It’s all about balance in the room.  A healthy room with lots of fresh air intake, exhausting suitable for the square footage of the room, fresh water free of chlorine, not too crowded, this is what makes a great marijuana experience.  

Sterile rooms, like the Health Canada approved MMPR (Medical Marijuana Producer’s Regulation) model, can present their own set of problems.  Plants grown in factory settings are treated with factory like efficiency.  I personally don’t much see what difference it makes to measure the amount of water each plant gets daily.  The objective is to make sure it gets adequate water.  

Experienced growers can do this without measuring.  Experienced growers can spot an unhappy plant in a heart beat and seek to do something about it immediately.  Essentially the MMPR model, while it works to achieve growing a salable product, is trying to create a robotic, no-brainer functioning of the grow room.

Experienced growers know they are dealing with a living entity that requires specialized, personal care to feel genuinely loved and cared for.  Large factory style grow ops cannot provide this.

Here’s the things with Health Canada approved producers.  They can spray anything they want to the plants to ensure a viable crop.  They can radiate the hell out of that marijuana to kill the mold and bugs.  They don’t have to tell you a thing.  Licenced or not, ethical producers will tell you how they raise the marijuana.

The bottom line is when you as the consumer crack open the bud, whether you got it from a licenced or unlicensed dispensary, do you think, “Holy crap, these guys really know what they're doing.  I am so very happy”  That’s what the experience should give you.

Ideally the choice should be the consumer’s.  What do you want?  How can it best be provided and made available to you?  What is convenient, affordable, discreet source of cannabis for you?  The consumer seems to be the one ignored in all this pre-legal scramble money grab and quite frankly I find it sickening.  

I wanted to share my perspective with you so you may become an informed consumer.  Doing your homework on your marijuana provider is not a bad thing.  And articles like the Globe and Mail turn a spotlight on the need for a smart buyer beware strategy.


Pro tips:  

using a magnifier to inspect the marijuana you're about to buy
    Take a magnifier with you when buying clones.  Check them for microscopic mites before you take them home.

    Take a magnifier with you when you buy marijuana in a dispensary.  Mold and bugs will show up plain as day with a small 5x magnifier.  You can also see that the “hairs” are fully developed and have a little curl on the end.  This means the weed was harvested at peak:)