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Marijwhatnow?
November 15, 2012 4:02 PM   Subscribe

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has provided Seattle-ites with a practical guide for marijuana use in the Emerald City.

In light of the recent passage of the I-502 referendum decriminalizing marijuana possession in the State of Washington (previously discussed on the blue), the SPD hired allowed its recently hired writer Jonah Spangenthal-Lee (also of the Stranger) to assemble a witty little FAQ, notable for a LOtR clip and the first mention of "Super Skunk" on a seattle.gov website.
posted by scblackman (91 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh right, I mean to post this the other day and forgot. For me it was the you tube link that made it.
posted by Diablevert at 4:05 PM on November 15, 2012


My favorite bit:

SPD seized a bunch of my marijuana before I-502 passed. Can I have it back?

No.

posted by Lutoslawski at 4:06 PM on November 15, 2012 [37 favorites]


Please note that the initiative says it “is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana…in view of the general public,” so there’s that.

So it's basically a do-what-you-please-in-your-own-house law? I actually support that, since I hate the smell.
posted by eugenen at 4:08 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks like that Dec. 6th meetup at the flammable chemical factory is off.
posted by mannequito at 4:08 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


WAKE UP SHEEPLE BIG FLAMMABLE CHEMICAL HAS GOT SEATTLE ON THE LOCKDOWN
posted by cmoj at 4:10 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Old toby..
posted by dobie at 4:12 PM on November 15, 2012


Gotta love the "TL;DR?" bit. On internet police you are clearly "in touch" with the intertubes.
posted by symbioid at 4:12 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh right, I mean to post this the other day and forgot.

I see what you did there.
posted by chavenet at 4:15 PM on November 15, 2012 [16 favorites]


Also, you probably shouldn’t bring pot with you to the federal courthouse (or any other federal property).

Based, I can only assume, on the well-known classroom law of "if you bring gum to class you have to bring enough for everyone".
posted by chavenet at 4:17 PM on November 15, 2012 [18 favorites]


There's a cover story in this week's Stranger that attempts to correct some of the misinformation about the initiative and the consequences for Washingtonians, as well as address how the relationship between the state and the federal government will change, with regards to enforcement of new statutes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:20 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait wait wait. SEVENTY-TWO OUNCES of "infused oil"? Like, hash oil? Jeebus. That's a lifetime supply.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:24 PM on November 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


Wait wait wait. SEVENTY-TWO OUNCES of "infused oil"? Like, hash oil? Jeebus. That's a lifetime supply.

Yeah, that has been widely commented on as being a hilariously large amount.
posted by atrazine at 4:34 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


BitterOldPunk: "Wait wait wait. SEVENTY-TWO OUNCES of "infused oil"? Like, hash oil? Jeebus. That's a lifetime supply."

Ah, don't worry - it's like the ridiculous sums they give for the "street value" of a marijuana bust. Totally inflated. The real head knows to divide that value by a given factor.
posted by symbioid at 4:39 PM on November 15, 2012


Suprisingly non-dickish of them.
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can someone explain to me (as someone who has never partaken of such substances) how 72 ounces of infused oil is a veritable "lifetime supply", and how much an ounce of weed is in practical use? E.g., how many ISO 9000 standard joints and so forth will that make?
posted by mrbill at 4:42 PM on November 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Heard about this on NPR during my commute today. The guy who wrote the thing wasn't entirely clear on how people legally GET pot under this new system.
posted by codacorolla at 4:52 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


mrbill: According to the Psychotropics and Hallucinogens International Standards Headquarters, an ounce of marijuana will yield anywhere between 1 and 50 joints.
posted by baniak at 4:52 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, and what do you even used "infused oil" for? Making really really really great french fries?
posted by DU at 4:52 PM on November 15, 2012


MrBill, remember the Brad Pitt roommate in True Romance? An ounce is maybe a three week or one month supply for him.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:53 PM on November 15, 2012


how 72 ounces of infused oil is a veritable "lifetime supply"

Infused oil is made like Sun tea; you stuff a container with plant matter and oil, and wait. Since the active ingredients including THC are oil soluble they leach out of the plant matter into the oil.

A typical infusion jar contains mostly plant matter, and infusions can become very highly concentrated. I've never done it with MJ but I have used other herbal infusions and they are generally purer and more potent than the original plant matter (which is why herbalists learned to do this in the first place; before there were aspirin tablets there was Wintergreen infused oil).

72 ounces of filtered oil could represent the total active potential of five or ten pounds of plant matter. You could process a hell of a lot of marijuana into a legal to possess jug of oil if you do the infusion properly. Just a few drops could be equivalent to that legal ounce of raw plant matter.
posted by localroger at 4:55 PM on November 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


Making really really really great french fries?

No; frying would destroy the good stuff. Ideally you'd use it to dress salads or bake cookies or in other lower-temperature cooking.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:56 PM on November 15, 2012


I imagine federal authorities reading this and seething with rage at the thought of all the pleasure people are going to be able to have.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:58 PM on November 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I read this and seethe with rage at the thought of all the pleasure people are going to be able to have... without me.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:01 PM on November 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just . . . this is so amazing to me. I don't smoke anymore--middle age keeps me sufficiently confused all on its own--but how I wish I could go back in time and show this to stoned 15-year-old HotToddy just to see her expression. I mean, the internet didn't even exist then. The whole thing is incredible. Everything to do with this election is incredible. This morning I watched the It Gets Better videos posted on the White House website, another thing that would have been absolutely inconceivable to the 15-year-old me. My real world now seems like a stoned teenager's crazy talk.
posted by HotToddy at 5:01 PM on November 15, 2012 [31 favorites]


Infused oils are so strong that unless you plant to just use an eyedropper to put a drop on your tongue, you would usually dilute them or do something like letting a few drops soak into a normal tobacco cigarette before smoking it.
posted by localroger at 5:02 PM on November 15, 2012


According to the Psychotropics and Hallucinogens International Standards Headquarters, an ounce of marijuana will yield anywhere between 1 and 50 joints.

An ounce-sized joint would be ridiculous.
posted by blueberry sushi at 5:04 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Washington State, I am so jealous of you I can't even. Anybody in Seattle want to adopt a slightly used angrycat?
posted by angrycat at 5:05 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


With all the pot smoking and gay marriages everyone else is getting I'm starting to feel like California is a bunch of chumps
posted by danny the boy at 5:05 PM on November 15, 2012 [20 favorites]


Actually I should have written "Infused oils can be so strong..." It's of course possible to make a weak infusion, and it can be very hard to tell the difference between a weak and strong infusion if you don't know its provenance (or, like, attempt to use it).
posted by localroger at 5:07 PM on November 15, 2012


I wonder how Idaho and Oregon police are preparing for this. How does the legalization of a drug affect neighboring states?
posted by baniak at 5:09 PM on November 15, 2012


Wait wait wait. SEVENTY-TWO OUNCES of "infused oil"? Like, hash oil? Jeebus. That's a lifetime supply.

Not if you're making pancakes.
posted by JimmyJames at 5:18 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Several Vancouver area newspapers reported on the WA state vote (both gay marriage and weed) with something that can be summed up as "Okay that's fine but this will hurt our tourism business...". BC gets lots of tourist dollars from gay weddings, and Americans who want to come up here and smoke weed...
posted by thewalrus at 5:32 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Best do something about that, then. Oh, but we have a federal criminal code. Have to be the whole country, then. Oh well.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:33 PM on November 15, 2012


Can someone explain to me (as someone who has never partaken of such substances) how 72 ounces of infused oil is a veritable "lifetime supply", and how much an ounce of weed is in practical use? E.g., how many ISO 9000 standard joints and so forth will that make?
posted by mrbill at 1:42 PM on November 15 [1 favorite +] [!]


In New Zealand, hash oil used to come in little gelatine capsules. To use it you would heat up knives on the stove to red hot, then dip a needle into the cap and extract a drop of oil about the size of a grain of rice. This would be rubbed on the hot knife and the vapour sucked up through a funnel. A couple of those would get the partaker soaringly high for a good couple of hours.

Now think how many grains of rice you could fit into a 72 ounce bottle. Spoiler: it is a lot.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:41 PM on November 15, 2012


I've never tried hash oil, but I've put opium oil on hash...THAT was great.
posted by snsranch at 5:44 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


and how much an ounce of weed is in practical use? E.g., how many ISO 9000 standard joints and so forth will that make?

Put it this way: a gram is already a non-trivial amount, enough to pack a couple of bowls.

You could spend a lot of time around people who smoke and never see more than a quarter of an ounce in the same place at the same time.

A whole ounce is a lot to have around for personal use, but not a totally inconceivable amount. Think of it like buying liquor by the case.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:46 PM on November 15, 2012


An ounce-sized joint would be ridiculous.

We armed with Mighty Joint!
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:46 PM on November 15, 2012


So wait.... what other ways can oil infusions be enjoyed? Bonus points for info on health impacts vs smoking (which I generally don't enjoy).
posted by RolandOfEld at 5:47 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how Idaho and Oregon police are preparing for this.

Most of the people I know in Portland are starting to refer to Vancouver as North Tijuana...I don't know if that really counts as preparation.

But seriously, I'm sure they'll set up checkpoints like they do in BC for drunk driving screens....then people will get pissed about that, and (Oregon at least) will legalize shortly thereafter. Once people realize that Washington isn't burning to the ground, it won't be a thing.

I secretly hope that this actually brings a bit of money to Vancouver. As a lifelong PDX resident, I never really knew the 'Couve existed, until going on a bike ride up there a few years back...it's a lovely place, and deserves a bit more traffic.

How does the legalization of a drug affect neighboring states?

Well, first off, they lose a shit-fuck-ton of tax revenue.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:47 PM on November 15, 2012


Anyone who is confused about oil, wax or other concentrates check this video about how to smoke oil with a vapor globe and nail. You smoke a minuscule amount at a time.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:59 PM on November 15, 2012


The SPD seems to be dealing with this rationally and reasonably. Hopefully this will provide proof of concept for other jurisdictions.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:05 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


You can infuse any sort of oil. I've seen olive oil a lot but also things like agave nectar. You can use these infusions for anything you'd use the oil for normally. The same is true of butter, which is basically a simpler version of the same thing. It can be highly potent, highly portable, and relatively innocuous.

I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to get into a discussion about health impact, but since there is no combustion, it is minimal relative to smoking and probably even vaporizing as well.

Edibles produce a different effect from smoking. In my experience they are also exclusively the domain of indica strains, at least in terms of what you can buy ready-made. I've made sativa edibles before and it's an interesting variation. A lot of people prefer it, but I don't due to the long lasting effects and the difficulty titrating that goes with it.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:14 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is not the other Emerald City.
posted by ovvl at 6:17 PM on November 15, 2012


Anyone have an idea of how much concentrates a person can legally posses? Do these fall under the classification of liquid items? If so this would be pretty crazy, I know many a person that no longer use plant matter but use 'wax' with a vaporizer instead. No one I know buys oil but concentrates are extreeeeemly popular. I think the avg concentration of wax is ~90%.
posted by proneSMK at 6:27 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a pretty great publication by the SPD. It doesn't change the fact that they are dicks who like to shoot and kill people whenever they get the chance, but kudos for the rationality on this front.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:20 PM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


scblackman: "decriminalizing marijuana possession"

Legalization is different (and a big step further) than decriminalization, BTW.
posted by Bokononist at 7:25 PM on November 15, 2012


Moreover: While Seattle, specifically, has decrminalized marijuana 'in the meantime' until Dec. 6th, I don't think I-502 as a whole should be described as a decriminalization law.
posted by Bokononist at 7:32 PM on November 15, 2012


is acid legal yet
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:52 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The guy who wrote the thing wasn't entirely clear on how people legally GET pot under this new system.

Still in the works--the initiative states that officials at the Washington State Liquor Control Board have a year to craft the rules that will govern the regulation and licensing of producers, processors/packagers, and retailers. A few details are emerging, however: in what must've been a surreal series of meetings, the Office of Financial Management has announced an average price point of $13 per gram [pdf].

Based on mark-up, supply chain profits per gram yield $3 for producers, $6 for processors, and $4 for the retailer. A 25% excise tax at each step funnels state revenues to the Dedicated Marijuana Fund, which will be distributed to a bunch of programs, notably the state's Basic Health Plan; drug abuse treatment and education; the Building Bridges program, which provides mentorships for kids at risk of dropping out of school; the Washington State Health Care Authority, for health care contracts with community health centers to provide primary health and dental care, migrant health, maternity health care services; and the state general fund, with an additional ~1% of funds to University of Washington and Washington State University for marijuana-related research.

The Fiscal Impact Statement estimates that the initiative will generate about $2 billion in revenue for the fund in the next five years, with sales of approx. 85,100,000 grams per year.
posted by prinado at 9:17 PM on November 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


$13 per gram

Seems really expensive. Decent organized crime grade indica goes for about $220-240 per ounce here which is $7.80 - 8.57 per gram. I got some very very nice sativa earlier this year for 260/oz. And these are semi-dumbass/unconnected prices; $15 grams seem to be the territory of "yuppy pot" ($45-50+ per 1/8th?!) and usually the quality and service reflects a little on that, but I can get as good or better at $10/12 per gram even in smaller - 1/8, 1/4oz - quantities, too but less reliably). All prices reflect to-door delivery in about an hour. About 5 years ago, anything over $200/oz was considered a little pricey so prices have been pretty steady.

I'm really interested in how liability and quality control/health inspections are going to be dealt with. How strictly will producers/processors/retailers be regulated? This is going to be stuff that people are going to put into their bodies - potable alcohol is strictly regulated, and even restaurants. What rights would someone have if they got a "bad" batch of marijuana where "bad" = weak psychoactivity, heavy bacterial contamination, heavy metal contamination, &c&c.

If someone sold you "fake pot," does the consumer have any legal recourse for reimbursement from the retailer? Would producers be criminally negligent if a batch was highly contaminated with bacteria/mold and consumers developed acute (or chronic) health problems? Perhaps issues with farmers markets may set legal precedent.

Of course, regulation and taxation increases prices but I'm really surprised that the non-illegality is maintaining consumer prices. I'm fearing that unless there are release-valve clauses for personal production (and sales/redistribution below a certain amount) organized crime will still have some stake in marijuana cultivation.

Still. If $13/g allows some wonderful person who sings to their plants every day and knows their plant physiology and plant genetics stuff and can provide me with wonderful dank buds perfectly cured that are holistically attractive to do this perfectly legally - I'm all in.
posted by porpoise at 10:21 PM on November 15, 2012


I'm a beer guy, I've gotten bad six packs from a few breweries before. Nothing green or vinegar flavored but not in line with the other beers I've had from them before. My recourse was to complain to the brewer and/or take my trade elsewhere. I'd assume it would be the same with pot strength or flavor faults, no?

Of course deathly risk things would mean recall or lawsuits?
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:32 PM on November 15, 2012


Totally, RollandOfEld - I've never gotten ill from ingesting illegal marijuana and if I don't like it, I'll seek it from a different vendor.

It's just that once it enters the legal realm, are currently legislation naive/frontiersepeople - the producers and processors - going to get kicked in the nuts from people filing lawsuits?

One of the compelling reasons for this change in legislature is to take an avenue of revenue away from organized crime. I really hope that there will be protection in place for legitimate producers of marijuana. If the current organized-crime controlled ("protected") producers go legit, what are the former controllers going to feel? Are they just going to give up or up their "protection" racket?
posted by porpoise at 10:44 PM on November 15, 2012


The PDF actually says the average is $12 a gram, but keep in mind those are gram prices. I don't know if you've always bought ounces or what, but sellers like to reward people who buy in bulk and you can see that not only in everyday supermarket pricing but weed pricing as well. In other words gram prices and ounce prices are not equivalent.

Maybe the 72 oz. of infused oil might be a way they could push people towards the idea of edibles. To change perception maybe because brownie drug seems a lot more of a harmless drug than one you smoke. Plus, if you get some good butter you can just toss it in the freezer and it'll stay good for a long time.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:09 AM on November 16, 2012


An ounce is, if my estimation is correct, about a standard Ziploc bag stuffed completely full. Not an oversized freezer bag, but a regular sandwich bag. It's quite a lot. Assuming it wouldn't spoil (though it eventually would), an ounce of weed would tide me over for at least three or four months, even if I smoked it daily. Course, that depends on the quality and potency, but he weed I used to buy around Seattle was always damn good; I never worried about getting stemmy schwag.

Now I wish I lived in Seattle still. Amazing that this has come to pass.
posted by zardoz at 12:32 AM on November 16, 2012


At exactly one joint a day, it takes me a little under a month to go through a quarter-ounce. From what I know from friends, Washington prices are slightly higher than BC. I pay $90/half-ounce, $160/ounce. It works out to about a $1.50/day habit.
posted by mannequito at 12:47 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't get the feeling that marijuana in Washington state is dominated by some shadowy group that sets prices and imports it. I get the feeling that it is mostly provided by people who grow it in-state. "Organized crime" has such cinematic overtones to it, tones that I don't think are appropriate.

It would not surprise me at all if prices remain about what they were. The risk of becoming a legal supplier is still about the same. Sure, you're free from state prosecution-- but you're pretty much writing an open letter to the feds telling them you're a drug dealer, come and arrest me.

Meanwhile, small-scale dealers that choose to continue to operate illegally are suddenly much more protected from prosecution. If all you ever carry with you is an ounce, there exists little threat of you ever being caught. Keep in mind that even licensure fees are high enough to keep small players out of the legal game ($1000 annual renewal).

So until Federal laws change, I don't think you're going to see pot stores opening up on the corner. I expect the market to work much like it has in the past, with reduced risk to everyone, but especially to consumers and small scale dealers. Those dealers aren't going to be getting into price wars, because it's hardly a free market.

Of course, if there's a court case denying Federal jurisdiction, if there's a change in Federal drug laws, if there's an announcement of a policy to not enforce the laws in states like Washington and Colorado, then you'll start to see big business enter the picture. Then, we get to see price wars, coupons, etc. (The law actually forbids businesses that sell marijuana from selling most other things, so, no, not at Costco.)
posted by nathan v at 1:21 AM on November 16, 2012


Weed has gotten so expensive, it blows my mind. I used to get a gallon ziploc bag full (loose, not bricked) for like, $40.

It wasn't the best, but it did the trick, let me tell you.

I heard a dime bag (traditionally $10) sells for $25-$60 now on the street on average. WTF? It's a plant! It's easy to grow! I don't get it.
posted by Malice at 2:24 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


You've heard of inflation though, right?
posted by ShutterBun at 4:59 AM on November 16, 2012


If it costs $25-60, it's not a dime. A dime was $10, by definition. It was a price, not a quantity. I've bought ounces for $10, back in the day, in Texas. (for me, the mystery quantity from long ago was the "lid". The term fell from use rather quickly).

Pot today isn't remotely like the $10 an ounce stuff I enjoyed in Austin, back in the mid 70s. That's a good thing. One need not work at getting high. One tolk may do the trick, and two may be too much. (too little only going to make you hungry as hell).
posted by Goofyy at 5:17 AM on November 16, 2012


An ISO 9000 Joint.

Now there's a Standards Committee I wouldn't mind sitting on.
posted by jeporter99 at 6:00 AM on November 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Fiscal Impact Statement estimates that the initiative will generate about $2 billion in revenue for the fund in the next five years, with sales of approx. 85,100,000 grams per year.
Yeah. But that's only, like your opinion, man.

(Also, have they done the math on the increased revenue from pre-packaged snack food sales? Jeebus, the sales of Funyuns might be enough to put the Space Needle, like actually in space, man.)
posted by Blue_Villain at 6:27 AM on November 16, 2012


SPD to Hippies: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick
posted by Mister_A at 6:29 AM on November 16, 2012


but not at the courthouse
posted by Mister_A at 6:30 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


"if you bring gum to class you have to bring enough for everyone".

And I read this as "if you bring a gun to class you have to bring enough for everyone".
posted by IvoShandor at 7:00 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


porpoise writes "Seems really expensive. "

That doesn't seem totally out of line with the cost to produce:cost to consumer prices of alcohol here in BC (I realise alcohol is cheaper in the States) and they still sell plenty of booze here. And it's much better than the ratio for tobacco. Sure some smuggling occurs and for booze some home production happens but most product consumed is legal and commercial.

Heck that doesn't sound out of line with the price to produce:cost to consumer prices of tomatoes here yet you can still buy tomatoes in the supermarket. Even at the apex of the harvest season in the fall.

Fact is most people aren't going to fuck around with illegal product and can't be bothered to grow their own.

How much product does a couple plants produce and how long will the product last in leaf form?
posted by Mitheral at 7:01 AM on November 16, 2012


How much product does a couple plants produce and how long will the product last in leaf form

I just had to look this up the other day --- following the medical marijuana law passage, the state of Washington's department of public health had determined that a 60 day supply is 24 ounces or 15 plants.

One to 49 plants are up to a five year sentence and up to $250K in fines according to the DEA
posted by Diablevert at 7:34 AM on November 16, 2012


WTF? It's a plant! It's easy to grow! I don't get it.

On the one hand, yeah. On the other, a lot of people buy stuff at stores that are easy to grow/make; making beer is pretty easy but most people don't; making bread is stupidly easy but most people don't. And while pot is a plant, it wouldn't be easy for me to grow here in San Francisco - we can't even get decent tomatoes from our backyard veggie bed because it's too cold here most of the year. Kale and chard? No problem - those are year-round (and so are the snails).

And pot plants are *big*. Growing even one indoors for me would be a pain in the ass, and also we have cats.

The dispensary where I get my weed is not the cheapest of cheap. But not having to go through the rigamarole of calling a friend who has a connection and hoping that their connection doesn't flake, or is in town, or whatever - just being able to walk into a retail establishment and pick out what I want and pay for it and then go home is completely worth it to me. And they list all their strains, the qualities thereof, and the amount of THC and so on in each strain. Most people don't want to have to reinvent that wheel.
posted by rtha at 8:31 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Growing even one indoors for me would be a pain in the ass, and also we have cats.

Have you ever looked at your paw, man? I mean, really looked at it?
posted by radwolf76 at 9:01 AM on November 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


just being able to walk into a retail establishment and pick out what I want and pay for it and then go home is completely worth it to me

Well, that's a whole different ball game there.

I want to go shopping with you!
posted by Malice at 9:55 AM on November 16, 2012


Seems really expensive. Decent organized crime grade indica goes for about $220-240 per ounce here which is $7.80 - 8.57 per gram. I got some very very nice sativa earlier this year for 260/oz. And these are semi-dumbass/unconnected prices

I was recently living in SF, CA, and I had a medical card (for perfectly legit reasons, btw). The local dispensaries in the city varied, but the best one IMO was pretty informal and carried itself like a head shop (ReLeaf in the Mission), and had consistently top grades at $60/eighth or $300/oz (the latter is not advertised, but that's about the cheapest I could haggle 'em down for that quantity). Their top grade varieties varied from week to week depending on supply, and they usually had at least one top shelf sativa and indica or indica dominant, but the good ones were always on a consistent schedule and would come back around. My favorite sativa is Red Konga (intense), a decent hybrid is Triple OG, and favorite indica is Girl Scout Cookies - really a hybrid but very indica dominant, nice and bright, great chocolate flavor.

It's difficult to get the best quality for less than those prices unless you're buying larger quantities. I know a grower who sells to the dispensaries in CA, and he's had to do some readjusting of his prices as the law has allowed more of a market, but this is where it seems to be settling out for that area for the time being.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:41 PM on November 16, 2012


WTF? It's a plant! It's easy to grow! I don't get it.

If you're under the impression that growing MJ is like keeping a Chia Pet planter wet and on a windowsill, then no it is not easy. You can look up directions online and it's not rocket science or anything but it is a huge time and money investment. It is easier these days due to LEDs and if you have an unused closet then you have a good place to start.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:47 PM on November 16, 2012


I grew some plants in my apartment closet when I was going through cancer treatments in 1989-90 - it wasn't strictly legal, but I had a doctor ready to testify for me and was keeping quantity to 2-3 flowering plants. I had a 175W metal halide ordered from a grow shop which advertised in High Times, growing in soil and using the few seeds I'd been able to find from high quality bags. I didn't even have a HPS bulb for flowering. All I did was cut back the lighting from 18h/day to 12h/day after about four months of vegetative growth, cutting back to 8h/day in the last week or two. I used organic fertilizers from a local hydroponic shop and instructions from various issues of High Times.

Ended up with two decent females that grew to harvest, one indica and one sativa. They were a little spindly below the top level of growth and would have done well with more lighting and HPS for flowering, but the buds on top were quite nice. It wasn't that hard to do, but the yield was not great for the time invested. For the most part it was easy to keep it a secret. Towards the end, you could definitely smell it if you walked in the front door, which would have been a problem long-term. If I were going to grow again, I'd definitely get both a 1000W halide and HPS, get my growth-flowering cycle shorter, and grow cuttings alongside so as to always be able to replenish the crop. It's not any more work than any good garden ... which sometimes can be a lot of work, but it's satisfying.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:01 PM on November 16, 2012


You can look up directions online and it's not rocket science or anything but it is a huge time and money investment.

I spent $125 for the halide light and about $50 in soil and fertilizer. My yield for two plants was probably about four ounces in six months time, with not a heck of a lot of my time invested once it was set up. Setting it up took several hours and some research, but there was no resource online to turn to, which would have made it much easier still. I was 19 back then and could barely hold down a job in those days, and was generally not into expending a huge effort on anything, but I managed to grow two decent plants to yield and enjoy the harvest. It wasn't any more work than baking a turkey for the holidays, just a special, secret turkey you keep in your closet, stretched out over many months. Hydroponics would have been much more work, but it also allows tighter scheduling and nutrient control.

Weed prices were very different back then, as there were not nearly as many local growers, and much of the supply came from Mexico, so it's hard to compare. But these days you can expect to pay $300/oz for the type of weed I was growing back then. I came out way ahead.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:15 PM on November 16, 2012


It wasn't any more work than baking a turkey for the holidays,

Well, no, if you care to do it right, it is a little more intensive than baking a turkey. But I think we can agree it's not simply 'throw some seeds in a pot and put it on the sill' easy.

LEDs are a bit more of an investment but the heat and electric signatures are a fraction of what sodium halide lights put out, and they're less risky overall. Plus you don't have to worry about ballasts.

Also, it is also far from likely that any first time grower is going to produce $300/oz type weed.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:32 PM on November 16, 2012


It wasn't any more work than baking a turkey for the holidays, just a special, secret turkey you keep in your closet, stretched out over many months.

In the mid-90s, my roommate grew two plants on our back porch, with almost zero effort. He later did the garbage bags in the closet thing to grow better/larger amounts, but the two sun plants did OK. Ounces and ounces; it was about 1/4-1/8 as potent as good stuff.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:38 PM on November 16, 2012


The local dispensaries in the city varied, but the best one IMO was pretty informal and carried itself like a head shop (ReLeaf in the Mission) ... consistently top grades at $60/eighth or $300/oz

Not to pimp, but I've found the Green Door has the best quality for the price. During a Giants special lately, I got OG Kush and regular (but excellent) Girl Scout Cookies for $35 per 8th.

They also generally have stronger "platinum" strains for those with high tolerances. Lots of stuff over 20% THC. (Not as great for the high CBD strains - for that I would recommend SPARC, tho I don't see Trident anymore ...).

The highest grade stuff at Green Door (Hollywood Kush, Platinum Cookies, Candy Jack) I believe usually goes for $50 per 8th (and they sell 16ths for half price). The discount on a half is pretty minimal I think (maybe even $195).

I'm probably biased b/c the last time I was there I found a free gram of Green Crack on the sidewalk. ;)

Criminal prices for good weed seems to have come down quite a bit since the $60/8th pre-215/420 prices. Most 8ths are under $50, and $160/half for decent stuff is common.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:46 PM on November 16, 2012


Also, it is also far from likely that any first time grower is going to produce $300/oz type weed.

I disagree. If you do the research and start out with good source/seeds and enough lighting, there's a good chance you'll get it right as long as you're attentive. I was not the only one among my circle of friends who tried growing in their closet. Everyone's first harvest was totally great. You don't even need hydro, which simplifies things a lot for a couple plants. However, IMO fluorescents just don't cut it past the seedling/cutting stage. Haven't seen LEDs for growing yet, but sounds like it might work.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2012


During a Giants special lately, I got OG Kush and regular (but excellent) Girl Scout Cookies for $35 per 8th.

That's pretty good. I did catch a special like that at ReLeaf once, $35-40/eighth for top shelf, forget the occasion.

The highest grade stuff at Green Door (Hollywood Kush, Platinum Cookies, Candy Jack) I believe usually goes for $50 per 8th

Yeah, ReLeaf was $50-60, and they always threw in free medicinal cookies with anything over 1/8. I usually got a couple free cookies for an oz. I checked out SPARC too, as well as some of the others. I probably didn't get the best best deal ever every single time, but I'm a creature of habit, and as long as it's not jacked up prices I'll go where it feels comfortable. My only complaint about ReLeaf is that the main room is pretty small, so if it's busy it's kinda rushed and claustrophobic, but at least they let you hang out and smoke (the sign says 20 min, but never tested the time limit, and they don't seem too uptight about it).
posted by krinklyfig at 1:59 PM on November 16, 2012


I did say far from likely, but yeah someone who sufficiently learns from other experienced people might grow top dollar mj off the bat. Still far from likely in my book though. Experience still counts for something even in "gardening", and I know of too many stories to discount that or to even turn around and tell other people that you'll be producing top quality right from the get go.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:03 PM on November 16, 2012


Well, OK, it doesn't seem productive to get into an argument, but from my direct experience, as long as you're not a doofus about taking care of plants in general, and you are prepared to take on a slightly larger responsibility than growing a house plant, such as gardening vegetables, you'll more than likely be very pleased with the results from growing your own weed. It's not quite as easy as making pesto from scratch with a food processor, but if you use the right ingredients, your pesto will totally rock and would qualify as top-shelf in a restaurant setting because of the ingredients. The same is true of growing (or brewing beer, etc.). I've worked in a commercial greenhouse ... Let me put it this way. Growing weed is easier than growing basil, and you can grow your own heirloom tomatoes rather than spending exorbitant amounts at the organic store.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:15 PM on November 16, 2012


Then I guess the question would be why isn't all mj top shelf if it's that easy to grow? There's a lot of play here when we're simply talking about growing when that is only one aspect of it and I'm sure you're aware that there is a whole host of things included in the idea of a quality plant when it comes to mj.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:43 PM on November 16, 2012


P.o.B. writes "Then I guess the question would be why isn't all mj top shelf if it's that easy to grow?"

I'd bet for the same reason all grocery store tomatoes aren't brandywines. The best strains (for whatever qualifies as best when it comes to weed) aren't necessarily the most commercially viable. If you can crank out twice as much weed that is only 75% as good as the best stuff and still get 75% of the price of the god stuff then you are making more money with the lesser product.

Plus Home grown stuff like this tends to be better just from individual attention. You can pick the best time to switch lighting, the best time to water, the best time fertilize etc. rather than the average best time for 100 or a 1000 plants. And you can harvest at the peak time instead of the average peak time.
posted by Mitheral at 2:57 PM on November 16, 2012


OK, I'll concede that if you really want to be one of those hardcore growers who maximizes yield at every opportunity and regularly harvests ultra sticky, dense 6" colas, you can spend tons of $ and lots of time controlling every stage and perfecting the process. The commercial growers mostly do that, because it's a business to them. But you can grow top quality weed without doing that, as long as you have seeds or cuttings of that quality and are satisfied that your weed is just as good, but there are usually some differences between what you grow from the same seeds or cuttings as the commercial growers, depending on your circumstances and equipment or finances.

The main issue for those who cannot grow outside is that artificial lighting is always going to come up short compared to sunlight, and the lower the output in the desired daylight spectrum, the more pronounced this effect becomes. The flowers (buds) are simply not as big or full without strong light including daylight UV, but with 400W MH/HPS you can usually get decent yield with 3-5 stout indica or indica-hybrid plants, soil or hydro.

Indicas are well suited to shorter growing seasons and less sunlight of northern climates, growing short and sturdy with many branches, more like a bush than a tree, and are preferred by many indoor growers for this reason. Many indoor hybrids are specifically desired because of their suitability to lower lighting and shorter cycles - outdoor growers are much more rare these days. Sativas are usually much taller and are native to parts of the world with lots of sunlight, and with enough room and lighting they can be grown indoors, but the pure sativas really thrive with very good lighting and lots of room to grow outside, especially direct sunlight in a very sunny, warm climate. In my case, since I was using the lowest wattage MH light I could find and was also growing one sativa, the MH didn't penetrate through the tops very well. I could have planned better and tied the plants down so they flowered sideways from the plant stem, allowing all the growth to be lit. But I ended up harvesting the buds at the tops of the plants, which were fully ripe, and allowing the unripe growth underneath to come through for another week or two, then repeat. This process lasted for a few months.

I couldn't afford other options, so I adapted. You might compare what I got to the kind of beer you might drink from a friend who made some great homebrew beer within the first few batches. If the home brewer had more experience, capital and control over every aspect of the process, they could perfect it much further, but if the ingredients and process were sound, as it is it's usually pretty damn good and very comparable to the best commercial beer, if not exactly the same. You can get within that range by spending more time and money but without a huge investment, although it takes some time to perfect your process - it's not really necessary, but it can be fun and challenging at the same time, like any other type of gardening taken to higher levels.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:00 PM on November 16, 2012


Plus Home grown stuff like this tends to be better just from individual attention

Yes, actually I found this made a big difference. I loved my garden and paid enough attention so that I could evaluate my process and deal with problems or questions right away. I had a minor bug infestation that would have quickly become intolerable if I had not been looking very closely and dealt with it before it got that far - soil is easier than hydro for a few plants but does attract more pests. My grandmother had similar hassles with her tomatoes and related pests, but, she was always very attentive and nurtured her plants, and they were about the best tomatoes ever.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:13 PM on November 16, 2012


How many goddesses have been known by so many names?

420 ace african alaskan thunderfuck apocynum cannabinum ashes aunt mary bag baggie bales bamba bangue bc bud bhang blunt bo bobo bonghit boo bowl bricks broccoli bud buddha bush buzz cannabis cannabis indica cannabis sativa chief chronic columbian gold cryppie cryptonite dagga dank devilweed diggy dirtweed ditch ditchweed dobie domestic don juan doob doobie dope draf draw durban poison fir flowers ganja gash gasper giggle twig gold gong gram grass green greenbud green-sticky griffa happy backy hash hawaiian homegrown hay hemp herb high hocus pocus homegrown hooch hooter hops humboltd indian hemp intsangu (zulu) j joint kenevir kif killer kilos leaf loco weed marijuana mary jane mbanja (pemba) method mexican mj mo moocah moota mooters mootie mor a grifa mountain cabbage nubs nuggets nuggies number one-hit ounce owl panama red parsley pot pounds pr pretendica puff ragweed rainy day woman rasta red bud reefer roach root rope seeds shake shit shwag skunk skunk weed smoke snop spliff stack stash stems stick stone swazi sweet lucy sweet wheat tchene tea texas tea thai-bud thai-stick thrupence bag thumb tree of wisdom trees turkish delight twigs untoque wahupta (sioux) weed whacktabacky whackyweed wheat wood yesca zol
posted by Twang at 3:18 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd bet for the same reason all grocery store tomatoes aren't brandywines

No, that's not the reason. krinkleyfig laid out a few of them, but there is more to it than simply picking the right strain.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:25 PM on November 16, 2012


Yes, as Mithereal said, the plants which have the highest yield to cost and/or shortest yield to maturity are not the highest quality, especially indoor. Some kush varieties are fairly mediocre but easy to grow for indoor commercial growers with low lighting and high yield/cost, like the stuff that's all over the streets in CA, the smaller buds for cheap but not ditchweed or Mexican. The best indicas don't yield as much as the best sativas, but the best sativas yield the most under direct sunlight and lots of room to grow to 12 feet or taller, which are not options for most growers.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:34 PM on November 16, 2012


Okay, let's just disagree because we're arguing past each other at this point.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:44 PM on November 16, 2012


Also, you get much better plants if you maximize their light and tweak the cycle at just the right time for flowering, and simply put it costs more to do that, because you give plants more attention, room to grow and spend more for higher output lighting and ventilation. Plus CO2 gas, high quality or organic fertilizers, regulated hydro system which is well maintained, etc. If you aren't going for quality, you grow something like an ultra-hardy kush variety and pack those plants in as tightly as you can, and crank them through the cycle as fast as possible, and maybe you don't bother with CO2 at all or anything past the most rudimentary fertilizers. If you're going for quality as a commercial grower, you hand pick varieties or create your own, and you create the conditions necessary for them to thrive, or find plants that yield the best quality in the conditions you have available. This costs more and yields less in total product.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:53 PM on November 16, 2012


Yeah, I mean, I don't really disagree. But I still think someone can do well their first time around, just got to be realistic about their expectations.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:55 PM on November 16, 2012


I was really disappointed in Rachel Maddow last night. She had this SPD blog post on her show, but she kept pronouncing the headline "mari-ja-whatnow," when obviously it's pronounced "mari-whatnow."
posted by HotToddy at 5:10 PM on November 16, 2012


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