From top: The ‘Seedo’ fridge allows for perfectly timed cannabis cultivation; Johnny Green
Last week, Politico rocked the cannabis world with the exciting news that Luxembourg has legislation pending to legalise recreational weed within two years.
With Luxembourg and Malta fighting for FMA (first mover advantage) in the cannabis space, all that’s left for Fine Gael is to arrange a rousing rendition of The Green Fields of Athenry, on some godforsaken ‘vast’ bog.
Luxembourg’s health minister did a great interview which outlined his country’s clearly defined policy objectives and strategic plan to achieve them:
“After decades of repressive policies, we have acknowledged that this policy does not work, that it did not meet expectations. So it’s time to change mindsets, change our concepts and try something else”
If Luxembourg succeeds – and I really hope they do – it will have a domino effect on the neighbors, with markets flooded with diverted product, forcing legislation..
Some estimate that Massachusetts recreational cannabis stores close to state lines are selling/diverting 40% of their product to NY/NJ residents,where recreational is still not legal.
Luxembourg unlike Mass. has stated it will only sell to Lux. residents, similar to post-Brexit, whereby UK residents will also be banned from Amsterdam’s coffee shops.
Fine Gael’s only strategy is to stock pharmacies with extremely expensive imported finished products, forcing patients and the State to buy that, instead of following the Canadian model like Luxembourg.
Ireland needs start growing weed, its getting out-positioned, one way to kickstart the industry, is to empower patients by issuing licenses to grow 6-10 plants.
Ministers Harris and Canney are currently issuing licenses for importing only expensive finished product, none for any type of growing or cultivation.
Luxembourg when announcing its intention to legalize cannabis within two years, did not provide for home growing.
This pull back from allowing home growing is driven by greed, with major cannabis companies aligning themselves with states to force people to buy expensive products and pay high taxes for a plant that can be easily grown at home.
Illinois was the eleventh state to recently complete what Luxembourg is now starting, it also did not allow recreational home growing but does allow its 65,000 medical patients to grow five plants.
Home growing also featured in New York’s failed efforts, with extensive lobbying by the cannabis industry to prevent home growing, a FOI exposed the highly misleading arguments used by the industry.
New York will try again next year to pass comprehensive recreational legislation, home growing for medical patients is expected to be included.
Instead of pursuing ‘vast’ fields of weed in environmental war zones with Bord na Mona, the Irish goverenment can take a giant leap and start issuing medical patients growing licences.
It also needs expand the qualifications for medical cannabis to include ‘pain’. Most of the disingenuous arguments about home growing involve public safety, this play for profits is often disguised as concern for the public good,
The Windy City joins ten other states who have fully legalised cannabis. These states have different ‘home grow’ rules, with Michigan allowing individuals to grow twelve plants and Washington State not allowing any.
Thirty one US states have medical access programs despite it being banned at the federal level, with Deep South Louisiana recently passing legislation.
Most states allow medial patients to grow a few plants, from Alaska which allows six plants to West Virgina, none.
Many allow a qualified ‘caregiver’ to grow or cultivate the medicine, it also acts as a incubator for developing skills, which can then be used to build home grown companies.
A great example of a new but very expensive home growing kit “Seedo which utilises AI and machine learning to grow. It includes a phone app that allows you look at your grow in HD and remotely monitor water levels, nutrients, light while also speeding up grow times.
It’s about the size of a mini-fridge and is close to what’s happening inside the new state of the art industrial grow houses. Next week we will look at home growing options and caregivers or micro grows.
Home growing is set up and thriving in many states and Canada, it’s not perfect but Irish growers would get some experience, it’s a viable alternative for patients while also empowering them.
Fine Gael should be issuing growing licenses to patients for Irish medical cannabis with every licence to buy imported finished products.
The Roll Up column by Johnny Green will attempt to keep Broadsheet readers up-to-date on the growing cannabis industry worldwide. Follow Johnny Green on twitter for even more updates.