giovedì 3 marzo 2016

An Inside Look at Growing Cannabis

Remember that elusive third crop that Midwest farmers dream about to complement corn and soybeans? Eric Diekhoff thinks he may have found it.

The only problem is, you’ll probably never get to grow it – at least not legally.

That’s because the new crop is marijuana, also known as cannabis, its scientific name. Diekhoff, who grows corn and soybeans near Delavan, Illinois, with his father, David, is growing cannabis only because he works for Revolution Enterprises, a company that’s been granted one of the first Midwest licenses to grow it for use as medicine.

Diekhoff shares the intensive management and controlled environment that are necessary to grow cannabis in this article:The First Illinois Cannabis Farm.

While growing cannabis has its own unique set of challenges, the harder part is turning it into a medicine. That’s the only legal way cannabis can be sold under the state laws enacted over the last couple of years in Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, and 20 other states, mostly on the coasts.

Kyle Kingsley, one of the early growers in Minnesota, believes there is more than a little magic in the crop. Most of it happens not in growing the plants, but after harvest.

“How we process it and package it and make it conform to medical standards is what we are still learning. That’s where the big breakthroughs will come in medical cannabis,” he predicts.

Find out how marijuana transforms into medicine: Cannabis Combines Passions of Minnesota Doctor.

While multiple state laws allow cannabis to be sold for medicinal purposes and a few, such as Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana, federal law prohibits the production and sale of cannabis. That’s why it’s critical that cannabis growers follow state regulations very closely, says Benjamin Zaitz, managing director at B. Zaitz & Sons.

Zaitz’s company started out in dairy and now focuses on a diverse set of value-added crops, including marijuana. Find out what Zaitz has learned about growing this highly technical crop as well as the risk involved for breeding high-yielding hybrids and superior plant genetics when there is no federal protection for cannabis varieties: One Farmer’s Venture Into Cannabis Farming.

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