As mentioned in Part 6 of our 6-part series “What Illinois cannabis patients really want,” the most commented on and advocated for issue we hear from registered medical patients in Illinois is increasing the plant-limit count for growing medicine at home. The 5-plant limit restricts several aspects of growing medicine at home, including the simple difference between growing regular and feminized seeds.
Among the several other restricted aspects, growing only feminized seeds reduces the selection of strains and, as such, the range of medicine that might work best for a patient’s specific needs. Even for me, who has access to our partners at Rimrock Analytical, whose services include plant sex identification, among others (free shipping with promo code ILNJ), limits on plant count directly restrict which strains I can grow.
Preparing for my next News Joint Grow Journal, I wanted to run regular seeds, but the question was how many? I didn’t want to pop too many seeds and surpass the plant limit, and at the same time, I wanted to pop enough to have five different strains in my tent. The easiest choice was to just play the 50%-average rate of female to male plants and hope for the best.
I chose ten regular seeds (five strains, two seeds each) for a chance to grow five different strains. Best-case scenario would have been to have one female plant from each of the five different strains. Frankly, most patients won’t balk at running one or two extra plants, even though penalties as provided by law for cultivating 6 plants in Illinois is a Class 4 felony and carries a punishment of 1-3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. Five plants: legal. Six plants: felony.
Of course, Nature decided the sex identification of the plants, and let’s just say, this is why I don’t play the lottery. Today, Rimrock Analytical emailed my plant sex identification results for all ten of the seedlings. Six of the samples were determined to be male via qPCR analysis. The 50% percentage of male to female was close overall, but the fantasy of one male and one female from each strain crashed and burned.
The results were two males from two different strains, which eliminated those two medications for this grow cycle. I also have two female plants of the same strain and one female each from two other strains. Besides blatantly breaking the law, how do I adjust so I am not losing two strains I counted on growing? I could try to pop three or more regular seeds at a time, but what if I do win the lottery with a strong majority of females? It’s hard killing perfectively healthy plants, not to mention that genetics are not cheap.
Because there is no better way to know which part of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act needs to be changed than to follow the law, we will abide by the 5-plant limit for all of our grow journals until the law changes. To follow News Joint Grow Journal and find out more about my next grow journal, click here.
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