Of all the changes that re-legalization brought, one of the biggest was the way people acquired cannabis. Do you remember those first few days and weeks? It seemed like everyone who had ever smoked a bowl became a gardener. At least lots of them tried. Assuming you could even find them, the price of seeds went through the roof. Then there was that terrible batch of sub-par seeds, rolled out disguised in a variety of counterfeit, legitimate-looking packaging. We went from being called criminals to be victimized by real ones. There would have been criminal charges and a civil lawsuit if the perpetrators had been found, but they stole the money and vanished.
Much of that early craziness did stop, largely before the end of the first year of the new era. Many people who planted were upset that their plants did not look like pictures they had seen. Growing is easy, but not that easy. The tobacco manufacturers were paying attention. It wasn’t long until a commercially produced product was on sale in convenience stores. The price was high, but so were most of the buyers. This looked like the way it was going to be, but there was the nagging quality issue. For a novice, frustrated gardener, someone who had not connected with the plant the way some growers do, this commercial stuff was as good as what they knew prior to re-leg. They became the commercial market. For a time people cut the pre-rolls open to check what was inside. Over time it turned out to be reliable and consistent. That satisfied lots of tokers. What I sampled was missing something — maybe it was the way it was handled. I don’t think I was the only one who felt like that.
That’s how the “grow-op-co-op” was born. As not-hiding became a reality, people discovered they had a neighbor, or two, or more, who had a closet grow. The knowledge of what to do, and how to do it, was already there. People who never imagined they had stoner neighbors found one another. A neighbor with a usable back yard shared a jay with a someone who knew how to grow and another with someone with money to invest. Before anyone was aware of it lots of subdivisions, apartment buildings, and condo rec rooms had a greenhouse, or a back yard, or both, quietly supplying high quality at a great price. One co-op member met a co-op player from across town and the days of bogus seed gave way to unlimited seeds and clones of dignity and pedigree. Week-end get-togethers traded seeds and clones, eights and ounces, along with love and kisses.
And, with access to quality cannabis not restricted by laws based on lies, every home grower who wanted to get better at what they do. Some sold a bit, and some sold a lot to friends, but the government was being a pain about wanting to wet their beak, i.e. get paid some tax revenue. That’s when barter trade emerged. The market for bartered weed is already huge and still growing. It’s sad when someone (the government) is only about money. This issue is still up in the air. If anything it’s quietly reinforcing the grow-yer-own attitude. Some folks make their own wine and beer. Doing for yourself is always a good feeling. The best you will ever smoke is what you grow for yourself.
Oh, and Marc Emery is back in the seed business. He’s got his smiling face on each pack he sells. His story has come full circle. I think he would sell more if he put Jodie’s picture on the pack. If he ever asks . . .
How do you get your cannabis these re-legalized days?
[image: google images dreams]
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