The facility may be used to cultivate no more than six flowering marijuana plants. (The flowers are the business end of the plant: The “bud” is what’s smoked, vaped, infused into butter or oil to make edibles, or made into concentrates.)
The crowd, two dozen strong, seemed . skeptical . that anyone would follow that part of the law.
It may be no surprise that a small consulting industry is emerging to help out Missouri patients who want to grow weed. It’s not a big economic sector, particularly compared to the 192 dispensaries that Missouri expects to license by Dec. 31. The relationship between home growers and “Big Marijuana” may be something like the relationship of craft beer to Anheuser-Busch InBev, or holistic medicine versus Big Pharma. But like those examples, homegrown marijuana has a well-established place in the American economy, whether legal or black market.
“Better yet, you run it through the Magic Butter Machine and put it in the freezer,” one person suggested, prompting a second wave of laughter. (Edibles are typically made with marijuana-infused fats, often dubbed “cannabutter” when made from dairy. Retailers like Amazon and Walmart sell herbal-infusion machines for home use, often for less than $100, sometimes for much more.)
Abundant laughter shook the room when a speaker went over Missouri rules on what happens when a legal home cultivator grows more cannabis than the quarter-pound allowed each month.
Legal home growers can keep up a more or less constant harvest by also keeping six more clones or seedlings, provided they’re less than 14 inches tall. (Seeds germinate in about a week; the seedling phase lasts two to three weeks.)
With dispensary sales still months away, Missouri groups like Ayden’s Alliance, along with companies that don’t need licenses to operate because they don’t directly touch cannabis, are stepping in to serve patients by offering them education, if not usable marijuana.
He’s a man in his early 40s with a buzz cut and a couple of decades in the construction industry under his belt. His home-grow consultant uniform consists of khaki-green carpenter pants, comfortable shoes, and black T-shirts sporting his company logo.
In keeping with the complex life cycle of the cannabis plant, Missouri rules allow registered home cultivators to keep another six plants in the vegetative state, the phase of intense growth that young marijuana plants go through for several weeks before they flower.
It's expensive upfront, cheap in the long run and federally illegal — but permitted under Missouri's medical marijuana law.