Expert marijuana growers are in demand in states that have legalized the drug for medical use, The Arizona Republic reports. These consultants work for dispensaries or “grow centers,” giving tips on how to manipulate the plants with lights, nutrients and air to grow high-grade marijuana.
Bruce Barnes is a “master grower” in Arizona, who works for a grow center that cultivates marijuana for patients with ailments ranging from cancer to chronic pain, the article notes. In Arizona, an estimated 33,600 patients are permitted to use the drug under state law.
Barnes examines marijuana plants for their pH levels and potential diseases. He is permitted to cultivate the drug under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, passed in 2010. The law allows people with specific medical conditions to use the drug after they receive a doctor’s recommendation.
Currently, patients and caregivers can grow up to 72 plants for themselves and up to five other patients. Next year, state health officials expect most cultivation to take place at dispensaries or grow centers.
Ed Rosenthal, author of “Marijuana Grower’s Handbook,” said there are many ways to cultivate marijuana. “If you speak with 10 gardeners, you have 20 ways of growing things like tomatoes — and that’s the same with marijuana,” Rosenthal told the newspaper. “Everybody’s right — there are millions of ways of doing it, and people are constantly developing their own ways of doing it.”