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Even with no pun intended it is hard to ignore the thriving business environment surrounding the production and sale of medical marijuana. With MMJ now legalized in 15 states and the District of Columbia, the market is expanding vigorously.


Treating a Variety of Ailments


THC, the active ingredient in marijuana has been shown to effectively treat a number of conditions. It can reduce nausea, insomnia, neurogenic pain and movement disorders and the symptoms of glaucoma. It may be useful in controlling the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and fibromyalgia. Recent studies have indicated that THC prevents the formation of deposits of plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease.


Of course more research is essential in determining which conditions medical marijuana can help, but even this short list is encouraging.


Not Just Smoking


Medical marijuana opponents object strongly to the most common method of ingestion: smoking. However, there are many safer ways to ingest marijuana. Marijuana can be inhaled in a vaporized form and added to food after being processed into hemp oil. Both methods bypass the potential risks involved in any form of smoking.


Who Can Grow It?


One of the challenges of toronto marijuana dispensary medical marijuana is figuring out who is allowed to grow it, and how much they can grow. The states which have legalized marijuana for medical use have implemented standards for whether and how much marijuana an individual is allowed to grow or possess. Things are a bit more complicated for dispensaries.


California allows patients and caregivers to form cooperatives to grow the plants, but much of the product which reaches the market is grown on small "farms" which still operate outside the law.


Recently a large store specializing in information and supplies opened in Sacramento, CA. The store doesn't sell any marijuana, nor any plants. There are some plants on display but they are owned by licensed individuals and will be removed before they bud.


As more states move to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, dispensaries are becoming more and more prevalent to meet demand. As the business of growing marijuana for medical use grows, serious consideration must be given to methods of improving crop yield, automation, and decreasing the cost of growing. One of the most preventable causes of lost profit in a hydroponic dispensary is a type of fungus known as powdery mildew.


Powdery mildew is a very common fungus, and is well known to many farmers and gardeners. It poses a particular problem to growers of marijuana, however. The fungus thrives in an environment marked by high humidity and mid range temperatures. Unfortunately, this makes marijuana plants extremely susceptible to powdery mildew, as these are also the conditions under which cannabis grows best. Plants that are infected with powdery mildew will begin to display white patches that will eventually spread to cover the plant if not treated. As the fungus continues to reproduce, the mildew will eventually cover the plant, killing it in the process.


Needless to say, a fungus of this variety can cause a great deal of damage in terms of the crop yield and profitability of a medical dispensary. Certain types of commercial fungicide exist that can kill of the mildew before it progresses too far. Unfortunately, these chemicals may only be applied during certain stages of the life cycle of marijuana plants without negatively affecting their health. In the conducive environment that a hydroponic dispensary provides, one plant that becomes infected with powdery mildew will quickly allow it to spread to others, increasing the overall business expense of making use of these fungicides. In either event, the bottom line profit is cut into by the presence of this fungus.


One option for medical marijuana dispensaries that wish to avoid problems with mildew is the installation of commercial grade air purification systems. Large capacity air purifiers that employ one of more carbon filters can remove mold and mildew spores from the air before they have a chance to grow on plants, reducing the likelihood of an infection spreading to the crop. This also creates a more healthful work environment for dispensary employees, who might otherwise be exposed to the mold spores. Many commercial air purifiers are also equipped with ultraviolet lights, which can neutralize mold spores in the air and further prevent mildew infestations.


As in all branches of agriculture, the marijuana growing business will likely move toward greater sophistication and productivity as time goes on. In many other crop plants, selective Gormley and special preventative chemicals have largely been able to eliminate crop losses due to mildew. However, hydroponic dispensaries face their own unique set of problems, as they create ideal growing conditions for powdery mildew. Until further advances allow plants to be developed that are more resistant to this fungus, profit loss due to mildew in medical marijuana dispensaries will be a reality of the business, and one that producers need to be mindful of.


Perhaps not any time since the 1960s and 70s has there be more of a call to legalize marijuana. Celebrities, politicians, and even Presidents all admit to having either tried it in the past or to currently using it for recreational purposes. Medical marijuana is available in more states than ever, and fewer states are bothering to prosecute those found to possess the substance. So how did we get to this point?


Depending on your beliefs, cannabis is illegal because of it's status as a psychoactive drug or because hemp presented a real threat to the paper and timber industries and they lobbied to get the substance made illegal to protect their financial interests. Either way, cannabis use, even if only once, in the United States has grown in the last 20 years to something that wasn't spoken of to something that is accepted.


Recent studies show that as many as 42% of Americans have tried marijuana at least once, and there's increasing demand for products made from hemp, with a large market for shoes made from the durable fibers of the cannabis plant finding increasing demand. With the large number of Americans that have tried the substance and the demand for products using the non-drug part of the plants, it's no surprise that the calls to legalize the substance have increased in recent years.


Medical marijuana is legal in numerous states, most notably California, but is still illegal to the federal government, setting up something of a contradiction where dispensaries and medical patients can be legally using the substance according to California state law, but West Hollywood Cannabis Dispensary federal law. This has caused the DEA to shut down dispensaries in numerous states, even though they were sanctioned by the state. The current administration has state they will curtail this practice.


With studies showing that cannabis is no less harmful than nicotine and alcohol, and some studies showing it to be less harmful, the calls for it to be decriminalized have grown in recent years. Several attempts have been made to have the federal government pass laws that would allow for the sale and purchase of marijuana much in the same way as alcohol and cigarettes - with age restrictions and only from certain retailers. This idea has been fought by those that believe cannabis is incredibly harmful, presenting long-term risks to the health of those that use it beyond what you would find with alcohol or tobacco.


So is marijuana really that bad? Should it be legalized and taxed like a number of other substances that are also technically drugs and legal? It's not the role of this writer to determine the legality of marijuana, and as I'm not a scientist or doctor, I won't comment on the health issues. I will state that change is coming, and that something will be done that will have an impact on the cannabis debate, be it for the better or not.

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