SC Labs, a California cannabis-testing company, finds three to four in 10 samples examined contain traces of pesticides that shouldn’t be used on marijuana. Lab president Josh Wurzer told Bloomberg News that one of these even transforms into a poisonous gas when ignited. He personally shirks pot grown with chemicals: “I don’t want some farmer with no one looking over their shoulder spraying away all kinds of pesticides that they don’t really understand, that they are not really trained to use.”
Of course, the real key to demand for organic cannabis, and compost, is consumers. ”Our customer base will grow as people are willing to pay more for quality,” Ritchie told colleagues at a national composting conference in Los Angeles in March, the Cannifornian reports.
Marijuana is illegal on a federal level in the US, and legal to varying degrees in 29 states and Washington DC, so it’s in an agricultural gray zone. Cultivation is not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, nor is pesticide use guided by Department of Agriculture standards. So marijuana growers have no guidance and operate outside the confines of federal law in this regard.
For growers, this is one advantage of weed’s illegality: they can use chemicals with abandon, and do. This allows for more weed to grow bigger and quicker. States have been slow to catch up—even California, which has had a medical marijuana program in place for two decades, is only now planning to regulate pot growers’ pesticide use starting in January 2018, when weed becomes legal recreationally.
There are no national US standards for organic cannabis and therefore no legal definition to guide growers. Still, that hasn’t stopped the “green” weed market from targeting conscious pot consumers willing to pay a premium for a more natural experience. In Santa Cruz county, California, for example, where marijuana is grown locally and dispensaries are abundant, organic weed costs more than twice as much as an equivalent grown with chemicals.
The location should be easily accessible and not far from a water hose, because water supplementation may be necessary during warm weather to speed up the composting process.
The bottom “brown” layer should be well aerated (fluffy) to prevent excess moisture from developing from the layers on top.
An occasional topping of compost during the plant growth cycle will boost soil health and minimize the necessity of adding fertilizers on a frequent basis. Mixing compost with indoor plant soil is a great way to start your plants. Conservative topping of the soil periodically creates ideal growing conditions.
Creating Your Own Compost
If you choose to use compost for your indoor or outdoor cannabis grow, you will likely notice a difference in overall plant vigor. Following harvest and a proper cure, the flavor and even burn of the finished product will be connoisseur quality.
Compost does not replace fertilizers but creates excellent soils. It feeds the soil while fertilizers feed the plants more directly. A combination of both, sourced from organic material, provides optimum growing conditions.
How to Use Compost
Upon the initial layer of carbon material, you want to add nitrogen-rich green plant matter. Good nitrogen-rich materials, also called “greens,” include:
Some cannabis connoisseurs can actually taste the tell-tale flavors and smell the aromas of synthetic fertilizers that sometimes linger in cured dried flower, especially if it wasn’t properly flushed prior to harvestor cured and dried.