Pubdate: Wed, 03 Aug 2016
Source: East Bay Express (CA)
Column: Legalization Nation
Copyright: 2016 East Bay Express
Author: David Downs


Dream up your legal weed garden with Oakland's celebrity author latest tome.

Legalization is in the wind. Can you smell it? With less than 
one-hundred days until a historic California vote on adult-use of 
marijuana, many are wondering what they'll do if Proposition 64 passes.

Odds are fifty-fifty that, for the first time in more than a century, 
Californians ages 21 and over could be able to legally garden up to 
six cannabis plants. No doctor's note needed. Just be 21.

Prop. 64 would allow for up to six plants per property. In the 
world's seventh-largest economy, the question of "Can I grow?" could 
quickly become one of "Should I grow?"

Just in time for the conversation is Oakland author Ed Rosenthal's 
new book, The Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits. At 71-years-old, the 
cannabis legend is feted wherever he travels.

Rosenthal, an early High Times cultivation columnist from New York, 
became a medical-marijuana cause celebre in 2002, when he grew the 
plant for the City of Oakland. Arrested by federal agents, Rosenthal 
was charged, tried, and sentenced to a single day in jail. The jurors 
apparently deplored the prosecution, who prevented a mention of 
medical cannabis.

Since, Rosenthal's Marijuana Grower's Handbook and other gardening 
titles under his imprint Quick American Publishing have reportedly 
sold more than 1 million copies. (And, full disclosure, I've done two 
books with him: Beyond Buds (2014) and Marijuana Harvest (2016).

Just hitting stores this August, The Big Book of Buds Greatest Hits 
distills more than 400 strains from the Big Book series into 95 
commercially available essentials.

Marijuana is a sexual breeding plant - it has male and female 
versions, which combine to produce new generations. Cannabis' 
easygoing sexuality has led to thousands of what you would call 
"varietals," not unlike in wine. And just like other agriculture, 
these strains combine potent effects on users with pleasing flora 
aesthetics, which equal major financial yields for growers. Rosenthal 
is fond of saying "Cannabis is not addictive, but growing it is."

His new book features page upon page of juicy flower bud photos, and 
profiles of "the girls"; unfertilized female flower buds are the most 
potent and strongest, and males are almost always killed.

The book also showcases the differences between strains. For 
instance, while a single Lowryder No. 2 flower will sit 
fourteen-inches tall on a windowsill, like a trippy bonsai tree, one 
Azure Haze seed can turn into a seven-foot-tall beast in just sixty 
days outdoors.

Guided by chief editor Ellen Holland of Cannabis Now Magazine in 
Berkeley, Greatest Hits contains up-to-date profiles of 95 strains, 
from Eighties classics such as AK-47 and Northern Lights, to Nineties 
legends Jack Herer and New York City Diesel, and even more current 
flavors like Vortex.

You learn the strains' effects, aromas, and flowering habits, as well 
as their genetic history, cultivation specifics, and more. The 
248-page, soft-cover, full-color, glossy reference book is intercut 
with articles that will elevate your appreciation: There's an aroma 
map, explanations of individual terpenes (aroma molecules), and how 
all this affects your high.

For people ready to try their green thumbs next season, Greatest Hits 
also includes tips on growing techniques to help you get the most out 
of six plants. For example, Green House Seed Co.'s Franco Loja 
describes how to enhance effect and flavor via proper drying and 
curing of cannabis.

Currently, qualified patients in California can grow as much as their 
doctor says is needed, though state guidelines call for patient 
limits of twelve immature plants or up to six mature ones.

New state medical-cannabis regulations allow patients to keep growing 
personal amounts without government interference, subject to local 
ordinances. Some California cities and counties have restricted 
medical-cannabis cultivation to indoors-only, and a few have banned 
all growing activity.

There are an estimated 40,000 commercial cannabis gardens in 
California, which are just now coming under state regulations for 
quality control issues such as pesticides. Until then, medical 
cannabis and potentially recreational weed consumers can plant their 
own, save hundreds or thousands of dollars per year, and ensure a clean crop.

The cultivation tips in Greatest Hits are just a tease, though. 
You're going to need the Grower's Handbook to really get to work - or 
just hire a cannabis gardener, if that job title starts to exist this November.

Greatest Hits works best as a coffee-table book, or a dream board - a 
place for inspiration, as well as an essential reference for 
medical-cannabis patients looking to grow their own, or find better 
medicine at dispensaries.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom