One of the things which make the world of cannabis genetics so interesting is the number of small but regular changes in the way things evolve. Sometimes these are more obvious to the suppliers who have the advantage of being amongst the first to see new trends that are emerging. In the 1980s there was a shift away from outdoor to indoor cultivation, at the time it was quite contentious. Traditionalists were aghast at the very thought of man’s favorite herb being grown under artificial light “it will never catch on” they cried. Today you get similar responses from some people when you mentioned LED lights or Autofem marijuana seeds.
“It’s not natural they cry” oblivious to the fact that their HPS lamp is not exactly natural either. The roots of indoor marijuana cultivation soon spread like wildfire, not only could more exotic genetics with phenotypes be grown indoors, but the crop was generally much safer from the cops and other thieves. As time went on everything that the indoor grower needed from lights, to fans, two filters and tents became more affordable and better. Indoor grown pot was proving itself to be nothing short of revolutionary and was pumping out outstanding quality weed despite some early difficulties.
Then the breeders at Dutch Passion introduced feminized seeds in the 1990s and that allowed grow rooms to get even smaller. Growers didn’t need to plant as many seeds; more and more people joined the ranks of the self-sufficient medical and recreational growers. It is hard to put exact numbers on the size of the homegrown market, but every year since the 1980s, marijuana cultivation has seen an exponential growth in home cultivation. In ‘jolly old England’ the number of self-sufficient cultivators is now in the hundreds of thousands, rather than the tens of thousands. More dealers were taken off the streets as the homegrown movement spread internationally. Feminized seeds became the norm, and many people were surprised to hear that 97% of the seeds Dutch passion sells are feminized. Despite the fact that only 3% of their seed sales were that of regular ‘non-feminized’ genetics, while offering 14 varieties for private breeders, who remain firmly committed to the sexing process.
In the last few years we have witnessed a greater ‘normalization’ of marijuana laws then we have seen in several the preceding decades. As well as the traditional tolerance for growing your own weed in Holland, we now see varying levels of decriminalization elsewhere such as Belgium, the Czech Republic, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, and Austria.
From the UK perspective, the liberalization and neighboring countries brings extra pressure on to the political position of the British politicians. It is difficult to remain an island of intolerance in a European state where open-mindedness is increasingly the ‘norm.’ For example, a Dutch medical marijuana patient can now freely enter the UK with a personal stash of medical marijuana – provided they have a doctor’s note. They can use their pot in the UK without fear of arrest – as long as they don’t puff, puff, pass their blunt to a British citizen.
Apparently, the laws in the UK are desperately in need of a serious reality check.
While a British medical marijuana patient would still be breaking the law by cultivating a few of God’s best plants, GW pharmaceuticals have been granted a license to cultivate tons of cannabis by the British government and given a green light by the U.S. FDA for human studies of the CBD cannabinoid. GW makes a concentrated alcohol extraction from their cannabinoids – bottle it, and sell it under the name Sativex around the world.
Praying for parity – many British marijuana cultivators hope to one day be as free as GW pharmaceuticals and cultivate their medicine, minus any unnecessary fear. In the meantime technology advances and the home cultivator benefits. Sure, Autofem seeds have been a bit slow to catch on with some cultivators; stubborn, obstinate and entrenched in the old-school. Autofem’s have been creating waves among indoor and outdoor cultivators alike for years. Many of today’s best cultivators love these seeds and have enjoyed the benefit of harvesting their first crop of outdoor grown Autofem flowers during early June or late July. Indoors, in the hands of the skilled cultivators, you will see Autofems regularly kick out yields well in excess of 100+ grams per plant, thanks to their Superman like ability to absorb massive hours of consecutive daylight, allowing surprising levels of flower and resin production.