I ONCE WROTE a column about how cannabis growers shifted their operations indoors during the eight-year tenure of a senile president who acted in movies with a chimpanzee ["Indica Nation," Cannabuzz, Oct 8, 2014]. Ronald Reagan's fervent, jelly bean-fueled belief that people would stop enjoying cannabis simply because someone said "no" was paired with a full-scale assault on cannabis producers. People who had grown outside for years suddenly found helicopters manned by officers of the peace wielding semi-automatic weapons circling their properties. That served as incentive enough for outdoor growers to trade in their greenhouses for grow lights, HVAC systems, and high power bills.
Over the years, people began to talk trash about cannabis produced outdoors (also known as "eco-friendly" and "sun-grown"). People complained that it wasn't strong enough, that it was too leafy or too harsh.
But is it, really?
True, I've seen some sub-par sun-grown (my preferred term), but no worse than some of the horrendous cannabis that's produced indoors as well. I've also seen some sun grown that tested in the low- to mid-20s range of THC percentages. I've seen outdoor flower that was so tight and fragrant and smooth-vaping that I would have sworn it was indoor grown. I'm not anti-indoor—far from it—but I'm anti-tarring and feathering an entire manner of cannabis production.
Us city dwellers don't always get an opportunity to try the best sun-grown cannabis, which is produced in the southern region of our fine state. I'd like to rectify this with a new annual event I'm calling "Green Friday." (It's a project produced under the banner of my company, Oregon's Cannabis Concierge, and the Mercury is my media sponsor.)
On Friday, November 27, AKA "Black Friday," two days after this issue hits the streets, you can go into a select number of dispensaries around the state and buy a quarter-ounce of sun-grown cannabis for $20. Each will be packaged in a glass jar, and come with a 16-page color catalog featuring all participating farms. It's a great way to try top-shelf cannabis at a bottom-shelf price, but you will be limited to purchasing a single quarter-ounce at each dispensary—even Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders. You can get info on participating dispensaries and farms at greenfridaypdx.com.
Meanwhile, to understand how cannabis is produced down south, consult this glossary of sun-grown terms:
OUTDOOR: Like a really, really big room, but without walls or a roof. Also, a term for cannabis that was grown outside, without a greenhouse, structure, or any light other than that big yellow orb we see all too infrequently this time of year. There are no fans, air-conditioning, additional CO2, or carbon filters. Don't worry—it's the way plants have grown for billions of years. Bob Marley and the Wailers smoked cannabis grown exclusively this way, and those cats were hiiiiiigh. Have you ever seen photos of the size of their spliffs? Or the serene look on Marley's face? I'm sure it's going to get you where you need to go.
GREENHOUSE: Cannabis that was grown in a greenhouse, AKA glasshouse. (See also: people in, stones.) It was grown in a structure with clear/translucent walls to allow in sunlight. Fans and AC can be used, and in larger and sturdier structures, supplemental lighting may be incorporated.
LIGHT DEP: Short for "light deprivation." When a grower deprives plants of light in a greenhouse structure, by covering the walls and roof with a tarp or other material that creates perfect darkness. This controls the amount of light the plants receive, thus controlling when they flower. A well-planned light-dep greenhouse can force an earlier flowering during the summer for an extra crop before the traditional fall harvest. Science!
ORGANIC: A boner-killing safe word for Monsanto executives. And truly, it can mean so many things, but an absence of chemicals, pesticides, and genetically modified anything is the generally accepted definition. (There are also "veganic" growers, who produce flower without using any animal products, a version of organic taken in a different direction.) The goal is to avoid using anything you wouldn't want in your food.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! This year, I'm extra thankful I live in a state where I can put together an event like this without going to prison.