This Is How Legal Marijuana Is Grown

This article is cont­ributed by Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis information resource. For more information please visit Leafly.

Ever wonder how legal cannabis is grown? You're not alone. Millions upon millions of American adults consume it, but few fully understand how the plants make their way from tiny seeds to full-fledged buds.

To help shed light on the legal cannabis market, Leafly visited five different gardens in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the pros grow some of the best cannabis in the country.

Cannabis genetics

A great garden starts with great genetics. To kick things off, we stopped by Exotic Genetix in Tacoma, Washington to learn about selecting the best genetics to start your garden. Mike, Exotic's founder and breeder, gives us the lowdown on how he likes to get his plants started, as well as some of the differences between starting from a clone or a seed.

Vegetative growth

Once you've settled on your genetics, it's time to let your plants grow! For the second episode of "Seed to Sale," we ventured down to Coast to Coast Collective in Canoga Park, California. Bryan, the lead grower, shows us how they give their plants a happy and healthy veg. The care they take during vegetative growth sets them up for a successful flower and harvest.


After a healthy vegetative cycle, it is time to induce flowering. For the third episode of "Seed to Sale" we made the trip down to see Pangaea Organics in La Pine, Oregon. Joseph, owner and president at Pangaea, shows us how the plants change during the flowering phase and which methods they recommend to ensure a bountiful harvest.


Once the plants have matured through the flowering phase, it's time to prepare for the harvest. For the fourth episode of "Seed to Sale," we spend they day with the team at Medicine Man in Denver, Colorado. Medicine Man's co-founder Pete Williams show us the process they use to harvest 25lbs of cannabis every day. Pete also gives us some tips on when the right time to harvest is and the differences between hand-trimmed and machine-trimmed buds.


Now that the buds are dried and trimmed, we need to store them for use or package them for display or sale on dispensary shelves. For the fifth and final episode in the series, we head back to Tacoma, Washington to visit with our friends at Royal Tree Gardens. Spencer, one of Royal Tree’s co-founders, walks us through their cure process and shows us how they package their beautiful flowers. They only sell flowers that meet their strict internal standards, so Spencer explains how his team decides which buds are packaged as flower and which get set aside for post-processing into concentrates.

If you enjoyed this series, subscribe to Leafly's YouTube channel for videos including Leafly’s "Cannabis Craftsmanship" series and "Cannabis 101" series.

This article was originally published as "Seed to Sale: How Legal Cannabis is Grown." For this and more articles on cannabis news and culture, visit Leafly News.

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