I was headed out of the city deep into the mountain country. Dense fog was rolling in over the snow-capped mountains as I made my way to an undisclosed location to meet “JJ” a long-time marijuana grower with a private grow operation and a penchant for medicinal cannabis.
We didn’t know each other. Which made this adventure less than routine given the circumstances. I was in hopes that my initial contact with JJ had struck enough interest to get some good heady coverage of the grow without any problems (in an illegal state, a thing like this— with any form of public acknowledgement—will have a grower right at their edge…with care I thought, not to be shot.)
“A writer, eh?” he said.
“Well, yeah! Come on over. When you get here I’ll bring you into our little world,” reminding me again that some material remains secret until he said otherwise, and that, “This was a very private operation with very precise procedures.”
I knew I was getting close to the area. I could smell that sweet-skunk-pine aroma from the road way as my GPS confirmed. JJ greeted me kindly and showed me in. Inside, large samples of Bluedream, Strawberry Cough, Honey Badger Haze, Mr. Unknown, and other never-before-seen strains lay out on a table. Beside each of them, wrapped in parchment, were their golden concentrated forms, known as shatter. “We produce a lot of this stuff,” said JJ. “Pure extract.”
JJ’s Reason to Grow
JJ’s first experiment growing marijuana was in his Texas home at the age of 12. “Having ADHD, I started smoking at an earlier age and experimenting with grows. It wasn’t until I was much older that I really began to get the process down. I’m just always working to make it better.”
JJ was given four plants at the age of 27, three died but the fourth one actual yielded product. “After that, I just started learning more and more about growing, and for the last 11 years, I have grown my own bud with my own techniques.”
“My father was dying of stage-three lung cancer, and I knew I needed to be around him. So I packed up a backpack and some boots and headed out to Colorado. That’s where I started growing and I still believe that if I had been growing like I am now I could have kept my father alive for longer.”
“I want my operation to expand to a wider number of people. My goal is to fight cancer with cannabis because I couldn’t save my father. While we aren’t a commercial grower yet, I have hopes for this in all the work I do every day. If a person lives in the state and doctors say they have cancer with only so long to live they should be able to get treatment with cannabis – I want to have enough funding to be able to sponsor these medical patients.”
After an 8 hour day of work, JJ spends another 6 hours in his grow rooms. “I practically live in my grow,” he says. “Anything I can do to make it better, I put in.” “It’s important to know that when you grow, you can’t go on what someone says to do, you just have to learn your plants, each one asks for something a little different in reaching its highest potential.”
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