Cannabis Vs. Hemp: 
How legal hemp being genetically similar is bad for illegal cannabis growers in Idaho.

Written by: Jason Santiago
March 25th 2019

There is something I learned long ago that has been closely guarded knowledge of medical growers.

Your plants getting pollinated is BAD for business.

"Growers can protect their plants by growing indoors, controlling the air that goes into the rooms and searching for male plants everyday early in the flowering process. But there is still a chance that some pollen got into your hair or onto your clothes while you were out and the most cautious growers even take showers and wear different clothes into their grow rooms."

Cross pollination can come from many directions and while most are not malicious, there have been some in the past. I have known growers who have had an enemy dump pollen on their plants, throw pollen into the air when their crop is down wind, and other cruel things to cause damage to the medicinal value of the crop. Medical cannabis is a miraculous plant that can do many things in the medical world but it's REAL value is determined by it's life and how the stresses are handled by you and the plants. If a medical cannabis plant gets pollinated and grows seed not only are those seeds worthless for growing again but so is the medicine that it was growing.  The randomness of the pollen could have extremely adverse effects on the strain so any grower worth his salt wouldn't use the seeds for anything but food products.

"For medical cannabis, over half of its life it is vulnerable to being pollinated so, most growers opt for indoor to better be able to control this worrying factor." 

According to Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar “If they’re near a farm that is producing hemp plants, particularly farms producing plants for fiber, that really devalues the medicine,” and “I’ve read from three miles to 30 miles, with the consensus sort of being that 10 miles is a safe distance between the two crops to ensure no substantial level of pollen drift would take place,”. So if we want to stop people from growing medical cannabis in Idaho we need to legalize hemp for all citizens to grow it, while keeping it well regulated so that people cannot plant varieties that could harm large operations in their area. Cross pollination between hemp plants is definitely a real issue but through proper regulation we could easily make this a viable crop for Idaho.

Thinking about this from another angle though, we now have the answer to stopping medical cannabis growers from even trying in Idaho. By legalizing hemp, it would create a ten mile border around each operation that would make anyone growing medical cannabis just quit and find a new location. 

"We do need to be particularly careful at our borders though."

"Every state surrounding us has medical/recreational cannabis, so a hemp operation too close to our borders could spell legal trouble due to cross pollination of their also legal crops."

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Jason Santiago

Jason Santiago is the CEO of Green State Consulting LLC and has been a vocal advocate for medical/recreational cannabis and Industrial/Medical Hemp for over 20 years. Through this time Jason has become a subject matter expert with many certifications in cannabis such as: The Endocannabinoid system, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS,  Multiple Sclerosis, Pain Management, PTSD, and Traumatic Brain Injury with 15 years in the legal cannabis industry. Jason also loves being a father and soon to be husband that happily lives in beautiful Genesee, ID.