In a garage, somewhere in London's suburbs, Luca Cosentino gingerly examines the dried buds hanging from the ceiling with his fingers before taking a deep whiff to admire the fruits of his labour.
"This is two plants here," he said. "These were the two plants on the one side that we harvested a little early, then we have the two others. So keeping it nice and legal with the four."
Luca Cosentino has been growing his own since cannabis was legalized in October 2018
Cosentino is standing below several rows of dozens of green branches, their leaves and buds curling and retreating inwards as they hang from the rafters to dry.
Cannabis aficionados such as Cosentino immediately took to the new hobby. Except, with a period of prohibition so long few people know why cannabis was made illegal in the first place, knowledge about how to grow and harvest the plant is coming back into the mainstream.
For nearly a century, it was a crime to even grow small amounts of cannabis in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau changed that in October of 2018, legalizing cannabis and with it, the small scale growing of up to four plants for personal use at home.
Vaping <– Most Efficient
I know it doesn’t seem like it would make much difference to grind your buds vs breaking it up with your fingers, but it really does make a difference if you’re working with whole dense nugs.
Vaporizing – Most efficient consumption method, and you can use the buds a second time by taking the vaped buds and turning them into edibles. The major downside is vapor is much less hard-hitting.
3.) Turn Into Edibles, Canna Caps, or Oil
With a water pipe or bong you waste less smoke than with a pipe because they generally hold the smoke within the device itself until you breathe it out. With some practice that means you can inhale just about every last bit of smoke.
The least efficient ways of consuming cannabis are joints/blunts and pipes, which also happen to be the most popular. These methods use more cannabis to get the same effect compared to a more efficient delivery system.
If your bud is still bright green or wet, chances are it has been freshly harvested and is uncured. In this situation, drying and curing the bud properly can sometimes increase the perceived potency. As a bonus, the curing process can also increase the smoothness and smell of buds.
Pipe <– Somewhat Efficient
Their box for personal growing is called "the Roommate" and looks a lot like your typical fridge. But open it up and you'll see spots for four plants, a fan, lights and pre-programmed settings for an optimal growing environment — for tomatoes or weed.
"You set your local time on it and everything else is pre-progammed. Most things that people forget, the box will take care of for you," said Myles Omand, growing consultant at B.C. Northern Lights.
B.C. Northern Lights is a Surrey-based company that makes hydroponic grow boxes approved by the Canadian Standards Association.
As easy to grow as tomatoes, says one stakeholder, and grow boxes are making it even easier
"Cannabis essentially requires the same components that tomato plants would require to grow. Anybody who is a forward thinking, logical person could set up a safe grow environment for four to 12 or 20 plants in a home or a porch or in any of these kinds of settings," Gonzalez said.
Although the concern is legitimate, Adolfo Gonzalez, co-founder of Canna Reps — a cannabis consulting and training company — said the stigma attached to home growers is skewing everyone's understanding of what it takes to grow a small number of plants.
"Our understanding was we could actually pass a zoning amendment bylaw prohibiting residential cultivation of recreational cannabis. We haven't done that, we've taken the proactive step of allowing it," said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
"We're told that modern cannabis is a GMO product that requires chemicals to make it unnaturally potent, and that these processes, they destroy the properties that are used to produce them," he said.