Friday, October 14, 2005

Grow Yourself Up

This week's Dallas Observer features an anonymously-written account of the "budding" cottage industry of gourmet marijuana cultivation.

One of the main interviewees is a musician-turned-grower named "Ace" (the author adorns each of the grower/dealers with KISS-bassd pseudonyms). Not surprisingly, you can make a lot more money growing pot in a closet than playing music. "Ace" estimates he makes more than $10,000 for each of the four or five crops he grows each year. The article doesn't say whether that's before or after expenses, but he doesn't pay income tax and has more than enough pot left over for his personal stash (a not-inconsiderable expense for wake-and-bake types).

Some of the growers don't even support legalization because prohibition is what makes their lifestyle possible. Beat cops don't have much to gain by going after some small-time pot dealer. Selling expensive designer dope also means you're probably moving less than an ounce at a time, which lowers your exposure to being charged with a felony. One of the grower/dealers interviewed here says the biggest risk of getting caught comes from being narc'ed on by spurned ex-girlfriends.

Some folks suggest hydroponics will ultimately drive the traditional crop cultivation of marijuana under, but there's no way you're going to meet consumer demand with just a bunch of grow-lit closets. The rich can buy their designer cross-pollinated strains, but there will always be a downmarket demand for schwag.

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