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10 Great Marijuana Grow Lights on Amazon

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If you want to get the best yields from your indoor cannabis garden, check out our list of 10 great marijuana grow lights on Amazon.

Cannabis grow lights are a critical factor in any indoor garden. Lights stimulate photosynthesis for healthy plant development and growth. Choosing one that fits your budget and indoor needs can be difficult.

That’s why we’ve assembled a handy list of fluorescent, LED, and HID grow lights that are affordable, easy to install and use, and all found on Amazon! Even if you don’t buy from Amazon, you’ll appreciate the reviews when you make your decision at your local shop.

HID Marijuana Grow Lights

1. Sun System HPS 150 Grow Light

Sun System 150W HPS Light

Sun System brings you this compact HID light fixture, perfect for small spaces. Its 150-watt HPS bulb can produce an incredible 16000 lumens. Reflective aluminum inserts provide exceptional lighting while vented housing reduces the heat produced by the bulbs.

The kit comes with two v-hangers and a complete ballast assembly built into the reflector for easy setup. It’s ideal for a 2’ x 2’ growing area. This kit comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty on the fixture and a 1-year warranty on the lamp.

2. Yield Lab Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light

Yield Lab Cool Hood Reflector Grow Light

If you’re a complete beginner, Yield Lab’s 400-watt grow light kit is the best way to get your garden started. Not only are they powerful but they’re also easy to install and use.

The kit comes with a Slim Line ballast standard featuring a slim design and larger heat sinks for better cooling compared to its competitors.

Its Super Lumens feature delivers a lighting boost when needed. Bulbs can be dimmed from 50 to 100% of the power.

These cannabis grow kits come with either one HPS bulb or an HPS and MH bulb. The air cool hood reflector features 6” duct ports on each side for ultimate cooling with a small fan (not included).

3. Gavita Pro 6/750E Marijuana Grow Lights

Gavita Pro E-Series 6/750e DE Flex Grow Light, 120/240 Volt

Gavita brings you a complete and compact fixture featuring a ballast and replaceable reflector for easy setup. The double-ended HPS lamps are some of the most efficient in the market. Gavita gives you the power to dim down to 375 watts in a gradual manner to protect the lamp.

These fixtures are perfect for a 15 square foot garden. All E-Series models can be remote-controlled by the Gavita Master Controllers, eliminating the use of timers and contactors. Now, that’s convenience! Plus, you get a 1-year warranty on the lamp.

Fluorescent Marijuana Grow Lights

4. Durolux T5 HO Grow Lights

T5 HO Grow Light - 4 FT 8 Lamps - DL8048

For high light output at an affordable cost, check out Durolux’s T5 grow light. It offers 30% more light output than its competitors. This 4-foot 8-lamp fluorescent grow light is easy to set up. Just plug in and start growing. It’s that easy.

This kit comes with 8 6500K bulbs, hanging hooks and chains, and an 8-foot power cord. 2 switches on the body enable you to dim 4 inner or outer bulbs based on your needs. Best of all, it comes with a 5-year warranty.

5. VIVOSUN T5 HO Fluorescent Grow Lights

VIVOSUN 22IN 24W 6500K T5 HO Fluorescent Tubes

Get 5000 lumens per bulb of intense lighting with VIVOSUN’s T5 high-output grow light system. VIVOSUN’s fixtures come with 2 on and off switches to control the color spectrum. A highly reflective surface offers superior lighting while using less energy.

The cannabis grow kit comes with 2 hanging cables for each corner and an 8-foot grounded power cord. Each bulb is rated for 20,000 hours of use under optimal conditions. Plus, it comes with a 1-year warranty for lamps and a 2-year warranty for the fixture.

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6. Hydrofarm Agrobrite T5 Grow Lights

Hydrofarm Agrobrite FLT24 T5 Fluorescent

Hydrofarm’s Agrobrite T5 fixture gives you the option to hang the fixture horizontally, vertically, or overhead depending on your needs. Its high output bulbs provide great light intensity at an affordable price. Its 6400K spectrum is rated for 20,000 hours of use.

Hydrofarm’s grow light kit comes with everything you need to get started. It includes a 10-foot grounded power cord and eight T5 tubes capable of producing up to 40,000 Lumens. Its low-profile, powder-coated steel housing provides incredible light distribution.

LED Marijuana Grow Lights

7. Roleadro Galaxyhydro LED Grow Lights

Roleadro’s Galaxyhydro grow lights emit a full spectrum of light to stimulate photosynthesis and bud production when needed. Two high-speed cooling fans, a built-in aluminum heat-sink, and a temperature controller give you the power to precisely cool your system.

The system’s signature LED bead and zener design ensures your plants get the proper amount of light, even if one bulb is not working. The Galaxyhydro offers higher PAR value and Lumen outputs than similar grow lights. Enjoy a 30-month warranty for peace of mind.

8. VIPARSPECTRA LED Marijuana Grow Lights

Viparspectra 600W Dimmable Series VA1200 LED Grow Light

For some of the best LED grow lights around, turn to VIPARSPECTRA. These grow lights offer full-spectrum lighting for all stages of the cannabis plant cycle. The system features VEG and BLOOM switches to accommodate lighting needs for each stage.

Aluminum cooling heat sinks and a high-speed quiet fan is the perfect way to keep heat levels down. These lights are perfect for a 2.5’ x 2.5’ grow area. Every purchase comes with a 3-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

9. Philzon 2020 Pro Series LED Grow Light

Philzon 2020 Pro Series LED lights

If you’re looking for grow lights for a large garden, the Philzon 2020 Pro Series LED lights are right for you. Highly efficient SMD LEDs offer greater light intensity, more Lumens and PAR values, and less light decay than the rest.

Its dimmable full-spectrum design allows you to grow cannabis during all stages of growth. Its waterproof power supply is perfect for growing in humid environments. It comes with a three-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

10. Advanced Platinum Series 12-Band LED

Advanced Platinum Series P150 150w 12-band LED Grow Light - DUAL VEG:FLOWER FULL SPECTRUM

Advanced Platinum’s Series 12-band LED grow light has an outstanding PAR and Lumen output, up to 2 to 3 times more than any other similar LED grow light. Its 12-band full-spectrum lighting is versatile enough to handle the vegetative and flowering stages.

Its VEG and FLOWER switches come with a high-speed fan and aluminum heat sinks for better cooling. It’s the ideal LED light for 4.5’ x 4’ gardens. Enjoy a 5-year warranty and 90-day satisfaction or return guarantee.

Become a Master of Marijuana

Do you want to know more about the lighting needs of cannabis plants? Do you want to learn more ways to optimize your indoor garden?

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How to Increase Terpenes in Cannabis Plants

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Terpenes, after cannabinoids, are the best-known compounds found in cannabis. Along with their potential medicinal effects, they’re primarily responsible for different aromas and flavours of can-nabis. What are the different ways growers can increase terpene levels from germination to dry-ing and curing?

If you are new to growing, or cannabis in general, terpenes are compounds that give cannabis its flavour and aroma. They are a combination of carbon and hydrogen classified by the number of isoprene units needed to build the molecule.

Not only are they responsible for the aromas and flavours of your cannabis buds, but they are thought to have numerous medicinal properties and influence the type of high that users experience. Together with cannabinoids and flavonoids, terpenes form what is called an entourage effect.

About 10-30% of cannabis resin comprises various terpenes. Some terpenes are found regularly, while others are rarely found in cannabis. The percentage of certain terpenes and the ratios in which they occur vary depending on the plant variety and environmental conditions.

Plants produce terpenes to attract pollinators, beneficial insects, and repel animals or pests from the plant. Since cannabis plants are wind-pollinated, they produce terpenes mainly to protect themselves from herbivorous animals and pests.

In cannabis plants, terpenes are formed in the resin glands called trichomes. So, in order to produce more terpenes, cannabis plants need to make more trichomes. There are many ways to help your cannabis plants produce more terpenes, and here are the most useful and common ones.

1. Genetics

It all starts with good genetics. Even under the best conditions and with all the techniques mentioned in this article, you cannot turn ditch weed into “top-shelf” connoisseur buds. Due to the prohibition of cannabis, breeders have primarily focused on getting the highest THC content possible.

And during that time, that was a reasonable thing to do. Cannabis research was very limited, and we knew very little about other compounds found in cannabis. The pungent smell of cannabis was actually the opposite of what growers wanted. It attracted unwanted attention and increased the risk of them getting arrested.

With the (re) legalisation of cannabis, the market’s needs began to change. Consumers not only wanted the cannabis to get them high, but they also wanted it to smell and taste good. When we researched the plant more, we discovered that terpenes also have medicinal benefits and effects.

In response to market needs, growers began breeding varieties with higher levels of terpenes. If you are a medicinal user, you want to choose the varieties with the dominant terpenes that are best for your ailments. And if you are a “recreational” smoker, you want to choose the flavours and aromas you prefer. Usually, cannabis dispensaries offer terpene analysis alongside cannabinoids or list the dominant terpenes in their strains.

Throughout the European market, seed banks provide cannabis enthusiasts with the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of strains and cultivate their own world-renowned genetics with impressive terpene profiles. Here are five of our favourite cultivars with an exquisite flavour palate!

Five strains high in terpenes

1. Guava Jelly

This tropical cultivar has a terpene profile heavy in limonene and has an impressive parental linage, made of Wedding Cheesecake, Strawberry Kush, OG Kush, and Durban. Expect sweet notes of exotic fruit with a pungent, skunky undertone. Guava Jelly is available as feminized seeds, and can be purchased here!

2. Skunk #1

Bred from an array of delectable parental strains, including Acapulco Gold, Colombian Gold, and an Afghan indica. Skunk #1, is the strain that influenced all modern-day hybrids. Renowned for its pungent skunky aroma, this classic cultivar is heavy in myrcene with sharp notes of pinene, which helps bring out the iconic musky aroma! The Sensi Seeds catalogue has regular, feminized and automatic versions of Skunk #1 available for all types of cultivators.

3. Girl Scout Cookies

Created from an array of cannabis cup winners, this recent addition to the cannabis scene has a remarkable lineage of Durban, Hindu Kush, and OG Kush. Its exquisite terpene profile includes an abundance of myrcene, pinene, and linalool, which gives way to flavours of sweet sandalwood with earthy notes and a deep citrusy aroma. Girl Scout Cookies seeds are available to purchase as a feminized variety.

4. Silver Haze

This award-winning strain has been rewarding users with its deliciously sweet terpene profile combined with a soothing, uplifting high since the early 90s and has remained a fan favourite ever since. Renowned for its sweet citrus notes with heavy undertones of pine, sandalwood and citrus. Silver Haze, feminized and regular, has a magnificent terpene profile, and shouldn’t be underestimated.

5. Tangie

A staple of the Dutch coffeeshop scene, Tangie was bred from California Orange and Skunk #1. So, as you can imagine, it has an extravagant flavour profile which is heavy in myrcene and limonene. Expect hints of freshly peeled tangerine with lemon rinds and undertones of musk.

2. Soil

Although you can maximise the production of terpenes in any growing system, the soil is the best and most pristine medium when it comes to terpenes. High-quality soil provides the best pH and alkalinity levels, maximises nutrient uptake, and keeps photosynthesis at optimal levels. Growing cannabis in native soil brings out the terroir of the region.

Terroir refers to the specific medium and environment in which plants are grown. It is responsible for some of the unique flavours and aromas of plants. Just as wines produced in specific regions taste different even though they are made from the same grape variety, the same is true for cannabis plants.

Soil building is a science in itself. When it comes to terpene production, you want to increase the sugar content of plants. Since plants do not take up added sugars, your plant nutrient plan should encourage plants to produce sugars independently. We’ll explain how to do this next.

3. Nutrients, additives, and boosters

Sugars or carbohydrates are essential during the flowering phase if you want big, dense buds with higher resin and terpene content. Your cannabis plants will require varying amounts of carbohydrates throughout their life cycle. Carbohydrates have the most significant impact during the bud ripening phase.

Many of the flavour-enhancing nutrients and additives are carbohydrate-based. This means that they add sugars to the root zone to promote microbial populations. In turn, this gives the plants access to more sugar or nutrition.

There are also nutrient supplements that are a little more specific to terpene production than carbohydrate-based supplements. They use naturally occurring plant compounds known as bio-osmotic potentiators that stimulate plants to increase their production of terpenes and essential oils.

Bacteria

Bacteria often get a bad reputation. However, as we now know more about the microbiome and probiotics, we are beginning to appreciate the benefits. When you add Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) to your soil, this special microbe will convert sugars into short-chain fatty acids. Your plant will use these to produce more trichomes, cannabinoids, and terpenes.

Molasses

Using black grape molasses, whether in the soil or in your watering mix, will encourage microbial life in the root zone. Adding molasses ensures that they can do their best to allow plants’ faster and more efficient uptake of nutrients.

Efficient use of nutrients leads to increased trichome production, higher yields, and overall healthier plants. When using molasses in your irrigation solution, mix two tablespoons into five litres of lukewarm water.

Amino acids

The addition of amino acids such as fulvic acid and humic acid encourages chlorophyll formation and improves nutrient uptake. This, in turn, increases the plant’s ability to synthesise a greater amount of sugars present in its metabolism, enhances the absorption of nutrients, and increases the terpene content in your plants.

Seaweed extracts

Many growers have been successful in increasing terpene content by using seaweed extracts. Marine algae extracts increase the bioavailability of micro-nutrients. They also contain natural growth hormones that stimulate plant cell division. When applied to the plant’s root zone, seaweed extracts trigger the development of heavier and more pronounced roots. More extensive and thicker roots allow the plant to absorb more water and nutrients, increase carbohydrate production, and increase terpene content.

Keep in mind that the plant’s needs change during the life cycle. During the last two weeks, nitrogen should be eliminated, as excess nitrates burn carbohydrates and waste energy. This slows the growth and reduces terpene production. Potassium levels, however, should be increased during the flowering stage as it causes sugar levels in the plant to rise.

4. Stress

Cannabis plants produce trichomes as a defensive response to various attacks and stresses. The natural function of the trichome glands is essentially to protect the plant and its developing seeds from extreme conditions such as UV rays, cold weather, pests, and diseases.

Growers can use this to their advantage. By causing light stress during flowering, they can get the plants to produce more trichomes and, thus, more cannabinoids and terpenes. However, too much stress is too harmful to plants and will bring photosynthesis to a halt. As such, these techniques don’t function well on autoflowering plants, due to their ability to complete the grow cycle in as little as 12 to 13 weeks; any extra stress could be detrimental and lead to a poor harvest.

Temperature

Cold weather, which is a significant stress on the plant, triggers changes in the plant’s metabolism. When this occurs in the final flowering stage, resin production increases in exchange for very little yield loss.

You should gradually lower temperatures by about 5 °C during the last two weeks of flowering. This simulates autumn conditions and signals to the plant that frost and winter are imminent. The plant will respond by putting the remaining energy into producing more resin to protect its progeny.

At this point, the buds are fully grown and just need to mature. This results in much greater and higher quality resin coverage and terpene content. Lowering temperatures in the latter stages of flowering can also speed up the flowering period and allow for a quicker harvest.

Humidity

The optimal humidity for flowering cannabis is 50-60%. Lowering the humidity to 30% will slightly stress the plants, and terpene production will increase. This can be achieved by adding more fans or a dehumidifier to your environment. Lower humidity will also help reduce the risk of mould and mildew.

Less watering

When you water less and less frequently, you are simulating a drought. As with any stress, the plant’s natural response is to protect itself and its seeds. By coating the flowers and seeds with more resin, plants trap moisture and protect them from lack of water.

Letting the growing medium dry out slightly will increase the cannabinoid and terpene content. It also ensures that the roots get more oxygen and boost photosynthesis.

Defoliation

Defoliation is the most common and popular method to boost sugar production and naturally increase terpene and cannabinoid content. Trimming the leaves increases the terpene levels by redirecting energy to the buds.

Simply cut off the young foliage as it grows. Be careful not to overdo it, though, because removing too much foliage will stunt your plants and slow down photosynthesis. Extreme defoliation will also result in lower yields and poorer quality of your buds.

Remember that the leaves are one of the most important factors in sugar production. The top leaves catch the most sunlight. So only remove them if they are blocking most of the developing buds.

There are different opinions among growers when it comes to defoliation. But if done correctly, it can increase the yield, terpenes, and cannabinoid content of your plants.

Lollipopping

Lollipopping” is nothing more than defoliation, just on a larger scale. The goal is to remove the bottom quarter or third of the plant. The lower branches are exposed to less light anyway, and the buds formed there will always be smaller and of lower quality than the upper colas.

Removing them at the beginning of the flowering stage will ensure that the energy produced by the plant goes to the remaining parts of the plant. This will increase not only your yields but also the overall quality of the buds.

Supercropping

Super cropping” is a high-stress cultivation technique. It involves simply pinching and bending the stems and branches. Damaging the inner fibres and leaving the outer sheath intact promotes both more vigorous growth and bud development, as well as increased production of cannabinoids and terpenes.

After the plants have recovered, you will notice an “ankle” forming at this point. A bigger surface of the ankle will help the plant absorb more nutrients and transport them to the buds that are forming.

The best time to Super Crop is during the late vegetative stage and the first two weeks of flowering. If you start Super Cropping a week before flowering, the plants will have plenty of time to recover. Doing this around the second week of flowering will help with the “stretch” and spread the branches more evenly. But it will also help position the branches and buds and expose them to more light.

Flush with ice

Flushing is when the plant is watered with pure water without nutrients, and during the last weeks of harvest, some growers like to perform the final flush with ice.

Not only does this flush away stored nutrients, but it also adds stress to the plant. As a natural reaction to any pressure, the plant produces more trichomes and resin throughout the last days of flowering.

Split the stem

Although some growers like to use this technique in the last days of flowering, this method is not recommended, especially for new growers. Theoretically, splitting the stem will cause a hormonal change in your plants due to extreme stress. The plants will stop producing buds, but the resin production and cannabinoid and terpene levels will increase.

We do not recommend this method as you can cause an infection that can bring various diseases and lead to the loss of the plant. If you are not careful, you can also cut the plant completely, resulting in a premature harvest.

5. Companion planting

Companion planting is common in many agricultural crops and integrated pest management systems. It is a method in which farmers use different plants to support their main crop. By planting certain crops next to each other, they work together to improve the production and quality of their produce.

They usually do this to attract pollinators and beneficial insects, keep pests away, add nutrients to the soil, or draw minerals from the ground. Some plants have been shown to increase the levels of essential oils and sugars in neighbouring plants.

Some plants known to increase essential oil production and improve flavour are nettle, yarrow, basil, chives, and tarragon.

6. Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in the entire growing process. It ensures that your plants develop properly, increases yield, and the overall quality of your buds. Different lighting and light spectrum cause (slightly) different terpenes or even terpene profiles. The same strain grown outdoors under the sun will have a somewhat diverse chemical profile than the one grown indoors under HPS or LED lights.

When it comes to terpenes, two types of light spectrum play a particularly important role. If you eliminate the red spectrum in the last 72 hours of growth, the plant will continue to synthesize terpenes, but they will not be released. This causes the terpenes to accumulate in the maturing buds.

The second important light spectrum is UV-B. As we mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why cannabis plants produce trichomes is to protect the plant from harmful UV rays. However, this can be used to your advantage. If you use a UV-B light in your environment, you can get your plant to produce more trichomes and therefore more terpenes. Adding 10-20W of UV-B light per square metre for the last 2-3 weeks will increase the terpenes in your buds.

HPS bulbs already emit a large infrared peak between 800 nm and 900 nm and do not require an additional UV-B source. If you are growing outdoors, make sure your buds are spaced correctly, so they all get enough light.

7. Reduce the CO2 levels

During photosynthesis, plants take in water and carbon dioxide (CO2) and convert them into oxygen and glucose (sugar). Many growers introduce additional CO2 into their growing environment to speed up and increase this process.

The most suitable time is during the first two to three weeks of flowering. By the end of the flowering period, the plants have formed their buds. The only thing left to do is to let these buds fully mature.

Lowering the CO2 levels in the atmosphere causes plants to produce more ethylene. Ethylene is a hormone that is essential to the ripening process. Increasing ethylene production stimulates the trichomes to put more energy into resin secretion and thus increases the terpene levels.

8. Flushing

As your plants grow, they need nutrients to build up their leaves, stems, branches, and buds. Nutrients are absorbed from the growing medium through the roots and stored in the leaves and buds. When your plants have reached their final stage, you should stop feeding them.

Usually, growers tend to give their plants pure water during the last two weeks. This ensures that all the excess nutrients that the plant does not need or can’t use are flushed out. The leftover nutrients can leave an unpleasant taste and aroma and cause your buds to burn unevenly. Clean, flushed buds leave a pleasant, natural, aromatic end product.

To get the most out of flushing, growers can rinse their soil with 3-5 times the amount of pure water equal to the volume of dirt in the container. So, if your container holds 5 litres, you would use 15-25 litres to flush. Unlike watering your plants with just water for the last two weeks, this will ensure that any remaining nutrients are flushed out of the soil as well. When you do this, let the dry soil well and continue to water your plants with pure water.

9. Harvest at the right time

Knowing when to harvest is especially important, and the same goes for terpenes. As plants mature, their smell becomes more intense and sometimes even changes. As with cannabinoids, the best time to harvest your plants is when the trichomes start to turn amber.

If you harvest too early, your buds will have fewer trichomes and therefore fewer cannabinoids and terpenes. If you harvest too late, the trichomes will break down, and you will start to lose both your terpenes and cannabinoids.

Choosing the right time of day

Plants produce terpenes all the time, but they evaporate under the pressure of (sun)light and rising temperatures. Terpene levels increase during darkness and peak just before sunrise. During the day, terpenes evaporate and fill the surrounding air with odour to warn predators and pests. This means that plants have more terpenes at the end of darkness than after a full day of light, and at dusk, the terpene content is at its lowest.

So, the best time to harvest your plants would be just before sunrise outdoors or just before the light cycle begins indoors. Some growers even like to leave the plants in the dark for 24 or 48 hours before harvesting. This ensures that the terpene content is at its highest.

10. Drying and curing

Proper drying of your buds is a crucial point in any grow and can make the difference between a great crop and an inferior one. Since they are often in a hurry to taste the fruits of their labour, they speed up the process. To dry your cannabis buds properly, you need a dark place, a constant humidity of 45-55% and a temperature between 20-22 °C.

A steady and slow process will ensure that you preserve the terpenes and cannabinoids of your buds. The slower the drying process, the better. A proper drying process usually takes around 2-3 weeks, depending on your drying method.

After you have dried your buds, they need to cure. Curing is just a continuation of the drying process, which takes anywhere from 4-5 weeks to a few months. Some changes, like the conversion of THC to CBN, will take place, but when it comes to terpenes, a longer curing time is better.

In the first few weeks, the levels of cannabinoids and terpenes will decrease. After a few weeks, these levels will start to increase. Usually, around week eight, the terpenes are at their lowest during the curing process.

But after the 8th week, they begin to rise again, even above the levels of the freshly cut plant. Depending on the atmosphere in which the buds are stored, i.e., air, vacuum, N2, argon, or CO2, you may even see an increase of up to 20%. If you speed up the drying and ripening process, there is a good chance that your buds will have the aroma and taste of hay or chlorophyll.

Terpenes, as well as cannabinoids, are produced in the trichomes, or the plant’s resin glands. Cannabis plants produce trichomes in response to stress and environmental conditions. Stressing the plants just enough and providing them with optimal growing conditions will help produce more trichomes and terpenes. Once carefully dried and cured, buds will be fresh, fragrant, and tasty.

If you’ve had any encouraging interactions by increasing terpene levels in your plants, or if you would like to share your own experiences with terepens and cannabis, please let us know in the comments below!

  • Disclaimer:

    Laws and regulations regarding cannabis cultivation differ from country to country. Sensi Seeds therefore strongly advises you to check your local laws and regulations. Do not act in conflict with the law.



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How to Obtain a License to Grow Cannabis in Florida

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Are you interested in growing commercial cannabis in Florida? Although the application period for medical cannabis cultivators is closed, many opportunities are available for growing hemp in Florida. Here’s what you need to know about the state’s cannabis cultivation business laws.

Florida’s Medical Cannabis Program

In November 2016, Florida voters passed Amendment 2, legalizing medical cannabis possession, use, and sales. Under the new law, patients could use cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation to treat a qualifying condition.

Further reading: How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Florida

At first, businesses could apply for standalone MMTC licenses, such as cultivation or retail business licenses, but lawmakers passed legislation requiring vertical integration, meaning companies had to grow, process, and sell their own cannabis.

Cannabis operators have fought against the unconstitutionality of vertical integration, suing the Florida Department of Health (DOH). The Florida Supreme court has ruled in favor of keeping vertical integration.

Currently, Florida has 22 vertically integrated MMTC licenses, each able to open as many retail, cultivation, and processing facilities as needed. Florida has become the largest medical cannabis market and one of the largest markets in the country.

In September 2022, the state issued 1 MMTC license to a black-owned business, the first permit issued since the first licensing round. The DOH plans to provide an additional 22 MMTC licenses through a second licensing round to qualified applicants. 

The timeline and requirements for the second MMTC application process have yet to be available. The DOH is currently drafting the rules and regulations.

Florida’s hemp program, started in 2020, is another option for aspiring business owners looking to break into The Sunshine State’s green rush. Hemp business licenses are available through the state’s online Hemp Cultivation Licensing Portal.

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Are Medical Cannabis Cultivation Licenses Available?

Florida’s medical cannabis program is vertically integrated, requiring all cannabis businesses to operate every aspect of the supply chain from seed to sale. Currently, the state of Florida is not issuing any new MMTC permits. A timeline for new licenses has not been released.

Cannabis Business License Requirements

Florida’s DOH is drafting new rules for the state’s second licensing round. When the licensing period is open, applicants can apply if they meet the basic business requirements and have paid the initial application fee. 

Although the new requirements have not been released, it can be helpful to understand the requirements for the initial licensing round. For the first round of licenses, applicants must have demonstrated:

  • For the 5 consecutive years before applying, the applicant has been registered to do business in the state.
  • Possession of a valid certificate or registration issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • The technical and technological ability to cultivate and produce cannabis, including, but not limited to, low-THC cannabis.
  • The ability to secure the premises, resources, and personnel necessary to operate as an MMTC.
  • The ability to maintain accountability of all raw materials, finished products, and any byproducts to prevent diversion or unlawful access to or possession of these substances.
  • An infrastructure reasonably located to dispense cannabis to registered qualifying patients statewide or regionally as determined by the DOH.
  • The financial ability to maintain operations for the duration of the 2-year approval cycle, including the provision of certified financial statements to the DOH.
  • All owners, officers, board members, and managers have passed a background screening.
  • The employment of a medical director to supervise the activities of the MMTC.
  • A diversity plan that promotes and ensures the involvement of minority persons and minority business enterprises, or veteran business enterprises, in ownership, management, and employment, An applicant for licensure renewal must show the effectiveness of the diversity plan with their renewal application.

MMTC License Fees

The DOH has not released application fees for cannabis business licenses. However, application fees may be steep. In 2018, the non-refundable application fee for an MMTC license was $60,830 in the form of a money order or cashier’s check made payable to the DOH.

How to Become a Legal Cannabis Grower in Florida

Growing cannabis requires a comprehensive business strategy that complies with the state’s rules and regulations. Business owners must hire the right personnel, create a business plan, get funding, and choose the right location before applying for a license.

There are over 300,000 jobs in the cannabis industry. CTU trained me for one of them!

marijuana extraction course
– Johanna Rose
Makes $24.50 @ THC +

Further reading: The Best Way to Get Started as a Legal Cannabis Grower

Start Your Cannabis Business with a CTU Online Education

Leap into Florida’s cannabis market by enrolling in Cannabis Training University’s Master of Cannabis Certification Program. Our easy-to-use online learning platform lets you learn anytime, anywhere. Our online cannabis business training is available on demand. Enroll today!



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How to Grow Cannabis From a Seed in 10 Easy Steps

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Whether it’s to control budget or because it’s hard to acquire clones, many are interested in learning how to grow cannabis from a seed. Growing marijuana has never been easier or more accessible.

Our guide to growing cannabis takes you from the planning stages to the final stages of your harvest. If you’re ready to start growing your favorite strain, keep reading.

Step 1: Sourcing and Germinating Seeds

If you can’t or don’t want to grow from clones, seeds are a great (and some may say better) alternative. Finding high-quality seeds is easier said than done.

Dispensaries in states with medical or adult-use cannabis may carry cannabis seeds. In states without cannabis laws, finding seeds is strictly limited to online cannabis seed banks.

Do your research on the many available seed banks that ship to the U.S. While many say they ship worldwide, they may exclude the U.S. in the fine print.

Seed banks differ in seed selection. They also offer a variety of payment methods and discreet shipping. Some of the most popular seed bank sites include Attitude Seed Bank, True North Seed Bank, Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds, and Seedsman.

Cannabis seeds require germination to jumpstart the growing process. The simplest way to achieve this is through the paper towel method. During this process, the germ in the seed breaks through the outer shell forming a root, also known as a taproot. Germination can take a day or up to a week. Germinated seeds can be placed in the growing medium.

Step 2: Location and Light

Cannabis can be grown indoors or out. However, most towns that allow for home cultivation require gardens to be secured and away from public view. Regardless of where you choose to grow, your space must have the right amount of light and space to grow.

If you’re growing outdoors, consider any large trees that may cast a shadow or shrubs and bushes that can limit its space. North American growers should plant their garden in a space that faces the South to increase the amount of light it gets.

Growing indoors? Consider the height of your space and garden. Don’t forget about including the hanging lamp height in your calculations. Grow lights need to be a certain distance away from lights to prevent burns and avoid stretching if the light is too weak.

Indoor growers can grow in basements, garages, rooms, and even closets. Many growers start off with a grow tent, which provides a contained space for cannabis gardens. Many tent options come with all the necessary pots, lighting, filters, and fans needed to start growing from seed.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred space to grow your garden, it’s time to consider lighting, an integral part of the process. Most growers choose metal halide (MH) lamps during the vegetative stage. They switch over to high-pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs during the flowering stage.

Others may stick to their fluorescent and LED options. These can provide the right level of supplementary lighting for HID lamps. If you’ll be depending on LED lamps for your garden, make sure they have a full spectrum of white light.

Full-spectrum LEDs are a bit more expensive than conventional HID lights, but they can save you money on energy bills. 250 to 400-watt HID lights can work for small gardens.

Step 3: Medium and Container

The medium of your plant refers to the base structure of your plant’s roots. A container keeps your medium, nutrients, and water contained when needed. Outdoor growers can use dirt, topsoil, compost, and other soil amendments to create a thriving microbiome needed to feed the plant’s roots.

Indoors growers, on the other hand, are increasingly preferring soil-less growing methods. Mediums made from peat, sphagnum, and coco act like soil. They hold the moisture and air needed to absorb the necessary nutrients.

Many smart pot options have holes around the sides and bottom of the container to improve water drainage. These breathable pots allow roots to get oxygen during the dark cycle. The pots prevent water build-up, which can lead to root rot and mold.

Step 4: Nutrients

Choosing the right nutrients is important for the best growth possible. Cannabis plants require certain nutrients to grow its roots, foliage, and buds.

Nutrient solutions usually include an N-P-K ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). Nutrient solutions come in grow and bloom formulas for vegetative and flowering stages, respectively.  Grow formulas have higher ratios of nitrogen compared to bloom formulas due to their differing needs.

Start off by reading your nutrient solution’s instructions and create a diluted solution at ½ to …” the recommended dosage. Starting off with a lower-than-recommended dose ensures you don’t overfeed and ruin your crop.

If within a week or 10 days you don’t see any signs of nutritional deficiencies, you can increase the dosage to the listed levels on the packaging. If however, your plant looks healthy, you can continue your feeding levels.

Ideally, you want to use organic fertilizers to avoid salt build-ups in the medium. Organic and veganic nutrients are pricier than synthetic fertilizers, but they produce a far better product. Organic nutrients are helpful to bring out the cannabinoid and terpenes from your strain.

Some outdoor growers choose to feed their gardens through a composted medium that has many of the minerals needed for the plant’s growth. Others use time-release pellets that contain nutrients that are slowly released into the medium.

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Step 5: Vegetative Stage

A plant’s vegetative stage is the first (some might say most important) part of the growth process. Much of the plant’s size and yield are produced during this time. Some may say that longer vegetative periods can lead to bigger yields. Vegetative periods can last between a couple of weeks to a couple of months.

Plants will remain in a vegetative stage when the light-dark cycle has more light than dark hours. Indoor growers set light timers to provide their plants with a minimum of 18 hours of light per day during this stage. During its dark cycle, the roots develop, so every hour of light and darkness matters.

Many growers use MH bulbs during this stage. MH bulbs have blue wavelengths, which are necessary to keep your plants from growing tall and wild. Indoor growers may prefer this set-up to keep their plants short and bushy. MH bulbs can produce plants with short internodal lengths (the distance between the main stem and the branches).

During this stage, you can employ different training and pruning techniques to maximize growth and yields. For instance, topping a plant involves removing the top shoot of the main stalk near the end of the vegetative stage. When cut, the plant produces additional shoots under the shoot’s cut, where buds can form during the flowering stage.

During this time, you can also install a trellis system to train the plants to grow a certain way. A trellis system can stretch out your plant to get better and more even light coverage. When branches become too heavy, the trellis can support the structure, but requires you to weave the branches through the trellis grid.

Step 6: Flowering Stage

field of cannabis

After the vegetative stage comes the flowering stage. When growing outdoors, the flowering stage comes after the summer solstice (late July), when there are fewer daylight hours (under 12 hours of light). 

Indoor growers can mimic the same process by reducing the light period using a light timer. Growers can set their timers on a 12-12 light-dark cycle. Strains vary in their flowering period, but most strains can flower in 8 to 9 weeks.

You’ll want to pay close attention to your plants during the final part of its flowering stage. Plants can grow half their size in the late stages. Some growers use HPS bulbs to increase the yield, but this can also cause plants to stretch. Try balancing the red wavelengths of HPS bulbs with an MH bulb with shorter blue wavelengths.

Throughout the flowering stage, you’re going to have to prune your plant. During this stage, most of the focus should go into growing the bud sites, not leaves or stems. It’s up to you to prune the dead leaves that take focus and energy away from bud growth. 

Most bloom nutrient formulas lack the nitrogen needed during its vegetative stage. But, they have a higher ratio of phosphorus and potassium. This lack of nitrogen is the cause of the yellowing leaves and foliage growth.

Step 7: Flushing

Flushing is a critical aspect of the growing process. During this process, growers use water at the late stages of the flowering period. A water-only diet ensures the nutrients are completely flushed from the plant. Growers can flush for a week or up to two, depending on their preference. 

Flushing may result in your plant’s leaves turning a yellow color, a clear sign of nutrient loss. Don’t fret, flushing is for the good of your plant and buds. Proper flushes ensure you have a smooth smoke or vape. Some say that cannabis that burns into white ash has been properly flushed compared to one that burns black.

Step 8: Harvest and Drying

After many weeks of tending to your plants, it’s finally time to harvest your buds. Cutting and drying weed requires a careful hand to produce a ripe bud. Generally, growers should cut down their plants at the end of the dark cycle, just before the sun or lights appear. 

Cutting down branches during this time allows you to prevent the plant from starting up its photosynthesis process, which can bring moisture and minerals back up from the roots.

But, how does one cut down a plant exactly? Many growers start off by cutting individual branches at the top of the plant. Cut the branch right below the first shoot. This cut allows you to hang each branch upside down from its base during the drying process.

If you’re dealing with more than one strain, make sure to label each branch with its appropriate strain name and plant. 

Once you’ve cut down all your branches, hang them upside down in a dark and dry space for 5 days to a week. Proper air circulation is a must to keep the evaporation process going. Fans are helpful tools to maintain air circulation. A hygrometer can help you keep track of your space’s humidity levels. If levels get too high, bring in the dehumidifier to maintain a balance.

Step 9: Trimming and Curing

Don’t lose steam quite yet. The trimming and curing process may be one of the last, but certainly not least important steps of the process. How well you cure your buds determines the quality, aroma, and flavor of your cannabis.

Before you cure your cannabis, you need to trim your nugs from your cannabis plant. Large scale growers may send branches through a machine trimmer, but home growers depend on hand-trimming for a more effective prune.

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Now, let’s consider the differences between wet and dry trimming. Wet trimming involves trimming the buds immediately after the harvest without letting any of the moisture evaporate. Dry trims happen after the bud branches have been dried for a certain amount of time.

Theres a debate between which method is best, but it ultimately depends on your preference. Some growers say dry trimming is easier compared to pruning sopping wet buds. Others say that wet trimming ensures less of the trichomes stay on its bracts. Regardless of the method you choose, you must trim before curing your cannabis.

Curing is another integral aspect of the harvesting process. Curing is a slow drying process that usually occurs in a UV-protected glass jar. Cannabis buds are placed inside the jar for a week or up to two months, depending on your preference. Some growers argue that longer cures result in better cannabis, but it’s all subjective.

During the curing process, you want to store your cannabis jars in a dry and cool place that doesn’t get a lot of direct light. For maximum freshness, burp your jars once or twice a day. Burping your buds allows the moisture to slowly evaporate and release from the jar. Just leave your jars open for up to 10 minutes every time.

Buds are usually cured for a week or up to 10 days. Use your senses to determine their peak freshness. Open the jar and smell your buds. Do you notice a difference over time? Practice makes perfect. Over time, you’ll learn the best time to stop curing and start smoking.

Step 10: Enjoy

Once you’ve grown your plant to its maturity, you can reap the fruits of your labor. Growing your own cannabis allows you to control every aspect of the process. You can smoke or vape your cannabis. You can also create a range of edibles, concentrates, and topicals using your home-grown buds.

Online Cannabis Training

Want to learn how to grow your favorite strain? Enroll in CTU’s online cannabis training program. Even if you’re on a tight budget, cannabis gardens can be affordable. We give you cost-cutting tips to grow cannabis in any-sized space!



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