Browsing: Growing

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Photo: 9News
Chris Bartkowicz bragged about his $500,000 basement grow operation and expected $400,000 profits. Hours later, he was busted.

​Federal prosecutors Tuesday filed drug-distribution charges against a Colorado man who operated a large marijuana garden in his basement that he said legally served medical marijuana patients.

Chris Bartkowicz, charged with a single count, could face up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Bartkowicz’s suburban home in Highlands Ranch, Colo., last week and seized 224 marijuana plants after he boasted in a television news report about his basement garden, predicting $400,000 profits this year.

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Photo: DEA

​A British prison inmate turned an empty office into a marijuana farm while out on day release for “work experience.”

Disgraced businessman Christopher Sanders had been given time out by Sudbury Prison officials to find a job on the outside, in preparation for being released early from a seven-and-a-half-year prison stretch for fraud, according to the Daily Mail.
The 41-year-old instead spent £10,000 (more than $15,000) of his savings on high-tech equipment to grow a crop of cannabis.

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9 News
Bartkowicz in the midst of giving the ill-advised interview which destroyed everything for which he had worked so hard

​A Colorado man accused of running an illegal marijuana grow operation in his basement will likely appear later this week in federal court after a raid took place at his Highlands Ranch home.

The case of Chris Bartkowicz has ignited a battle between medical marijuana advocates and the U.S. Justice Department, reports Valerie Castro of CBS 4 Denver.
Jeffrey Sweetin, special agent in charge of the Denver office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, oversaw the Friday raid of Bartkowicz’s home and subsequent arrest of the licensed medical marijuana provider after Bartkowicz bragged on television about his profitable grow op.

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Photo: 9 News
Chris Bartkowicz in his $500,000 basement grow operation, just hours before his loose lips sunk the ship

​Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents have raided a Highlands Ranch, Colorado home just hours after a television news story teaser aired in which the homeowner boasted of $400,000 profits he hoped to garner this year from his medical marijuana grow operation.

This rapid unfolding of events serves to highlight a couple of should-be-obvious lessons that some in Colorado’s burgeoning medical marijuana scene have evidently yet to learn, among them, perhaps, “Never brag about six-figure pot profits in front of TV cameras, even if you’re sure you are legal.”

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Photo: Jenn Miller

​The City of Seal Beach, California has paid a medical marijuana patient $32,500 to settle a lawsuit resulting from what he called the unlawful confiscation of 50 marijuana plants.

Bruce Benedict, 45, sued the Seal Beach Police Department for $1 million in August 2008, alleging violations of civil and safety codes, false imprisonment, battery and trespass, reports Jaimee Lynn Fletcher at The Orange County Register.
“I’m happy that I won,” Benedict said. “I’m happy that they got slapped in the face.”
“It’s not about the money,” he said. “These [cops]are bad for society.”

Photo: Todd Bigelow/Aurora for NPR
Laguna Woods resident Margo Bauer, 73, tokes up on the porch with her plant.

​A heartless corporate board has voted unanimously in a closed meeting to ban elderly residents of Laguna Woods Village, a California retirement community also known as “Leisure World,” from growing much-needed medical marijuana in community garden centers.

The despicable action was taken despite the assurance of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that it would do nothing if the retirement community residents were growing marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.
“I don’t have an opinion on it,” said Wendy Bucknum, governmental and public affairs manager at Laguna Woods Village, when Toke of the Town asked what she had to say about the ban. “The decision is the elected Board’s decision.”

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Photo: The Grand Rapids Press
An anonymous caregiver who grows medical marijuana for patients checks his garden. He has 22 plants of three varieties growing in his Grand Rapids basement. 

​Grand Rapids, Michigan city commissioners have decided on a homegrown approach to regulating medical marijuana.

Commissioners Tuesday decided to go ahead with zoning regulations that will treat medical marijuana growers, also known as caregivers, as home-based businesses, reports Jim Harger of The Grand Rapids Press.
Planning director Suzanne Schulz said the rules will allow medical marijuana growers to operate in a manner similar to music teachers or tax preparers.


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Photo: Emeraldeye
Eight grand a pound adds up.

​A California man is asking the city of Costa Mesa to pay for 12 medical marijuana plants seized by the police in 2007.

An attached appraisal form with the claim says that “Kush” strain plants like those seized are worth about $8,000 a pound.
Gregory Barnett, 55, said in his claim against the city that police officers destroyed his crop, which was ordered returned by the court, reports Ellyn Pak at The Orange County Register.

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Photo: Westword
The Western Slope Cannabis Crown competition could include 400 strains. Oh, to be a judge!

​A marijuana festival in Aspen, Colorado, this spring will be the first in the state where medical growers can put their strains in a contest.

The Western Slope Cannabis Crown expects about 50 growers to enter their strains of cannabis, reports Carolyn Sackariason at The Aspen Times.
The contest will be held April 17-18 at the Gant.
The Cannabis Crown is open to the public and will include speakers, live music, information booths, and, of course, the strain competition where growers will vie for the “Crown.”
“We want to get the best of the best in there,” said festival organizer Bobby Scurlock.
Whereas such contests (beginning with what may be the granddaddy of ’em all, the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam) have traditionally been decided by human judges, the Western Slope Cannabis Crown will add a new wrinkle: The marijuana strains will be diagnostically tested for their THC levels by Denver-based Full Spectrum Laboratories (I hope they’re planning on testing CBD levels as well, since that affects the high).

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Photo: www.greenroofs.com
Believe it or not, you can grow stuff besides pot using hydroponic systems. But don’t try to tell that to the Finnish police.

​There was no marijuana discovered at the place. But a Finnish garden supply store has been raided by local police who claimed the operation is “deliberately promoting” the purchase and use of home cultivation supplies for growing cannabis.

According to Finnish legal experts, the cops are breaking new ground in trying to link hydroponic gardening equipment with illegal cultivation of marijuana. The question of whether merely selling hydroponic equipment is equal to “drug promotion” has no precedent in Finnish law, reports A. Rienstra at IceNews.
“The police are testing the boundaries,” said Matti Tolvanen, professor of criminal and procedural law at the University of Eastern Finland. “After all, selling knives is not illegal, even though they are used to commit homicides.”
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