PADULA: Consider growing your own cannabis

“Marijuana may actually have been the world’s first agricultural crop — leading to civilization itself.” — Carl Sagan, 1977

The legal right to cultivate cannabis isn’t exclusive to the out-of-state corporations who have been able to put a stranglehold on the still-hypothetical commercial market. With cannabis legalization comes the ability for you to grow the plant yourself without having to live in perpetual fear of your door being kicked in by authorities.

Retail establishments, once up and running, will offer a selection of cannabis extracts and infusions in a variety of strengths and CBD:THC ratios not typically available from the outside market. With so many new, exotic options, it’s difficult finding the will to not throw your whole wallet at the employee holding the golden cannabis oil. Believe me — money goes fast when purchasing cannabis from retail establishments.

Over-inflated costs are just one reason to consider using your new freedom to cultivate at home. Attempting to treat an ongoing condition by purchasing cannabis from a retail shop is unsustainable by the majority of Massachusetts medical cannabis patients. For example, a 2-ounce dropper of cannabis oil costs between $60 to $80 from a retail establishment, and usually lasts a week depending on an individual’s therapeutic threshold. An ounce of flower ranges from $350 to $400, opposed to $200 to $250 if purchased on the “street” — and is typically of equal or greater quality.

I understand not everyone has the option of growing cannabis at home. Even if you do, the prospect of cultivating indoor cannabis may seem distant, complicated and costly. Thanks to the past decade, this is no longer the case.

Complete kits can be purchased, and will generally run you $700 to $1,000. They include everything needed for lighting, ventilation and odor control. Also, LED lights with almost no

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