By Alfa · Oct 11, 2004 ·
  1. Alfa

    Couple Blazes Trail For Growers Of Compassionate Cannabis

    Growing pot is a growing business for a Vancouver Island couple -- and they
    want to help others get into the same line of work.

    Eric Nash and Wendy Little are among 553 people in Canada currently allowed
    to cultivate marijuana for medical use. They supply it to five chronically
    ill patients.

    But Nash and Little, who run Island Harvest in the Duncan area, know those
    five patients are just the beginning.

    They say another 30 potential customers are hoping to get federal approval
    to allow Island Harvest to be their official marijuana-grower.

    Nash and Little have just published a how-to book on starting a
    marijuana-growing operation, a step-by-step guide to making money by
    becoming federally licensed to sell marijuana.

    "We saw that the demand was there. On our website, people kept asking, how
    do we get started, and it just made sense to put it all together in a
    book," said Nash.

    The book provides hard-to-find government information on starting a growing
    operation and includes application forms for a federal licence.

    Nash said there are lots of books and Internet websites available to teach
    people how to grow pot, but Sell Marijuana Legally, which is available
    online for $19.95, is more like a business plan.

    The two have 90 marijuana plants on their site, which is not at their home,
    and if they receive authorization from 30 more customers, they will
    eventually have 450 plants.

    With five customers they already make enough money to turn a profit, said
    Nash, who wouldn't specify how much revenue the business makes.

    "It's been incredibly satisfying. I've never done anything in my life this
    satisfying. We are supplying a product that helps people in their
    day-to-day existence deal with their pain issue," said Nash, who is a web
    designer. Little is a teacher.

    "Our book is about our intent to comply with the government program and how
    to do this in a legal framework as opposed to the black market."

    Across Canada, 757 people have authorization to take marijuana for medical
    use. They can either grow the plant themselves or designate a grower for them.

    The designated marijuana growers are only allowed to grow a limited amount
    for use of a specific client

    The only other authorized grower is the Canadian government, which has
    plants in Flin Flon, Man.

    "Many people who can have medical marijuana end up going to the black
    market because they're not happy with the Flin Flon supply," Nash said.

    "We hope with our book, more people will grow and sell to supply to these
    patients and adhere to quality-based cultivation."

    Nash and Little never expected to go into pot, but were motivated two years
    ago to begin researching after a relative with multiple sclerosis asked for
    help in figuring out how to obtain medical marijuana.

    They grow two different strains of marijuana. The sativa plant, which is
    tall, is for energy and stimulating patients. Indica, a shorter, bushier
    strain, provides sedating and analgesic results.

    The marijuana, which sells for $100 an ounce, is shipped to customers in
    Alberta, B.C. and Ontario, who have to sign for it on delivery.

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