Thousands Attend the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo at the Cow Palace

“Smoking marijuana may not be addictive, but cultivating it is.”

The International Cannabis and Hemp Exposition took place at the Cow Palace in Daly City on April 17 and 18, 2010. The expo, which had the first permitted area for the use of medical marijuana, was the largest event of its kind to hit Northern California.

Established activist organizations dished out information to prospective members, and hundreds of vendors pitched their freshest accessories to thousands of medical marijuana patients and connoisseurs. At the same time, prominent members of the cannabis community discussed a wide-range of topics, including marijuana cultivation, medication and prohibition. However the main buzz, on and off stage, was the initiative to “legalize, control, and tax cannabis in California,” which is to be decided by voters in the state during the November 2010 elections.

Before wandering through the exhibit halls and into the fenced portion of the parking lot, which was only accessible to verified medical marijuana patients, vendors, and people issued an official press pass by the expo (thanks Indybay!), I listened to presentations from highly regarded growers on the fine art of cultivating premium marijuana.

Subcool

Subcool is a master bud breeder and longtime grower. He and his partner MzJill have developed 15-20 strains, such as Space Queen, Jilly Bean, Jack The Ripper, and Querkle. Subcool is also famous for stirring up the perfect organic-soil mix for pot plants that taste amazing, smell incredible and pack a potent, intoxicating punch. He is a talented photographer and the author of Dank: The Quest for the Very Best Marijuana.

At The International Cannabis and Hemp Exposition, Subcool said that he was only formally schooled through the ninth grade, and that his not a scientist. However he learned, and taught thousands of others along the way, how to organically grow the finest quality cannabis. Subcool said that he’s been asked the question, “Subcool, what do you do when your plant is budding and it’s full of powdery mildow?” To which he replied, “I throw it away, and I start over and I do it again right.”

He stressed that strain genetics are significant, but methodology was of greater importance. Subcool encourages a technique called ‘supercropping’ which promotes a great yield of buds per plant and the use of worm castings, calling it “the miracle of the earth.”

Subcool, who says he has been to prison four times, believes that, “money doesn’t have to be the driving force” for cultivating cannabis. After years of experience and giving tips through online forums, Subcool started a seed company called TGA Genetics. He recalled deciding which strain to grow, “A friend would say to me, ‘Grow this brother, I promise it will kick ass.'”

During a question and answer session, Subcool said that “feminized seeds are a gimmick being sold to the American public” to which he received a loud applause. Other growing tips for the day were that cannabis plants do best at 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 percent humidity. When asked about containers, Subcool recommended pots which hold seven gallons of soil. His final tip was to use the subcool soil mix and let it sit for three months and you will be growing magical bud.

Guru of Ganja, Ed Rosenthal

Among other things, Ed Rosenthal is an Oakland-based horticulturist, author, photographer, publisher, and cannabis grower known for his advocacy for the legalization of marijuana use. In 2002, he became a political prisoner in the federal system for growing marijuana for medical use, even though he was doing what he had been deputized by the City of Oakland to do.

At The International Cannabis and Hemp Exposition, Ed Rosenthal said that, “Smoking marijuana may not be addictive, but cultivating it is.” Stating further that, “Even if your crop is mediocre, it’s the best dope in the world.”

Speaking of the human connection with the natural world, Rosenthal said there is a “symbiotic relationship with plants, which have historically been used to build products or tie them together.” Rosenthal also stated that, “Each seed has it’s own potential, but it needs nurture too.”

Getting a bit more technical, he said that plants need a concentration of more than 200 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) to survive, but they thrive when CO2 is supplemented, a technique which he says can be done both indoors and outdoors. Rosenthal, author of numerous highly-regarded books, said that he has a book coming out which describes the processes for CO2 supplementation. He added that, “Anybody whose bought a book from a another author should buy my book so I can correct the mistakes.”

The final tip from the Guru of Ganja, which he said is not talked about in other books, is that light, temperature and CO2 should go together. And that people can learn much more by reading Marijuana Growers Handbook.

Crossposted at Indybay.org.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.