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  #1  
Old 07-27-2003, 04:06 PM
astro astro is offline
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One 10 foot high marijuana plant in the field is worth $ 4,000?

Is this for real? Is an individual plant really worth that much money?

Drug dealers are planting pot farms all over our national parks, and the Park Service is struggling to root them out. TIME goes on a raid.

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But the most explosive conflicts—and the biggest hauls—are taking place in California. As enforcement tightens along U.S. borders, especially since 9/11, it is getting harder to transport drugs into America. So Mexican traffickers have turned to creating vast marijuana plantations Stateside, that much closer to their main customers. Thanks to a mild climate, rich soil and a lengthy, March-to-October growing season, California cultivators routinely produce 10-ft.-high specimens worth up to $4,000 each. Some of these California pot farms stretch over several hundred acres and have as many as 50,000 plants. Last year 420,000 pot plants with a street value of $1.5 billion were eradicated from the state's 18 federal forests, a tenfold increase from 1994.
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2003, 04:15 PM
Kalt Kalt is offline
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I would guess not. It sounds like the government's estimate. They most certainly exaggerate things such as this, to show how horrible the problem is (billions of dollars!) and how great a job they're doing (destroying billions of dollars worth of it!). Kinda like the music industry saying every time somoene downloads a song, they lose $16.99 in lost album sales. Makes the problem sound a lot worse than it really is (when in fact it's usually not even a problem at all, but that's a different post for a different thread).
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2003, 04:39 PM
arachnidlove arachnidlove is offline
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Lets see...
I pay $50 to buy an 1/8th of weed. I'm not talking about crappy crumbly weed. This is good homegrown sticky smelly kind. An ounce will be around $400. So..the plant would have to yield 10 ounces to be worth $4000. I really don't know how much weed a plant will yield though.

But lets bump up the price to $60 an 1/8th. Because I know some people that will charge that. The plant would then have to yield 8 ounces and some odd grams to be worth $4000.

But again. I don't know how much pot a plant will yield..
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2003, 05:17 PM
county county is offline
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I've seen plants 12-14 feet tall that produced 1-2 pounds of marihuana.

Value is of course determined by the market and quantitiy being bought/sold.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2003, 05:48 PM
Fang Fang is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arachnidlove
Lets see...
I pay $50 to buy an 1/8th of weed.
$50 is a heavily inflated price which only reflects on the purchase of a small quantity by an end user. This is not a good way to compute the value of the plant because if one were to buy, say, an ounce at a time, one would definitely be spending less than $400. Since weed is illegal, each progressive person it goes through from grower to end user (and there are many) jacks up the price significantly; the limited nature of the market allows each reseller to heavily profit, and also results in large unit price increases for small quantities. Sorry for the hijack, just wanted to point out that it's not a good way of measuring the plant's value.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2003, 06:34 PM
herman_and_bill herman_and_bill is offline
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The cops are starting to get a good crop in here and what the newspaper reports is that the DEA or another goverment entity puts a street price of 2500 per plant regardless of size.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2003, 06:39 PM
Mockingbird Mockingbird is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arachnidlove
Lets see...
I pay $50 to buy an 1/8th of weed. I'm not talking about crappy crumbly weed. This is good homegrown sticky smelly kind. An ounce will be around $400. So..the plant would have to yield 10 ounces to be worth $4000. I really don't know how much weed a plant will yield though.

But lets bump up the price to $60 an 1/8th. Because I know some people that will charge that. The plant would then have to yield 8 ounces and some odd grams to be worth $4000.

But again. I don't know how much pot a plant will yield..
How much pot would a pot plant yield if a pot plant could yield pot?


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  #8  
Old 07-27-2003, 06:52 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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This is the standard way the police reports drug values - they figure out how many of the smallest street quantities the bust will make, and multiply it by the cost of those small quantities.

That's certainly not what the grower of the plant would have gotten for it.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2003, 06:53 PM
mangeorge mangeorge is offline
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efff. uh,uh,eer.

As far as I know there's no market for 10' tall pot plants in the field.
The DEA is dishonest as hell, as people with an agenda tend to be, and one shouldn't believe much of anything they say.
A plant that size would yield about 6-8 ounces of good $200/oz pot, IMO.
Not everything you see (the plant) is smokeable. Lots of twigs and shit. Especially that which is grown outside and left largely untended.
I think.
Peace,
mangeorge
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2003, 06:55 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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$200-300 per ounce for decent pot is not an unusual price to pay. To an end user, a mature plant may be easily worth 4K. But I don't know anyone, nor have I heard of anyone, who buys plants "on the streets".

A cutting from such a plant, or an immature plant, are higher risks because of the uncertainty of the ultimate yield, and hence would be worth considerably less.

Also, let's not forget, it's the cops who are responsible for inflated pot prices, and not simply by overestimating it for shock value on the news. The more effort and resources the cops put into the "war" on drugs, the higher the price goes.

My WAG is that the "real" value of a pot plant (in a freee market without "drug war" legal intervention) would be in the ball park of a tobacco plant. Here you can by tobacco seeds, enough to grow 25 plants, for under $3.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2003, 07:05 PM
Jojo Jojo is offline
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Quote:
Lets see...
I pay $50 to buy an 1/8th of weed. I'm not talking about crappy crumbly weed. This is good homegrown sticky smelly kind.
But still, $50 is expensive, jeez. In the UK it's about 15 to 20 pounds for a henry (about $35, I think).

And I can't believe one plant could yield 1 or 2 pounds, even if it's 12 foot. They need to be dried before they can be sold, once they have been dried (and all the water in them has gone) they hardly weigh anything.

Especially since, if it's 12 foot, then it will only be ordinary grass not skunk, the sticky, smelly stuff. Skunk plants get grown under lights indoors and are only a couple of feet high at best. Just one big bud, I've seen some fine specimens in Amsterdam coffee shops.

So if it's ordinary grass then it will be even cheaper. I can't see how you would make $4000 out of one plant.
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2003, 07:09 PM
astro astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jojo
But still, $50 is expensive, jeez. In the UK it's about 15 to 20 pounds for a henry (about $35, I think).

And I can't believe one plant could yield 1 or 2 pounds, even if it's 12 foot. They need to be dried before they can be sold, once they have been dried (and all the water in them has gone) they hardly weigh anything.

Especially since, if it's 12 foot, then it will only be ordinary grass not skunk, the sticky, smelly stuff. Skunk plants get grown under lights indoors and are only a couple of feet high at best. Just one big bud, I've seen some fine specimens in Amsterdam coffee shops.

So if it's ordinary grass then it will be even cheaper. I can't see how you would make $4000 out of one plant.
Help the uninitiated. What are the differences between grass pot and "skunk" pot?
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2003, 07:18 PM
Jojo Jojo is offline
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skunk is all bud. Far as I'm aware you get more THC (the stuff that gets you high) in the bud. So growers have artificially crossed plants to get ones that are just pure bud - big fluffy things. But as far as I know, you have to grow them indoors under controlled conditions.

They are much stronger and therefore cost more than ordinary grass.

Ordinary grass is just the normal marijuana plant dried out. Marijuana plants can get pretty tall but once they're dried there's not much of them.
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2003, 07:44 PM
chula chula is offline
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The government always greatly exaggerates the value of drugs seized. I remember listening to a news story about a cocaine bust and computing the price per gram, and it was about 10 times the going rate, if you're selling by the gram (and as people, have pointed out, there is a lot of time, effort, and risk involved in unloading it bit by bit). I think a rule of thumb is to knock off a zero from whatever the DEA claims.

I bet what it going on there is that they weighed the entire plant and then calculated its worth based on the highest possible street value for primo stuff.
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2003, 10:31 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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I bet what it going on there is that they weighed the entire plant and then calculated its worth based on the highest possible street value for primo stuff.
Bingo! When the RCMP stumbled upon a friend of mine's hobby farm, the court heard that more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars worth of "drugs" were seized. They didn't just weigh the tops, they weighed the whole shebang-- tops, stalks, and root-balls. (This particular project was indoors, and in soil bags, not hydo.)

I can tell you from observation that a smallish indeavor like his was could have reasonably expected to bring him about $15,000 (CDN) -- $20,000 at the outside. For an average-sized basement, that's close to the norm. I don't know why the people who are ostensibly trying to discourage people from cultivating marijuana are the ones who are by-and-large responsible for the myth that it's an easy way to get outrageously rich, quick. As it is, if one person takes care of one house, they have a pretty hard job that doesn't compare favourably with a union scale labour job as far as recompense is concerned, without even considering the additional stresses of operating outside of the law.

Anecdotal evidence suggests to me that police claims regarding the value of seized marijuana tends to be exaggerated by approximately 15%. Of course, it would be silly to expect them to harvest, manicure, and dry the product in order to assess its value before they incinerate it, but obviously some sort of automatic adjustment needs to be made.

At any rate, a grain of salt is advised.

Quote:
Jojo: So growers have artificially crossed plants to get ones that are just pure bud - big fluffy things. [...] Ordinary grass is just the normal marijuana plant dried out.
Uh, Jojo, that's just silly. Yes, cultivated marijuana produces fatter flowers. It is still, however, largely stalk and leaf. A typical basement crop of kind BC bud wouldn't overtax a normal garbage bag. On the other hand, the trimmings will fill four or five. It is far from "normal" for people to sell the entire plant. The leaves are not marketable. There is a difference between the bits of "leaf" you might find in cured marijuana and fan-leaf. Take a look at this bud. See the leaves growing out of it? Although they will be trimmed off before the bud is considred marketable, the bud leaves tend to be sticky and are generally saved to make kief, hash, or oil. The fan leaves, (the discrete leaves that have their own stems and everything,) are way too nasty to ever be sold as smoking material of any description. They can be used to make ghee or low-grade, gungy oil, but usually they're just scrapped altogether.

"Skunk" is basically just how particularly resinous pot is collectively referred to, now. If you want to be pedantic about it, proper "skunkweed" is a cross between cannabis sativa and cannabis indica with a distinct, pungent aroma that is reminiscent of nothing so much as, well, skunk. (Or possibly half a bottle of Heineken that's been left out in the sun.)
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  #16  
Old 07-28-2003, 06:12 AM
Jdeforrest Jdeforrest is offline
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Ok, I've read quite a bit about marijuana cultivation. IIRC, the US government counts each plant as 30 grams regardless of size. A typical 4-5 foot tall plant will yield 1-2 ounces. The government chose to count each plant as 30 grams because of a popular growing style called SOG or Sea Of Green in which a grower would take cuttings off a mother plant and grow large amounts of small plants that only grow to be about 2' tall.

That being said. I know of one individual that uses training techniques and can get a pound off a 6' plant. However, he is a guru and that can't be considered the norm.
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2003, 09:10 AM
The Great Unwashed The Great Unwashed is offline
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The horse told me this itself:

"Skunk grown indoors reaching around 4-5 feet yields 3-5 oz."

If plants were simple geometric entities doubling the height would increase the volume eightfold, I imagine that there's greater wastage with larger plants, say fourfold.

So that's 12-20 oz, multiply that by the "street price" (which is standard police practice -- even for seizures of a couple of tons here) and the magical figure of $4000 starts to seem, um,... "reasonable".
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2003, 10:03 AM
handy handy is offline
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How they figure prices for anything is up to them.

I bet they do it like some new math: grower 1lb:$1000 next person sells that as 2 half lbs:$2000 then street: 100 units @$65 (legal medical pot in SC, Calif): $6,500=
$9,500 per plant....
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  #19  
Old 07-28-2003, 11:23 AM
The Great Unwashed The Great Unwashed is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by handy
How they figure prices for anything is up to them.

I bet they do it like some new math: grower 1lb:$1000 next person sells that as 2 half lbs:$2000 then street: 100 units @$65 (legal medical pot in SC, Calif): $6,500=
$9,500 per plant....
This from my undergraduate days: (I knew many users, some of whom "dealt" a little to subsidize their own use, and dealers at moderate level (mostly quarters and halves) and dealers who wouldn't talk to you unless you wanted a quarter-weight(4oz) or more, and I knew the people who would supply resin in half-kilo "soaps" to the tune of £1000s per deal (an aside: note imperial units up to a quarter-weight, then after in metric kilos!) )

It seemed to me that for each "dealer" at each level the mark-up was a constant, regardless of the volume being sold. So, say 1oz cost a (moderate) dealer £80 (prices have not kept up the Retail Price Index), then they would sell at these rates (with a "typical" mark-up of £5):

1oz £85
1/2 £45
1/4 £25
1/8 £15
1/16 £10

So you can see a "five-pound wrap" was worth nothing.

Anyway, I'm unaware of such a bizarre pricing structure in "mainstream" markets -- if I'd had the guts would have submitted my Economics dissertation on the subject.
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  #20  
Old 07-28-2003, 01:01 PM
Mr_Friendly Mr_Friendly is offline
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a 10ft plant could easily be worth $4,000 imho.
in the uk a kilo of skunk goes for about £3000 i believe.
a plant that big, if cared for well could easily produce that much bud if the genetics were right but my guess would be that a plant that big wouldnt be a far bud beast but a somewhat straggly creature.
the government and pigs always overestimate on these things.
weighing the rootballs? that's a fucking crime against humanity, who's gonna smoke that?
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  #21  
Old 07-28-2003, 01:23 PM
astro astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Friendly
a 10ft plant could easily be worth $4,000 imho.
in the uk a kilo of skunk goes for about £3000 i believe.
a plant that big, if cared for well could easily produce that much bud if the genetics were right but my guess would be that a plant that big wouldnt be a far bud beast but a somewhat straggly creature.
the government and pigs always overestimate on these things.
weighing the rootballs? that's a fucking crime against humanity, who's gonna smoke that?
Why do you think law enforcement people they are "pigs"? As in any job there are a few jerks but they're mostly dedicated, hard wording people doing a critical and often dangerous job that few others would attempt regardless of the pay.
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  #22  
Old 07-28-2003, 02:17 PM
The Great Unwashed The Great Unwashed is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by astro
Why do you think law enforcement people they are "pigs"? As in any job there are a few jerks but they're mostly dedicated, hard wording people doing a critical and often dangerous job that few others would attempt regardless of the pay.
An unfortunate term that, "pigs", I think it's more "political" than "personal".

But, to give you an understanding why it might be received by some "politically" -- take the flagrant demonising of drug use, and the hyperbolic (and politicised) propaganda that is evident when police spokespersons (ugh! how pc of me) talk of marajuana plants "worth" $4000.

I'd say more, but that would properly be another debate.
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2003, 06:33 PM
manhattan manhattan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Friendly
a 10ft plant could easily be worth $4,000 imho.
in the uk a kilo of skunk goes for about £3000 i believe.
a plant that big, if cared for well could easily produce that much bud if the genetics were right but my guess would be that a plant that big wouldnt be a far bud beast but a somewhat straggly creature.
the government and pigs always overestimate on these things.
weighing the rootballs? that's a fucking crime against humanity, who's gonna smoke that?
So. Bad grammar and punctuation, calling the police "pigs.." oh, yeah, you're a right force against ignorance, aren't you?

Straighten up and fly right or find a simpler message board. We've got standards here, chief.
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2003, 07:11 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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So I had a buddy that was a memeber of a rural Police force. he comes back to the big city to visit (this is about 20 years ago) and tells us he was involved in a $500,000 pot bust.
I then asked the question that is being debated here
"How do you know the pot was worth a half a million dollars?"
another buddy without even taking a breath replies
"Simple, they sell half and multiply by 2"

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  #25  
Old 07-28-2003, 07:53 PM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Far worse than the poor grammar, puncuation, and polity that Mr_Friendly has displayed is the propagation of a naive expectation of the quantity of cured marijuana that might reasonably come from a single plant.

The most astonishing yield I have ever seen came from a basement crop where the grower was going for yield rather than numbers. He had a hydro set up with a light-to-plant ratio of slightly less than 1:1. (It's usually closer to 1:10) These were the biggest plants I've ever seen topped at about 5', but bushier than christmas trees. The primary lateral shoots had king colas on them that were up to ten inches long -- much bigger than even the top buds from a run-of-the-mill grow. Because the buds were so fat, it was necessary to support them with kite twine which depended from a wire lattice near the ceiling. Almost every branch. If the strings were cut, the branches would simply have bent under the weight of the flowers and died off.

Still, as impressive as they were, nobody seriously expected them to produce a pound of cured bud each. That would be silly. They produced substantially more than half a pound each, though, which is nothing to sneeze at. This, under ideal conditions-- amazing humidity control, a C02 generator that could easily be mistaken for a furnace, a ridiculously generous amount of full-spectrum light (Ten freaking kilowatts for twelve plants,) an elaborate hydroponic setup with ideal nutrients for each stage of growth, and trained monkeys (eek eek) to labour every day to keep insects and fungus at bay, as well as frequent pruning to make sure that the less-efficient monster fan leaves aren't providing more shade than they're worth-- and finally an elaborate rigging to ensure that the poor plant doesn't collapse under the weight of its blossoms.

Even if you could stack two of these monsters on top of each other to represent the 10-footer mentioned in the OP, you're still not quite pushing it far enough to evaluate it as a $4,000 bit of greenery.

Typically, outdoor crops have much smaller yields than hydroponic farms-- the plants tend to be leaner and taller, although many argue that they are tastier. Exaggerated vertical growth is a plants way of saying "I want more light!" (I should say that my knowledge and experience of cannabis growth in the great outdoors is limited the Gulf islands and Osoyoos, so there are climatic considerations, there.)
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  #26  
Old 07-28-2003, 08:29 PM
Mr2001 Mr2001 is offline
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Here are some somewhat current price estimates from the Northwest, with handy derivatives for you economists:
Code:
dub     $20   1.6g  $12.50/g  9.3% markup (over next qty)
eighth  $40   3.5g  $11.43/g  14.3% markup
quarter $70   7g    $10.00/g  16.6% markup
half    $120  14g   $8.57/g   20% markup
ounce   $200  28g   $7.14/g
If The Great Unwashed is correct that the plant could yield 20 oz, and the plant's owner sells his crop by the ounce, then he could take in $4000. However, I'm not sure I believe that an outdoor plant could yield anywhere near that much.

OTOH, if the plant only yields 12 oz, he could still take in around $4000 by selling his crop by the eighth or dub, although it's unlikely that he would want to move it that slowly.
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  #27  
Old 07-28-2003, 08:57 PM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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One big problem with police value assessment is that, AFAIK, they don't take quality into consideration. Pot can range from 3% THC to 27%. That's a pretty damn big range, and the real-world pricing structure reflects it.

High quality pot is less common in the South than it is up North, since we're so close to Mexico. 1/4oz goes for $20-25 in Louisiana. If you know the right people in Texas, it's possible to get a pound for $200-300. That's crap weed.

There's also what some people call "the mids," or pot of mid-range quality. Prices of this can fall anywhere in between the prices of the crappy Mexican weed and kind bud.

Since the law makes no distinction, this encourages dealers to sell high quality pot. It also encourages users to buy it, since, in most states, you're considered a dealer if you have over 30 grams of pot in your possession. 30 grams of kind bud will last even the biggest pothead a week or so. 30 grams of shwag can last as little as two or three days.

It's kind of like calling a guy with two cases of beer in his fridge a liquor distributor, but that's the law.

Amusing quote from the article:
Quote:
"We're good at jungle warfare," says Laura Mark, a Forest Service investigator, as she prepares to question the suspect. "We're the ninjas of the woods."
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  #28  
Old 07-31-2003, 07:40 PM
Mr_Friendly Mr_Friendly is offline
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I've read of amateur growers getting 16Oz+ in outdoor conditions even here in the none too sunny climate of the UK but I suppose it does depend on a lot.

I would still say it is *possible* that a single plant could yield enough to make $4000 but true, it does seem likely to be somewhat of an exaggeration.

Sorry for the "pigs" slip, I'm usually more careful but I'd been posting on another less sensitive messageboard where such expressions are used. I dont really mean it as offensive anyway, it's the way we refer to policeman amongst my social groups and I say it to the face of a guy who is a police man anyway.
The spelling and grammar there is no excuse for, I'm just lazy and that's all there is to it.
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  #29  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:52 AM
mithrandier mithrandier is offline
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That estimate may actually be low.

I am a medical marijuana patient here in Oregon. How much bud you yield off f one plant will very greatly based on many many factors. however, given all the proper stuff at the proper times some strains can grow to over 20 ft. high and yield 10 pounds or more. the total cost of the bud also depends on where in america you live. for example here in oregon you will pay slightly less than 4,000 a pound for super dank shit. however in montana you can expect to pay closer to 5,000 for the very same product. so in essence if I were to grow a 10 pound plant and sell that product in montana i could yeild almost $50,000 us dollars off one plant. yes that is correct. here is a link to a you tube video actually showing 10 pound plants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7oibmvP-cw .... food for thought man.
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  #30  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:19 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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The estimate is 10 years old, man.
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  #31  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:08 PM
Gary "Wombat" Robson Gary "Wombat" Robson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithrandier View Post
for example here in oregon you will pay slightly less than 4,000 a pound for super dank shit.
I'm assuming "super dank shit" is good? I'm not up on street terminology, but in my day "super" meant good, "dank" wasn't part of the vernacular, and "shit" meant bad.
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  #32  
Old 03-21-2013, 08:59 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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I suggest that people take a look at the daily local and international updates, and cost multipliers.

A few months ago I paid $500 for 1 oz of super dank shit ( to Wombat). That's the rate, more or less, now, for the some of best here in NYC for that amount of weight. I am no longer a comparison shopper, however, but for numerous reasons I trust my supplier.
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  #33  
Old 03-21-2013, 09:34 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Many years ago I grew pot for personal use. I didn't like to overly potent stuff on the market. I would strip the plants weekly of all the leaves and about the 4 th generation of leaves the thc would start coming up to decent levels. By the 10th generation of leaves it was very decent pot. Still not as strong as good bud but very much to my own personal liking.
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