Growing marijuana is a budding business for St. John's seed shop

Published on August 9, 2017

The Seed Company assistant manager Jackson McLean said the company is already working on packaging and plans to sell marijuana seeds starting next year once it’s legalized, along with the hydroponic systems to grow it.

©James McLeod/The Telegram

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Visit The Seed Company by W.E. Gaze website, and you’ll immediately be prompted to give your email address, in case you want updates about the coming legalization of marijuana.

Down at the Seed Company by W.E. Gaze store on Buchanan Street, assistant manager Jackson McLean is already getting ready for the horticulturalists’ hottest product: marijuana seeds.

“In the last year, we’ve expanded our hydroponic section. It used to be one little shelf, and now the whole back of the store is hydroponics,” McLean told The Telegram.

“A lot of our customers already grow it themselves. Like, they don’t tell us — well, some of them do tell us outright.”

You can already buy marijuana seeds online pretty easily, but with legalization on track for next year, people will be allowed to grow up to four plants per household, and stores like The Seed Company will be able to sell seeds to anyone who is older than 19.

If people try to grow it in their garden, the Newfoundland climate shouldn’t be a problem, McLean said.

“I won’t say their names, but I know some people who have several operations on the go, and it grows like, well, it grows like a weed,” he said.

“The only thing you’ve got to worry about outdoors is moose.”

The tough thing about marijuana is that you have to get it to behave in a certain way to produce buds, which is where you get the most THC. The trick, according to many helpful internet resources, comes down to modifying the light cycles for the plants to convince them that it’s changing from summer to fall, so they start producing buds to continue their reproductive cycle.

McLean said The Seed Company is looking to do workshops and make sure people have information about the legalities and horticultural particulars of growing marijuana.

“Some of the people that I know who are experienced growers, I’m going to bring them in,” he said.

“I mean, it’s going to be confusing at first. A lot of people aren’t going to know what they’re allowed to do. … We’re going to do that research for them, and then just kind of be a hub that they can come to.”

McLean said growing marijuana will turn out to be more common than the hobbyists who brew their own beer, and it might encourage more people to start a vegetable garden.

“I think it’s going to be bigger than beer. I think it’s going to be more like growing turnips in your backyard, in terms of the number of people who do,” he said.

“I think it’s going to also, once they start growing marijuana, they might get a feel for growing other things, too.”