Should I Grow or Should I Go?
I am l-o-n-g overdue for a #weedcash post, but not for lack of interest! In true introvert style, I have researched and investigated growing my own cannabis and now I’m finally ready to talk about it.
It’s Not Simple -
So what took me so long? Get seeds or a clone and put it in some dirt and take care of it so it grows, right? Yeah. It’s not that simple, and here’s why:
Seeds are expensive! NC growers simply will not sell me seeds or a clone unless I have a NC permit to grow (more on permits later)! My only source would be seed banks, and they are willing to ship to me, but the price is pretty steep!
On one seedbank website, the Girl Scout Cookies strain is $10 CAD (Canadian) a seed, which is actually the best price I have found so far. A seedbank in the UK offers the same strain for 13.5 Pounds, sterling (about $16.5 USD). The South African seedbank sells 5 seed packs of various strains for 900 Rand, which is about $60+ or over $12 a seed in USD.
After not having that much success with my summer garden this year, I am quite hesitant. I need to make sure that I am truly committed to taking care of my little cannabis babies, because they will be a serious investment at those prices!
But Wait, It Gets More Expensive!
The cost of seeds and any residual expenses from caring for them is not the only cost of growing cannabis in North Carolina. North Carolina (NC) has recently legalized growing cannabis strains with a max of .3% THC content, with a permit.
It is part of an industrial hemp and research pilot program, and if your ($250 fee) annual license does not have the exact GPS coordinates of your cannabis, or if random testing by law enforcement indicates your plants are over the legal .3% THC cap, your plants will be destroyed and your permit revoked.
But Wait! There’s More!
The hemp license seems to be a bit extreme for someone like me. I probably would not ever grow more than a dozen plants at any one time. Doing that is illegal in NC.
Although medical use of marijuana is legal, growing your own personal stash for any purpose is not legal in NC. Go through the proper channels by going to a doctor, getting a prescription… You know - stimulate the economy!
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way –
If I decide to take a chance and grow illegally, my worst case scenario of getting caught might not be too bad.
In NC, being in possession of illegal substances depends on the amount, in my case it would be a misdemeanor. Chances are I would get off pretty lightly; being a sweet old southern lady with no priors, I could expect to get off with community service, after hiring an attorney and paying the associated court fees.
There’s Still More!
What NC drug dealers have learned to fear the most are the NC Revenue Officers. That’s right NC Revenue does not mess around! Get caught with an illegal substance and they will come to get their share through taxes and penalties! Most often dealers lose everything they own in such a search and seizure.
I actually worked in the training department at the NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR) for a year or so, and that’s where I first learned about their tax stamps.
As another source of money, NCDOR collects payments for taxes on unauthorized substances. Those that pay the tax are able to remain anonymous and receive stamps to place on the illegal substance. If the stamps are found during a search and seizure, those apprehended as the owners have some chance of not losing every possession they own.
The tax is 40 cents to $3.50 a gram, depending on which part of the plant is found. Stems and stalks are charged at the lower rate.
Now a Little Math
Not counting the stems and stalks, it is reasonable to think I would yield an average of 3 ounces of cannabis per plant, and that I could manage to have 6 successful plants. I can reasonably expect to have 18 ounces of cannabis. Rounded, there are 28.35 grams in an ounce. 18 X 28.35 = $510.30 tax that would need to be paid to NCDOR, and this is a yearly tax......$$$$$$$$$
I’ve Been Thinking
All this global warming and my age have caused my tolerance for NC humidity to decline with each passing year. I’ve been thinking of moving out west to a "cooler" state.
Should I stay and grow, or should I go?
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