The New Marijuana Service Industry

From “cannabis college” to pot crop insurance, ganja spinoff companies are growing fast.

Celine Nadeau

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Read Josh Harkinson on Weedmart, test your medical marijuana knowledge with our quiz, or see the full Mother Jones special report on the coming pot boom.

California’s “green rush” has inspired a slew of above-ground businesses that cater to marijuana growers. Here’s where budding hempreneurs can…

LEARN HOW TO GROW. With campuses in Oakland and L.A., Oaksterdam University (“America’s first cannabis college”) teaches everything from Horticulture 101 to Patient Relations (formerly called “Budtending”).

SET UP A GROW HOUSE. Good Green Builders, “the first licensed, commercial grow room contractor in the Bay Area,” assures clients that “the whole process will be completed with the utmost discretion.” If your indoor harvest fails to thrive, get advice from pros like Green Thumb Consulting and See Your Green.

GET INSURED. What if your crop burns down or gets ripped off by the competition? Statewide Insurance Services sells policies for “medical marijuana crop coverage” and “mobile grow operations.”

STAY VIGILANT. Monitor your grow with temperature sensors and motion detectors sold by Ecoview Systems; in the event of a fire or a break-in, you’ll get an email alert.

MAINTAIN QUALITY CONTROL. Labs like Oakland’s CW Analytical Laboratories will sample your product for harmful biological or chemical agents. And while the USDA won’t go there, Clean Green will certify your crop as organic.

FOLLOW THE SHOP TALK. Check out Rosebud, “your one source for everything hydroponics from wickedly effective growing info to the lifestyle and freedom that surrounds it,” a glossy dedicated to indoor “crop” cultivation. If you want a magazine that’s not afraid to mention pot, there’s West Coast Cannabis.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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