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If you've looked inside a cannabis publication or taken a stroll down Venice Beach, you've probably seen clinics offering medical marijuana recommendations at rock bottom prices, sometimes less than $50. You may have also noticed many of these same clinics offering to sell so-called "cultivation licenses" or 99 plant exemptions for an additional fee. Learn why cultivation license can land you in jail.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

It’s one of the first dilemmas every grower faces: Should I tell my friends and family about my new endeavor? No matter where you live or consequences you face, this could prove the most pivotal question of your life. Should you keep your grow secret?

6 Marijuana Growing Tips to Save One Year of Mistakes and $2000.

By: Contributing Grower

During my 10+ years of commercial growing I've made countless mistakes. I didn't have a mentor, so I wasted hundreds on bad products and untold thousands in lost revenue due to mistakes. What I wouldn't do to go back in time with the knowledge I have now. Oh the blood, sweat, tears, and money I could save myself. But at least I can try to help you making some of the same mistakes:

1. Overestimating Yield

Most new growers overestimate the potential of their first grow. This is probably the most commonly asked (and loathed) question on grow forums. If you’ve never grown before, there is simply no way to estimate your yield. Don’t even try, odds are you will be very disappointed. In most cases, achieving a high yield of quality bud takes years to accomplish.

2. Underestimating Costs and Difficulty

This is perhaps the most common misconception about growing ganja. “It’s a weed, how hard can it be to grow?” Well for all the smart asses out there: it’s difficult, time consuming, and expensive to grow top shelf bud. A small operation that outputs 4-6 pounds of California A+ per harvest can easily cost $10,000 to build, and $1000 per month to operate.

3. Buying Overpriced Nutrients and Additives

Even experienced growers can have a hard time wading though all the hype and marketing propaganda from the major nutrients companies. Any plant scientist or horticulturist can tell you that plants have very basic needs. The fact is everything costs more in this industry –– the markups are nauseating. Ask an expert, they will tell you that most of the popular additives and enhancers work just about as well as male enhancement pills. And of the products that do work, there is usually a much cheaper alternative. Stick to the basics and save your money.

4. Buying Cheap Equipment

When I setup my first grow, I made the mistake of buying cheap ballasts with no warranty––three out of four were dead within a year. Grow room equipment is often subjected to extreme heat, humidity, dirt, and chemicals, so make sure you have a good warranty and keep your receipts.

BONUS TIP: Never buy anything at a hydroponics shop that can be found at a home improvement store or non-hydro online store. Grow shops know you are growing weed, so they rip you off for everything including tubing, ducting, etc.

5. Relying on Online Forums to Learn How to Grow

Everyone has to start somewhere. And for many new growers, this means going to web forums. So what’s the problem? Most of the growers on these sites are just like you, complete beginners. Many forums are hotbeds of completely false, and often dangerous information and advise. Do yourself a favor, read at least 2 books before joining a forum. And find one with experienced members who post regularly.

6. Growing Unknown or Unproven Genetics

It can be tempting to grow a bagseed or hermi produced seed. Take my advise, don’t waste your time. I know, I know... according to legend some of the most famous and popular strains came from bagseeds or hermis. This is why I spent my early years planting every seed I came across. It’s like a box of chocolates... But of the hundreds of seeds I planted, none were worth keeping. They were either unstable or they didn’t produce the goods. So go with proven genetics!