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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.

6 Grow Mistakes

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.

LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS: Should I keep my grow secret?

By: Contributing Grower

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. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all solution that will make this decision any easier. The best we can do is provide you with some facts and opinions to help you make an education decision for yourself.

Research conducted at the University of Texas indicates that less than 10% of people are willing to take any secret to the grave. Does this mean that 9 out of 10 of your friends are blabbermouths? Probably not. According to Professor Anita Vangelisti, there are varying levels of secrets and even more reasons people choose to betray them. But let’s face it––whether it’s a moral judgment or well meaning small talk––a grow op is prime gossip real estate. The real problem with secrets, especially primo gossip like your kickass grow op, is their tendency to spread exponentially. It’s common sense that with each person who knows about your grow, your chances of getting robbed or raided raise significantly. Complicating matters further, keeping a grow operation completely under wraps is usually not an option for professional growers.

As with any major corporation or government agency, the goal for any professional grower should be to manage and minimize risk.

Keeping my grows safe comes down to two golden rules: 1. Don’t tell anyone who isn’t personally vested in the grow; 2. Explain the consequences to everyone involved.

Does this mean inducting people into your world with an oath of Omertà and a burning saint? If you think it will keep them quiet, why not? The point is to make it clear that if a single outsider is let into the circle of trust, it puts everyone’s lives and livelihoods at risk.

For some growers, especially on the west coast, growing out in the open is a choice. Living in California, it’s easy to forget the law and just go with the flow. The reality however, is that nearly 12,000,000 cannabis plants were destroyed in California last year. What’s more, each and every grower who has more plants than their county allows is risking prison. So while growing in the open allows for a more normal lifestyle, I would always avoid it whenever possible.

For growers, dealing with relationships presents its own set of challenges. It is pretty well known that a woman scorn is very often at the root of a busted grow op. Many hardcore pros believe that relationships and the grower lifestyle just don’t mix. Personally, I ask myself one question: “Is this girl crazy enough to rat me out?” In my experience the answer is almost always yes, especially after a breakup. This is why I keep my sex casual and my grows a secret.