At CANNA we thrive through passionate grower stories that we love to hear about, be a part of, and highlight your growing journey through the years.
Robbie, please tell us a little about who you are.
Robbie: I am an award winning medical cannabis grower, and I grow everything from home. I spend anywhere from 15 to 40 hours a week tending to my plants depending on where they are in their life cycles, and if something isn’t quite right I will stay with them until the problem is fixed.
- 2017 Peace East 420 Best Flower
- 2018 Peace East 420 Best Flower
- 2018 MUMM's 3rd Place
- 2019 MUMM's Cup 1st Place
- 2019 MUMM's Judges Choice
- 2019 Cannabis Cup 1st Place Yarmouth, NS
Tell us the story of how you became a passionate grower.
Robbie: I grew up in a loving home, where there was always something growing in every corner. Apparently, even as a baby, you couldn’t stop me from playing around, hands in the dirt.
My passion for growing though started around the age of 14 when I was working at Canisto Market, a garden center in New Brunswick. I would bike 3km to go to work every morning where I would do yard work and cut the grass…. But every once in a while they would let me get my hands dirty.
In College, I experimented in forestry technology and I became curious about learning more about cannabis growth …
After about a year and a half, I began having some health issues, so unfortunately I was unable to graduate. In the interim I sought out a license to grow medical marijuana which today is now the ACMPR. At first, I grew it as a hobby but now growing the cannabis relieves just as much stress as consuming it.
It helped me grow and evolve on so many levels.
How has your passion for growing evolved over the past 2 years?
Robbie: I can’t say it’s evolved much because I’ve been growing for quite some time, however I am much more open about it now.
What would you consider your favorite part about the entire growing process?
Robbie: When I open the doors and see all my plants happy.
What would you consider to be your least favorite part of the entire growing process?
Robbie: Overnight malfunctions with the equipment, when I can’t help my plants or save them. Another would be finding out one of my plants is a male or hermaphrodite… [laugh]
In your experience, what difference do you see when growing with clean high quality products vs the alternative?
Robbie: Personally, a clean product makes a huge difference for me because I’ve noticed the cleaner the end product the cleaner the effect.
As for the plant itself a clean product will yield clean results and it will show in the bud. The end result under a microscope with the alternative will most likely show mildew, faulty structure (air bud), or so on.
Clean nutrients and mediums play a big role in the growing process and they affect everything from growth speed and bud density to the taste of the bud.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a Grower?
Robbie: Growing the cleanest product possible because we are what we consume. Thankfully I’ve had a lot of help along the way especially from the Canadian CANNA team who not only provide amazing clean products worldwide but have also been there to answer my questions, provide me with great resources and growing tips.
Also, I own an old maritime home, so I’ve had to learn a few tricks over the years to keep their feet from getting cold. When they’re young I use CANNA COCO but I add 15ml of epsom salts to balance out the soil and give it a boost.
In years to come, what would you like to be recognized for within the growing community?
Robbie: I would like to be recognized as a Compassionate Cannabis grower that focuses on the Natural Medicine that Cannabis has to offer to help heal the sick.
Who is someone you look up to in the Cannabis industry and why?
Robbie: There are 2 people I look up to most within the industry, Eric from CANNA who’s been so supportive, and helpful over the years and Franco Loja from Strain Hunters.
What are some of the questions a consumer should be asking a budtender when buying cannabis products to ensure they get a safe and quality product?
- Have pesticides been used when growing this product?
- Look for the testing, ask the dispensary.
- Make sure the product has been approved by health Canada.
- Be specific about your needs. Let your budtender know your medical history so they can suggest the right product for you.
Educating yourself and asking the right questions are key. No one wants to be consuming something that’s been sprayed with pesticides.
What’s the one tip you would give a home grower just starting out?
Robbie: Keep it clean and simple. No need to try everything. Someone has done it already, look at the science.