Green Thumb: Recreational Cannabis / by chris miele

It's a sea of, yep you guessed it...

It's legal.  Yep that's right, recreational cannabis is legal in Oregon, one of four states in this fair union that has passed similar measures.  My arrival in Portland was timed almost perfectly with the historic lifting of pot prohibition, so naturally I wanted to take a peak at what these new implications meant.  After some research via high quality (free) literature found throughout the city, I decided it was the growers and their crop that I wanted to explore.  The folks at the very core of what will likely be a large industry and important social movement.

The intricacies of a well dialed indoor grow setup. 

In the first installment of my Green Thumb series I chose to feature Dave Nicholson and Forever Dank Farms.  Dave has been on the leading front of cannabis cultivation for nearly 15 years.  His expertise has netted awards and has produced legendary strains amongst medical patients.  The outdoor growing season had just ended, so it was his indoor growing operation that had to take center stage. 

Dave holds up a fresh batch of shatter for inspection.  Concentrates such as shatter (an extremely high THC solid resembling glass) aren't currently available for recreational sale, but medical patients aren't restricted in their selections.

Reflected scenes from within the grow room.

Polarizing and classic.  The quintessential image of a cannabis leaf will likely become more accepted than ever before. 

Lush.  On a technical note, the lighting within an indoor grow setup was the most difficult I'd ever photographed.  Intense UV lights produce a wide array of (unconsistent) color casts.  Processing these images required a creative touch indeed. 

The man behind the science, Dave Nicholson.

Viewing Dave's operation was a great peak behind the veil of an industry that's poised to shine.  To say that legal cannabis is new territory is an understatement, but that doesn't undermine its legitimacy.  As progressive policy reform continues to migrate through the country, it's going to be very interesting to watch how the biggest black sheep of the country becomes commonplace.