ROANOKE, Va. – The legalization of marijuana has given a green thumb to thousands of Virginians investing in cultivation.
“First it was mainly just helping people grow vegetables and herbs in their own homes and being able to supply them with that but, you know, this has definitely grown to a lot more than that now,” Blue Ridge Hydroponics Manager Jeremy Poe said.
Since the legalization of marijuana cultivation on July 1, the small shop in downtown Roanoke has doubled its business and is expanding by the day.
“It’s like a whole different field around here now. People are more comfortable with talking to me about and showing me pictures and it’s a lot easier on them because they can really just get into detail and ask questions,” Poe said.
The shop started in the early 2000s and despite challenges brought on by COVID-19, staff has seen a gradual increase in business.
“It’s just great to be able to let people know ways and ideas to do everything and create their own medicine in some cases,” Expert Grower Paul Whitt said.
Holding educational classes on everything from what you’ll need to grow your own, to what kinds of conditions to keep plants in is just one of the many ways the store has been able to adapt to the change.
“What a lot of people say you know we’ve never been able to talk about if we were doing it now, you can do it you can talk about it, you can get information and trade, you know, ideas and there’s many ways to grow and different soil different nutrients,” Whitt said.
And with commercial legalization down the road in a few years, the small business is always looking at new ways to expand and educate the community.
“You can kind of do your own way and kind of your own strand and makes it a lot easier for that,” Poe said.
For information about growing classes, you can visit Blue Ridge Hydroponics Facebook here.