• Chris O'Keefe is a medical cannabis grower and science major here in Denver, CO. He runs a blog called http://thecannablog.com/ where he has resources for patients about growing tips to techniques with informative strain reviews and screen shots of a variety of strains. He goes into the science behind many products in the medical cannabis industry and raises awareness by publishing information for patients. In this interview I asked Chris O'Keefe questions that I felt were very important topics in our industry. Check out his blog http://thecannablog.com/ for great information and be on the lookout on his blog with an upcoming interview with me on edibles here in Colorado :)


    1) What are the pro's versus con's of hydroponic grows and soil based grows? Which do you recommend to first time growers?

    There are many pro's and con's to growing in either soil or hydroponics some of which I will not go in to detail. At the core with hydroponics the main things you have to deal with negatively would be the standing water of a reservoir, which can always be an issue as well have not having any room for error when feeding or maintaining your plants because hydroponics is such a sensitive system that if a water pump goes out or you give to much of a certain nutrient you can kill your crop in less than a few hours. With that said it can be the best way to grow, you have what knows as or what I call the Peddle & Break System in a hydro setup. This is the ability to control how much of what nutrient and when its introduced to the plant down to the parts per million of the water, allowing you do have the utmost control of your plants life cycle and grow cycle being able to alter either the weight, growth or resin production in a controlled environment. In regards to soil you do not have as much control with nutrients as you do hydro nor having the tendencies to be as clean or tidy seeing that your dealing with an organic substance. One of the best things about soil as a medium though is the room for error and forgivness that you have, seeing that you are not directly suspending or feeding the plants roots in water or nutrient solution instead it is protected within the soil because it does not have direct contact with the water but has to absorb it through the medium. I ultimately would always recommend soil for any beginner or budget grower.


    2) How do you feel about pharmaceutical companies wanting to isolate CBD's into extracted pill form without balancing it with THC?

    I think in order for medicinal cannabis to further progress obviously as a medicine that of course we need to do research and isolate specific cannabinoids. CBD especially, seeing that it has all the medicinal properties of THC but containing only about 10% of the psychoactive effect that THC has when consumed. Not only would a CBD rich concentrate be healthier and better than any thing on the market for the laundry list of ailments that cannabis helps but it would be 100% safer than any of the experimental pharmacuticals available just based on the side effects alone. I think that once enough states go medicinal, a national system will be put in place as well as the rescheduling of cannabis, when that happens big pharma can come in for the medicinal aspect and I can focus on recreational growing, but I don't see that happening for at least 5 maybe 10 years.


    3) What is your stance on Colorado's proposed bill for a Marijuana DUI of 5 nanograms via a blood draw from suspected drivers? Especially after William Breathes blood draw?

    Well considering ones tolerance gradually increases when frequently using cannabis this shouldn't be a big surprise because we see the same thing in people who take pharmaceuticals on a regular basis. And with Mr.Breaths testing I would have to say that Colorado put its society first before ever thinking about the patient. Which understand in some cases may not be bad, but until they can randomly street test for every pharmaceutical that is readily available, I definitely think they need to wait before assuming every patients with 5. nanograms or more is impaired even in the slightest way. Oh not to mention forcing you to remove your bodily fluid for testing. Invasive much?


    4) Many dispensaries and caregivers are still pushing butane hash oils regardless of the fact of the multitude of dangers that are assocaited with this extraction. Do you feel this is negligence and why?

    Not only is Butane Hash Oil or BHO dangerous to manufacture because of the process in which you have to make it but the main ingredient in the process Butane in nature is carcinogenic and mutagenic especially once consumed. California has made it so any one caught producing or distributing BHO will get a 50k fine and up to 5 years in prison and even a reported case of long term exposure to butane causing HIV/Aids due to the mutagenic properties not to mention basic symptoms like irritation, nausea, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, symptoms of drunkiness, tingling sensation, suffocation, convulsion and coma can happen if just consumed in a small amount. This is mainly do to the fact that your body actually breaks butane down in to two separate chemicals which is Sec Butanol and Methyl Ethyl Ketone after the initial butane is consumed. Aside from a few reports how ever there are no long term clinical trials of BHO, but considering that we have C02 extraction today which is the best way for procuring cannabis concentrate that even the U.S Government has a patent on CO2 extraction in regards to cannabis. Sadly the majority of large BHO producers in Colorado came from California, I say of course it is negligence.


    5) Are you fearful about the future of Colorado Medical Marijuana after the U.S Attorney John Walsh's letter to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers? What are your thoughts on this topic?

    While still respecting the U.S. Attorney, I am not as fear full as some of my peers. For the sole purpose that it is our constitutional right as Coloradans and if you are doing business in accordance to state law you should have no reason to be afraid of what the U.S Attorney said. As far as I know the IRS has just begun audits in Colorado and has had successful audits in California with no flaws what so ever from the well know Harbor Side Health Center. This has become a legitimate industry with legitimate business licensing and taxation with representation.