Elected officials aren’t the only ones gearing up for legalized marijuana after voters this week approved the sale of the leafy drug in stores beginning in 2018 and the cultivation at home even sooner.
Storeowners who sell products used to grow marijuana say that in the 48 hours since Question 4 was approved, they’ve seen an uptick in first-time customers interested in becoming ganja gardeners.
“A lot of people now are really getting the green light, and thinking to themselves, ‘Hey, why don’t I do this myself?’ ” said Jonathan Napoli, owner of Boston Gardener , a hydroponic and organic gardening supply store in Roxbury. “Foot traffic has doubled in the store in a few days.”
The ballot measure that legalized recreational use allows for possession and use of one ounce or less of marijuana for adults 21 and older beginning Dec. 15. The measure passed Tuesday, 54 precent to 46 percent, clearing the way for what many expect will become a multibillion-dollar industry.
Question 4 allows for the average of-age person to grow up to six marijuana plants, with a limit of 12 plants per household.
That provision has many curious first-time growers visiting shops such as Napoli’s with questions about where to begin.
Napoli said soil, fluorescent lights for indoor growing, and pots for marijuana plants have proved popular. To aid buyers with newfound green thumbs, he directs them to seeds, and offers books and literature about growing operations.
“What we are seeing primarily is people who are saying, ‘I have never done this before. I always wanted to try it. Can you help me out?’ ” he said.
Conversations on Web forums such as Reddit have also sprouted for those confused about how a seed becomes a plant with a smokeable product.
At the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis in Natick, which educates people about the cannabis industry, officials have been busy handling questions from prospective students.
“The day after the election, we saw an immediate increase in phone calls and e-mail inquiries,” Maggie Kinsella, a school spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
She said the institute offers a “Grow Room Design” class, and three cultivation classes that teach how to grow. And the school plans to expand its “Law and Regulations” class and create an advanced curriculum for the future.
Eli Constantinou, owner of GYOstuff (the GYO stands for Grow-Your-Own) in Cambridge, said he, too, has witnessed a steady flow of novice cultivators with a laundry list of questions coming to his business.
“Literally overnight in online sales, we noticed an uptick. And a lot more people came through the shop yesterday and today,” he said.
GYOstuff carries starter kits, seed-starting supplies, lights, odor-reducers, humidifiers, and harvesting tools for small to medium growing operations — but not just specifically for marijuana.
The store also offers classes to break down the process, step by step. Shop owners say growing marijuana can be tricky and time-consuming, requiring months of patience.
From seed to pipe, it can take up to four months to grow marijuana.
“But most people find once you get set up, it’s real easy to maintain,” he said.
To accommodate the demand for spots in classes, Constantinou said GYOstuff has doubled slots available, from 75 to 150 per week. As a promotional stunt, it dropped prices.
“We felt that by doing this, we are giving back to the community,” he said. “Right now, it seems to be, ‘I want my plants, dammit!’ ”
Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.