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Seeing Green: hydroponic business is booming post legalization

Dustin Gurthro, owner of Gardenhub in New Glasgow shows off an indoor growing tent and hydroponic bucket.
Dustin Gurthro, owner of Gardenhub in New Glasgow shows off an indoor growing tent and hydroponic bucket. - Brendan Ahern

Cannabis legalization has had a local hydroponics shop seeing green.

“It’s really picked up,” says Dustin Guthro, owner of Gardenhub Inc., a shop that sells gardening equipment designed for growing cannabis.

“It’s like someone flipped on a switch on the 17th,” says Guthro who first opened the New Glasgow store on August 1, 2018. “Leading up it was slow, and it had me a little nervous.”

Now he says that there are a lot of customers coming in for equipment, or to ask questions about how to grow.

Hydroponic growth essentially feeds plants highly oxygenated water which is generated by a small air pump. As the roots of the plant grow longer, they dip into the bubbling water beneath and soak it up along with any plant nutrients that can be easily added.

Guthro, 25, has had a license to grow medical cannabis for two years. But he is also an avid gardener in the traditional sense, with a home garden of tomatoes, and leafy greens.

Things are slower over in Trenton, but Howie’s Happy Hyrdo owner Howard Mattie remains optimistic in a post legalization Canada.

“Thing’s haven’t gone crazy or anything, but I expect it to pick up in a little bit,” says Mattie who, over the last five years, has noticed a definite change in people’s perception of the psychotropic substance.

“When I started up, I couldn’t even use the word Hydroponic.”

The Nova Scotia Liquor Commission has a monopoly on the sale of Cannabis in the province, making it illegal for privately owned dispensaries to operate. However, stores like Gardenhub and Howie’s Happy Hydro cater directly to people who wish to grow their own.

Under the laws governing cannabis, people are able to grow up to four cannabis plants per household.

“People from all walks of life are coming in,” said Gurthro back in his shop. “It’s cool to see because, prior to legalization, all of these people were using, but they were hiding it.”

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