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Amherst garden supply, hydroponics store opens ahead of retail pot sales

  • Granulated fertilizer which can be used for plants including marijuana are displayed at Green Wave Garden Supply and Hydroponics in Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Liquid nutrients which can be used for plants including marijuana are displayed Oct. 5, 2017 at Green Wave Garden Supply and Hydroponics in Amherst. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Green Wave Garden Supply and Hydroponics is shown Oct. 5, 2017 in Amherst —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • Liquid nutrients which can be used for plants including marijuana are displayed Oct. 5, 2017 at Green Wave Garden Supply and Hydroponics in Amherst. —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

  • The interior of Green Wave Garden Supply and Hydroponics is shown Oct. 5, 2017 in Amherst —GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY



Staff Writer
Monday, October 09, 2017

AMHERST — As state law makes growing a small amount of marijuana legal, an Amherst store is aiming to offer knowledge so both novice and experienced gardeners can succeed in producing strong, healthy plants.

While most of the products sold at Green Wave Garden Supply & Hydroponics can be used universally for any flowering plant, such as tomatoes, and be beneficial to any vegetable garden, owners Brian McLean of Northampton and Marcus Albano of Amherst are anticipating a surge in business specific to the home production of cannabis.

“With the change of laws to legalize cannabis for recreational use, it seemed the time was right,” McLean said. “This is something we believe in as an alternative medicine.”

The state law, signed by Gov. Charlie Baker following voter approval legalizing marijuana last November, allows an individual to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use, and for households to have up to a dozen plants.

As people become more comfortable in producing marijuana on their own while waiting for more medical marijuana dispensaries to open and recreational stores to be licensed, the owners see a need to provide insights and consultation.

“We want to see people succeed,” McLean said. “I think it’s something people should get into and find it rewarding. We’re happy to give out all the advice we can.”

Similar grow shops have existed in recent years, though the change in state law allows Green Wave to be more explicit in targeting those who home grow marijuana and want to have assurance that they are getting a quality product and not depending on manufacture at a far-off site.

Green Wave has about 1,000 square feet of retail space at 328 College St. that formerly housed Monkey Business, a children’s clothing store that closed earlier this year.

One side shelves are lined with products such as a series of organic liquid nutrients and granulated nitrogen, geared toward getting the marijuana plants to produce higher content of oils and terpenes that will make the bud more flavorful.

On the other side are products that can control bugs, mildew and mold, all of which can ruin plants within a week, even if growing indoors. These include Neem oils and all-natural and all-organic pest repellent pesticides and insecticides.

Stacks of bags of all-natural fertilizers are positioned throughout the store.

In addition, the store has a hydrosystem that can hold up to 12 plants grow lights for yearround production and a variety of pots and containers.

So far, the store has relied mostly on word of mouth and social media, but Green Wave had a presence at the Extravaganja festival in April, and regularly advertises in the Valley Advocate, which publishes the O Cannabis column.

Though the University of Massachusetts will treat marijuana as it does tobacco, and not allow its students to use or grow on campus, McLean said many students make their homes off campus. But he expects that customers will be people of all ages and from all walks of life.

In fact, the customer base so far has ranged from college-age people to academics to retirees.

“Amherst is a progressive, open-minded town and the response has been very good,” McLean said.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com