A marijuana seed giveaway attracted more than 200 people March 21 at the Cortez Welcome Center.
Lu Nettleton, of the Colorado Plateau Growers Association, organized the event.
He reported giving away 23,500 seeds to a variety of people.
Based on survey data collected at the event, 235 people attended. Sixty percent were female, and 80 percent were over 40 years old.
The group included 50 farmers who grow medicinal varieties of marijuana. One hundred of the participants reported medicinal use of the drug, and 20 reported recreational use.
“Fifty percent of those over 50 years old mentioned friends with cancer who use marijuana,” Nettleton said.
Farmers from Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona attended the event.
The local growers association reported the results of their first seed and field trials of marijuana.
Five members were given 500 seeds, representing four cultivars. Plants were located in five locations in Montezuma County, and the germination rate was 95 percent.
They were planted 10 feet apart in rows 10 feet wide with added organic compost. Fish emulsion fertilizer was added once monthly, and no other fertilizers were used.
In the trials, the marijuana plants were drip irrigated for four hours every third day using 2.5 gallon per hour emitters.
Plants were harvested after a period of 110 to 130 days, and varied in height from 6 to 10 feet. Each plant produced more an average of about 1.5 pounds of cured marijuana product with high THC content.
“We estimate that our product is worth $1,000 to $1,500 per pound,” Nettleton stated.
Nettleton wants to create a locals growers market for marijuana.
“The laws of Colorado create a monopoly for a few, while making it illegal for farmers to participate except at the lowes, least profitable areas,” he stated. “It’s time for farmers to stand up for their right to grow the most profit-oriented legal plant they can.”
For those interested in the growing of marijuana, contact the Colorado Plateau Growers Association at (970) 564-9457.