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“Obviously, it’s bringing business to the area, and it’s employing people,” said Chris Nonamaker. It’s a good thing for sure.” For those hoping to start growing operations, costs range from $400 to upward of $700 for a light hood, ballast and bulbs. The most typical style of hydroponics gardening is the Nutrient Film Technique, in which a growing tray has one end higher with roots dangling down. Nutrients are pumped into the tray from a water reservoir below and drain off on the lower end. The store averages from 15 to 20 customers on an average day, said Lisa Nonamaker, and has around 75 regular customers.

Chris Nonamaker said the store doesn’t expressly advertise its products for growing medical marijuana, and he asks customers who inquire about marijuana to provide their caregiver or patient cards, but that’s not a necessity. Robert Lagasse, executive director of the Progressive Gardening Trade Association, said the number of shops in the United States has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 10 years. “There might have been about 150 shops then, mostly out in the West,” said Lagasse, whose association includes members specializing in hydroponics, organic and waterwise gardening. “Today, we are looking at more 1,000 legitimate stores.” Most of the grow shops are small, generating less than $1 million a year, Lagasse said. “There’s a lot of people that are chasing a specific market: medical marijuana,” he said. Multiple shops have opened in California, Colorado and Michigan, which have legalized medical marijuana for card-carrying residents, said Lagasse. In Flint, the We Grow Education and Collective is in a former dentist’s office in a small commercial strip on Miller Road near the entrance to the affluent Woodcroft Estates, a subdivision of winding tree-lined roads filled with upscale brick homes.

Its Facebook page says the medical marijuana facility offers delivery to clients in Flint and the surrounding area. Its services encompass “all aspects of the Michigan Marihuana Program,” including obtaining a registration card, harvesting marijuana and finding a caregiver. Woodcroft resident Julie Taylor said she was surprised to find a medical marijuana business “literally at our doorstep.” She’s not opposed to the business being there but said she’s noticed some increased activity at the building. “We haven’t seen any problems with it, but I think we’ll be keeping an eye on it,” she said. “If it’s a legitimate business, I guess that’s all right.” Flint City Councilman Michael Sarginson said the city is working on a policy to regulate where and how medical marijuana businesses can operate. Flint issued a moratorium on new medical marijuana businesses but is allowing some previously established facilities to stay open in the meantime. Sarginson, who has at least three medical marijuana facilities in his 8th Ward district, said there’s a local need for the service but it has to be done right. “There’s going to be a lot that goes into that,” he said. “There will be strict rules and regulations.” While many shops have opened, Lagasse cautioned, “It’s just like any other market where you get a surge.” “A lot of people,” he said, “don’t do due diligence, don’t know what the market can support and then enter into price competition,” killing off profitability. Staff Writer Kristin Longley contributed to this report. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Lecithin is a phospholipid that can be found within eggs, avocados, soybeans, and sunflowers. The substance acts as a binding agent that keeps ingredients stuck together. It may even play a role in increasing the potency of edibles. Just like the process of growing cannabis plants, adding the flowers into food recipes and creating edibles is an artform. There are countless recipes out there now and almost any dish, whether sweet or savoury, can be infused with cannabinoids for either medicinal or recreational purposes. Making edibles isn’t always simple, especially for those cannabis enthusiasts who are new to the world of cooking. There are many ways to improve certain dishes and recipes, and factors such as flavour, texture, and presentation can be optimised in order to really make an edible experience fun and memorable. One secret weapon when it comes to baking with weed is the use of lecithin, an ingredient that can greatly improve the structural integrity of an edible, and may enhance the absorption of the prized cannabinoids within.

Lecithin is a phospholipid, a type of fat, that is often used as an additive within food to enable certain ingredients to bind and stick together that would usually repel each other. Lecithin can be found within egg yolks, which is why eggs are frequently used in recipes to thicken sauces and bases. Vegan sources of lecithin include avocados, soybeans, and sunflowers. Lecithin serves an essential role within the body and makes up parts of cell membranes - the protective barrier that separates the interior of cells from the outside. There is evidence to suggest that lecithin may be useful in cases of liver and gallbladder disease, and some even employ it in attempts to treat cognitive impairment, dry skin, and numerous other conditions. Aside from being used as a health supplement, lecithin plays a major role in cooking and food products. It works as an emulsifying agent and additive that works to stabilize processed foods.

It helps foods that usually don’t mix to stay together. For example, when adding a teaspoon of coconut oil into a cup of coffee the oil will rise to the top of the liquid, the two substances won’t mix together. When adding an emulsifier such as lecithin, the two will mix together and stay together, creating a more pleasant beverage. It’s easy to see why lecithin is so important and widely used in food products that use oils and water. Lecithin basically helps oil-based ingredients interact and stabilise with water-based ingredients.

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