“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.
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.