Tech by VICE

Now You Can 3D Print Your Own Mini Medical Marijuana Grow Op

Getting stoned gets distributed.

by Jordan Pearson
Jul 3 2015, 6:21pm

Image: Flickr/Brett Levin

Growing your own pot is chill in certain states where medical marijuana is legal, but that doesn't mean it's easy. If you're a total noob, one option for learning how is to watch a dude in camo pants on YouTube strap some plastic buckets and tubing together in their garage. Another is to just 3D print an open source rig that you can keep in your apartment.

3Dponics is an Ottawa-based company that's trying to make growing pot open source. The company, which previously specialized in print-at-home DIY hydroponic systems for gardening, just released plans for a printable garden for pot that aims to make growing your own weed quick and relatively easy.

According to a blog post announcing the designs, the set-up is meant for urban environments where medical marijuana users might not have much space to grow weed. The idea is that you can download the free design files, load them into your printer, and print a mix-and-match set of plastic pots, planters, and lids.

Image: 3Dponics

The garden can be snapped together "like LEGO" to be as big or as small as you want; if you want to go big, you just have to print more parts. You can also customize your own designs and share them with other people using 3Dponics' products.

For a caretaker who wants to grow a little bit of weed for a patient, but isn't exactly an expert when it comes to cultivating ganj, it's easy to see how 3D printing could be an easy way for them to start. Like other complex tasks made easy with open source designs—like making guns, for example—growing weed could become as easy as hitting "print."

This doesn't need to be confined to 3Dponics either, although they've already got a design ready to go. Anybody could come up with a design for a better weed-growing system and post it on the web for people to download and use.

Watch more from Motherboard: Guerilla Gardeners

DIY hydroponics—basically setting up some tubes and a pump in a reservoir to keep nutritious liquid flowing through containers of plants—is nothing new, and usually all it takes to get started is a trip to the hardware store. You'll still need to pick up a few things, like said pump, when you use 3Dponics' designs, but instead of buying buckets or cutting up plastic bottles, you'll be able to print your own readymade garden.

According to a press release, 3Dponics is looking for investors who want to cash in on the burgeoning and turbulent weed industry, which has so far succeeded in helping people trading small-time weed stocks lose a fuck ton of money. They also note that they're looking to the US, likely because Health Canada—which oversees the medical marijuana industry in Canada—stopped issuing individual licenses to grow last year.

In places where growing your own weed is legal, though, it could soon be the case that starting a grow op won't require a van load of garden tools—just a computer and a printer.