Below, find the entire document, read an e-mail Q&A with Cranman, and check out our experts' take on his guide.
Westword: Are you based in Colorado?
Cranman: I live in Southern Colorado and have been a legal medical marijuana patient for several years. I moved to Colorado from another state... Medical marijuana was not a basis for the decision to relocate ,but I was pleased to discover the Colorado medical marijuana program after I moved, since I had been using marijuana illegally for many years to control my chronic pain, purchasing it from the streets as an alternative to my prescribed narcotics.
WW: Do you work in the medical marijuana industry?
Cranman: I do not work in the medical marijuana industry in any capacity. I'm just a patient who decided it was time to grow my own medicine... Experience with a couple of poorly run medical marijuana centers pushed me in the direction to grow. I have never sold marijuana. I grow the standard six plants as allowed by Colorado Amendment 20. I do not network with other medical marijuana patients and do not know anyone else who uses medical marijuana.
WW: What is your experience and level of expertise?
Cranman: I have a background in environmental sciences but it does not relate to horticulture. Like many, I am a self-taught grower who used books, forums and a number of online resources to educate myself on marijuana growing as a means of self-sufficiency.
WW: Why did you think a growing guide was necessary? And why did you decide to put it out for free, rather than trying to profit from it?
Cranman: The guide started as a compilation of my notes for personal reference. Then I realized that this information could help many other patients in need of reasonable access to medicine. Many of the grow guides I learned from were quite vague, lengthy and/or unprofessional, and I found interpreting the overwhelming amount of information frustrating and time-consuming. I designed my notes/guide to be very specific and geared towards complying with Colorado medical marijuana laws, and think it will be easy for any patient to follow.
I considered selling the guide or asking for donations, but I came to the conclusion that making a profit is not my goal. I want to give medical marijuana patients a means to grow their own medicine and I realize that charging people for the information would limit the number of people the guide could reach. I could sell it and educate a small percentage of medical marijuana patients or release it for free and help every medical marijuana patient with the desire to help themselves.
WW: Who would you like to help with this guide?
Cranman: I hope this helps patients with inadequate access to marijuana due to retail costs, local laws prohibiting medical marijuana centers, etc.
WW: Why are you reluctant to use your given name?
Cranman: Though medical marijuana is legal under state laws, it is still very much illegal under federal laws, and I am reminded of this often when reading the news. I may be a legal medical marijuana patient, but I still feel like a criminal for using medical marijuana. There are only a handful of people who know I am a medical marijuana patient and I have the right to medical privacy... being anonymous is the only way to maintain that privacy.
How's Cranman's advice? It didn't get a great review from the two MMJ experts we consulted. They suggested that it's overly complicated for a beginner's guide and extremely expensive. But they also noted it contains some good information that, when used in conjunction with books and other online resources, could prove helpful. With that in mind, we present Cranman's Beginner's MMJ Indoor Soil Grow Guide, with a title page inspired by Mad Men. He notes that he asked himself, "'What would Don Draper do?' about the misconceptions of medical marijuana."
More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana: Health dept. reinstates 1,300 rejected MMJ patients -- for now."