Class attendee Peter Greene of Jamaica Plain said that he had grown marijuana in college years ago, and that now there seemed to be “a big industry waiting to happen.”
“I’m getting acquainted with the new technology,” Greene offered. “But I haven’t bought any equipment yet.”
Like Napoli, Bill Ovoian looks to capitalize on a greener future in Massachusetts. A former IT director, Ovoian has started a service business, Discreet Growing, which, for a fee, will set up and manage a home hydroponic system.
The cost is determined by the size and complexity of the system, several of which he has already installed. His website offers a “complete organic grow system” — sufficient to produce six mature plants — for $1,195, delivery and setup included. Adding a 4-foot-by-8-foot growing tent with exhaust fan and filter runs another $950.
An experienced home brewer and home wine maker, Ovoian got into his new line of work after helping supply marijuana to an elderly cancer patient he knew.
“I’m the hydroponic store on wheels,” said Ovoian, who likens his service to pet-sitting. He hopes to work with the state health department and intends to get a growing license once they are issued. His target audience,he said, is both caregivers helping those with medical marijuana needs and older, more affluent individuals who have a legal reason to use marijuana.
“I’m all for keeping it away from kids,” he said.
Boston Gardener is not the only gardening supply store in the area offering classes in hydroponic growing. GYOstuff, a supply shop in North Cambridge, conducts such classes, too, and they are typically filled days in advance, owner Eli Constantinou said.
In contrast to Napoli, however, Constantinou has been far more guarded about what his growing equipment might be used for. He advertises his classes, but not in the upfront way Napoli has been doing.
“People come in here to grow tomatoes and peppers — seriously,” he said at his shop recently.
Nevertheless, he conceded, “It’s tough to say who’s doing what” with the heat mats, growing lights, fan mufflers, air pumps, and antiodor fans he sells.
Joseph P. Kahn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.