On January 1 2018, the recreational use of cannabis was made legal in the state of California. While therapeutic marijuana had been allowed within state lines since 1996, this alteration to the law gave way to an entirely new industry of different strains and edibles. But some didn't bother waiting around for legalisation to enter the market.
Grower and photographer Mel Frank has been growing cannabis for the past thirty years, developing a real expertise in the area. Elevating the activity into an art form, he even penned the first ever manual on weed cultivation, Marijuana Grower’s Guide Deluxe, in 1978. Breaking the silence of the secret world of plant growth, the book provided a manual for professional botanists and keen smokers alike.
But beyond sharing his vast knowledge in the discipline, Mel Frank also documented his passion for marijuana through photography. A way to keep track of his different varieties, the snaps serve to record decades of illegal activity. Showing us behind the scenes of the illicit business, a selection images are about to be revealed to the public as part of a new exhibition, entitled "When We Were Criminals", to be held from April 28 to June 9 2018 at the M+B Photo, Los Angeles. Check out a preview just below.