The Cost of Growing Cannabis
The legalization of marijuana continues across the country. Many states allow for the use of this substance for recreational and medicinal use, and quite a few men and women want more information on growing cannabis for their personal use. However, doing so involves more than sprinkling seeds in the ground and watering them occasionally.
New growers must purchase equipment designed for cannabis cultivation and doing so costs money or so many assume. However, individuals find growing cannabis needn’t be expensive. Learn what supplies help in this process and how much they cost before deciding if this hobby fits your lifestyle, budget, and needs.
The Cost of Growing Marijuana
Individuals looking for a quick answer find the average cost of growing one square foot of cannabis runs $42 for wholesale cultivation. Outdoor grows run approximately $10 to $17 per square foot, but growers obtain more control when growing cannabis indoors. As a result, many choose this option. When it comes to costs associated with equipment purchases, heating, and fertilizer for an indoor grow, expect to pay on average $75 per square foot.
Individuals wonder whether the finished product justifies the expense of growing marijuana for personal use. The controlled environment associated with an indoor grow allows for a higher-quality end product, leading many to opt for the indoor grow option. Why is this the case?
The Benefits of Growing Cannabis
When considering the cost of cannabis cultivation, users must look at the cost of using marijuana. The purchase price varies greatly by quality and quantity, and users might not find what they want when in areas where the substance remains illegal.
Individuals discover numerous benefits of growing cannabis. First, growers maintain complete control over the growing process and may eliminate pesticides and other toxic substances from the crop. They know exactly what they are putting into their body.
Consumption costs decrease, and growers discover a variety of strains available for cultivation. Keeping one’s hobby private becomes easier when growing marijuana at home, and growers learn they can experiment with different strains to find the one that best meets their needs. Doing so tends to be difficult when using commercially available products.
Growers determine the amount of grow space required. Novices typically establish a small indoor set-up with five or six plants. However, others opt to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a hydroponics system similar to those found in commercial establishments. This remains a matter of personal preference.
Cannabis cultivation requires certain supplies. Obviously, farmers need seeds and containers, if the seeds won’t go directly into the ground. Gather germination equipment, the desired grow medium, and nutrients or fertilizers before doing anything with the seeds, as this makes the process easier.
Farmers need additional materials when growing marijuana. Lights ensure the plants receive the correct amount needed to grow and thrive, and hygrometers or thermometers provide the necessary environment for development. Furthermore, obtain fans and a grow tent. Let’s look at each item separately.
Purchase high-quality seeds for the best results. Most seeds from reputable sellers cost around $60 on average for a packet of five. Compare the packets carefully, as seeds vary greatly in terms of flavor, strength, yield, and more.
Look for seeds suitable for beginners, as the seeds increase your chance of success in this endeavor. Don’t select the most expensive seeds, as mistakes happen. At the same time, never skimp and choose the least costly seeds. Regardless of the growing conditions, genetics play a major role in the success or failure of the crop.
Don’t spend a fortune on containers, as second-hand items work fine for this purpose. Scrub them thoroughly with soap and water and rinse carefully. Doing so clears the container of any diseases and viruses left over from previous inhabitants.
Read the seed packing before choosing a container. New i49 seed growers often assume seedlings need small containers. Certain marijuana strains abhor the transplant process and fail to thrive when moved after germinating. These strains go directly into a permanent home until harvest, and this may be a large container.
The cost for containers varies greatly depending on selections made by the grower. Use second-hand containers to keep costs down, with some containers being free. Some growers choose fancy, expensive containers they will reuse for other purposes in the future. As a result, calculating estimated costs for these supplies becomes difficult. To give new growers an idea, 10-gallon smart pots cost on average $10. Hydroponic systems, in contrast, cost hundreds of dollars for a good system.
Germination Medium Options
Growers select a germination medium they feel comfortable with. However, read all information provided by the seed supplier. Certain companies only guarantee their seeds will germinate if growers use certain germination mediums. For example, some companies require the use of a paper towel and water for seed germination. Using other methods voids the germination guarantee.
Next, choose a grow medium. Young cannabis plants need compost when developing, and a high-quality potting compost remains the best choice. Purchase one 1.5 cu ft. bag of soil for each plant. Growers typically spend $15 on this product, and many stores offer deals when customers purchase multiple bags at the same time.
Nutrients or Fertilizers
Each cannabis strain comes with its own nutritional requirements. Furthermore, these requirements vary based on the current stage of growth. Growers find the seed supplier and sites dedicated to the growth of marijuana are of great help in determining these needs and purchasing the right products for the selected strain. The price varies greatly on the products selected and the number of girl scout cookie seed or sour diesel weed plants so no simple estimate can be provided.
Invest the majority of your budget in the lighting system. While this element costs more than other components of the marijuana grow setup, don’t cut corners when buying these products. Growing cannabis indoors requires a specific type of light, and growers must choose between HID, LED, and fluorescent lights. Cannabis farmers typically spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on their lighting setup.
Cannabis growers quickly discover the benefits of investing in a grow tent. This maximizes radiation and insulation in the grow area while reducing suspicious smells, and it allows the grower to make the most of the space available for cultivating marijuana. Grow tents cost approximately $120 for a two-by-two house designed to hold two or three plants and increase in price as the size increases.
Thermometers and Hygrometers
Cannabis growers need a hygrometer and thermometer for monitoring humidity and temperature in the grow area. Marijuana requires specific temperatures and humidity levels to develop properly and thrive. Many growers state the purchase of these devices ranks up there in terms of importance with high-quality seeds when it comes to the success of the crop.
Cannabis needs fresh, dry, moving air during all stages of development. Fans provide this ventilation and ensure the air circulates around all plants. Most growers spend around $100 for each fan, and larger grow operations require multiple fans. However, the use of ventilation fans and the lighting setup increase the grower’s electricity bill, and this must factor into the cost of growing marijuana.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council reports indoor commercial cannabis production accounts for 2,000 to 3,000 kilowatt hours of energy use for every pound of product produced. This estimate looks at commercial production, however. How can the average grower calculate the cost of electricity associated with their personal crop?
Determine the cost per kilowatt hour in your area and the wattage of each appliance used in the grow space. Electronic devices share this information on their labels. Next, calculate the number of hours the device will be used on a daily basis during each stage of growth. Keep in mind cannabis plants require more light during the vegetative phase. Multiply the price per kilowatt hour by the number of kilowatts and the number of hours each device runs using this formula:
price per kilowatt hour X number of kilowatts X number of hours
Carry out this calculation for the vegetation phase and the flowering phase and repeat the process for every electronic device used in the grow space. This provides an estimate for the electricity used in the cultivation of your personal white widows strain or wedding cake seed marijuana crop. Experts recommend you add ten percent to this to account for fluctuations in electricity use, so there aren’t surprises when the bill comes in.
Don’t overlook sundries that make cannabis cultivation easier. Consider purchasing gardening gloves to protect the hands and scissors for pruning and harvesting the crop. Gardening twine becomes helpful when branches must be tied up, and storage jars hold the fruits of your labor. While not necessary, these items help in the cultivation process.
Although cannabis farming may appear expensive at first glance, many items are one-time purchases. Furthermore, growing your own cannabis gives you complete control over every step of the process. No price can be put on this. This doesn’t take into account the enjoyment and satisfaction you get from the activity either, which in itself is priceless.