The cost associated with growing marijuana plants can be a bit scary if you don’t know your stuff, but your new hobby really doesn’t have to break the bank. Even indoor growing can be quite affordable when well planned, and it is also a discreet way to produce high yields for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
Your marijuana plants need enough light to grow, and generally, 3-4 hours of direct sunlight is the minimum needed. A windowsill will typically give them enough to do it effectively. Grow lights can provide higher yields, but natural sunlight has been doing a great job since long before LEDs were invented, and it’s totally free!
Organic Cannabis Soil Recipe
Avoid Common Mistakes
Indoor growing using a LED – powered grow tent
Lots of potential growers are worried about the expenses around growing marijuana. At a Pot for Pot, we offer the perfect comprehensive solution to growing that is easy and affordable. Just about anyone can grow cannabis with the right tools and information, and we focus on providing everything that a home grower needs. Our kits include everything, from a step-by-step guide, to specially formulated Superb Soil. In other words, it’s a one-stop shop for your growing needs.
Growing cannabis outdoors can be a very simple startup process. The biggest factor to take into account is the climate where you live. It needs to be sunny and dry enough to promote growth and prevent rot, and it needs to stay sunny and warm long enough into the fall to allow the plants to finish flowering. Growing in a greenhouse can help regulate temperature and moisture-related issues.
When including estimated labor costs of $20 per day for the growing period, the prices change significantly. (We adjusted the labor time needed for the 2′ x 2′ space at $10 per day because the size of the space is much more manageable.)
For the most part, this is also true of cannabis, but let’s take a look at the numbers and see how growing your own stash and buying from a dispensary or adult use store compare.
Growing Cannabis Outdoors
The ability to walk into a store and purchase cannabis products is a luxury that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Products like flower, concentrates, edibles, and more range in potency, flavor, and effect, and require expensive machinery and a high level of skill to produce. The diversity of flower and quality genetics is something most consumers couldn’t dream of 20 years ago.
Reflecting on the costs between purchasing cannabis and growing your own in addition to the benefits that each method has to offer might have you clearly leaning to one side or stuck in a stalemate. Cannabis is not cheap or easy to grow, and chances are you will get higher quality, more diverse products at the local shop.
Labor Costs and Their Impact on Price Per Gram
If you’re curious about the approximate costs of growing your own cannabis, keep in mind that pricing varies between growing indoors and outdoors, as well as the size of your grow.
With a 1000-watt bulb, ideally, you will produce up to a gram of flower per watt. Realistically, when starting out, you might get anywhere between half a gram and a gram per watt. This assumes you avoid pests and disease, and you feed your plants nutrients to keep them healthy. You should set aside an hour or more every couple days to observe your plants and work in the garden to keep your plants happy.
First, because commercial cultivation operations are fairly new, there is not enough data (unless you have operated your own facility–lucky us!) but also it is because these KPI’s are very dependent on your cultivation and post-harvest methodologies. The level of automation some mass-market growers achieve using an automated fertigation system and a trimming machine allows them to cut on labor costs and therefore cut on overall operational costs but that comes at expense of the quality (and that's reflected on the price per pound).
Ultimately, all of these costs (fixed and variable) will determine the all-in cost of goods sold of your cannabis flower pound. Your yields will play a significant role on this calculation, as you need to divide the total cost of operations for a period of time (say 1 month) by the number of pounds you produced in that same time-period.
May 4th, 2020 by Rudy Ellenbogen
Building a new indoor or greenhouse cultivation facility can cost millions. Depending on the quality of the infrastructure and the capacity of the systems an indoor grow of 10,000sf can easily cost $2,000,000. And that is just the build out (retrofit), not considering the land.
It is important to make sure your productivity levels (yields) and your costs of operation are consistent month over month. If they are not, it is best to use averages or a longer period of months for this calculation. Therefore, say you harvested 300 pounds of flower over 2 months and your costs were $150,000 per month then your cost per pound is $150,000/month x 2 months divided by 300 pounds in those 2 months = $1,000/pound
Now, running a cannabis cultivation operation has several cost components including: cultivation labor, trimming labor, packaging labor, administrative staff, management team, sales and marketing teams, nutrients, soil, packaging, cultivation and trimming tools, rent, utilities, insurance, legal, accounting, banking fees, maintenance, shipping, testing and let’s not forget about TAXES!
Therefore it is essential that you create a thorough budget and track your expenses to accurately project your performance. To do that you must understand key performance indicators (KPI’s). Knowing the average productivity of employees for each task will allow you to size your teams and knowing the rate of supplies required to produce at capacity will determine your other operational costs.