In many areas, there is a six-plant limit. If that seems small, keep in mind that with just six plants or less, you can still yield plenty. Plus, it is way easier to handle six plants instead of something like fourteen. This is especially true when growing indoors. Think about how much yield you can produce under a grow lamp. For example, using four plants under a 600-watt HPS (High Pressure Sodium) lamp will produce more yield than squeezing sixteen of them under that lamp.
So how much should you grow?
The other good thing about LED lights is that they are cost effective. Using LED lights can save you money compared to Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL). CFL lights take longer to become fully lit and can’t be dimmed, so they’re not very energy efficient. LEDs emit very little heat to produce the same amount of good light as HPS lights. You can produce a much larger yield with 5 marijuana plants in a 600-watt grow tent (see above) using HPS lights than with CFL lights in the same space.
Indoor growing using a 600-watt grow tent
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!
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) for example, are the weakest but are useful for small grow rooms and available from as little as $50 for 200 Watts, depending on the spectrum. HID and LED lights are more expensive but provide far more light. For example, a 140-Watt light could cost over $300, but is far more ‘energy efficient’ than CFLs.
A super soil mix can cost between $20 and $50, while there are also nutrient kits on the market for $80+. There is a school of thought that professional soil and nutrient mixes are a better option than natural plant soil because of fewer contaminants.
Incidentally, Canadian companies are selling ‘starter kits’ for under $500. They consist of a 2’ x 2’ grow tent, nutrients, pH drops, a digital timer, clip fan, adjustable hangers, lighting, and CO2 bags. You also have to factor in the cost of electricity, but that is an exceptional deal.
As your plants don’t get the benefit of sunlight when growing indoors, it is your responsibility to ensure they get all the light they need. During the vegetative stage, your plants should be exposed to at least 18 hours of light per day. It drops to 12 hours during blooming. There is a variety of grow light options which vary in price and power.
Electricity costs are harder to calculate because the cost varies across the United States. The national average is approximately You can purchase seeds online for anywhere between $10 and $20 apiece. There should also be options to purchase 3-packs, 5-packs, and 10-packs at least. A 10-pack should cost 20% or so less per seed. A 5-pack is the most popular option (most states only allow you to grow a maximum of six plants) and will probably cost approximately $60..13 per kWh. A 320-Watt LED grow light probably uses almost 6-kilowatt hours per day during the vegetative stage . In flowering, the same light uses almost 4-kilowatt hours a day. Overall, the cost of electricity for this single grow light is approximately $4 per week. For three lights and a 10-week grow, your electricity cost is $120.
With legal medicinal marijuana now available in 33 American states and D.C. , the industry is set for a golden age. In fact, there are so many commercial cultivators that states such as Oregon have a massive surplus. In 2017, the global legal marijuana industry was worth around $9.5 billion per annum; the United States accounted for 90% of it!
The Cannabis Business Plan website suggests that the average commercial operation has costs of $830,000 per annum! When you add in the heavy taxes on weed businesses, and difficulties finding a bank that will do business with you, cannabis-based businesses will find it tough to make their fortune.
But growing your own cannabis does present some difficulties. Pests, mold, and other diseases can rapidly sabotage a grow and leave you with a bad crop. If you’re completely new to growing, trial and error could lead to some costly mistakes as you learn how to properly raise healthy crops with strong yields.
If you already own equipment from growing other types of plants, you can certainly reuse many of these startup materials for growing cannabis. Growing just a plant or two in your yard will cost even less than the prices listed in these table.
Cost Estimates of Growing Cannabis Indoors
Not included in the price estimates is the cannabis plants themselves. For this exercise, we’ll use six clones to save space and reduce our vegetative growth time. A single clone can cost between $10-$30, but higher-quality clones can be more expensive. Our plants will spend around a month in vegetative growth and around 8-10 weeks flowering.
For this estimate, we are growing in a climate where plants can be outside from the start of the season (July) to the end of the season (October). Again, we assume using clones to start, which aren’t included in our cost estimates.
Estimated Price Per Gram of Indoor and Outdoor Cannabis Grows
It also allows you to explore growing techniques, genetics, harvest times, and curing strategies. This all requires time and effort, but it’s satisfying in the long run.