Are indoor grows making legal marijuana far too expensive?
Posted on May 16 2016
The price of marijuana is an interesting thing. Like most crops, it is effectively a commodity, in which the wholesale price is governed by the laws of supply and demand. The more demand for weed there is, the more the price will go up to match it, the larger the supply of weed, the lower the price will be to ensure that it shifts off the shelves.
The price of a gram of weed in legal states has gone from around $25 a gram when it was first legalised in 2012 to under 10$ a gram now. You may be looking at the title of this article and thinking ‘well that’s not really far too expensive, is it?’. It could be however, much cheaper.
Industry experts put the electricity cost of an indoor grow at about 50% of the overall production cost. Meaning that half of the price of your weed just goes towards keeping the lights on. This, along with taxes pushes the cost of legal marijuana higher than the black market, which still exists because it can push out high quality cannabis at lower prices, due to the lack of tax.
What is the way to combat this? Outdoor grows. Outdoor grows have a huge advantage over indoor grows when it comes to cost of production. The initial cost of large greenhouses are rarely more than the initial costs of lighting equipment for indoor grows. The ongoing costs are much lower, because the sun does the work that high intensity lighting would have done so before. It also removes a lot of the problems of pests that tend to thrive outdoors, but are naturally taken care of by predators in outdoor grows.
There are drawbacks to outdoor grows. They can take longer to finish up, and the climate needs to be just right for the strain, which cannot be controlled as closely outdoors as it can indoors. It will however address one large problem, growing marijuana the way we currently do is not good for the environment. Using electricity to grow plants is incredibly inefficient, and is something we will have to look at as legal marijuana grows in popularity across the country.