Methods of Cultivation

The three primary methods of cultivation – outdoor, greenhouse and indoor – have different production profiles.

Outdoor cultivators produce one harvest per year in the fall, whereas indoor cultivators produce year-round and can generate between 3, 4, 6 and 12 harvests per year.  Greenhouse cultivators combine elements of both – exploiting natural light, while leveraging infrastructure and technology – to produce between 3, 4 and 6 harvests per year, though sophisticated, well-equipped greenhouses can run year-round on schedules analogous to indoor production.  The result of this mix of cultivation methods is that growers approach the market differently at different times of the year.  Since outdoor cultivators produce one large harvest in the fall, which drives prices down, they tend to release product into the market in a controlled manner – selling enough in the fall to generate cash flow to cover expenses, but holding back inventory to release later in the year as prices rise.  Thus, outdoor cultivators – in general – are price setters in the fall and price takers in late spring and early summer.

The Cons of outdoor growing include:

  • Growing location is government regulated
  • Dry season requires more effort in watering
  • Deer like to eat and destroy if not tended

Main indoor cons include:

  • Maintaining proper ventilation is difficult
  • Higher household energy costs
  • Pumped with fertilizers

Due to the high energy costs and difficulties with water supplying many businesses now develop their marijuana growing business in greenhouses. Those structures are showing an average cost savings of 33% – electric costs for growing marijuana for that way can drop to about $700 a kg.

Cannabis Cultivation in Greenhouse

  • The biggest advantage Greenhouse Cannabis Growers have is the abundance of natural light coming into the greenhouse. Having said that high intensity grow lights are still needed for supplemental lighting if you want to maximize production.
  • While cannabis likes long daylight during the vegetative stage, a good blackout system is required for the best flowering production.
  • Heating and Cooling Systems are an important component of the cannabis greenhouse as important parts of the integrated growing solution.
  • CO2 is essential for maximizing the quality and production of cannabis.
  • For maximizing cannabis yield, depending on the lighting needs, LED lights or Metal Halide or High-Pressure Sodium lights can be better suited.
  • Ventilation is essential as with all greenhouse crops, however cannabis legislation, and local municipality requirements may also impose strict requirements for eliminating exhaust odors.
  • Cannabis can be grown hydroponically and there are several different systems for bench growing including flood benches, and trough benches. Cannabis plants can also be grown in soil with drip irrigation systems.
  • A nutrient management system is essential for maximizing the production yield of the cannabis plants and ensuring consistent and reliable quality.
  • The brains of the complete cannabis growing system whether a greenhouse production facility or a warehouse grow op is an environmental computer. The computer control systems for a cannabis greenhouse control and monitor all the nutrients, lights, blackout, air circulation, CO2 and irrigation needs of the plants.

Greenhouse Cultivation Startup Costs

Typical startup costs for wholesale cannabis cultivation businesses for greenhouse method is about $50 per square foot whereas indoor method startup will be over $75 per square foot in average. Greenhouse facilities have become more sophisticated technologically, allowing for multiple harvests per year and a degree of environmental control similar to that of indoor grows – resulting in high-quality flower that can be produced more cheaply and at much higher volumes.


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We create medical and recreational cannabis business plans for different types of cannabis business:

Please do not hesitate to contact us to make an order for a cannabis business plan or a cannabis industry research. We will create complete and professional business plan, including pro forma financials and projections to help you know how much money it’ll cost to start your business and how much money you can make by starting and operating your 100% legally compliant medical and recreational cannabis business in Canada.

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