Being a professional grower is a big venture for those who live in countries or states that have legalized marijuana cultivation. As a professional grower, you must cultivate cannabis plants and sell the produced to dispensaries. Thus, learning how to grow marijuana commercially is very important.
How to Grow Marijuana Commercially?
If you are from one of those areas and you want to be a commercial grower, then this guide on how to grow marijuana commercially. Your business is more likely to thrive and prosper if you know where to begin.
Create a Business Plan
Creating a business plan for this type of venture is a bit different from the ordinary business plan. Apart from the usual hurdles, you have to consider the cannabis regulations implemented in your location and make sure your business will not violate any of those rules. Likewise, you must consider these factors:
- Traceability and security
- Compliance standards and employee training
- Waste removal
- Logistics and transportation for retail packing, and processing
- Testing protocols and capabilities
- An accurate description for grow facility, operations preparation, and the production process.
Choose a Perfect Grow Site and Set up Your Grow Operation
Putting up a cannabis production facility is much easier than putting up a local dispensary. A perfect site for growing commercial cannabis is a remote location that is also secure and can be expanded in the long run. It should be away from parks, public schools, libraries, transit centers, and arcades which cater to minors.
Also, your grow site can be an outdoor or indoor growing facility. If you choose an outdoor facility, then it should have a physical barrier or an obscure wall that must be 8 feet tall or even higher. If you prefer an indoor growing facility, it should be a secured and enclosed facility that has functional doors, windows, rigid, and semi-rigid walls and a roof.
Still, you have to know first the regulations imposed for putting up a commercial grow facility. Follow the regulations for a worry-free setup.
Soil, Space, and Basic Infrastructure for Commercial Cannabis Production
You will need some materials like grow tents. A grow tent measuring 5 ft. by 10 ft. is enough for growing 5 plants or more, but a professional grow facility is a must if you’re after a massive cannabis production.
Also, check the soil quality. You can’t use ordinary soil or any other form of soil. What you need is a healthy soil mix made for cannabis. Maintain the ideal soil pH level. It should be between 5.5 to 6.5.
Proper ventilation and air circulation are also necessary. Marijuana plants need more lighting and proper ventilation at the same time. Grow lights can make your grow room too hot quickly, so be sure it’s also equipped with exhaust fans or aircon for proper air circulation and efficient temperature control.
When setting up a grow room, make sure it will be big enough for the number of plants you are planning to grow. Remember, their roots will tend to grow bigger than the rest, so there should be enough space for those developing parts. Grow bags are necessary, too. Put them in the permeable table with trays or tarps to gather water runoff.
Electrical and Lighting
The electric cost of putting up a commercial grow space is your biggest expense. Irrigation control, air conditioning, ventilation, and artificial lighting systems need a stable and good amount of electricity. To reduce the cost without hurting your plants, you may invest in LED or HPS grow lights and solar panels
To save on water, you can recycle water or collect rainwater. Using an energy-efficient greenhouse is also useful for marijuana production.
Compliance with the Regulations and Security for Marijuana Production
Compliance with the national or state regulations and security is crucial to success, especially in the recreational cannabis sector. Producers should account for highly prized money crop but the cash-only nature of the recent state-level limited recreational marijuana industry. Also, you need to ensure the protection and security of your employees.
Always refer to the cannabis law regulations implemented in your country or state as these rules may differ from state to state or country to country. Perhaps, you may need a security alarm system or a surveillance system. A video surveillance camera may also be useful. However, you can’t use install these security systems unless specified by the state or national cannabis laws in your location.
Selecting and Promoting Marijuana Products
Cannabis strains come in two forms: medical and recreational. Your commercial grow can carry both types and as much as you can cultivate. Just make sure you label and promote them correctly.
Indica plants are different from sativa. Incorrect labeling of your products can be troublesome for people who depend on marijuana for therapeutic purposes. These people may fail to receive the expected reaction or treatment for their health condition due to improperly labeled marijuana products.
Also, you must ensure the quality of your products. Each strain is different, so you can’t grow them all in just one way. You have to know the care and breeding specifications for each plant to ensure a healthy yield during harvest.
Should You Start with Clones or Seeds?
If your operation begins with seeds, the process can be lengthy and more difficult. However, seeds will let you control the whole growth cycle. Starting with clones speed up the growing process, but it leaves your plants prone to diseases, mold, and shock when replanting is necessary.
If you go for seeds, you may get them in regular, autoflowering, and feminized varieties. Feminized cannabis seeds are the best for commercial grow as they are bred to produce only female plants.
Regular seeds are affordable and more reliable compared to other seed types. However, regular seeds can be either male or female. Male seeds are useless for commercial cannabis production. They are only useful in seed production as they produce seeds, not flowers.
Autoflowering seeds don’t depend on the light cycle. These plants will flower based on their age. These cannabis seeds grow as small plants, but their yields are pretty decent, too.
If you choose to begin with clones, then make sure the parent plants are females and healthy. Clones are simply cuttings taken from mature cannabis plants. Hence, these young plants will have whatever qualities the parent plants have.
Of course, you have to mind your budget. It’s expensive to start a commercial grow operation. Cannabis seeds and even the clones are expensive. Aside from that, you have to invest in other supplies and pieces of equipment that can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. This guide on how to grow marijuana commercially must help you have a great start.