There were, of course, “various growers doing it long before it was legal” but even pot veterans find their expertise distinctly lacking. “People have done the best they can given the resources,” Adams says – but growing marijuana for personal use or illegal sale isn’t the same as running a professional operation. “I’ve noticed that there is a pretty big labor shortage in the marijuana industry,” says Adams. “That’s one of the major problems we’re facing right now: there’s no training anyone can take.”
1. Don’t rely on past experience
She continues: “A lot of people have been growing for 20 years. That’s great. Chances are they are very knowledgeable about growing the plant. But when it comes to regulations, financials and everything to do with exchange, they have no idea how that part works.”
2. Get to know the logistics
So what exactly makes for a good professional manager of marijuana for medical purposes?
Smaller producers in rainy climates such as Oregon and Washington are investing in rainwater collection and storage capabilities to save on irrigation costs. Because a single cannabis plant can use as much as 22.7 liters of water per day and many cannabis outdoor growing seasons conflict with periods of low-precipitation, outdoor growers and those who rely on rainwater capture without long-term storage solutions won’t find much benefit in a recyclable water investment.
As true historically as it is today, major financial institutions are averse to lending money to cannabis-based initiatives and business ventures. Under FDIC insurance rules, banks can lose their protection under federal law by taking on “existential” risks – including investment in companies who are technically violating federal law. Thankfully, more and more financial institutions are beginning to make investments in cannabis companies who support and service producers and retailers, but don’t necessarily have direct contact with the products themselves.
If you choose any aspect of your cannabis grow operation more carefully than others, let it be the soil. The grow medium is an essential aspect of growing any crop, but the quality of soil can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of the final flower. You’ll also want to carefully monitor the pH levels of your soil, as cannabis plants prefer pH environments of 5.5-6.5.
Indoor Growing Facilities
Running a successful commercial cannabis grow operation is an expensive challenge. While growers can maintain a higher level of control over humidity, available light, and pests in an indoor environment, maintaining proper light levels and staying as energy-efficient as possible are top priorities for commercial cannabis production operations.
Fully automated greenhouse structures with light deprivation systems allow you to quickly build a long-lasting and multi-season grow facility for a top-quality product. See WeatherPort Shelter Systems® Cannabis Greenhouse.
Seeds or Clones to Start Your Cannabis Grow Operation?
The first rule of choosing a cannabis clone for the basis of your grow operation is to ensure the plant intended for cloning was taken from a female plant. Clone dispensaries and resources often sell individual clone plants from $10-15 each that have already been cut, cured, and allowed to root. This can be advantageous to a quick and rapid growth cycle, cutting 2-3 weeks off your initial production time. However, clones are susceptible to mold and pests, so be sure to check the root system of the clone before your make a purchase to look for signs of infestation.
With total sales in Washington State reaching $2 billion since recreational cannabis was legalized in 2014, entrepreneurs from all around the world are considering an investment in American recreational cannabis production. From first-time business owners looking to capitalize on a new market to larger institutions and established organizations establishing a foothold pre-federal legalization, there’s plenty of opportunity for intrepid business ventures within the recreational cannabis market going forward. This is your guide to starting a commercial cannabis grow operation.