Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use on January 1, 2014 and, in June of 2019, total marijuana revenue surpassed $1 billion. Proven already to be a lucrative industry, this number will only continue to climb. Its early stage makes it very appealing for entrants because there are countless business and investment opportunities available, such as growing and processing marijuana for mass consumption.
Since its legalization, many have tried to grow mass amounts of marijuana for either personal or commercial use. However, growing marijuana for mass consumption is very different from growing large amounts for personal use, for several reasons. Read below to learn more about growing and processing marijuana for mass consumption!
Permits, Legislations, and Legal Issues
If you are interested in growing marijuana for mass production, be sure to do your research beforehand. Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, but certain states have legalized it for recreational and medical use.
If you can legally grow marijuana in your state, you must do more research and apply for proper permits, registrations, and licenses. Since the marijuana industry is so young, the legal issues and requirements are very complicated. For more information, speak with an attorney in your area. They can provide you with proper information and make sure you are following all local rules and guidelines.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Growth
Mass amounts of marijuana can be grown indoors or outdoors. Growing large amounts of marijuana outdoors can be difficult for two reasons. First, climate elements like temperature, sunlight, and humidity play a significant role in the marijuana plant’s development. Areas such as the Pacific Northwest are ideal, but many struggle to grow marijuana in their local climate because of inconsistencies.
Second, there are some legal issues with growing marijuana outdoors. The specific guidelines vary from state to state, but, generally speaking, marijuana gardens must be fenced in, invisible to the public, and securely locked. However, outdoor growth can be a great option, when feasible, because it eliminates much of the costs required for temperature regulation, lighting, and irrigation. Growing marijuana indoors is costly, and outdoor growth is significantly cheaper over the long run.
A grow house is likely the best indoor option for mass marijuana production. Marijuana grow houses are similar to other greenhouses, but they are exclusively designed and used for marijuana growth. Grow houses can be existing buildings, such as homes or warehouses, repurposed for marijuana growth or steel structures built specifically for marijuana growth. Grow houses create miniature controlled climates that allow marijuana to thrive throughout its different stages of development.
Ordering Seeds and Growth Conditions
You should prepare to grow mass quantities of marijuana by ordering seeds. They can be purchased at a dispensary or online. Before ordering, be sure to research specific strains and find the one you want to grow. They usually come in packs of 10-12 and start around $40, but higher-quality seeds can be upward of $200.
Whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, you must create the ideal environment for marijuana plants. Proper soil, water, lighting, humidity, and temperature conditions lead to bountiful harvests and healthy marijuana plants.
Marijuana should be grown in soil for mass production. Hydroponic growth, in a liquid medium, is a very popular option for growing marijuana, but it is costly, complicated, and time-consuming to set up. The soil must be full of nutrients to help the plants grow, and there are different indoor and outdoor soils available to create the perfect environment for your plants.
Marijuana plants grown outdoors should be able to absorb enough water from precipitation and soil for proper growth. When growing outdoors, water your plants more during hotter weather and less on humid days. For indoor growth, many prefer to use irrigation systems. Be sure to monitor your plant’s hydration because over- or under-watering marijuana plants leads to poor growth.
Marijuana plants also require light to grow, either artificially or naturally. When growing outdoors, your plants are naturally exposed to sunlight. The amount of sunlight exposure depends on your climate and location, so research the best times for sunlight exposure before planting. When growing indoors, HID (high intensity discharge), CFL (compact fluorescent light), and LED (light emitting diode) lights are most commonly used to recreate the effects of sunlight and stimulate growth.
Outdoor marijuana growth requires a warmer temperature to be successful—something you unfortunately have no control over unless you change your geographic location entirely. When growing indoors, many use ductless mini splits to regulate the temperatures and humidity. These air conditioners are very efficient, meaning they help reduce the already costly energy costs of indoor grow houses.
They can be set at whatever temperature your plants need for proper growth and can be programmed to cycle since your plants require cooler temperatures at night. They also control humidity levels in grow houses, which helps your plants grow tall and strong. All of the above elements will vary for specific strains, so make sure you research the best growing environment for your seeds and plan accordingly.
Stages of Marijuana Plant Life
Marijuana plants have four main phases during growth. During each stage, the plant requires different temperature, watering, lighting, humidity conditions, and care in general. The early germination phase lasts about a week and is when the seed is waiting for water to sprout properly. The seedling phase is when leaves appear, and it lasts about two to three weeks. Growth or vegetation lasts two to eight weeks, and this is when the leaves and stem see their most significant growth. The final flowering phase is when the buds appear, and this lasts about six to eight weeks.
Storing Marijuana Plants
After the plant is fully grown and harvested, the buds must be properly dried and cured. This removes moisture and gives the cannabis its smell and flavor. It also allows you to store it for long-term use and production.
With this helpful guide, you’re ready to grow and store marijuana for mass production! However, be aware that this is a very general and broad article. For more comprehensive information concerning your specific marijuana-growing situation, research online or consult with a professional.