Have you always dreamt of being a farmer out on the open fields (or a closed room with no windows), just you out there, along with the good old soils of Mother Earth? Perhaps you should break into the cannabis cultivation and growing industry. Of course this is not the most passive way to bank in on cannabis, but there surely is an amazing amount of money to be made in this sector. Many of us think of dispensaries as being the main supply of the “legal” weed market, but where do the dispensaries get it? That’s right, farmers. With the shift into cannabis becoming legal around the United States, it’s still hard not to think growing cannabis could land us with 5–10 in the slammer. This is still true if you are not licensed, but a licensed cultivator can bring in some serious dough. California owns the main share of the cannabis industry as of right now, and many farmers earn a full-time income just from growing marijuana for medical use. Can you imagine how much money will be earned when more states legalize the recreational use? This goes back to the gold rush days. The gold is there, you just have to pull it out from the ground.
How To Sell
Since marijuana is technically still federally illegal, the regulations for selling in states vary to a degree, but let’s take the state with the largest market as an example. California has a very free enterprise way of letting farmers big and small make a case for their weed. There are literally lines outside of dispensaries each morning pitching their plants to the owners. Although this creates a great free market for the little guy, it may get a little chaotic running from dispensary to dispensary each morning hawking pot to dealers. But this is still the “wild west” days of pot; if you don’t hustle you will not separate yourself out from the crowd. Growers will agree that if you are a very small home-based grower, you will have a much harder time getting steady business. This is because dispensaries are looking for a bulk amount of weed and a consistent supply.
How Much The Grower Makes
Once again taking California as the “standard” for the industry, let’s examine how much farmers make for selling their green plants. There has been a recent influx of growers anticipating the boom, so prices per pound of cannabis have gone down a little over the last few years. Many suspect it could go back up once the serious growers are separated from the lazy, half-ass growers just looking for a quick buck. Because of the influx of growers, the more pounds you can grow the better. The price dispensaries pay per pound of pot in California averages between $1000 and $2000 depending on the cannabis being offered. Growers find that producing at least 200 pounds a year is the threshold for a good income. Head growers for dispensaries can make anywhere from $75,000 to $130,000 a year based off of this strategy, and when more states begin to legalize, the numbers can be even higher. Many home cultivators make upwards of a million dollars. For more information on what the price is in your area, you may try http://www.rollitup.org for a real-time going rate dispensaries are paying.
Costs Of Growing
Growing marijuana on a large scale can have significant costs, just as any other business. The small novice grower can get away with growing for as little as $200, but the real money comes in when you scale the business up to a commercial venture. The start-up costs can be quite a doozy, but after you launch, the business can start paying you back right away. There are so many specifics for growing, this will take an entire book, and so we will save a lot for another time. Below is a general checklist of expenses to keep in mind when you are thinking about going into the growing business.
If you do not own a facility to grow cannabis in, then keep in mind rent will be higher than a normal warehouse or field. Many landlords see this as taking on a significant risk with weed being federally illegal.
· Equipment to grow
Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, cannabis requires much care and this means the equipment and supplies necessary to cultivate a premium plant. Seeds, ventilation, HVAC, heavy machinery, etc.
Permits and fees for getting a licensed facility can be thousands and up to tens of thousands depending on the situation. For example, in Colorado many farmers have been quoted $10,000–$15,000. Go Here to see an example of a cultivation fee structure.
News flash: people want weed. Be sure to protect your investment by getting the proper security system installed for your facility. For fields, this means guards and alarms. Indoor growers can utilize cameras, guards, and reinforced doors and windows. Speaking of venture cannabists, here is a whole company dedicated to Cannabis Security.
· Accountant and legal council
Unless you’re a very experienced CPA or lawyer, you will need both of these to wade through the financial legal process of owning your own growing facility.
Outdoor growers will need access to water, and indoor growers will need access to a variety of utilities such as hydration and electricity.
Don’t forget to insure all of your precious hard work, time, and energy. Things and disasters can happen very quickly, and you don’t want to be left with nothing. Cannasure is an insurance agency specifically for the cannabis industry.
Growing cannabis indoors is the most popular way cultivators produce the plant. The main advantage of growing indoors is that unlike outside, you can control the environment. This will lead to a better manipulation of what kind of buds you get. Another big advantage is that you can grow and produce all season long, avoiding the cold and freezing winter seasons. Depending on the strain you choose, growing indoor techniques allow for a higher controlled quality of cannabis, which will bank you more money for resale to dispensaries. The disadvantages are things like learning the proper lighting, and relying 100% on synthetic hydration, as opposed to the natural sunlight and rainfall. Because of this, the utility bills will be higher and you will need to calibrate the method more precisely.
The outdoor method of growing is considered to be “easier” and more reliable for many climates. After all, marijuana does grow in the wild, and outdoor growth can have many benefits. Marijuana grown outside is exposed to the natural elements, and this means a natural source of sun for natural light, and rain for natural hydration purposes. The air also provides the right amount of C02, which can be very hard to fabricate at an indoor facility. Outside growing usually means a bigger space to work, which in turn means a chance of yielding a higher quantity of plants. Higher quantity, of course, means more money.
One must keep in mind that even though growing is getting more competitive in places like California, the U.S. has only scratched the surface of the cannabis growth industry. Many states will continue to legalize the drug, resulting in more and more markets opening for growing. As these markets open up, the profit margins for growers will increase and opportunity will arise all over America. The key is being fast to the new boom, and establishing a brand and market before it becomes too saturated. There will always be a need for growers, so this is something that if taken seriously, will in return have a serious effect on your wallet.
Growing could actually be one of the best-kept secrets for the motivated entrepreneur, as much of the focus remains on dispensaries. Less glorified than other jobs, marijuana farmers have a chance to laugh all the way to the bank. Though growing is a tough job that requires practice and patience, selling the drug is quick and easy, as compared to waiting for retail customers to enter a shop.