Cannabis street prices rarely decrease; often it remains surprisingly expensive to buy whether you buy from a legal outlet or from a dealer. But the cost of growing your own cannabis has never been cheaper. Growing your own cannabis is also easier than ever, thanks to the wide range of growing equipment, which is easily available, online or in any local grow shop.
To keep it simple, we look at typical costs for an indoor soil grow using the two most common lights - the 400W and 600W HPS. We also compare the costs of indoor grown cannabis with outdoor and greenhouse grown cannabis.
The costs are calculated for an average home grow with a 600W HPS. Items such as the preferred light, filter and nutrient package can vary significantly. We take an average of the low-cost options. Electricity costs are taken from source http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Energy_price_statistics.
|Equipment for a 600W HPS grow||Cost|
|Grow Tent 1.2m x 1.2m (4 feet x 4 feet)||€120|
|600W HPS lamp, bulb & Ballast||€140|
|4 x 20 litre plant containers||€30|
|60 litres soil||€30|
|20 litres perlite||€25|
|Nutrient package (typical cost, can vary a lot)||€100|
|Miscellaneous electrical (extension cables, etc)||€40|
|Electricity (1500 hours)||€200|
|Equipment for a 400W HPS grow||Cost|
|Grow Tent 0.9m x 0.9m (3 feet x 3 feet)||€80|
|400W HPS lamp, bulb & Ballast||€90|
|Extraction fan, filter, containers, soil, perlite||€170|
|Nutrient package, misc electrical||€100|
The 600W HPS is able to produce more cannabis at a lower price per watt than a 400W HPS grow room. However, the start-up costs for a 600W HPS grow room are more expensive.
|Cost per gram including the equipment purchase costs|
|600W HPS, 300g yield (less experienced grower)||€3 per gram|
|600W HPS, 500g yield (experienced grower)||€1.8 per gram|
|400W HPS, 200g yield (less experienced grower)||€3.1 per gram|
|400W HPS, 300g yield (experienced grower)||€2.1 per gram
Once your equipment has been bought (tent, fan, light, ballast etc) it will last a few years. So for many home growers the real cost of home grown cannabis is the cost of the materials i.e. seeds, soil, electricity and nutrients. For many home growers, this is the ‘real’ cost of their cannabis production. And it shows that a realistic cost of around €1 per gram can be expected for homegrown cannabis, around half of that cost is the electricity. The remainder of the cost is seeds, soil and nutrients.
|Cost per gram not including equipment (just the consumables i.e. seeds, soil, energy, nutrients)|
|600W HPS, 300g yield (less experienced grower)||€1.3 per gram|
|600W HPS, 500g yield (experienced grower)||€0.8 per gram|
|400W HPS, 200g yield (less experienced grower)||€1.5 per gram|
|400W HPS, 300g yield (experienced grower)||€1 per gram|
The indoor grown cannabis calculations show that much of the growing costs is related to electricity and growing equipment (tents, fans etc). Without these costs, it is clear that outdoor grown cannabis is the lowest cost production method of all
|Nutrient package (not always necessary)||€50|
|Soil improvers (lime, manure, compost etc)||€75|
In good conditions the outdoor harvest can vary enormously depending on the climate, ground preparation etc. The best outdoor photoperiod cannabis seeds can easily produce 1-2Kg per plant
These costs don’t include labor. For commercial cannabis growers, the labor costs to grow, harvest and trim the buds all have to be included. For self-sufficient cannabis growers the time commitments to growing cannabis are accepted with a certain amount of pleasure and good will. Indoor growers tend to spend most time with their plants, and many growers will admit that they spend more time with their plants than is really necessary. Growing cannabis, after all, is quite a pleasure for most growers.
Homegrown cannabis is the cheapest way to source your cannabis. With a typical cost of around €1 per gram ($1 per gram or £1.15 per gram) it is about just 15% the typical street price of cannabis.
Outdoor grown cannabis is the least expensive way of all to produce cannabis, it costs perhaps 1-2% of the street cost.
By Tony Dutch Passion
Published in Weed World magazine 126