With the global legal marijuana market projected to reach $70.6 billion by 2028, more and more entrepreneurs and investors are looking for opportunities to get a foothold in this emerging industry.
The specific applications and consumer trends that will take off in the coming years remains to be seen, but one of the most future-proof ways to enter the cannabis industry is to get in on the cultivation side. With that in mind, here are some criteria to look for when choosing the right cannabis growing property:
Outdoor properties, like farms, are some of the most affordable options for those interested in cannabis cultivation. The tradeoff for that affordability, though, is increased risk. Crops are more vulnerable to extreme weather, pests, disease and theft. Here’s the criteria to look for that can help mitigate those risks:
- Good soil. Cannabis needs slightly acidic soil that’s high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
- Regular rainfall. The more natural rainfall your farm gets, the less you’ll have to rely on your irrigation system. This can save you even more money.
- Pest and disease prevention. Outdoor crops are more vulnerable to pests and disease. As a cannabis entrepreneur, you’ll need to decide whether you want to go with chemical solutions like pesticides or organic solutions like pest-repelling plants. Make sure the farm you’re interested in uses the methods you’re interested in using.
- Security. Outdoor crops are more vulnerable to theft so look for farms that have robust security systems in place or, if it’s not yet operational, have the potential to be made secure.
Greenhouses are a good middle ground between outdoor growing and indoor growing. They’re often cheaper than warehouses or indoor grow facilities but more secure and more protected against extreme climate or pests than outdoor facilities. Here’s what to look for in a cannabis greenhouse:
- Ventilation. A greenhouse needs good air flow to prevent overheating and excess humidity from harming the crops inside.
- Temperature regulation. While most greenhouses won’t need a heating system unless it’s in an especially cold climate, most will need a cooling system in addition to ventilation to keep temperatures at the right level during the hottest months.
- Humidity control. In humid climates, keeping humidity levels inside your greenhouse just right might require a more robust humidity-control system beyond the ventilation.
- Security. Basic security features like a lockable door and alarm system are a must. Additional features like blackout walls or curtains can provide added safety.
Indoor facilities like warehouses provide the most security and give owners the most control over growing conditions. However, this increased control also means you’ll spend more on utilities like electricity and water to maintain those optimal conditions. Here’s what to look for in an indoor grow facility:
- Power. Growing indoors requires a lot of power so it’s important to make sure that the facility has adequate power to run the entire operation.
- Lighting system. Ideally, it already has a full lighting system with adjustable brightness levels and programmable timers so you can set the specific light levels and time based on each growth phase.
- Advanced climate control. You need an efficient, updated HVAC system for keeping the temperature consistent and safe. You also need humidity monitors and the ability to humidify or dehumidify, as necessary.
- Containment. To avoid cross-contamination and to maintain a consistent supply of cannabis, fully separated and insulated rooms will be necessary. Growing seedlings have different environmental requirements than flowering plants. Cross-pollination can interfere with the purity and quality of specific strains you’re growing. You want to be able to precisely regulate the temperature, humidity and lighting of a single area without it impacting the conditions of another area or worrying about cross-pollination between separate crops.
Zoning and Licensing Compliance
Just because a property meets all the right specifications for growing doesn’t necessarily mean that state or local regulations will permit owners to use it for cannabis. Zoning restrictions and licensing requirements are very different for cannabis than they are for other crops. These special considerations can make finding property suitable for growing cannabis challenging. Regulations differ from state to state and even from town to town.
To find properties that not only offer optimal grow conditions but also comply fully with local licensing requirements for growing cannabis, real estate listing sites, like 420 Property, that specialize in cannabis properties are key. This takes a lot of the hassle out of the search because you won’t be wasting time on due diligence for properties that end up not being zoned or licensed for cannabis anyway. On 420 Property, every listing is suitable for cannabis businesses, and most include licensing type and other relevant legal information right in the description.