Still classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the United States with many governing regulatory agencies alike, the medicinal value of cannabis is still a conversation of great debate. As the times change and a more widely accepted view of cannabis and its true potential come to light, there is still a diminished view on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) involved with its large-scale commercial cultivation, and the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) that correlate with differing methodologies. While the cultivation of cannabis dates back thousands of years through history, there is still a vague understanding of the benefits and holdbacks associated with growing such a valuable crop. The infrastructure needed to potentiate the medicinal value of such a diverse flower is undoubtably specific to the desired market share and, in turn, the business plan at hand. As any qualified business owner knows, there must be a happy balance between quality vs quantity to achieve an affordable high-end output.
Many of todays skilled outdoor farmers have the instilled mindset to produce enormous plants primarily due to the laws governing production. With a limited plant count to follow and a large piece of land, the advantages of this method can bring the initial capital investment along with the price of production way down. Little infrastructure is needed minus the cost of land and operating expenses are limited to soil, water, fertilizer, and labor. The sun provides a free natural source for plants to thrive and can enhance phenotypical expressions of certain genetics. An outdoor cannabis farm can be developed for as little as $15 a square foot. The real cost comes with the power of mother nature. There is very little control over environmental factors such as weather, pests, and molds and, in turn, a wide range for root causes of variation. Crop loss can occur on any given day and pharmaceutical grade cannabis that can pass newly developed stringent testing is very hard to attain.
Greenhouse cannabis production is a fresh market, ready to be explored. Simple hoop house structures can be formed for as little as $30 a square foot but with no environmental controls in place and at great risk for failure. Greater investment into greenhouse infrastructure can put the bill around $125 a square foot but still leaves a wide variation of risk that can incur crop loss. On the other hand, hybrid style greenhouses that incorporate the influence of the sun with the environmental controls of indoor cultivation can easily cost over $250 a square foot to build. These facilities have light penetrating roofs utilizing the sun where deprivation techniques can be installed in areas of the world that do not have year-round light cycles for flowering cannabis. They can be developed almost anywhere in the world where there is enough water and power supply. The ability to produce medicinal grade flower that can pass government testing is greater, but the operating cost of climate control can soar through the roof.
There is no doubt that the best way to cultivate and process pharmaceutical grade cannabis is an all-inclusive controlled environment indoors. With all factors taken into consideration mother nature can be replicated for flowering cannabis to reach its optimal potential. Full control over light, temperature, humidity, C02, pests, mold, mildew, fertigation, irrigation, plant work, and sterilization. Indoor cannabis farming correlated with proper infrastructure and proven standard operating procedures can mitigate all root variations of risk and, in turn, provide unmatched results. Advanced base infrastructure will average $250 a square foot but will provide a sustainable asset that gains value over time. With proper investment into green energy practice, reclamation technique, and high yielding genetics, the cost of goods sold will always be higher than outdoor but can beat hybrid greenhouse operational costs. Investment into automation will give the farmer an advantage untouched by outdoor cultivation and the business owner a fast and profitable return on investment. Adapting and evolving with the most progressive technology is going to give the indoor farmer the upper hand with the ability to produce connoisseur grade cannabis on a very large scale. The team here at TheraCann International Corporation are mastering the art of indoor cannabis cultivation.
By Mack Lewis – Director of BenchmarkGROW for TheraCann International.
For more information on Cannabis grow technologies and our services, please contact Mack Lewis, Director of BenchmarkGROW for TheraCann International.