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Marijuana use has grown dramatically over the last few years. Indeed, some research including the 2019 World Drug Report has concluded that marijuana usage has risen some 60% across the world over the last decade.
This equates to around 200 million regular users of cannabis around the globe in 2019, a number that has surely grown over the last year or so.
In 2020, Covid caused many lockdowns across the world but cannabis dispensaries were largely allowed to stay open as they provided an essential service to many. There are over 3.5 million users of medical marijuana in the States alone, so it is clear why dispensaries were allowed to open or at least deliver during the lockdowns.
Something else happened during Covid, and that involved many people trying to grow their own weed. Many for the first time.
Is it a good idea to grow your own cannabis or should you let the professionals do it instead?
The hobby factor
One thing that happened during 2020 was that people found themselves stuck at home with little to do. Sure, millions of people signed up to Netflix and Disney+ or played their favorite games online, but lockdown fatigue kicked in for many as they ran out of ideas for home entertainment. That’s when a number of people decided to start growing herbs, vegetables, and of course, cannabis.
There are many unique challenges to growing your own cannabis including pH levels, air quality control, and pests. However, as a number of people discovered, it is a great hobby too.
Growing any plants can be a highly enjoyable, not to mention productive way to spend your time. And, one huge bonus of growing weed or other ‘consumable’ plants is that you can save money.
The cash factor
Another reason you might want to grow your own weed is to save money. An ounce of weed at a dispensary might cost you $200 to $300 for a good quality strain but growing your own can bring the price down to a fraction of that.
Over time, as you grow more plants the cost of each ounce will be reduced. You might end up with 17 ounces from each plant and depending on your local laws you might be able to grow four plants at one time.
It is estimated that an ounce produced from a home-grown plant may cost less than $10. However, this only pans out once you have been growing over a period of time as there is an investment to consider.
The fluctuation factor
While it has all been good news so far and you are now planning and thinking of your new grow room, you need to think of the costs involved.
While it is certain that you could save money in the long term, there is an initial investment that may make you decide that dispensary or street brought weed is the better option.
During Covid, the prices of weed in some regions and countries shot through the roof as availability was cut in some areas. France has the tightest cannabis laws in Europe but it also has some of the highest consumption rates. During the lockdown, the borders were restricted and this led to the price of cannabis shooting up.
The price of 100 grams of resin shot up to 500 euros on the streets of France. It is these prices that lead many to consider growing their own weed. However, the price of setting up can cost thousands of dollars.
The investment factor
The truth is you could start growing on a budget. If you can go without that dispensary bought ounce of weed, you can put that cash towards setting up your own grow area and start your new hobby.
If you factor in all the purchases you need plus electricity costs to grow your first harvest though, it can look a bit more expensive.
Consider the following items and their cost:
- Water tanks
- Carbon filter
- Nutrient starter kit
This isn’t taking into account the extra hardware you need, the months of electricity you will be using, the water, and building a grow area. All in all, you are looking at an average of around $2,000 with a minimum outlay of $1,500 if you want to do it properly.
You can, of course, cut corners and do it for a few hundred, but if it goes wrong then you have lost your cash and you still have no weed. Growing at home means learning how to grow marijuana properly and there are many ways you can lose a crop before it comes time to harvest.
The convenience factor
How much this affects you will be down to how easy you want life to be. While there is an undeniable pleasure in growing plants and the feeling you get when you harvest your own weed is far greater than when you make a purchase, it takes time.
You have to consider how active a gardener you really are. It might be that going to a dispensary for weed is just more convenient.
Then there is the variety. Popping into your local dispensary or ordering online means you can try different types of cannabis such as Subway Scientist strain or something else. You can also check online and see what others thought of your intended purchase.
Reading about a particular strain can help you make an informed choice about your purchase, especially when you can see how other consumers rated it. You also don’t have to wait for many moons for your weed to grow.
The legal factor
The laws surrounding cannabis are constantly changing as more states relax their legislations so it is important to keep up with the news. Texas, for instance, has some very strict laws surrounding drugs and cannabis is still prohibited. This includes both using, possessing, and cultivating.
Having said this, many states have now allowed room for people at home to grow their own weed. Whether you decide to grow cannabis or not may simply come down to where you live.
The consideration factor
If you do grow your own weed you need to consider your neighbors too. Is your home actually suitable for growing weed without upsetting the folks living next door? While there may be no legal problems, you might upset your neighbors through the visibility of the plants and the odor.
You need to make sure your grow room is properly ventilated and any odors are filtered out. You also need to make sure your plants are not visible to neighbors or just as importantly, anyone passing by.
There have been several thefts involving weed plants that have been spotted from the road, especially just as they are ready to be harvested. Attracting unwanted elements to your home will not endear you to your neighbors.
There are many pros and cons to growing weed. It could be the hobby you have been looking for and might even lead to an even bigger interest in horticulture in general. It could save you money and give you full control over your weed too.
However, there is a certain convenience to being able to visit a dispensary and choose from multiple strains in the store, receive advice, and walk out with a few grams of weed ready to smoke.