Cannabis entrepreneurs are eyeing opportunities in the growing cannabis market – everyone wants a piece of the pie that is the “Green Rush,” and the future looks bright.
But, while it’s easy to get all the equipment you need from online retailers like trimleaf, there are other factors to consider before opening your own cannabis business.
To start a successful cannabis growing operation and thrive in the new market, you’ll need to plan strategically and remain mindful of the ever-changing cannabis state laws.
Here is a quick guide that will give you a better idea of what is required to start a grow operation, and what you’ll need to consider before taking the plunge.
Create a Cannabis Business Plan
Although you can expect to plan for the usual hurdles that every business faces – such as financing, competitive research, marketing, operations, and owner structure – creating a cannabis business plan is slightly different from the average business plan.
You’ll need to stay abreast of state-specific cannabis regulations to ensure that you are not overstepping any existing limitations or any new limitations that may arise.
Contact cannabis consulting firms in your area, or contact your state’s cannabis governing agency to discuss state-specific governing laws to ensure that your cannabis growing operation is compliant.
Additionally, you should consider the following in your business plan: security and traceability, proper employee training and compliance standards, waste product removal, transportation and logistics, and testing capabilities and protocols.
You’ll also want to include an accurate description of your grow facility, your operations planning, and the cannabis production process – this will include what equipment, soil, and fertilizers you use.
Choose a Grow Site and Set Up Your Operation
Investing in a cannabis production facility rather than a retail storefront will make beginning operations easier and potentially help you make a profit faster.
Being able to utilize a more remote and out-of-the-way location offers greater security, makes logistics easier and will support future expansions.
Current state laws dictate that producers cannot open grow facilities near schools, public parks, libraries, transit centers, or arcades that host minors.
You will also need to consider the pros and cons of indoor vs. outdoor growing facilities.
Indoor Growing Facilities
Indoor growing facilities must be enclosed and secured, have functional windows, doors, rigid or semi-rigid walls, and a roof.
While indoor facilities allow for more control of humidity, light, and pests, maintaining ideal cannabis growing conditions needs to be as energy-efficient as possible.
Ventilation, Space, Lighting, and Soil
With indoor growing facilities, proper ventilation is paramount. Excess humidity, pests, and disease can destroy an entire crop if there the air exchange is not adequate. Invest in a Greenhouse-specific HVAC system – it will provide accurate climate control to ensure your facility maintains the correct growing conditions.
Allow for at least a five-gallon pot for each plant – cannabis requires a lot of room and smaller containers will result in smaller yields.
As for lighting, studies have shown that HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) lights provide the most consistent artificial light for indoor facilities.
Choose your grow medium carefully – the quality of the soil can make all the difference when it comes to yields and the quality of the final product.
Outdoor Growing Facilities
If your state allows outdoor growing facilities, they need to be contained by an enclosed physical barrier and located in an open expanse.
The climate of the Pacific Northwest is especially favorable for outdoor cannabis crops, and outdoor growing operations can produce far higher yields than indoor growing facilities.
However, outdoor crops also come with risks, such as drought, pests, and inclement weather.
Security and Compliance
Excellent security and compliance with state regulations are vital to ensure the success of your cannabis operation. Cannabis is a highly-prized cash crop, so specific cannabis security solutions are recommended.
There are also state laws that dictate minimum security requirements for cannabis growing operations – be sure you are familiar with your state’s laws when it comes to cannabis security.