In 2017, MJBizDaily released their Marijuana Business Factbook in which they claimed that the average cost for a large-scale cannabis cultivation operation was roughly $42 per square foot. That number was based on nationwide data and would include big-ticket costs like leasing land or buildings, equipment costs, labor costs, utilities, etc.
However, that number is also the average of all the typical ways to grow weed – outdoor, indoor, greenhouse, and mixed light. When you break out indoor only, that cost jumps to an average of $75 per square foot but even that is deceiving. There are places here in California where your lease alone could be that high before you even get to the rest of the costs… and the risk.
As we know, when you grow cannabis indoors, you get to “play god” a bit by having full control over lighting, feeding/watering, humidity and climate control, and more. When done properly, few will argue that the bag appeal, aroma, flavor, and effects of indoor buds are far superior to those grown outdoors. Keywords: WHEN DONE PROPERLY.
If your business plan for building a large scale grow in the past two years was to hire the cheapest grower you could find and then walk around MJBizCon with them checking items off of your shopping list, odds are that your operation is on the brink by now and you are not alone.
The good news is, after investing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars into what was supposed to be a surefire thing, its not too late to turn it around. While there are not many buyers or investors looking to bail out struggling grow-ops these days, this pair of legacy operators has bridged the gap between the cannabis culture and the cannabis industry and they can show you how to do the same.