How much it will cost to grow your own cannabis

Published Apr 27, 2019 10:16 a.m. ET
Photo Credit Damian Dovarganes

Now that growing marijuana is legal in many regions all over the world; there are many people who are wondering what it would take to grow their own pot plants. Is the investment worth it? How much will marijuana seeds and grow lights cost? What strains are worth growing at all? Though the answers to those questions may depend on who you ask, there isn’t a whole lot that is needed to successfully pull off a plentiful harvest in minimal space. Here we will cover the basics of how much it will cost to start including a breakdown of each item that is required. Remember, most of the things listed here will be one-time purchases, or at least cheaper to replace such as bulbs and dirt or seed. It’s the initial startup that always costs the most.

Marijuana strains

This is often where people will first begin their search when considering a grow room themselves. Various strain information and average costs to gauge how much each one will be to start. The marijuana strain that you choose isn’t nearly as important as beginning with the best growing materials possible. The average strain cost should be one of the last things you tackle, and the type you choose will need to take into account the environment you will be growing it in, and the space you have available. Buying a specific weed strain will only offer some benefits that need the most support to flourish.

Marijuana seeds

$10-$20

The seeds are where the magic all begins, and often one of the best portions of a grow to invest in. You can buy seeds in bulk that are cheap, but the strains are generally less sought after, and they will result in a 50% chance of producing a male plant. For those of us who live in areas that restrict the number of plants that we can grow, that is a lot of wasted space, and time is money. Cheap regular seeds will cost anywhere from a few cents to a dollar or two each, but a feminized seed is what you should start with, especially if you are new to growing marijuana. Feminized seeds like any cannabis product can range greatly, but the average cost of one marijuana seed is $10-$20 and well worth the investment. It will give you the boost of starting with strong genetics and plants that will all produce smokable colas.

Marijuana grow lights

$20-$100

Grow lights are often thought to be one of the most expensive purchases required for growing marijuana. Luckily, that isn’t the case with fluorescent versions that are adequate selling for $20-$40 each. If you want to upgrade to a sodium light or something else stronger that covers a broader range of UV rays and will last longer than the average cost will likely be between $40-$100 per fixture.

Pots

$1-$5

Likely one of the cheapest things on your shopping list is going to be a pot or two to grow the plant in. Pots can range from incredibly cheap, to ridiculously expensive, but the average plastic 2-gallon pot that is recommended for cannabis will cost between $1-$5 if you don’t have one lying around already for free.

Soil

$5-$20

This is another highly debated aspect of growing marijuana, with some swearing by hand mixed super soils, and others prefer a pre bought or naturally found and dug soil. The most important thing to remember is that the dirt must be safe for vegetables that are meant to be consumed. For those who are leaning towards a hydroponic setup, substrates like coco noir are an excellent and cost-effective choice.  No matter what kind of substrate you choose the cost will range between $5-$20.

Extras

$30-$120

The amount and costs of any extras your crop ends up needing will depend on a lot of different things. Like how many you have, the environmental conditions, potential pest issues, and more. The most common ongoing expense that is faced by marijuana growers is hydro use. The average fluorescent light will add an additional $6 monthly to your utility bill, and a typical medium sized sodium grow light can use up to $30 each per month. Other potential costs could be things like nutrients, treatments, bulb replacements, and any other additions such as a drip tray for the pot. Altogether the average extra season worth of expenses will likely run between $30-$120 with one or two lights running almost full time.  

Total growing marijuana cost

The average cost to produce your own cannabis is between $66-$265.

So, is it worth it?

The average cannabis plant will produce anywhere from 1-6 ounces depending on environmental and genetic factors. The cost of an ounce of marijuana ranges from $150-$300 depending on quality. What that means is from growing one marijuana plant you could potentially spend between $66 and $265 in materials and end up with $150- $1800 worth of product. The more plants you have, the more efficient a grow room will be. For most people, growing marijuana and the costs associated with it are offset by the benefits, but that isn’t always guaranteed. It is important to provide all the essential nutrients and elements to produce the very best plant possible. If you do decide to grow, it is highly recommended to research how to properly care for cannabis plants long before you begin for the highest chance of a successful harvest.

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