Production cost of homegrown marihuana

stock photo of a power bill

If you are entrigued by the costs of a grow operation, you might be surprised how little it is in comparison to street weed or cannabis from a dispensary!

After the initial investment in a small or a bit bigger setup this is your running cost of a marihuana operation.

Cost factor I: The power bill

Power has the biggest impact on your bill over the course of a grow. Your light, ventilation and air circulation are all ramping up that bill.
To determine the cost of a run (one grow operation from seed to weed) you have to consider the different stages of the grow. 

I will determine the cost of my current run as an example:

Lemon zkittle cannabis plant
For a single plant grow you have to spend more time in the vegetative period. This costs more money!

Im using a light that draws about 310 W from the wall, a fan for air circulation that is worth 40 W and a single outlet fan for 10 W. Im also running  two Raspberry Pi minicomputers in there taking the pictures for my timelapse which will add up to about 10 W in total. (might be less, since they should be on standby most of the time)

The light was on 18 hrs a day for 51 days (vegetative state) and will be on for roughly 63 days for 12 hrs a day. I am paying about 25 ct for a kWh right now.

(51 days  · 18 hrs/day + 63  days· 12 hrs/day) · 0.31 kW · 0.25 €  / kWh = 129.74 €

For the fans and the Raspberry Pis I have to calculate a 24 hrs/day running schedule:

(114 days · 24 hrs/day) · 0.06kW · 0.25 € / kWh = 41.04 €

So in total the power bill will be at an extra 170.78 € after a single run or 44.86 € per month if I consider this a 3.8 month run. 

Cost factor II: not reusable items

If you use seeds, soil, bottled or packed nutrition or any other item that you have to rebuy after a grow, it will go into the final calculation.

In my case I have used 2x 15l packs of Kanamu Pacha Hortisol coming for 43.80 € and a single Dutch Passion Lemon Zkittle Seed, that would cost about 15 € if bought in a pack of three. I am also using Greenhouse Feeding Bio Nutrition that costs 19.95 €. In total I am looking at 78.75 € for the items I had to buy to start this run.

What do I pay for my weed?

In the end it all boils down to efficieny. With my current setup I harvested about 300 gr of dry material in the last two run, and im not expecting less in this one. 

In the end I will have invested 249.53 € in 300 gr of high quality cannabis resulting in a price of 83 ct / gr

Cannabis Critical flowering
Critical! Good weed does not have to be expensive!

How to save even more money!

Here are some suggestions to shrink your budget even more:

  • Use LED lights. Preferably passivly cooled ones with high efficiancy values like COBs or Quantum Boards. AND you save moneyfor NOT needing an AC unit in your tent. 
  • Reuse your soil. Bio Bizz for example states that you can easily reuse their soil with a smell addendum of fresh one.
  • Use clones. Save money on seeds by using cuts from a mother plant. Remember, that maintaining a mother can also be pretty expensive. Suitable for bigger operations.
  • Use Autoflowers. Autoflowering cannabis has a much shorter lifespan than photoperiods. You can harvest more often. But be careful: A light cycle of 18/6 or 20/4 can impact your powerbill surprisingly hard!
  • Use the Sea of Green grow style! This grow style requires you to take care for a lot of plants at once. The advantage: you shorten the vegetative grow time significantly (usually 2-4 weeks) which saves moneyon power. Disadvantage: You will need to spend more money on soil and seeds.
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