4 Reasons You Should Grow Your Own Pot Plants
"Guru of Ganja" Ed Rosenthal once famously proclaimed that he didn't get addicted to marijuana, only to growing it. Growing your own weed is indeed exciting, and consuming the fruits of your labors is gratifying. Doing so while you ponder the money you saved by growing your own is even more gratifying.
If you're a marijuana aficionado, it's time to think about doing it yourself. For outdoor growers, it's not too late to get your plants in the ground this year, but the clock is ticking. This Memorial Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to go out and get those clones. You can still get them in the ground with enough time to get some good vegetative growth on them before they go into flowering in the fall, but if you wait much longer, you're going to be faced with puny plants and small yields.
But why bother to go through the trouble of growing your own when you can just run down to the pot shop or the medical marijuana dispensary? Here are four reasons:
1. Because You Can
Marijuana is legal in eight states, and seven of those states allow for personal cultivation. Washington state is the exception. The majority of the 29 states that have legalized medical marijuana also have provisions to allow personal grows (including Washington, which creates growing space for at least some Washington residents).
Most states allow only for the cultivation of a small number of plants, typically four to six, and specify that marijuana cultivation is legal for people 21 and over only. Medical marijuana states will typically require that the grower be a registered patient or designated caregiver.
There are also local issues to keep in mind. Some localities may ban or otherwise restrict pot growing, especially outdoors. Know your local rules.
But those caveats aside, if you're in a legal pot state or are a patient or caregiver in a medical marijuana state, you are free to grow marijuana up to the limits of your state law.
2. Because You'll Save Money
At the retail pot shop or medical marijuana dispensary, you're going to be paying $10 a gram or more for kind buds, with an ounce price of $200 or more. According to an analysis done by Leafly, you can grow your own pot indoors for anywhere from about $2 to $5 per gram, depending on how much you pay for equipment and how proficient a gardener you are. For outdoor grown pot, production costs can drop to a dollar a gram, or even lower.
There are front-end costs associated with growing your own, especially indoors, where you have to purchase lighting and other equipment. Leafly estimated the cost for an indoor 6' x 6' grow at about $2,000 and smaller, closet-sized grow at slightly under $1,000. But that big indoor grow should yield about 500 grams—more than a pound—and could yield double that if you're good at pot gardening.
Outdoor gardening is even cheaper. You're using free sunlight instead of paying hundreds of dollars for electricity, you don't have to buy fans and lights, and your only costs are basically the cost of the clones or seeds, a few bags of soil and soil amendments, some organic fertilizer (please!), and some water. For a cost of less than $100 per plant, you can produce outdoor plants yielding a pound to a pound and a half or more.
You will save money, but it will consume some of your time. Grows require setting-up and growing plants require some attention. Count on spending an average of an hour or two a day tending your plants. Consider it an opportunity cost.
3. Because You'll Be In Charge of What You Produce and Consume.
It's your grow; you're the boss. Not only do you control every aspect of your grow, you don't have to worry about some commercial grower cutting corners with icky pesticides, miticides, herbicides, or fungicides, or allowing molds to develop. You get to choose what you grow and how. Fortunately, there is a veritable deluge of information out there for novice growers, whether you're trying organic, hydroponic, indoor, outdoor, raised beds or big pots. You'll make the decisions, but you won't be alone—somebody's done it before and written a book or produced a video about it. And when you light up that finished product, you know exactly where it came from.
4. Because You'll Get Acquainted With Gardening.
For many people, growing their own pot plants is their first introduction to the pleasures of gardening and horticulture. And the things they learn taking care of pot plants are things they can use in other gardening efforts, from flowers to vegetables. Once people develop a green thumb with marijuana, many are ready to expand their horticultural horizons, and that is a good thing. There's one other, intangible thing about growing your own, whether it's pot plants, potatoes, or peonies: It's oh-so-gratifying.