Greener Cannabis Cultivation Practices

January 26, 2021  

Cannabis operations have historically been confined to indoor grows, but as legalization in the United States becomes more widespread, commercial facilities are afforded the opportunity to move their grows out in the open. With indoor cultivation having become the standard by default, cannabis growing has not been the most energy-efficient practice in the past. However, this can change with the use of a greenhouse.

An article from the Green Entrepreneur entitled “3 Simple Ways Cultivators Can Shrink Their Carbon Footprint” provides some simple solutions to make a cannabis grow operation more energy efficient. The article cites working with the sun, using biological agents and growing less energy-intensive varieties as ways to accomplish this. GrowSpan enables cannabis growers to utilize these three principles—and more—to make their operation more energy efficient by using a greenhouse.

GrowSpan greenhouses allow grow ops to take advantage of natural sunlight to grow their crops, reducing utility costs by cutting down the need for supplemental lighting. Greenhouses let growers utilize the benefits of the natural environment, while simultaneously providing them with heightened environmental control. A greenhouse combines the benefits of both outdoor and indoor growing creating a more energy-efficient and favorable option for cannabis growers.

The article states that for ever gram of cannabis produced, greenhouses use 26 percent less power and release 42 percent less carbon emissions than indoor cultivation facilities. This will likely cause future cannabis operations to opt for greenhouses over indoor grow operations.

Cannabis grows are restricted in many ways, with many not being allowed to use chemical pesticides or fungicides on their crops. With a greenhouse, the need for these chemicals is virtually eliminated. Greenhouses protect crops from pests and diseases with their well-sealed growing environment, shielding them from anything that may be present outside. Greenhouses let growers create the ideal growing environment for their crops, while protecting them from harsh conditions outside the greenhouse.

GrowSpan has previously outlined the energy usage of cannabis cultivation in Part I and Part II of the series “Improving the Industry’s Footprint.” The series cites a study that found, at the time it was conducted, the cannabis industry spent $6 billion per year on energy. It also found that indoor cannabis grows spent about $55 per square foot a year on energy, while greenhouses only spent about $5.

Cannabis growers know the staggering energy requirements of a grow operation, and many are seeking ways to reduce it. By moving from an indoor grow operation to a greenhouse, growers can decrease the amount of energy necessary to grow quality cannabis, while benefiting the environment at the same time. Aside from utilizing natural sunlight to cut down on supplemental lighting, greenhouses can be automated so that heating, cooling, and other systems are only on when necessary to curb excessive energy usage.

The article cites the energy requirements of intense lighting and HVAC equipment to create the ideal growing environment for cannabis. Growers will likely face pressure to reduce the energy consumption of their operation in the future, and taking steps to do so now will benefit them later on.

With these three tenets in mind, GrowSpan can help cannabis growers find the perfect greenhouse to create a sustainable, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient and profitable grow operation. Request a Quote today to get started.