Home Grown vs. Dispensary Cannabis: Price Per Gram

The Costs of Growing Your Own Cannabis

If you're a true cannabis enthusiast, chances are you've considered growing your own at least once. However, the barrier to entry can sometimes be intimidating, and many people get stopped dead in their tracks before they even get started.

With so many states jumping on the legalization bandwagon, one might wonder why learning to grow your own cannabis is even worth the trouble. There are countless reasons why growing is worth the effort. Studies have shown that there are both physical and emotional benefits to tending a garden, but you may be surprised to learn that in the long run, it's considerably more affordable than going back and forth to your local dispensary.

growing marijuana indoors

Dispensary Costs

As cannabis has started to become legal in several states, it's become heavily taxed. Recreational cannabis is taxed as high as 37% in Washington State as of January 2018. California's recreational marijuana is taxed at just 15%, but the state has also added taxes for both commercial growers and retailers, which has increased the cost of legal marijuana considerably.

Nationwide, the average price per gram of legal, recreational cannabis is roughly $10, but can cost you as much as $18 in Washington DC. Much of that cost is due to state-mandated lab testing, new packaging requirements, and taxes levied on growers. By growing your own at home, you can easily cut that cost-per-gram down considerably, by 75% or more. How do you do that? Let's break down some numbers:

The cost of a harvest

We don't want to make you go totally cross-eyed, but let's do some quick math. We know, math sucks, but we promise this is worth it. If you really hate math, you can jump straight to the bottom of this article where we have a nice, pretty inforgraphic that sums up the numbers for you.

The total price of a marijuana harvest can be difficult to calculate, but by doing some relatively simple math, we can get pretty darned close. Let's try to break down the price per gram of growing your own cannabis.

The harvest time for a cannabis crop, depending on the strain, will usually take between 8-10 weeks. For the purposes of this article, we will err on the side of caution and assume your grow will take a full 10 weeks. During this time, you will be using powered components like lights and fans, all of which cost money to operate. How much? Let's break it down.

Kind LED Grow Lights L600

Shedding Some Light on the Situation

Your grow consists of two periods, Vegetative and Flowering. During the Vegetative stage, your light will be running 18 hours per day. In the Flowering stage, your light will be running 12 hours per day. Your fans will be running 24 hours a day during your grow. Let's run through these expenses using the components in the RecRoom Pro Complete Grow Room Kit.

The Kind L600 is a 320W LED Grow Light (.32kW). During the Vegetative stage, that breaks down to 5.76 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. At the national average of 13 cents per kWh, your daily cost to run the L600 during the Vegetative stage breaks down to 75 cents per day. For a 2 week Vegetative period, your total lighting cost is $10.48. In the Flowering stage, your L600 uses 3.84 kWh per day (about 50 cents). For an 8 week Flowering period, your total cost is $27.96.

In total, your total lighting cost with the L600 will run you roughly $38.44 for a full 10 week grow.

What About the Other Costs?

Other than your light, the only other components using electricity in the RecRoom are the Hurricane inline fan and the 6" Active Air clip-on fan. These don't use much juice, but they will be running 24 hours a day for a full 10 weeks. The Hurricane fan runs at 113w and the clip-on fan uses just 15w. Combined, these two fans use 3.07 kWh per day. For a full 10 week grow, running your fans will cost you $27.94.

The Total

So, if we combine the totals from running your L600 and your fans, we can start to get an idea of how much it costs to grow your own crop. If you have an 10 week grow, your total energy costs will run you about $66.38.

So What's My Cost Per Gram Already??

Using the RecRoom Pro as our test subject, let's put the numbers together. Once you add the cost of the equipment to your electric costs, the total cost of your first harvest will cost you roughly $1,000 (a bit more or less, depending on your local sales tax). Using these numbers, let's calculate your average cost per gram.

Depending on your growing experience and the strain, the Kind L600 LED Grow Light inside the RecRoom Pro can usually yield between 1-1.5lb (16-24oz, 454-681g) of dried cannabis. If you have a full 10-week grow and manage to yield 20oz, your cost per gram is just $1.78—82% less than the national average for recreational cannabis. If you only yield a pound, your cost per gram is still just $2.20.

growing marijuana indoors cost per gram

In conclusion...

When you compare your cost per gram growing at home vs. dispensary costs (roughly $10/gram nationally,) it's easy to recoup your investment after just your first harvest. Once you have your first harvest under your belt, that price per gram will drop even lower! So what are you waiting for? Start growing your own today!