Indoor cannabis cultivation was mainly born out of prohibition of the plant, forcing growers to hide their precious crops. Innovation has kept it inside and through decades of advancements in technology, indoor cannabis largely has control of the top-shelf flower market today.
But with legalization, what happens when growers no longer have to hide in their basements? Some growers choose to stay indoors, but with the cost-efficiency of outdoor growing, many are looking to high-tech greenhouses to produce indoor-quality cannabis at a fraction of the cost.
Automated greenhouses take technology that was developed for indoor grow rooms and bring it outside to supplement or alter the effects of the natural elements. You can add to the sun’s light with grow lights, use climate-control devices to regulate the environment, and with light deprivation, you can farm year-round, all in a cost-effective manner.
As more states go legal, especially in areas with variable weather, high-tech greenhouses can help lead the way in bringing affordable and environmentally conscious top-quality cannabis to consumers.
In states where electricity is costly or the weather is extreme, producing cannabis, either indoors or outdoors, can be costly and difficult. But high-tech greenhouses can compensate for the disadvantages.
For example, in Massachusetts, the cost of electricity in the industrial sector is the highest in the country at 16.41 cents per kilowatt hr (kWh), whereas in Colorado, it is only 6.37 cents per kWh. Additionally, Massachusetts has average lows of 22℉ in January, a stark contrast to the temperate climate of Humboldt, California, where average January lows are 44℉.
This makes it difficult to grow outdoors in Massachusetts with traditional greenhouses. You would most likely have a very short season, having to get plants grown and harvested before the weather gets bad.