Indoor vs. Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation

Key Considerations for Cannabis Growers

Applying for a cannabis cultivation or grower license in your state? Unsure if growing indoor or outdoor is best for your business? Looking to make the switch from outdoor to indoor, or vice versa? Let’s get into the weeds on both styles to see which cultivation style best suits your business and put your cannabis license application in the best possible position for success.


Location, Location, Location: Cultivation Property Considerations

Indoor cannabis cultivation is done in an enclosed grow facility, while outdoor cultivation is done in an exposed natural environment. Both grow options have considerations as it relates to your property choice, whether that is finding a suitable facility for your indoor grow or a geographical location best for your outdoor grow.

Geographic Considerations

Both cannabis grow environments will require a property search. Indoor cultivation involves exploring options like securing land for construction, locating an enclosed space that might need modifications, or identifying a facility already equipped for immediate operation. When opting for outdoor cultivation, seek out a property that aligns with your specific growing requirements and objectives.

A major consideration for outdoor growing is the geographical location of your property. Because your grow will be exposed to the natural environment, seasonality and weather will play a part in your grow timeline and cultivation conditions. Indoor growing is done in a controlled environment, so no need to worry about the seasons affecting cultivation.

Cannabis Harvests and Yields

With the benefit of controlling the environment in an indoor grow, indoor cultivation can occur year-round, allowing for more flexibility with harvests, and typically results in more consistent yields throughout the year. Because outdoor growing is subject to natural seasons, this can limit the number of harvests per year, and outdoor cultivation’s yield may be more susceptible to weather and environmental factors.

Environmental Considerations for Pests, Sustainability, and Cultivars

A controlled indoor cannabis grow environment will still require pest management but offers more control in this area. Outdoor cultivation faces higher risk of pests and will require more robust pest management strategies. Depending on desired cultivars, one environment may be more suited than the other. Certain cultivars may thrive better indoors or outdoors. Understanding specific needs of different cultivars is important for successful cultivation. Overall, outdoor cultivation is the better sustainable choice due to the free natural resources available.

Financial Considerations and Hidden Costs for Cannabis Cultivation

Cannabis cultivation can be a costly venture, and there are specific costs to consider for growing cannabis indoors and outdoors as it relates to staffing your team, business strategy, and operations management.

Costs Related To Equipment

Controlling the cultivation environment in an indoor grow requires specific equipment to alter lighting, temperature, and humidity. These equipment costs are crucial to consider when planning your indoor operations, as outdoor growers can take advantage of the resources (free sunlight!) from the natural environment.

In addition to lighting, indoor grows will require proper grow equipment like shelving and racks, HVAC controls, and watering systems, to name a few, while outdoor grows will not require this specific equipment. However, outdoor cultivation will require more pest management than an indoor grow, due to its susceptibility to the natural environment.

Costs Related To Facility and Security

Although in an enclosed facility, indoor grows will still require some security measures, following state requirements and compliance. Outdoor grows will require more focus on security, like perimeter fencing around your grow, to enclose the space and keep out any natural intruders. This is often a hidden cost for outdoor cultivators, as security fencing can be pricey.

Costs Related To People and Vendors

Because an indoor grow will require more equipment than an outdoor grow, more vendors or third-party contractors will be needed as part of the team. An indoor cultivation may require more staff as well to keep the controlled environment’s operations running. These two considerations will likely increase costs as it relates to personnel. With less equipment needed for outdoor cultivation, hiring outside vendors may not be needed and less personnel may be required, thus creating lower costs for your team.


Our Cannabis Cultivation Experts Can Help Your Business Grow

Whether you are new to cannabis cultivation or a seasoned grower looking to pursue a cannabis cultivator license in your state, Canna Advisors is here to help.

Contact our team of license and grow experts or book an hourly consultation with us to learn more about indoor and outdoor cannabis cultivation.

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