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How much money can a marijuana grower make?

The following scenario assumes a person sets aside one ten by ten room for growing marijuana, with five lights of 1,000 watts each. As with the other financial examples, these numbers are examples only to demonstrate what might be a typical result. These numbers demonstrate the profit potential in growing marijuana. An "average" grower will earn about $23,000 per year per light. Five lights will produce about $115,000 per year, ten lights will produce about $230,000 per year, and so forth. 

This assumes a grow operation using coco fiber or soil. If advanced methods like hydroponics or aeroponics are used, the production and income numbers could be doubled or tripled.

The initial set up costs for this size operation -- not including rent or labor -- are about $2,000 to $3,000. As businesses go, this is a quite reasonable cost to set up. Individual results will vary based upon a variety of factors. Total production will depend on the strain selected, the growing method used, and how well growing conditions are controlled. Total revenue will depend upon the weight and the variety of marijuana grown. The most potent marijuana, with the highest retail price, does not necessarily produce the greatest amounts. There are some varieties that produce in huge abundance but are not as potent or as fragrant, so they don't command the highest price per pound.

This scenarios assumes an output of one-half gram per watt of light -- a fairly standard measure. Some skilled growers have reported production of three times this, or about 1.5 grams of trimmed bud per watt of light, in approximately ninety days. This scenario does not assume any use of the "trim" from the plants -- the material that is trimmed from the buds, and the leaves.
This material can be converted to hashish and other products, which will increase the potential income.

Note that the numbers do not include any expenses for rent or labor. This example assumes someone using a spare bedroom in their existing home. The labor is assumed to be provided entirely by the grower, with no outside help. For purposes of planning, someone should assume that such an operation might take one to two weeks of dedicated effort (40 hours per week) to initially set up. Ongoing maintenance will require one to two hours per day.

This scenario assumes five lights of 1,000 watts each. A typical 15-amp circuit breaker can only handle one light of this size. It is extremely unwise to overload electrical circuits because it can cause fires. Therefore, growers must either use extension cords to distribute the load to other circuit breakers throughout the house, or install additional circuit breakers.

This scenario also does not include costs of cooling. Five 1,000 watt lights put out a lot of heat. If the temperature in the room gets much above 80 degrees there will be significant problems with growth, potency, and insects. High temperatures greatly reduce the value of the crop. Therefore, there must be adequate ventilation of the room, as well as air conditioning. The air in the room will also become quite humid, due to the wonderful plants, so there must also be some method of dehumidification.  These issues become much easier in winter when the weather is cooler. In the summer, they may make difficult or impossible to grow without significant additional expense for cooling.

Number of Lights 5
Watts per light 1,000
Purchase cost per light 350
Total cost for lights 1,750
Soil, containers, fertilizers and miscellaneous 500
Electrical costs  
Total kilowatts per hour 5
Hours per day of light 12
Total kilowatt hours per day 60
Total kilowatt hours per month 1,800
Cost per kilowatt hour $0.14
Total electricity cost per month $250
Total Electricity costs for three months (one grow cycle) $750
Total watts of light 5,000
Net production in grams (assuming one-half gram per watt) 2,500
Net production in pounds 5.5
Sale price per pound 5,500
Total sales per 90-day crop 30,250
Less cost of electricity 750
Net profit per 90-days 29,500
Total sales per year 118,000
Less annual cost of electricity 3,000
Net profit per year 115,000
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