How Much Cultivation Land Do You Need?

How Much Cultivation Land Do You Need?

You know that you want to start a cannabis cultivation business that earns excellent profits by selling high-quality flowers and plant material to clients. Wanting to get your business started (or to expand your existing business) is a great first step. Before you can create a successful business, though, you need to answer several questions. “How much cannabis cultivation land do I need?” sits right at the top of the list.

To answer this question accurately, you will need to think more carefully about what you want your business to accomplish and what goals you can realistically reach. It isn’t an easy question to answer, but you can decide approximately how much cultivation land for sale to look for when you break the big question into several smaller parts.

Do You Want to Grow Hemp or Cannabis Flowers?

Hemp and cannabis are different varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa. Hemp grows very quickly and has a wide range of uses. Cannabis has the same uses. The biggest difference between the plants — especially when it comes to the law — is how much THC they contain. Hemp cannot have more than 0.2% THC.

Why does this matter? Because it influences what you can grow in your state.

The U.S. federal government legalized hemp through the 2018 Farm Bill. Cannabis, however, remains illegal at the federal level. A growing number of states allow cannabis cultivation for medicinal and recreational use, which is great news for personal liberty and entrepreneurs.

Whether you want to grow hemp or cannabis, you will need to get a permit from your state. That’s where the bad news comes in. Overall, there are fewer cannabis cultivation permits than hemp cultivation permits. That may change in the future. Right now, though, you need to know your state’s laws, whether you can get permission to grow hemp or cannabis, and where you can grow the crops.

You can make more money growing luxurious cannabis flowers. If you don’t live in a state with legal cannabis, though, you might only have a chance to explore hemp land for sale. You still have great opportunities with hemp farmland for sale. You can’t expect to make as much money from it as you would cannabis, however.

How Much Cannabis Do You Want to Grow?

Let’s assume you live in or near a state that lets you cultivate cannabis. Now, you need to know how much cannabis you want to grow.

Like most business owners, you probably answer that question with a dollar sign in front of it. The wholesale price of outdoor-grown cannabis in the U.S. was about $950 per pound in 2020. The wholesale price will change from year to year depending on factors like weather and demand. Keep in mind there was exceptional demand for cannabis products in 2020 as people struggled with stress from the pandemic. To stay on the safe side, let’s say that a pound of dry cannabis flowers wholesales at $900.

If you want revenue of half a million per year, you need to sell about 556 pounds of cannabis flower. Interestingly, that’s the weight of cannabis flowers many farmers say they get from one acre of land. Of course, how much flower you get depends on numerous variables, including:

  • How much space you give your plants.
  • Whether your plants get the sunlight, water, and nutrients needed to grow well.
  • Properties of the strain(s) you grow.

Again, to keep the numbers on the safe side, let’s say you can expect to get 500 pounds of cannabis flower per acre per year. At $900 per pound, you still make $450,000 in revenue.

At this point, one acre might sound like more than enough land for your cannabis cultivation. But don’t forget that $450,000 in revenue isn’t anywhere close to $450,000 in profit. To reach that amount, you will need considerably more land.

Expenses That Affect Your Cannabis Cultivation Profits

Consider how many things you will need to pay for before you can generate a profit from cannabis land. Some of your most significant expenses include:

  • The price of purchasing the land.
  • Taxes and permit fees (they vary wildly depending on your state).
  • Buying and maintaining farming equipment.
  • Young plants that you will grow into mature, flowering plants.
  • Shipping (it costs money to get flowers from your farm to a warehouse or store).
  • Employees (a master grower can earn more than $100,000 per year).
  • Insurance (you’ll need general liability insurance, crop insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, product liability insurance, etc.).

You also need to consider whether the cannabis cultivation land has been developed. Raw land may not give you access to any utilities. Perhaps you have a pond on the property that can help provide water, but you will not have electricity or sewage. Installing these systems will cost a lot of money before you can start growing your crops.

Does the land have any buildings on it? Your farmland must do more than provide space to grow cannabis. You will need a place to store your equipment, dry your flowers, and process other plant materials. You will need bathroom facilities on the property. You might want to build a small house where you can conduct business and spend the night when necessary (it may be a long drive back to town).

When you consider all the costs of starting a cannabis cultivation farm, you quickly see that you will not make half a million dollars per acre. The actual amount of profit you can earn depends on how much you spend throughout the year. In many states, the taxes alone will make your jaw drop.

Yes, all of this looks very expensive. That doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream of becoming a cannabis cultivator. Plenty of people have gotten rich by growing legal cannabis outdoors. To get there, you need to find the right plot of land.

Features to Look for When You Buy Cannabis Cultivation Land for Sale

Clearly, you have a lot to think about before you buy cannabis land for sale. Some things are more important than others, though. You can have a barn built pretty easily. You cannot change the amount of sunshine an area gets.

Look for the following features when you compare cannabis cultivation land for sale.

Plenty of Direct Sunlight

A lot of people believe cannabis needs high temperatures to grow well. That isn’t true. Consider, for instance, that some of the best marijuana comes from Northern California, which has a mild climate and high elevation.

Cannabis does, however, need an abundance of sunlight to reach its maximum size. When researching cannabis cultivation land, look for options that:

  • Have long days that will give your plants plenty of direct sunlight.
  • Don’t have objects, such as a forest or mountain, that will block sunlight, effectively cutting your day short.

Indoor cultivators have complete control over how much light their plants get. By growing cannabis outside, you lose that level of control. You do, however, have the ability to choose a location that will give your plants the sunlight they need to grow.

Soil That Drains Easily

Standing water causes significant problems for most plants. When you have too much water, it’s only a matter of time before molds and fungi start to grow. It doesn’t take long before they can ruin your crop.

Well-drained soil will help ensure that your plants get plenty of water without suffering from conditions like “root rot.” Yes, if your plant’s roots stay too wet for too long, they will start to rot in the ground. As the roots degrade, the rest of the plant dies.

You can perform a quick soil drainage test by digging a hole about one foot deep and pouring a gallon of water into the space. Ideally, the water will stay in the hole for a few minutes before draining beneath the surface.

Don’t make a financial commitment to the land until you have a professional analyze the soil. Environmental tests can check the soil for good draining, a pH level that cannabis enjoys, macronutrients cannabis needs to grow, and micronutrients that can enhance growth.

Browse environmental services on 420 Property to get land analyzed before you buy!

Access to a Water Source

During the best years, your crops will get watered by frequent rainfall that keeps the soil moist but never threatens to drown the plants. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the weather to work in your favor. You will almost certainly face a drought at some point in your cultivation career.

You don’t need to worry about rainfall nearly as much when you have access to a water source on your land. If the farm is located near a town, you might find that you can tap into the municipal water supply. From there, you can irrigate your crops to keep them happy and healthy.

Farmland located far from other companies and residents, however, may not have accessible waterlines. In this case, you will probably need a large pond. When your plants don’t get enough rain, you can pump water from the pond and irrigate your crops.

The problem with a pond, though, is that you can lose the water during a severe drought. With enough heat, the water will evaporate, leaving behind a puddle of mud. This probably won’t happen, but it’s a possibility.

When comparing farmland, look for options that can connect to municipal waterlines. If that’s not an option for you, try to find a property that already has a large pond. Otherwise, you will need to hire someone to dig a pond for you. It’s not incredibly expensive, but it is one more thing that you have to pay for.

Access to Power (Electricity)

This is one of the biggest concerns for outdoor cannabis cultivators. Some farmland in the U.S. does not have access to the power grid, which makes it difficult for you to access the electricity you need to power everything from water pumps to security lights.

Secondarily, you want to make sure that you can rely on the local power grid. Can the line running to your property power all of your electrical equipment? Will you need to ration power to prevent a short? These aren’t surmountable problems, but they’re far from ideal.

You can get a generator, but most generators are built for short-term use. They burn fuel quickly and emit a lot of carbon dioxide. You don’t want to rely on them as your sole source of energy.

Solar panels offer a better option for off-grid energy production. Solar technology has improved quite a bit over the last decade. You can probably get more power than you think from a few panels. Depending on your property, you might choose to install the panels on a building or erect them in a field. Either way can work well as long as you don’t need that small patch of ground for cultivation.

Solar panels and installation don’t always cost a lot of money, and they can make an excellent alternative to power grids.

Browse solar equipment listings on 420 Property to find options that match your land’s energy needs!

Low Visibility

Let’s think about location. On the one hand, you want your cannabis cultivation land fairly close to a town or city where you can buy supplies. Some of the best cultivation land sits right outside major cities, making it easy for you to transport dried flowers and other products to distributors.

On the other hand, you don’t want everyone who passes by the property to see that you have several acres of cannabis. Most people will leave your farm alone. Someone, however, will eventually get the idea that they can sneak onto your land, grab a few ounces, and earn money selling your cannabis illegally.

You can construct fences, install security systems, mount motion-sensing lights, and post guard dogs all over the place. All of those things cost money. Also, there is always someone out there desperate or stupid enough to try trespassing on your land.

It’s much easier to choose a location with low visibility. Perhaps you have a nice farmhouse and barn that blocks the view of your crops from the road. Maybe you have to drive down a long path to access your cultivation land. You could potentially grow several types of crops in your fields, carefully placing the cannabis out of sight.

Obviously, you’re running a legal cultivation business. You should still keep stealth in mind. While you want to comply with the law, others will want to steal from you and sell your product on the black market. That’s not why you get into the legal cannabis cultivation industry.

Proximity to Major Roads

While you don’t want high visibility, you do want easy access to major roadways. Depending on your area’s laws, you might ship cannabis all over your state. A farm located near a highway or interstate will reduce the time and money it takes to move your product to warehouses and retailers.

Proximity to a major road will also make it easier for you to bring in the equipment and supplies you need to manage a successful company. A solar power installation company might charge a nominal fee for bringing equipment to a farm that sits right outside the city. If you’re 100 miles away off a dirt road, though, they might want to raise their price.

Compliance With State and Local Rules

As always, you must comply with state and local rules when cultivating cannabis. Your state might have a law about keeping cannabis grow operations away from school zones. Some communities have laws that forbid anyone from growing cannabis within their borders. The state government might approve of your business, but that doesn’t mean the local municipality does.

Cover all your bases by consulting with cannabis business and real estate lawyers. They can review your cultivation plans, compare them to state laws and local ordinances, and give you assurance that you comply.

Search cannabis business and real estate lawyers on 420 Property to make sure you buy property where you can operate your business legally.

Find Your Cannabis Cultivation Land on 420 Property

The amount of cannabis cultivation land you need depends on a lot of variables. Size isn’t the only thing that matters. You also need an environment that nourishes your plants.

Are you ready to start comparing cannabis cultivation land that can lead to business success?

Find your next property today!

October 14, 2022Comments Off

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