From current 1st January, California has already legalized marijuana for recreational use. The new cannabis law, Prop 64 facilitates the residents with the option to grow cannabis for their personal use under a grower’s license. Further, the new law provides the patients with the benefit to grow a larger number of cannabis plants under a medical marijuana grower’s license. With more states on the way, the area under cannabis cultivation is likely to be increased many folds.
Whether outdoor or indoor, you need much equipment. These include water pumps, irrigation system and dehumidifiers, etc. The entire equipment requires energy for making it functional for use. When the cultivation is indoors, you need some additional electrical equipment, like lighting for providing & maintaining a temperature that is suitable for growing the crop.
Outdoor cultivation is usually on a commercial scale. Besides, several companies chose green-house methods. Both these methods still require huge electricity for growing the crop. This means, be it indoors or the open fields, the requirement of power for cannabis cultivation is set to be increased.
How can we contribute to save on power consumption and at the personal level on the electricity bill? The best answer is, prefer a non-conventional source of energy. Solar power is one of the non-conventional sources of energy which is cheaper, convenient to generate and to use.
Setting-up a proper grow room for growing cannabis indoors is highly expensive. Most of the people who plan to cultivate medical cannabis indoors are small growers. Their sole aim is to grow the herb for their own medicinal use, and not earning a profit from resale. But that does not mean that they should spend lavishly and not save where they can. It’s important that grow is cost effective without compromising on the quality.
Right from sowing the seeds till you get the buds, your crop needs a perfect temperature and other near about natural climatic conditions. When you grow cannabis outside in the open fields, then the sun is your natural source of energy. In that case, you need not spend on lighting. But while growing indoors, for providing proper temperature to the crop, you need an artificial 24 / 7 lighting arrangement in the grow room.
How to save on power consumption?
Out of several basic infrastructural requirements needed for setting up an indoor grow room, power is one where you can save much, and that too, conveniently. Renewable sources of energy are getting more popular and viable over the conventional electricity.
The sun is indeed, the cheapest, rather the absolutely free source of energy. You need to spend on only one-time equipment costs. There are also a few drawbacks like; i) sunlight is not available on the night, and ii) it is not available when it’s cloudy outside.
With the advancement in the technology, utilizing solar power round the clock is not an issue anymore. Availability of hi-tech storage batteries has solved this problem. Batteries rechargeable with solar energy are available on the market. With a larger number of companies joining the solar power industry, production of low-priced solar power equipment including solar panels has further reduced the equipment costs considerably.
What’s the best?
For a small grower, switching over to the entire solar energy mode at once may be difficult & not possible. A better option is to have both the systems installed simultaneously.
You can use solar energy as much as you can. You also have the facility to charge the batteries with the conventional grid, power supply as and when available, at cheaper rates during non-peak hours. You can also put some of the lights on the solar equipment and the rest on the grid supply. In that way, you can still save much on the power consumption expenses.
What type of lights should you use with a solar power equipment?
Types of available lights include;
a) Sodium vapor lamps
b) LED lamps
c) CFL lamps
Sodium lamps are high-voltage bulbs & need higher power-wattage. They consume more energy and increase your power consumption bill. By installing these lamps, you may need an increased number of storage batteries. That will not only be expensive but will also require a larger space. Sodium lamps are costlier also.
On the other hand, the LED & CFL bulbs require comparatively lesser wattage. These are cheaper as compared to sodium lamps. These are more durable and have the larger lifespan. By using LED or CFL lamps, you can save more than installing sodium lamps.
Benefits of solar energy over the conventional power:
Modes of generation of conventional energy are:
- Thermal power plants
- Hydro power plants
- Nuclear power plants
You can’t install a conventional power grid supply system for small power needs. It’s always community or mass based. All the three modes require a vast area for erecting. The erection cost is also very high. It takes a long time for installation & commissioning.
Generation of thermal power requires burning of a huge quantity of coal and other forms of fuel. They add to the environmental pollution which is harmful to all of us. Similarly, nuclear power plants also emit poisonous gases. These are not safe near the populated areas.
Erecting Hydro-power plants require even much wider area. Further, these could be erected near the rivers flowing from the glaciers and are not rain-fed.
By using solar energy, we can reduce dependence upon the conventional power. Resources of fuel used for generating conventional energy like coal etc. are available for a limited period and may run out over a next few decades.
On the other hand, solar heat will remain available for exploitation for all times to come. You can use conventional energy only on payment of charges. Installation of the solar energy system requires one-time investment. After that, you need not pay any periodical payments on the consumption bill.
The best benefit of the solar power generation system is, you can install it according to the generation capacity you require. Be it on your rooftop or street, you can install solar power panels. It does not take much time for the installation of solar panels. Ready to install and use kits are easily available.
When it is about growing medical cannabis, cost-effectiveness is one of the key factors that draw our attention. Saving on power consumption would help the businesses in selling their cannabis crops at a lower price. This could make the medical treatment cheaper.
Online Medical Card is a reputed multi-specialty chain of online Health-care points in California. They provide online recommendations for medical marijuana grower’s license. Their medical marijuana cards are valid in the states of California & Nevada. All the doctors are specialized and certified by the California state medical board. They are licensed to provide medical marijuana recommendations. Residents of the counties of California can benefit from their world-class online service and grow medical marijuana indoors by obtaining a grower’s license and using solar energy.