ICFA Archives - Green Market Report

Cynthia SalarizadehOctober 10, 2017


The Great Debate over Indoor vs. Outdoor Cultivation

Like the debate between New York versus Chicago pizza, or who were the best baseball teams in history (the 1927 New York Yankees, the1976 Cincinnati Reds, or the 1907 Chicago Cubs), the debate over the benefits of growing cannabis indoors and outdoors is a pointed and light-hearted debate that involves cannabis aficionados, as well as hard-nosed growers.

While this is an honest debate that involves the entire industry, there are pros and cons for each growing method that are still evolving as the industry continues to expand exponentially, as federal and state laws evolve to allow more cultivation of the nation’s most valuable crop. It is clear there is a big difference in growing methods and in the quality of the end products, with each side advancing strong arguments.

So for the sake of argument, here are some reasons why sungrown and rain grown cannabis grown au natural and used in an environmentally sustainable program present some distinct benefits over product grown in a greenhouse or indoor environment:

1.) The outdoor process uses less electricity. This means less dependence on carbon emitting fossil fuels, such as oil and gas. Strictly adhering to “rain-grown and sun-grown” farming practices where all plants are grown outdoors exposed to natural sunlight and moisture, supplemented by the prudent use of captured rainwater. Using these methods saves electricity and does not drain the area’s precious streams and lakes. The cannabis industry uses 1% of the nation’s electricity and over 70 gallons of oil are needed to provide energy to grow just one cannabis plant, according to one study.

2.) The outdoor growing process relies on more ecological soil practices, such as cover cropping that also sequester more carbon. Relying on the human touch. Humboldt’s Finest and FlowKana grow and process plants largely without the use of any machines. All Humboldt’s Finest products are packaged by hand in small batches to ensure quality control. Strict sanitation and safety procedures are rigidly followed, so the operation resembles the same that would be found in any raw food handling facility.

3.) It is possible to grow large crops outside without pesticides and chemicals. Bugs are a common problem in any farming environment, but some sustainable operations do not use any chemicals. Instead, it relies on natural insect predators, such as ladybugs, to contain natural pests.

4.) The process makes heavy use of composted agricultural byproducts. This keeps carbon in the soil and on the farm property.

5.) As farmers continue to expand their operations to meet demand, unless they are growing in a true sustainable fashion, they require significant water and soil management resources. This brings with a large amount of big polluting diesel trucks that cover the roads around the Emerald Triangle to transport all of the necessary water and soil needs for cultivation. Therefore, sustainable sun grown techniques rely on better water management and soil maintenance with ecologically friendly practices and reduce all required trucking.

Some of the most well-known sustainable sun grown farmers and brands that we would like to recognize at this time include:

Humboldt’s Finest

Flow Kana

True Humboldt

Odyssey Cannabis

Some Sun Grown organizations worth recognition include:

International Cannabis Farmers Association

Humboldt Sun Growers Guild

Oregon SunGrowers Guild

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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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