Without previous years’ data, it is difficult to put any data from this research project into full context. For example, we don’t know if the fact that nearly half of respondents say they measure yield per watt of light or that more than half measure the amount of light their crop receives is an improvement over previous years or not. What we do know is that as the market continues to grow, price pressures are only increasing and will continue to do so. Efficiencies are becoming an even greater priority – and lighting, being one of the most expensive aspects of cannabis cultivation, will surely be an area where even more than the current 54% of cultivators will explore more energy-efficient options. LEDs already are being investigated as more energy-efficient options by commercial horticulture stakeholders. Sophisticated studies, such as one commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Commerce in August 2015, looking at LED output of PAR light and plant CO2 response, are being conducted to measure and compare energy efficiency and crop production.
As cannabis businesses increasingly look to commercial horticulture for established practices (and commercial horticulture continues to make headway into the cannabis industry), advanced metrics will play an integral role in evaluating both cannabis yields and efficiencies. Growers who want to remain competitive would do well to track yield in relation not only to space, but also to energy used, and to study lighting’s impact on plant development.
About the Respondents
The research was conducted among 117 professional cannabis cultivators (those who own or work for an operation that grows cannabis) from all regions of the country. The heaviest concentration of respondents are located in the West/Mountain (31%) region – comprised of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming — and West/Pacific (42%) region – comprised of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.