Buying vs. Growing Cannabis

Richard Abanador

Growing Advice, Helpful Tools | November 9, 2017

Buying vs. Growing Cannabis

By Richard AbanadorPL Light Systems Staff

Sometimes when growing tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, parsley, there is something special, some kind of euphoria when sharing the literal fruits of your labour with other people. Other times one can’t be bothered by the idea of waiting for months and countless hours of upkeep and maintenance. Another case of buy it or do it.

As a consumer I am constantly asking myself, Is that worth it? Can I get it cheaper? Can I make it myself? It always comes down to two things; time and money. For most of us, we don’t have much of either resource. As for me, sometimes analyzing with numbers will give me a better understanding and possibly a definite decision on what to do.

In 2018, Canada will likely legalize the use of cannabis. The proposed legislation will allow Canadians to grow four plants per household or purchase the finished product at a local government controlled and regulated cannabis outlet for $10 per gram

What should you do?

Buying Cannabis when it is legal in Canada

In September 2017 Ontario has considered a price of $10 per gram in government sales of Cannabis once it is legalized. Although the price is not final this is a starting point which is to avoid fueling illegal sales. In comparison to Canada Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) this price point seems to be in line.

Buying vs Growing Cannabis - Average Marijuana Prices

Keep in mind $10 per gram is likely base price. Other things to consider are premium offerings, taxes, regulation fees and distribution costs.

Growing cannabis at home when it is legal in Canada

Growing your own anything has its sets of pros and cons. Taking control of the growing process allows you to gain knowledge, greater understanding of the plant and better growing strategies moving forward. All this does require time, labour and cost.

Equipment costs estimates for simple indoor setup

For this analysis this I will be comparing 600W and 1000W lamp options.

Buying vs Growing Cannabis - Cannabis Equipment Cost


Trimming, watering, feeding and monitoring will be required on a daily basis, thus there is a labour component involved. For this analysis labour costs I will estimate at $20 per hour. 1 hour per day x 105 days = 105 hours x $20/hour = $2,100.

Total estimated labour and equipment cost of growing cannabis at home

Keep in mind this is for one 3.5 month growing cycle.

Buying vs Growing Cannabis - Total Estimated Cost & Cost per Cannabis Gram
Buying vs Growing Cannabis

After doing the analysis I tell myself, it IS much cheaper per gram to do it myself! But when will I have the time to do this?

Whether it’s the labour of love or the convenience of picking up whatever at your local store, people have their reasons. It is clear that somethings are worth doing yourself. To most people this will cost a lot of money up front and use up significant time. Whatever your reason, at least you’ll have an option, or you’ll still be asking yourself, what should I do?


Nothing in PL Light Systems including, but not limited to, written, visual, or editorial content, or external links on the website and digital journal, shall in any way be considered as promoting any illegal or illicit activities within your jurisdiction.

Richard Abanador | Assistant Controller Richard Abanador

Richard Abanador is the Assistant Controller working along side Shannon Wainwright. He joined the PL team almost a year ago and has helped with the continuing success of the company.