P. L. Light Systems Expert Articles: Buying Versus Growing Cannabis at Home – Pros and Cons

Lisa Jansen van Rensburg

Helpful Tools | September 7, 2017

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Sometimes when growing tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and 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, do I buy it or make 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 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 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.

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

Average Marijuana Prices

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, a greater understanding of the plant and better growth strategies moving forward. All this does require time, labour and cost.

Equipment costs estimates for a simple indoor setup

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

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.

Total Estimated Cost & Cost per Cannabis Gram

Worthwhile Investment or Labour of Love?

After doing the analysis, I think to myself, it IS much cheaper per gram to grow cannabis myself! But do I have the time?

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 upfront 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?


Written by – Richard Abanador joined the P.L. Light Systems team in 2017 and has since progressed to his new role of Manager of Accounting & Payroll. Richard is 1 part colleague, 1 part husband, 2 parts father, and 2 parts cyclist.