Switching from Hemp to Marijuana? 3 Things to Consider

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The legal cannabis industry is rapidly expanding with new legislation being considered and often passed in one state or another almost weekly. However, strict regulations, high taxes and restricted sales have created obstacles for cannabis cultivators to grow their product and see a profit, especially those catering to the THC market. This is why so many growers are entering the CBD market, or more specifically, opting to grow hemp instead.

Many growers are choosing to grow hemp which can be processed to produce CBD oil, with plans on switching to marijuana when it is completely legal and easier to do so.

Hemp is not something that has typically been grown in a commercial greenhouse environment but there are multiple benefits to growing hemp in a greenhouse including the ability to grow year round and see multiple harvests as well as the ability to switch to marijuana.

So what do you do if you want to switch your greenhouse hemp operation to a commercial marijuana facility? With proper planning, it’s not that difficult to make the switch.

Here are a few considerations to make if you would like to grow hemp in a greenhouse with the intention of eventually transitioning to marijuana:

Plan for scalability

gutter connected open poly greenhouse

If there’s one thing we know about the industrial hemp and legal cannabis industries, it’s that they are growing exponentially. Whether you are interested in growing hemp year-round in a greenhouse or have plans to eventually switch to marijuana, planning for the ability to expand is important.

A poly connected greenhouse is a versatile option suited for almost any crop, including hemp or marijuana. It can be expanded upon when desired and is the most economical greenhouse option for largescale growers.

The single piece arch rolled into a gothic peak provides superior condensation control and the gutter vents along with the other natural ventilation options make for the most effective and efficient airflow.  

A Cold Frame greenhouse, or a hoop house, is also a very cost effective option for growing hemp or marijuana year round. Hoop houses can be covered with greenhouse grade poly and by adding either fans or natural ventilation, they are an excellent starter greenhouse for any type of grower.

Be proactive

blackout curtains in a greenhouse

If you have plans to grow hemp in a greenhouse with the intention of eventually switching to marijuana, remember that, although the two are similar, quality cannabis requires higher maintenance than hemp.

Marijuana is a light sensitive plant that requires long blackout periods at certain flowering stages. Hemp does not require the same but if you are planning on eventually switching to marijuana, you will need to consider blackout curtain installation when planning your greenhouse project.

The same consideration needs to be made for any supplemental lighting you may require. Working with knowledgeable professionals when planning your greenhouse project will ensure these factors are considered when planning your commercial hemp greenhouse.

Consider the regulations in your area

The laws surrounding the hemp and legal cannabis industries are continuing to evolve and differ from state to state so it’s important to pay close attention to what your state allows and requires when planning your greenhouse.

Many areas where cannabis is legal have strict regulations in place concerning odor, which is something that will need to be considered when planning your greenhouse project. When marijuana is being grown, the greenhouse may need to be completely sealed so the air can be mechanically conditioned from inside the greenhouse, or you can incorporate an odor neutralizing system or filtration system through more conventional greenhouse ventilation systems.

Click here for more on marijuana greenhouse odor control and sanitation.

It’s important to remember that the rules about growing hemp and marijuana are constantly changing and that you will need to adapt to those regulations to avoid penalties and to continue growing product.

If you are interested in growing hemp in a greenhouse or are interested in switching a hemp greenhouse to a marijuana greenhouse, the experts at GGS can provide you with the products and knowledge to make it happen seamlessly.

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