There are varying types of cannabis cultivation such as 1) Indoor or hydroponically grown by Dr. Greenthumb in California; 2) Greenhouse potted plants using sun or sun combined with artificial lighting, cultivated by Khiron and Avicanna in Colombia; or 3) Outdoor or sun-grown using just sunshine, rainwater and love, utilized by Sunrise Mountain Farms in Humboldt County, California.
There are also hybrids and combinations of these. These three categories do not include “Frankenweed,” i.e., companies including Hyasynth Bio that grow isolated cannabinoids out of yeast in a laboratory.
Indoor potted cannabis cultivation consumes a massive amount of energy, due to a constant artificial daylight cycle and crop irrigation. While some outdoor, potted greenhouse cultivation can be diurnal, it also often utilizes artificial light, and consume enormous amounts of water via sprinkler systems. Sun-grown, as the name suggests, uses less artificial light and therefore takes longer to yield. There is a dichotomy between patient adherents of organic farming principles and industrial agriculture’s shareholder-driven penchant for speeding up productivity, often by whatever nefarious means necessary (such as using cancer-causing glyphosate to kill weeds).
In addition to consuming massive amounts of natural resources, this budding industry, in a rush to be adequately regulated, often creates compliance in a counter-intuitive manner. For example, cultivators have to take their unusable, residual plant material (or trim) waste and mix it with 50 percent non-plant waste such as dirt, soil, leaves and other compost. “Then it gets put into [probably plastic, non-biodegradable] trash bags, which go into a dumpster, to be compliant,” says Wil Ralston, President of CBD company, SingleSeed, a division of SinglePoint. (OTCQB: SING)
Naturally, these and other mitigating factors contribute to the debate as to which approach to ganja farming is more sustainable.