Do weed plants give u more from seed or clone
Learn whether a cannabis nursery is the right investment for your business.
- Nurseries are a great way to diversify your cannabis operation.
- Nurseries can be quite lucrative if you focus on perfecting a strain.
- Cannabis cultivation, excise, and sales taxes apply differently to immature seeds in California.
Cannabis operators seeking to diversify should consider a cannabis nursery; this business model is slightly less involved than a full cultivation operation, but still lets entrepreneurs work with plants and seeds. Here’s our quick guide to learning more about starting a cannabis nursery.
Cannabis Nursery Business: The Opportunity
Nurseries were originally defined in California as “licensees that produce only clones, immature plants, seeds, and other agricultural products used specifically for the planting, propagation, and cultivation of medical cannabis.” With the legalization of adult-use cannabis, the definition has since expanded beyond medical cannabis to include recreational cannabis as well.
The opportunity of opening a cannabis nursery is that, as an entrepreneur, you are able to focus on one core aspect of cultivation. As a result, your nursery can deliver consistent genetics. Growers are great growers, but that doesn’t mean they are great breeders. Nurseries have the ability to specialize and hone in on perfecting a specific strain of the cannabis plant. “Growers want superior genetics and strong healthy starter plants – so clone operations need the ability to cull out weak plants,” explains one cannabis blogger.
Perhaps more importantly, adding a nursery offers a new revenue stream for your business. If you are a cultivator or manufacturer with additional space, consider adding a nursery to your business. Nurseries have a relatively small footprint and a higher than average revenue per square foot compared to traditional grows.
Estimated Financials of a Cannabis Nursery Business
How much profit can adding a cannabis nursery business bring to your cannabis operation? Let’s run a few numbers in this sample cannabis nursery scenario.
With a room of about 1,000 sqft, you can have anywhere from 20-40 mother plants depending on their size and your use of space. Each mother plant will give you about 15-30 healthy cannabis clones per month but this can vary greatly depending on how well they are maintained and their ability to regenerate new growth. This means you will have about 300-1,200 clones per month available for sale. Note that we are trying to be conservative here in our estimates. We have seen some groups pull significantly more clones from a room this size.
On the income side of the profit equation, clones can be sold to growers at $3-15 per clone.
This is a large range because it depends on a few factors:
- How many clones are purchased in one order
- How frequently the grower buys clones
- How in-demand a certain cultivar is
- The number of mother plants you have per strain
- Your reputation
The reputation of your cannabis nursery is the most important part of the income equation. In this highly competitive market, the biggest factor in your success is how consistent and fair you are in your business relationships – NOT how high in THC/CBD your strains are. Yes, strong THC/CBD content can be helpful and give weight to your reputation, but this volatile market is more relationship-based than most: so invest time, attention, and respect in your growers, and they will invest in you.
On the expenses side of the profit equation, there are a few costs to consider that will vary based on your location. Real estate, licenses, utilities, labor and marketing are all expenses that will change relative to your location: for instance, LA nurseries will pay more than those in Oklahoma. If you’re already operating a cannabis facility, then real estate is likely already in your current budget, so the bulk of your incremental costs will be labor and utilities.
Taxes are another area where cannabis nurseries must budget carefully. Cannabis cultivation, excise, and sales tax apply differently to immature seeds in California:
- Cultivation: cultivation tax does not apply to the sale of immature plants, seeds, and clones
- Excise: nurseries can sell immature plants, seeds or clones to another cannabis licensee. However, distributors must transport cannabis from the nursery to the licensee. When immature plants, seeds, and clones are sold/transported to a retailer, the distributor must collect the 15% cannabis excise tax from the retailer.
- Sales: sales tax applies only when any cannabis item is sold in the retail market – as long as you are selling seeds, clones, and immature plants to cannabis cultivators, sales and use tax don’t apply. Specifically: “Sales and use tax does not apply to a cultivator’s purchase of immature plants, clones, and seeds when the products grown from them will be resold as part of the cultivator’s regular business activities.”
For specific questions about how cannabis taxes apply to your nursery, get in touch with our cannabis tax experts.
Additional Considerations for Opening a Cannabis Nursery
There are some caveats that you should consider before moving forward with a nursery business plan.
First, you should be prepared to test the genetics of your plants through full bloom in order to verify the quality of your seeds and clones. Document the entire process through writing, photos and video. This gives you material to show off the details of the plant to growers including its size and shape.
Growers are all looking for different things: some want short and wide plants, others want tall and thin plants. Bring a seed to full maturity to show growers the final end product that they can see, smell and test. Provide growers with a certificate of analysis to prove the quality of the end product.
In the process, it’s possible you will need a different, specifically cultivation license in order to bring plants to maturity. There are different license types for nurseries depending on the size and specifications of your grow space.
Read the FAQs about different license types here. Learn more about the different license types in this guide from the CDFA. Click here for the Cannabis Cultivation Annual License Application. If you do need a new license and don’t want to get your own, then find a strategic partner or client to work with to help out. Talk to our experts today to learn more.
Tips For Cloning the Cannabis Plant
Cloning the Cannabis sativa plants means asexually reproducing identical copies of your cannabis mother plant. During the vegetative, long day growth (18h) you might notice that some of the plants grow faster than the others. Those that have well developed, dark green leaves, a strong stem and no signs of plant diseases could be candidates for mother plants. If the lowest leaves are turning yellow it’s just a question of nitrogen deficiency and no need to worry about, just adjust your fertilizing. You would then grow it separately, keeping it in a constant vegetative state (18 hours of light). It is possible to take more cuttings from this plant to make several mother plants, depending on the size of your installation.
When growing cannabis plants from seeds you will get a certain amount of genetic variation of the plant material. With seed reproduction the plant size can vary greatly (depending on the variety) during the vegetative growth stage and this then also affects the size and the quality of the flower yield. Furthermore, the growth time from seed to harvest can be reduced by taking cuttings from a well-established mother plant. The cutting is morphologically and age-wise an identical copy of the mother plant. This is a good argument because depending on the variety of the cannabis plant, the full production cycle from seed to dried cannabis product can last as long as 6-8 months. Producing clones (cuttings) of your cannabis plants is relatively easy and it saves you time and you can also predict your yield more accurately.
When you are using dioecious Cannabis sativa variety you need to identify the female plants from male plants. The most reliable way to do this is to take cuttings from your plants and put them to root (2 weeks) and then induce flowering (2 weeks) at short day conditions (12 hour photoperiod). The male plants will start to produce flower buds first and the female plants will shortly follow. The identification is simple: female flower bud has two stigmas and the male plant does not (See pictures below). Note that when the plants have been switched to generative stage it is not possible to turn them back to vegetative stage, otherwise irregular growth will occur.
Hemp variety ‘Carmagnola’. Left female plant and right male plant. Pictures taken 31 days after cutting.
Hemp variety ‘Carmagnola’. Left female plant and right male plant. Pictures taken 37 days after cutting, when male flower flowers have already started releasing the pollen.
Plan before clipping
Note that in the beginning you get only one cutting per plant, the top growth tip. From the second topping you get 4-6 cuttings, so it is good to have the right amount of mother plants that you use to get enough cuttings. Then again, when you have established your mother plants you can use the same plants six months. It is good to stop fertilizing your mother plants approximately a week before taking the cuttings to reduce the amount nitrogen in the plant. If there is a lot of nitrogen in the cutting you take, it will use its energy to grow more leaves and not root. This can be prevented by irrigating the plants with only pure water or using commercial leachates.
Prepare to have the needed tools in hand when you start cutting. The best tool for cutting is a sharp knife. If you prefer using shears make sure that they do not crush the stem and you can get a clean cut by using them. Also remember to sterilize your tools before use. A substrate to place your cuttings in will be needed. There are several commercial products for this. A good substrate has a good water holding capacity, but not so good that the cutting starts to rot. Peat is considered to be a bad option for this and especially the fine kind because it stays very wet. Rockwool is a good option but remember that its pH is alkaline (pH > 7.0) and you have to adjust the pH to have it in the optimal range for rooting (pH 5.5-6.5). In the pictures below, sublime (polyurethane) cube is used as the growing medium for cuttings. It is also good to have an auxin-based rooting gel that helps the cuttings root faster. The gel also protects the cut surface from drying out and from getting contaminated.
Left picture: Take the cutting 1 cm above the node having the knife at a 45° angle.
Right picture: Dip the cut surface area in to rooting gel to ensure that no air gets in to the stem and that it also stays free from fungal diseases.
Left picture: Place the cutting into the substrate with a readymade cross cut in it so that the cutting stays securely upright.
Center and Right picture: Cut extra leaves off. When the photosynthetically active leaf surface area is reduced the evaporation also reduces and the cuttings won’t lose that much water.
Cannabis sativa plants need a rooting environment with a high relative humidity (> 90 %), warm temperature (24-25 °C) and 18 – 24 hour photoperiod. At this point it is important to moderate the light intensity because high light encourages the plant to continue vegetative growth. Lower than 100 µmolm -2 s -1 light intensity promotes rooting and prevents light stress symptoms. Remember that the most important thing for the rooting is keeping up the high humidity. You can ensure this by misting the leaves with water twice a day and watering the growing medium every other day.
After the cuttings have rooted an acclimatization period is needed to adjust the plants for high light and lower humidity conditions. First steadily lower the humidity from 95 % to 70 % during a five-day period, and on the sixth day increase the light intensity to 300-400 µmolm -2 s -1 . If the plants start to hang their heads during acclimatization, increase the humidity a bit after the plants have recovered and started standing straight try again.
When Can You Clone a Cannabis Plant? The Best Way to Clone Cannabis, Explained
If you’re interested in growing cannabis, you know that plant cloning is extremely popular among growers. When talking about cannabis, cloning is widespread between cultivators because it ensures that the new plant will have the same strain and the same sex as the mother plant – that means it’s always a female. Whether you’re asking yourself how to clone a cannabis plant or the best way to clone cannabis, you should know that it all depends on the timing and the stage of the plant’s growth.
So, when can you clone a cannabis plant? Ideally, you should do it during the vegetative phase, but not too early. Although you can take clippings of a mother plant to make clones at almost every stage of the growth, there are ways and moments to ensure a better cloning process, which we’ll dive into in detail in this article.
Healthy-looking cannabis clones growing into the vegetative phase.
What is a cannabis clone?
A cannabis clone is a cut taken from a plant, which once it grows, becomes a plant that is genetically equal to the mother plant. Cloning is a relatively common technique for creating copies of cannabis plants. The cut taken produces roots and becomes its own plant.
There are numerous advantages of cloning cannabis, which makes this technique crucial for all types of growers. Besides the evident benefit of no longer needing to buy seeds, cloning removes a lot of each growing process’s trial and error. You can repeat the environmental conditions that made the mother plant thrive and perfect your growing skills in every harvest.
Growing from clones can be faster than from seeds because the plant is already an adult. Also, there’s no need to worry about getting a male plant when you’re cloning. Forget about all the varying results you would get with seeds, or the guesswork and the risks of the germinating stage. With a cannabis clone, you skip directly to the vegetative stage, then let the plant grow for a couple of months before you switch to flowering.
When can you clone a cannabis plant?
First of all, it’s crucial to ensure that the mother plant is mature enough for cloning. If it is too young in the vegetative phase, it may not be a good time to take the cutting, as it will struggle to make roots. Between 4 to 8 weeks in the vegetative stage is the best time to take a cutting for cloning. This is because it’s the phase where the plant is growing the most and focusing all its energy on its stems and leaves.
The vegetative stage is the best time to take a cutting from your cannabis.
How to clone a cannabis plant in 5 simple steps:
Step One: Prepare a clean space
Start by setting up a clean environment with the materials to take cuttings of your mother plant. Think of a cannabis cutting process as surgery and make the place almost sterile. Make sure to wear gloves and disinfect your scissors or clippers and other materials.
Step Two: Set up your gear
Have a rooting cube soaked in water, a small pot with your chosen soil for marijuana, or another growing medium ready, as well as rooting gel or power. The scissors, clippers, or knife should be super sharp to make the cut precise. A blunt blade can crush the fibers, making it harder for the clone to root.
Step Three: Cut the right branches
Clip the lower branches of the plant with a 45-degree angle to ensure it will create roots and absorb water more easily. Ideally, pick the branches that are between 5 to 10 inches long with at least a few leaves. If you see some with a new top just growing, that’s the one you should cut. Besides choosing branches closer to the plants’ bottom, you should pick the ones that look healthier. You can take as many cuttings as you want so take more than you need so you don’t fall short.
Pick the branches that look healthier when cloning cannabis.
Step Four: Dip the cuttings into the rooting gel
Gently scrape the skin of the bottom of the branch cut to help generate roots. After taking your cuttings from the mother plant, put them into the water for a couple of minutes to avoid air flowing into the stem. Right after that, you can dip each cutting in the rooting gel or powder – which is a compound of enzymes that support root growth.
Step Five: Set up your clones for rooting
Place each clone into its wet rooting cube, and then put them all inside a plastic container or chamber with high humidity. Let the clones breathe once a day, change the air, and avoid mildew or mold. Trimming the leaves of the clones in this stage will also help them form roots.
Give your new clones at least 12 hours of light and spray them to keep the humidity high; this factor favors root growth. Ideally, you want to keep the environment warm and wet during this stage. If your clones are not closed within a plastic container or chamber, spray them with water droplets several times during the day to keep the leaves always humid.
Success, Your Clones Are Rooted!
After 2 or 3 weeks, the roots will start showing around your rooting cube, which means your cloning was successful! Transplant your clones into bigger pots, but be very careful, treating them as if they’re as fragile as seedlings. Don’t forget to label them too so you know when the cut was taken and what the strain is.
From now on, you can treat your clones as any regular cannabis plant, taking care of the nutrients, hydration, lighting, and humidity. If you’re looking for guidance once you’re clones start to grow, check out our tips for growing marijuana indoors,. As soon as your cannabis plants are big enough, you can take cuttings again to make new clones and following the process once more.
Our Cannabis News page is a place where you can find tips and reliable information about growing cannabis, written and curated by Homegrown Nursery. We’re your dependable source of healthy, feminized cannabis clones in California and Oregon.