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April 25, 2021

Selling Outdoor weed at Indoor prices: Immoral practice or acceptable business plan?

Some dispensaries are selling marijuana grown outdoors as if it were grown indoors. Is this fair to the customer?

Nearly three years after the legalization of marijuana in Canada, the grey market is still profoundly undercutting legal sales in most provinces. "Why?", you ask. The list is long and includes cultural reasons, flower quality and last but not least: price. 

Legal cannabis is still too expensive for the average smoker. Their solution? Offer a few cheaper strains of cheaper quality. This would be fine, except they are now selling outdoor weed as indoors in order to keep that ridiculously elevated profit margin they are seeking. 

The phenomenon is happening in legal and grey market dispensaries alike, so buyers beware! Now smoking outdoor weed isn’t poison. It can even be quite enjoyable, but we still feel it’s not right to advertise and price something that was grown outdoors the same way as an indoor crop.

Why is indoor weed more expensive than outdoor marijuana?

When marijuana is grown indoors, certain expenses come with it. From an actual building with distinct growing, curing and waste rooms to equipment such as lights and electricity, temperature, humidity control, and so much more!

These costs are absorbed into the selling price, causing the price point to be slightly higher than outdoor weed.

When growing weed outdoor, the startup costs are a lot smaller. Hell, back in prohibition days, some growers would plant a hidden crop at the beginning of the season and let the sun do its thing, only returning to check on it three or four times before harvest to avoid being caught. 

While the end product in both cases is a beautiful mature cannabis plant, the quality of these two flowers will not be the same.

Is Indoor weed better than Outdoor?

We believe it is. The first and most apparent distinction between the two is their physical appearance. Outdoor nugs will seem more fluffy and less compact than indoors. Also, they might have a dry, brownish appearance, indicating that the uncontrollable sun has shed a little bit too much of its light on the flowers, toasting some of those precious terpenes.

Due to controlled conditions, indoor grows can yield the optimal plant every time. With a significantly smaller risk of genetic cross-contamination, you are also guaranteed to get the actual strain you bought. The cleanrooms used to grow weed indoors are disinfected thoroughly every batch, ensuring pests do not contaminate the plants. 

These conditions also allow growers to bring the best out of the plants that are often reported to have higher THC levels when grown indoors. 

What about greenhouses? 

A greenhouse is the middle-ground between both worlds. While control on the environment is somewhat comparable to indoors, it’s not nearly as precise in terms of temperature, light and humidity control. 

Pests and contaminations are still a very real problem for greenhouses, which might still need to use pesticides to prevent the loss of a crop. Most cases of mildew and mould actually come from greenhouses because the plants are so tightly packed together in a non-sterile environment.

While we are sure these greenhouses use the safest pesticides possible, it contributes to our stance on why outdoor weed should be cheaper than indoors.

In conclusion, growing or smoking outdoor weed isn’t immoral in itself. If anything, sacrificing quality for lower energy consumption and organic growing could even be seen as honourable and socially responsible. 

However, in terms of quality, it is undeniable that indoor weed is far superior to outdoor. The only problem in this situation is those who try to pass off outdoor weed as indoor to get a higher profit. This contributes to the dilution of weed quality across the board, which is not what we’re striving for as a community. 

Article written by Stoney the Ghost
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