A Maryland farm is the first on the East
Coast to successfully grow marijuana outdoors for legal sale, a difficult feat in this humid, variable
climate. East Coast growers typically
use warehouses and greenhouses, unlike their West Coast counterparts, but
growing outdoors in the sun makes for a different plant. As one cannabis
cultivation consultant told the Washington Post, “If you’ve ever experienced the satisfaction of a ripe,
sun-grown tomato from a farmers market, then you can appreciate the difference
between outdoor grown cannabis and indoor.” (Some experts disagree that there’s
a big difference in quality between indoor- and outdoor-grown cannabis.)
Outdoor-grown is definitely cheaper, because you’re not paying for
all the equipment needed to control for “the strength of the breezes, the pH of
the water, and the wavelengths, duration and intensity of the light,” according
to the Washington Post.
Mackie Barch, who owns the medical cannabis cultivation company, Culta, that operates the farm, hopes to cut costs by a third by growing
outdoors. Some states have imposed restrictions on outdoor cultivation because
of safety concerns, such as easy access to the plants.