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cannabis cultivation survey

Early Results of Cannabis Cultivation Survey Reveal Interesting Patterns Among Growers Around The Globe

Earlier this week, we let readers know of an important cannabis cultivation survey being conducted by researchers who want to hear from at-home growers around the world. Their goal? Collect data to show governments which cultivation policies are most effective.

Humber College criminal justice professor and drug policy researcher Daniel Bear spoke with Cannabis Health last week, urging Canadian readers to participate in a survey hosted by the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium, so that Canada is better represented among the 18 countries involved. They include Austria, France, Belgium, Georgia, Portugal, and Switzerland, among others. 

While data will continue to be collected through August 2021, Bear was able to share preliminary results from the cannabis cultivation survey, which was first launched in the fall of 2020. 

Demographic Data Shows More Men Growing Cannabis

General data on responses shows that so far the majority of participants are male. In Canada, for example, 82 percent of all respondents have been men. “I was expecting it to be quite high, given that we know that cannabis consumption is higher in men than in women in Canada,” said Bear of that particular result. “It could be that men are responding to the survey but doing the gardening and growing with their female partners.”

Other countries have shown similar results, including in Georgia (93 percent) and Uruguay (79 percent). 

The ages of cultivators showed much more variety, with participants ranging from 18 to 80 years of age. The lowest median age is found in Italy, at 23, while the highest is in New Zealand at 48. So far, Canada falls in the middle at 37.

“Our median age is 37 in Canada, which at first I thought was a bit high,” said Bear, who was expecting an average age in the range of 25 to 35. “Then I thought, if you live in an apartment, it’s harder to home-grow–maybe you’ve got a five-gallon bucket in the closet and it’s venting out, like a Space Bucket type setup–but its more likely that if you’re renting or owning a house, you’re actually able to grow, and that’s generally someone who is a bit older.”

cannabis cultivation survey
Preliminary data from a global cannabis cultivation survey shows that, both inside and outside, Canadians grow an average of four plants at one time.

Average Number of Plants Similar Around The Globe

In Canada, the average number of mature plants per crop is in line with regulations, at four. Countries with the highest numbers of mature plants per crop were Switzerland and the United States, with a median of six. Countries with the lowest number of plants included Belgium, Georgia, and Israel, with three plants on average. 

In the United States, when comparing indoor to outdoor cultivators, the number of plants per crop differed greatly, with the average number of participants growing outdoors tending to an average of 101 plants per crop. Indoors, that number is much lower, at four. In Canada, there is no discrepancy between indoor and outdoor cultivators. On the flip side, Switzerland, New Zealand, Israel and Italy all showed higher plant counts in indoor spaces. 

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Cannabis Cultivation Survey Reveals Consistent Yields In Different Countries

Based on climates and growing techniques, you might expect to find varying yields in different parts of the world, but preliminary data shows that across both indoor and outdoor growers in Australia, Canada, and the United States, the average yield per plant is 113 grams.

“I’m not surprised to see that Canada is one of the highest,” said Bear. “I think that’s because there’s a really strong cannabis growing community in Canada, a really robust community helping people get better. That’s what I interpret the high yield to be a sign of.”

New Zealand was next in line with an average of 85 grams per plant while Uruguay followed with 80. Growers in Italy and German were among the lowest, at 40 grams. 

Again, separating for indoor and outdoor growing revealed some differences: cultivators in the U.S., Canada, Uruguay, Switzerland, and Georgia yielded more per plant in outdoor grow settings than in indoor ones, while growers in Israel, the Netherlands, and Finland had greater yields in indoor settings. 

cannabis cultivation survey
In the U.S., cultivators who grow outside have an average of 101 mature plants per crop, while indoor growers have an average of four, according to preliminary results from a global cannabis cultivation survey.

Garden Sizes Vary Across the Globe

The survey also asked participants how much space was dedicated to their cannabis cultivation. Canadian participants use an average of three metres to grow cannabis, as with participants in Australia, Israel, and the Netherlands. The largest grow spaces belonged to participants in the U.S., with an average of seven square metres, followed by Uruguay with six and New Zealand with five. 

The smallest grow spaces belonged to participants in Germany at just one square metre, while growers in Belgium, France, and Finland reporting an average of two.

Reasons For Cultivation Are Somewhat Consistent

One of the most important questions of the cannabis cultivation survey asks participants why they grow at home. The most common reasons in Canada included for the pleasure of growing, for self-use, and because it was more cost-effective than buying from a retail store, consistent with reasons in other countries. In some countries, however, cultivators said they also chose to grow their own because they saw it as healthier than purchasing from somewhere else. 

One section of the survey asked about the effects of Covid-19. This set of questions has revealed so far that in Australia, France, and Italy, growers grew their own cannabis because it was harder to obtain elsewhere during the pandemic. Canadians, on the other hands, were joined by growers in Italy and Israel who said they decided to grow cannabis during the pandemic because they had more time at home. 

Interested in adding your voice to the mix? There is still time! Help researchers with the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium by clicking here to fill out the survey