Global small-scale cannabis cultivation survey could offer business insights

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An international survey aims to uncover new information about small-scale cannabis cultivation around the world, and the research team’s findings could provide valuable information for both commercial marijuana producers and businesses that serve the home MJ cultivation market.

More than 3,000 people have already responded to the latest International Cannabis Cultivation Questionnaire from the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium (GCCRC), said researcher Daniel Bear, a GCCRC member and professor of criminal justice at Humber College in Toronto.

The survey is meant to capture information about a wide variety of small-scale growers, not large commercial producers.

“Anybody from the individual who’s got two plants in a tiny homemade grow tent to the person who has, maybe, 40 or 50 plants on the back of a rural property,” Bear said.

He said the research team is specifically interested in learning more about how and why small-scale growers cultivate and what they do with their harvests, with an eye to improving government cannabis policy in a largely unstudied area.

A previous survey in 2012 captured data about personal marijuana cultivators, Bear added, but the legal cannabis landscape has changed significantly since then.

Even though the survey isn’t intended for commercial purposes, Bear believes the research team’s findings could ultimately provide important insights to businesses that serve the home cannabis cultivation market with growing supplies or starting materials.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunities to engage with this market of home growers, to understand what that market looks like, and to understand their needs better,” Bear said.

For commercial cannabis producers, Bear believes the survey results could shed light on why some consumers prefer to grow their own marijuana instead of buying from licensed producers.

“People who grow cannabis because they’re dissatisfied with the public offerings are potentially lost customers,” he said.

Anonymous, country-specific surveys are available for respondents in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Uruguay and the United States, with a general survey available to respondents elsewhere.

The research results should be released late next spring, Bear said.

Solomon Israel can be reached at