By July 2021, recreational marijuana will be legal in 17 states.
Those states include: Alaska; Arizona; California; Colorado; Illinois; Maine; Massachusetts; Michigan; Montana; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Nevada; Oregon; Vermont; Virginia; and Washington. The District of Columbia has also legalized recreational marijuana.
There’s also about 19 states that have legalized medical marijuana, but the point is that marijuana is gaining acceptance throughout the country.
With the legal marijuana industry growing, you might expect the self storage industry to take advantage of the business opportunities. So, where’s the cannabis storage? Where are the hydroponic units for you to grow your own plants?
Hang on a second. The issue is complicated.
The State of Marijuana in Storage
In the states where it’s legal to have cannabis, it’s also legal to store it. However, that’s not the entire story.
Most storage facilities won’t allow you to store or cultivate marijuana in a unit, and they have some good reasons.
First, there’s the smell. Weed has a powerful scent that can turn off potential tenants. Plus, live plants and open food containers, which in this case would include loose marijuana, are both prohibited in self storage units. Both can attract pets, and dry cannabis can grow mold or bacteria.
Then, facilities often consider federal laws. While cannabis is legal in many states, it’s still illegal on the federal level. the federal government is not currently enforcing the federal anti-weed law, and in fact, in December 2020, Congress passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act to decriminalize marijuana federally. However, that bill has not passed in the Senate, and the government could change its enforcement policy.
What Facilities Allow
Because they don’t smell, some facilities may allow fully sealed edibles or tinctures. Edibles are foods, such as brownies, gummies, or chocolate bars infused with marijuana. Tinctures are made from vegetable oil or alcohol infused with THC, CBD, or both.
Marijuana has the nickname “weed” for a reason. In the wild, it grows like crazy. However, cultivating it for the best results, especially indoors, requires specific parameters. Climate-controlled units, which keep most of our belongings in great condition, aren’t enough for marijuana plants. Even wine storage, which has tighter parameters than climate control, won’t work. And cannabis units would need even more specific parameters.
Facilities would have to set up double units, perhaps connected, because cultivating marijuana correctly requires two cycles. Those are a 60-day growth cycle and a 70-day flowering cycle. The phases look like this:
The germination phase takes 5 to 10 days.
The seedling phase takes 2 to 3 weeks.
The vegetative phase takes 3 to 16 weeks.
The flowering phase takes 8 to 11 weeks.
During the first three stages, the plants need 18 hours of light per day. During the flowering stage, they need 12 hours of light. Throughout the process, the plants need a tight humidity and temperature range. The humidity required is between 45% and 50%, and the temperature is best kept between 75 and 77. They have specific soil requirements, too, but that would be in the grower’s control, not the facility’s.
The point is, the requirements are highly specific, and very few facilities will go to the effort to create this setup currently.
Another concern facilities may have is what the local community will think. Though American culture has made strides in its attitude towards marijuana, some people are still strictly against it. They may have worries, though misguided, about the sort of people that the facility will attract or that cannabis storage will bring crime into the area.
What to Expect
Because of the smell, the difficulty and expense of setting up marijuana cultivation units, the potential for the plants to attract pests, and social stigma, most self storage facilities won’t allow most marijuana storage, let alone cultivation, on their premises.
This seems unlikely to change anytime soon. However, as additional states legalize marijuana, and social attitudes continue to change, who knows what the future may hold?
All this said, there may be some facilities offering this service, or there may be a few soon. Polar King is a company that manufactures marijuana cultivation units and equipment, but growers need a place to keep it on their own property.
We hope this gives you an idea of where the industry stands on marijuana and where it may be heading. Meanwhile, we expect solutions to appear as legalization continues.