The Emerging Cannabis Home Grow Market in Europe

Written by Anthony Domangue

The cannabis home grow market in Europe is experiencing rapid growth, driven by the movement towards legalizing medical and recreational cannabis. Enthusiasts are turning to cannabis home grow systems to produce high-quality cannabis, surpassing what’s available commercially. This trend is fueled by the desire to control the cultivation environment, leveraging best grow LED lights for indoor plants, premium genetics, and top-tier equipment.

Cultivating cannabis at home emerges as a cost-effective alternative, allowing growers to bypass the steep prices of dispensaries. Yet, the legal framework for cannabis home grow systems varies across Europe, with countries like Spain and Germany offering more leniency, unlike France’s stringent regulations.

As legalizing cannabis progresses, the European home grow market expands, heralding opportunities for businesses in cannabis seeds, growing equipment, and ancillary services.

Cannabis Legalization in Europe

In recent years, a groundbreaking shift has occurred across the European continent as many countries have embraced the idea of cannabis legalization. As Europe reevaluates its approach to this controversial plant, a wave of progressive attitudes and changing societal perceptions has swept through the continent. With mounting evidence showcasing the potential benefits of cannabis for medical, economic, and social purposes, policymakers and citizens are engaging in decisions about regulation, access, and the potential impact of cannabis legalization on society. 

The cannabis home grow market in Europe has sparked a transformative movement evolving landscape where countries navigate the complexities of cannabis legalization, seeking to balance individual liberties, public health, and a practical regulatory framework. Below is a map showing the current legalization status of different countries in Europe: 

Is Germany leading the way to a shift for cannabis in Europe?
Is Germany leading the way to a shift for cannabis in Europe?

General Overview of European Cannabis Laws

Cannabis legislation varies significantly between the different European countries. Some have more liberal policies, while others are more strict. Most European countries have traditionally taken a more conservative approach to cannabis than other parts of the world. NorwaySweden, and Finland, have stringent policies around cannabis, and possessing or using even small amounts of the drug can result in serious legal consequences.

Some countries like the NetherlandsPortugal, and Spain have decriminalized personal use and possession of small quantities in private spaces. A few European countries have legalized cannabis for medical purposes, including GermanyItaly, and the Czech Republic. These countries typically require patients to obtain a doctor’s prescription to use cannabis for medical purposes legally. Malta is currently the only European country that has fully legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use. 

Home Grow Laws

Cannabis cultivation laws vary significantly across Europe, and not all countries allow cannabis cultivation at home. As of 2021, the following European countries generally permit some form of home cultivation of cannabis:

  • Spain: In Spain, adults can grow up to 2 plants for personal use in their private residences.
  • Czech Republic: Czech residents are permitted to grow up to 5 plants for personal use as long as the resulting harvest does not exceed 10 grams of dried flowers.
  • Germany: While commercial cannabis cultivation is not allowed in Germany, residents can grow up to 4 plants for personal use.
  • Italy: In Italy, residents can grow up to 4 plants for personal use if not sold or given to others.
  • Austria: In Austria, residents can grow up to 4 plants for personal use if not sold or given to others.
  • Switzerland: In Switzerland, residents can grow up to 4 plants for personal use, but the sale or distribution of cannabis is strictly prohibited.

It is important to note that the laws and regulations around cannabis cultivation can vary significantly within each country. In some cases, different regions or municipalities may have their own specific rules. Researching and understanding the laws in your area is essential before engaging in any cannabis cultivation activities.

Overall, the trend toward cannabis legalization in Europe seems to be continuing, with more countries exploring the possibility of legalizing medical or recreational cannabis. Although the legal landscape remains complex, there’s a growing trend toward legalizing cannabis among various European countries. This will likely lead to more liberties associated with the posession, cultivation, and purchase of cannabis throughout the continent. 

The Best LEDs for Growing at Home

Features of the Pisces

The best LED Light for home growing cannabis - The FOHSE Pisces
The best LED Light for home growing cannabis – The FOHSE Pisces

With the demand for growing cannabis at home increasing in Europe, those interested in producing their cannabis will need quality infrastructure. Grow lights are one of the most important factors because light intensity controls a plant’s photosynthesis rate. Increasing photosynthetic rates increases the availability of carbohydrates, ultimately leading to increased biomass production. Although different cultivars will have different light saturation points, this increase in light intensity typically results in greater inflorescence and potentially better secondary metabolite production in cannabis.

For those in areas where growing cannabis at home is legal, FOHSE has you covered. We’ve recently released a new cost-effective fixture line for home growers called the Pisces. This is a FOHSE fixture stripped to the bare necessities: Power, Efficiency, and Durability. This line of fixtures currently comes in 700 and 900-watt options, with dimming capabilities. It also features:

  • Long Lifetime: An L90 rating certifies that the light will always achieve at least 90% of the original luminous flux during its rated lifetime. The Pisces series has an L90 at 40,000 hours, giving you industry-leading intensity for years. 
  • Protection from the Elements: We didn’t cut corners when we designed the Pisces. This grow light has an ingress protection rating of 65. The first number indicates its level of protection against solid objects, while the second speaks to the resistance of the enclosure to liquids. IP 65 rated enclosures are dustproof and protected from low-pressure water jets. 
  • Lensing TechnologyLensing technology can capture and redirect the light produced by LEDs to help increase light intensity within the plant canopy. The Pisces series comes standard with our polycarbonate lensing technology, giving you the ability to maximize the output of your lower flower sites. 
  • High Light Intensity:Light drives photosynthesis, and recent studies have shown that higher light intensity can push cannabis plants far beyond what we once thought possible. Cannabis is a light-demanding crop, able to take high light levels depending on the cultivar’s genetic preferences. The Pisces series currently offers options up to 2494 umol, giving you the ability to push any cannabis variety to its potential. 
  • High Efficacy Rating:PPE or photosynthetic photon efficacy measures how well a grow light can convert electrical energy into PAR (photosynthetically active radiation). The higher the PPE rating, the more efficient the light fixture is. The Pisces series boasts efficacy ratings up to 2.7 umol/J. 
Best practices for growing cannabis under FOHSE LED fixtures
Best practices for growing cannabis under FOHSE LED fixtures

Best Practices

Intensity Recommendations

Based on established research, some cannabis cultivars can handle well above 1800 micromoles. It begins to make sense when you understand that the Sun can deliver over 2200 micromoles on a hot Summer day. For most cultivars, our recommendations are as follows: 

  • Vegetative: 550 – 900 umol
  • Early Flower: 700 – 1000 umol
  • Mid Flower: 1000 – 1300 umol
  • Late Flower: 800 – 1100 umol.

Some cultivars prefer the lower end of the spectrum listed above, typically maxing out around 1000-1050 micromoles. Other varieties can push light intensities of 1500 micromoles or more! It’s up to each individual to take the necessary data to understand the preferences of each type throughout the stages of growth.

Recommended Height to Canopy

We created the Pisces series to take the stress off growers with limited overhead space. Heat is not an issue so cannabis plants can be grown within 12” – 24” of this fixture in the vegetative and flowering stages.

The closer you are to the light, the greater the intensity of your canopy. Growers must remember that some varieties prefer lower light intensities, while others prefer higher. It’s up to each grower to understand the type of cannabis they are working with and how they respond to light intensities to determine the optimal finishing height. 

Environmental Conditions

If you are converting to LEDs from an HID system, there are a few things to consider. The ambient heat under LEDs is much lower than HIDs, so your A/C system won’t work as hard to cool the room down. You must increase the room temperature between 80F-85F to achieve an optimal leaf surface temperature.

Another thing to consider when converting from HID to LED systems is dehumidification. HID systems create a lot of additional heat, so the A/C system has to work extremely hard to cool down the room. LED fixtures produce higher PAR values to your canopy while giving off substantially less ambient heat due to lower operating temperatures. This higher PAR leads to higher transpiration rates and an increased need for dehumidification.

You’ll also need to supplement more CO2 than you may be used to. Under lower light intensities, the use of CO2 provides minimal benefits. However, it can help to drive production further under higher light intensities. Values of 1200 – 1500 ppm of CO2 are required when pushing light intensities beyond 1200 micromoles. 

The FOHSE Pisces LED Fixture features polycarbonate lensing for easy cleaning and ultimate protection from foreign pathogens
The FOHSE Pisces LED Fixture features polycarbonate lensing for easy cleaning and ultimate protection from foreign pathogens

Sanitizing and Cleaning

Sanitizing and Cleaning for Optimal Cannabis Cultivation

Ensuring your cannabis home grow system remains pristine involves careful cleaning of FOHSE fixtures, crucial for those utilizing the best grow LED lights for indoor plants. The aluminum and polycarbonate components are sensitive; avoid corrosive chemicals and opt for Zerotol, a solution safe for both materials, commonly used in legally compliant cannabis production.

Dust can increase fixture temperatures, impacting plant growth. Regular, sensible maintenance, including visual inspections and minimal cleaning with compressed air and gentle solutions, is recommended to maintain optimal performance without compromising the integrity of your legal cannabis cultivation setup.

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