How to Maximize Your Home Grow and Stay Legit


                                                                                                                                         by Sheri Lupoli representing Team Trella

With so many U.S. states passing legislation for legal Cannabis cultivation and consumption, home growers now have the opportunity to grow their own flower in a “farm-to-table” sort of way, controlling how and what is grown and consumed. As more and more states follow suit, non-commercial growers will need access to robust production methods all year, since liberation depends upon maximizing indoor grow space while reducing the costs of controlling the indoor climate.

To celebrate this shift in the winds of the legal Cannabis space, Trella Technologies will offer a series of instructional blog posts to illustrate how TrellaGro LST™ can be set up for a variety of specific plant count configurations to maximize space and yield when growers are faced with plant limitations. In this post, we will explore how Trella's patented technology can assist home growers in maximizing their Cannabis crop yield when faced with plant and space constraints.

Read on to see if your state is listed and to calculate how much you will save in the long run after you invest upfront in the automation and efficiency of your grow. We will illustrate a vertical setup using an 8x8 foot grow tent and will demonstrate with current state-by-state legal Cannabis market values how growers will not only recover their setup investment but will profit after one harvest. 


State-by-State Plant Counts (The "Rule of Three" )

Most states that allow for home growing follow what we like to call “The Rule of Three”. With a few exceptions, plants are limited in number to either 3, 6, 9, or 12. For example, in our state of Massachusetts, any adult over 21 is allowed up to six plants, with a maximum of 12 per household if there is more than one adult residing. Several other states have similar plant count limitations:

  • Alaska - 6 plants per adult with 3 flowering at a time (recreational and medical)
  • Arizona - 6 per adult. Currently only medical patients and caregivers may grow, but this might change now that recreational laws have passed. 
  • Colorado - 6 plants per adult with 3 flowering at a time (recreational and medical)
  • DC - 6 plants per adult with 3 flowering at a time (recreational and medical)
  • Hawaii - growers can have 6 plants per adult with 3 flowering at a time  (recreational and medical)
  • Maine - growers can have 6 flowering plants  (recreational and medical)
  • Massachusetts -  6 plants per adult (recreational and medical)
  • Nevada - 6 per adult ***must live 25 miles from a dispensary  (recreational and medical)
  • Oklahoma - 6 mature plants per patient (MEDICAL GROW ONLY!!!)

Based on this trend, we will use the popular six plant configuration to illustrate a vertically-stacked TrellaGro LST™ setup and what the return on investment would be when compared to more traditional indoor grow methods.


Setting Up Your Indoor Vertical Cannabis Grow 

An 8’x8’ grow tent with an extended height of 8’11” may offer room for about 54 square feet of vertical canopy, when taking into consideration the spacing of plants and the room needed to safely maneuver around them.

As shown below, by using the vertical space to instead stack the TrellaGro LST™ units on shelving and grow plants horizontally, the canopy area increases to 78 square feet - that’s 24 square feet more than the actual dimensions of the grow tent with just 6 plants and no labor-intensive training!  Let's have a look: 

8 ft.

Grow Tent Setup


3Model 6 Stacked


4Model 4 Stacked


The Investment 

Now, let’s do the math you’ve been waiting for so we can answer these three questions:

  • How much money will a vertical setup with TrellaGro LST™ cost you up front?
  • How much yield can be anticipated per plant?
  • What kind of financial return can you expect? 

Let’s compare costs both WITHOUT and WITH TrellaGro LST™ to grow six plants within an 8x8 foot space:

Item Required

Estimated Costs Without TrellaGro LST™

Estimated Costs With TrellaGro LST™ 







Grow Tent**



HVAC -(AC/Dehumidifiers, etc)**



Misc.(Fans, nutrients, grow media, tubing, etc)**




Time/Labor Costs

$28,800 (6 units)*


> $4,945


*Using four Model 4 units and two Model 6 units

**Items are sold separately. All pricing based on average, researched costs of materials 


When we compare, there is a greater initial investment of $26.7k when using TrellaGro LST™. That’s quite an investment, so what will this investment yield? Will you make money? Save money? Aside from the freedom and security you experience by independently producing what you consume, what can you expect to see working to your advantage?


The Return on Investment (Part One: Yield)

Let’s look at our grow trial results. Here is what a six plant grow can yield in a single grow cycle, both WITHOUT and WITH TrellaGro LST™.


Without TrellaGro LST™ (ScrOG only)

With TrellaGro LST™

# of plants



Canopy Area in Square Feet

54 square feet

(3’x3’ per plant)

78 square feet

(stacked vertically)

Yield in Ounces per Square Foot

1.5 ounces per square foot

2.2 ounces per square foot

Pounds per Plant

0.8 lbs

1.8 lbs

Total Yield per Cycle

81 ounces

(5.1 lbs)

172 ounces

(10.7 lbs)

***This table eliminates Sea Of Green (SOG) as an option since it’s not suited for those with plant count limitations (though it will yield approximately 1 ounce of flower per square foot in other grow situations). On average, Screen Of Green (ScrOG) can produce 1.5 ounces of flower per square foot.

Comparatively, plants grown using our TrellaGro LST™ automated, low-stress training technology produce on average 2.2 ounces of flower per square foot per grow cycle.

Sound complicated? Let's translate this so that we can see the yield PER PLANT rather than per square foot:

                    3’x3’ ScrOG = 14 ounces per plant
                    TrellaGro LST Model 4 = 18 -26 ounces per plant
                    TrellaGro LST Model 6 =  26-40 ounces per plant

In the above setup, TrellaGro LST™ will yield 10.7 lbs per cycle with just 6 plants. Compare this to the ScrOG technique, which yields 5.25 pounds per cycle with the same number of plants in the same space. Trella gives you more than 5 additional pounds per grow cycle, as stacking units doubles your space and increases your yield with fewer plants compared to the conventional grow methods mentioned. 

The Return On Investment (Part Two: Money) 

Research has revealed that current costs per ounce of high-quality legal cannabis range from the most expensive (DC) to the most affordable (Oregon). Here are some examples that demonstrate the price ranges:   
  • Washington, DC - $591.42 per ounce
  • Massachusetts - $400 to $480 per ounce
  • Oklahoma - $342.21 per ounce
  • Arizona - $296.58 per ounce
  • Nevada - $271.48 per ounce
  • Colorado - $241 per ounce

Let's take two states - one from the west coast and one from the east coast - and compare the value of harvests.

For our purposes, we'll compare Massachusetts and Arizona. Using the standard prices of Cannabis per ounce, and the yields of six plants per grow cycle calculated above, we can clearly see that an indoor grow using TrellaGro LST™ will produce more flower and will therefore provide an immediate and much greater ROI:


Crop Value Per Cycle WITHOUT TrellaGro LST™

Crop Value Per Cycle WITH  TrellaGro LST™


$24 thousand

(81oz x $296.58)

$51 thousand

(172oz x $296.58)


$32.4 thousand

(81oz x $400)

$68.8 thousand

(172oz x $400)

When we compare this to the cost for the TrellaGro LST™ setup, you can see that the costs are recovered including a 97% ROI with profit after just one cycle!** Depending on your goals, this could either mean money in your pocket or a steady and sustainable source of flower for yourself that costs a fraction of the current market value.

**(Note: For our ROI calculation we used the following equation: net return/cost of investment x 100 or ($68,800 - $34,945)/$34,945) x 100).

Simply put, with just one harvest from six plants grown with TrellaGro LST™, growers will not only “break-even”, but will be well on the way to saving thousands of dollars with each subsequent harvest (not to mention the hours freed up by not having to train plants daily). Best of all, it's more money in your pocket as the financial burden of high energy bills is dramatically reduced (as we will demonstrate in future blog posts, so stay tuned!).

Imagine the freedom and security we can experience when given control over our own plant medicine cultivation. Team Trella is here to make sure that everyone can benefit from the remarkable advances of controlled environment agriculture, whether a grower or someone who depends upon a caregiver to provide cost accessible, quality flower to patients.

Whatever your purpose or position, we are here to help ensure that all individuals will reap the benefits of being able to grow what you want, where you want.

Until next time, Trella growers!

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