Posted on June 13 2020
When does a personal home grow system become a good investment or just another expensive indulgence? Or worse—junk…
Since the home grow space is for personal use, the way to value the system as an investment is less tangible than a piece of equipment that actually makes a product you can sell and thereby do some easy math to figure out if you are making or losing money. That being said, in CA top shelf bud (like OG Kush, Gelato, etc) is $300 an ounce + 15% tax. Wow… that’s $345- an ounce! A quarter pound is $1,380 -- about the price of The Armoire 60.
Remember, this isn’t like making beer at home. A 12 pack of Bud Light is about $10.50 + tax (about 8% in CA). There isn't much financial incentive to brew your own at home, and there's an incredibly wide variety of beers available at the local store -- it's more about the hobby.
By contrast, whether for recreational use or medical, cannabis is expensive so there's a strong financial incentive to grow your own, plus the desire to grow specific strains that may not be available to you at your local dispensary, plus the ability to control quality and purity.
The Armoire 60 is “optimized” for Autoflowering strains—typically these go from sprout to harvest in as little as 60 days—and yes, you still get the same 32% THC from a Gelato “Auto” as you would from a regular (Photoperiod) Gelato strain. The Armoire 60 can pay for itself in as little as 60 days.
With our time-tested protocol, if you can water a houseplant (and follow simple directions) you too can have up to 1/4 pound of top shelf bud in no time. Experienced growers can grow anything in The Armoire—from Autoflowering cannabis to 100% legal Hemp Flower to Photoperiod cannabis strains—even heirloom tomatoes! (Although, like beer, you can buy those already organically grown for you on the cheap)
First, Some Background
The "Home Grow" space has grown considerably since medical legalization began in California so many years ago. Today, North America—including Canada, Mexico, Alaska and the “lower 48” (and the Hawaiian islands) is a patchwork of legalization—and typically a profit center for states and municipalities as the tax revenue can easily be in the tens of millions of dollars, per state. In Mexico, legalization is a formality—and is expected any day now, as the Supreme Court of Mexico has called cannabis arrests unconstitutional. Canada and thirty-three U.S. states have legalized some form of medical and/or recreational use for adults. In the U.S. and Canada, there are licensed Dispensaries, licensed grow facilities, edible licensing, extraction services, cannabis nurseries, certified testing labs and other state controlled and regulated cannabis operations. Home growing is typically exempt from taxes and regulations imposed on businesses.
Legal home grow throughout each state currently stands (as of this writing) at eighteen states in the USA, all of Canada, and soon to be Mexico (proposed limit of 4 plants per household). Where it is legal, personal home grows have an assigned number of plants allowed—ranging from 2 to 12 plants per household. Each state has guidelines the home grower must follow in order to have a state compliant system. Typically, it’s defined as a locked box or room with child proof entry locks mandatory.
The great news about home growing is that there are no licenses required, no taxes to report and there’s not even a voluntary registration system in place. It would be practically impossible to track anyway—and not worth the government’s time. People have been growing cannabis illegally since the 1940s—both outside and inside. The penetration into the “personal” home grow space began in the late 1960s with “tents”. Today, there are still many tent based systems (more evolved, some small—some large), so-called “automated” grow boxes—which are almost all hydroponic and require either a water reservoir of some size either in or outside the system, or you must run a water line to the system—like a refrigerator ice maker. There are also a few metal or wood grow box systems that are not automated in any way.
Now that you know everything you need to about the genesis and current status of legal home grows—as well as a bit about DIY, Automated, Non-Automated consumer targeted products, we will move on to comparing the Armoire 60, “Nurturing” system to a comparable DIY highly-rated Tent grow system. For this, we will use Super Closet—the leading cannabis tent and equipment supplier on the web as a comparable product. Both systems are considered “nurturing” - i.e. non-automated—and both systems utilize some technology to assist the grower (like wi-fi cameras, hygrometers, highly specialized LED lights, etc…).
People grow cannabis at home for several reasons. The number #1 reason is cost—be it recreational and/or medical, unlike beer or wine, it’s a bit on the expensive side. Some people with medical needs spend as much as $600+ a month to avoid or supplement “Big Pharma.” And these folks do their research -- they know what’s going into their home grow. They use organic soil mixes, purified water, organic nutrients, good seeds from great breeders—and love. They don’t have to worry about the “what ifs”—legal pesticides, organic pesticides, plant growth hormone regulators or any other unhealthy and/or unproven additives.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty details, let’s get the Chinese web deals out of the way… The cheapest we could find was a “complete system” for...$155! You get a 32x32x63” tent (made of very thin material with cheap metal pole supports). These are truly really cheap (not “inexpensive”) “knock off” tents with a handful of extremely low-end components: LED light—this is made out of plastic and has low cost diodes without lenses (also no VEG/BLOOM switch option) and is quoted at 1,000 watts! But when asked, they say “about 125 true watts”. Completing the “system” you get two winches, two 4” duct clamps, approximately 6’ of mylar ducting, a 70 dB exhaust fan, a light timer, and a carbon scrubber with some kind of inexpensive “unknown origin” carbon.
However, upon checkout, you find the true cost (to the USA) is substantially higher. Shipping is around $755 for 2 -5 day shipping or $555- for 10+ day shipping, so this "bargain" system is more like $900. There is NO warranty and NO customer service. Certainly no “plant” advice or help… It’s not state compliant, it’s not a No Odor system (as even with a Carbon Scrubber the system is not 100% sealed). As noted, the fan is really loud—around 70dB+ and you must vent the exhaust out a window or other “vent” to the outside world as the air can be very hot and smelly.
This “system” isn’t even in the same league as a Super Closet tent (24x24x50” footprint) set-up or The Armoire 60 waterproof chamber with its “furniture-inspired” stylish and discreet look and feel (25x25x54” footprint)— not in quality, value, bang for the buck or whatever metric you choose to describe it as. As they say, "You get what you pay for" and it's junk -- not a good investment.
About The Armoire 60
This patent pending system is the result of over a half a million dollars in R & D and legal expenses alone—not to mention Blood Sweat & Tears! Although it may seem to be "just" a grow box disguised as furniture, the truth is the Armoire 60 is the end result of facilitating a time-tested proprietary grow protocol and process. While literally every other grow kit in the world is trying to replicate the traditional growing process, the fact is that it's extremely complicated. With the Armoire 60 we took a step back and re-imagined the entire process. Sort of like "stacking the cards in our favor," we created our own unique protocol for a more simplified growing process AND also one that garners impressively larger yields, THEN we built the Armoire to support this unique process. It's not just some hardware - it's a whole process supported by hardware!
We also kept an eye on the legal state of home growing and made sure to adhere to state guidelines: you can’t lock a tent to keep toddlers or preschoolers out for example. And, almost anywhere you set it up in a home, it’s an eyesore. Tents usually get banished to the garage or basement. In some cases, they can go into a spare bedroom as long as it is locked and not accessible or viewable from a window (which must also be locked). This is another reason why our "discreet, furniture-inspired" design is a very important feature of the product.
The Armoire 60 not only looks good, it works as advertised. There are over 30 components in this kit, and every screw, nut, bolt, washer, not to mention fans, moisture meter, light, hygrometer and more, all contribute to the enclosed ecosystem we call The Armoire. Think of it like a cocoon for the plant, focused on the plant’s immune system and well being.
Good genetics (seeds/breeders) are a must but that only takes care of the Genotype and Chemotype. The Phenotype (and final yield) is all about the grow environment and a super simple care/nurturing routine. We’ve created the environment, you provide the seeds and soil (we can help) and we will teach you the rest—for FREE! In the end, it’s all about RESULTS and HAPPY customers!
The Armoire 60 Ecosystem Approach Explained
The Armoire 60 BioChamber is pre-assembled—complete with internal fans, safety grilles, exhaust fan assembly housing, carbon scrubber assembly hardware and 4-way LED winch attachment and drying hardware—all pre installed. In addition, all of the major components are user serviceable and can be removed and cleaned by the customer (the customer does need to screw on 4 legs, insert the fan centrifuge, install the carbon scrubber and hang the light). It is an integrated system of components, that when combined with a very specific grow protocol—optimized for Autoflowering hybrids—along with the full benefit of 35+ years of growing and breeding experience, provides about 1/4 pound every 60 days or so.
We've combined every science-based fact, trick, botanist tip and proprietary grow protocol—working in concert with the components and the airtight, waterproof BioChamber — to create the ideal environment for growing. Not only is the unit optimized for 60-90 day Autoflowering hybrids, it’s also the perfect drying chamber. With only 3-4 days of downtime while drying your harvest, it’s a complete solution.
The Armoire was also ergonomically designed for ease of use —It’s elevated. Just pull up a chair, remove the child proof “entryway” and you’re in. It’s also energy efficient—at under 200 watts all-in, the cost is about $7-10 per month for electricity (less in many states). The Armoire BioChamber has a Limited Lifetime Warranty, the components have between a one to three year warranty, there’s even an optional Extended Warranty and Concierge Service option—this extends all electronic components to 5 years and extends the Concierge service to Life to the original purcherser. A Quick Set Up Guide and Protocol/Owner’s Guide are standard.
Additionally, there’s a “How To” YouTube channel, there’s a website with FAQs and searchable help info that is always getting updated. The No Smell, No Mold, No Pest — low energy consumption, low noise —literal furniture look and feel (yes, put it in your dining room, or kitchen or family room) makes it a great investment. It typically takes just one 4-ounce grow to pay for itself (based on Top Shelf $300- an ounce CA flower plus 15% sales tax).
About The Tent System
The Super Closet 24”x24”x50” Premium Gorilla Tent System ends up clocking-in at $2,498 equipped with everything that comes standard with The Armoire 60 (including separate drying tent—recommended). Without the Drying Tent the price drops to approximately $1699.
To be sure, these are high quality DIY components. Before legalization, black market growers purchased large 8x8’+ tents to grow and sell cannabis. They are designed for experienced growers, or people who have the disposable income and want to learn to be experienced growers—which can take years—from friends with experience, from YouTube, books, blogs, etc.
The Warranty is One Month on the tent. The warranty for each component is provided on a case by case (the light, fans, camera, etc) from each component's individual manufacturer. You do get system and component “support” — and phone/chat grow advice for “life”.
Ergonomics with a tent are not a consideration—the tent sits on the ground. Additionally, the tent doesn't have a child proof lock (therefore it’s not state compliant so it must be set up in a locked room or basement or garage).
The tent is not recommended as a drying chamber. They have a $899- drying tent ⛺️ option for that purpose. The energy use is higher — the LED is 300 watts and the fan about 150 watts. This will not only make the system run hotter (and therefore become more of a magnet for pests as well) and much louder, but it will increase your A/C bill and your energy bill overall.
The Super Closet Approach
When you buy a tent kit, there is no protocol, no manual - you're buying hardware and now you're on your own. The typical process is extremely complicated and you're left to your own devices to figure out various nutrients levels, PH of the soil and water, feeding schedules, light schedules, trimming/topping, integrated pest management, stress training, and more.
If you are new to growing, or just want some connivence and simplicity in your life, if you don’t want to (or need) to hide the system in your garage, if you believe (like we do) that living things cannot be automated, if you want to learn a new skill and save a ton of money, if you want to “showoff” your home grow to friends and family, the furniture inspired Armoire 60 might just be what the Doctor ordered.
On the other hand, if you want—or like—the complete DIY approach and don't mind stashing a larger, more noisy, more unsightly tent somewhere in your house, then you can spend more money on a high quality tent with a bunch of high quality components that you must figure out how to put together and use, with minimal help and support, and grow the more complicated "traditional" way, then maybe a Super Closet system is exactly what you want.
Obviously we are biased, but we believe that The Armoire provides casual and beginning home growers the best "bang for the buck" approach to growing your own at home.
Do the math, and feel the Love!