Hello. I go by Bromego. I was born and raised in Reno, Nevada and still live here to this day. I’m currently looking for something to put my life into, and it might as well find something I love. I’m sick of holding down a dead end job to barely afford a mediocre house, get married and have kids, blah blah.. It’s just not what I want. I want to follow my dream of working within the cannabis community.
Basically, cannabis is my passion. I want to dedicate my life to it. I’ve done a couple of closet grows and it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. To do it professionally would be something I could put every ounce of my energy towards. I see all the amazing things cannabis is doing for people around the world and I want to join that cause. I come to you to find out how I can offer myself to this cause. I’m willing to do whatever I need to; I was just hoping you could point me in some good directions to assist me in my journey. Thank you for your time. — Bromego
Dear amigo, Bromego (and what I suspect is a long list of readers with similar thoughts), thanks for writing in and with such a heartfelt letter!
Let me start by apologizing for not taking a cultivation-related question per se this week. But I want you, and all our readers, to know that I choose this question not only because I empathize with your situation, but also because I get this question emailed to me almost daily these days. And, believe it or not, all of us in this industry (which wasn’t even a legitimate industry until recent years) started out in the same boat as you – maybe even in a bit more dire of a situation (i.e., when I started in this business there wasn’t even medical marijuana, let alone legal marijuana). But you have articulated the question well and I am happy to have an opportunity to provide some insights.
First off, you have already taken your first step in the right direction and that is to understand yourself and know what you want. You have made a decision and that is the sometimes the hardest part – being honest with yourself. Now that you have identified your love and are ready to make a commitment there are many ways for you to proceed.
Luckily for you, Nevada has already enacted some medical marijuana legislation and your state is “on its way” when it comes to progressive thinking about cannabis. For those of you not in legal or medical marijuana states, the situation for you is more problematic. To be involved and work in the cannabis industry, you need to live in a state that at least tolerates medical marijuana.
Once you reside in a state with an actual cannabis industry you need to get involved. You need to be a part of the cannabis community. There are several great ways to do this. Join an activist group like NORML or the Drug Policy Alliance. Attend conferences aimed at our new industry. Start meeting people. Start networking. Meeting people already involved is what will open your eyes to the possibilities out there and help you find jobs in the industry. Keep in mind that, like any other career, the first job you get may not be the most ideal for you, but will lead to better things down the road. I should also mention that High Times Cannabis Cups are an excellent way to learn, network and find your place – and I am not just making a shameless plug here for HT, but I have seriously seen hundreds of people make connections that have lead them to great opportunities at our events. And with several Cup coming up in 2015, it’s pretty easy to make it out to one.
The next bit of advice I can offer is what I just briefly mentioned above about learning. It may sound cliché, but really ask yourself how much do you know about cannabis? If you want to grow, how many books have you read on plant sciences? If you want to open a dispensary, how many courses have you taken about opening your own business? Wherever it is that your primary interest lie, make sure to study up because when the opportunity does come for you, you want to impress and know a little bit about what you hope to accomplish. Incidentally, there are many educational avenues for the cannabis industry including seminars and panels, expos, and even schools such as Oaksterdam University in Oakland, CA that offer single day or week-long courses.
Lastly, my advice is taken from good old Nike: Just do it. While all the above is necessary and very helpful, there is nothing like good old-fashioned experience. If you want to grow, start now. If you want to write, start now. If you want to lobby, start now. Do it now while you look for the next opportunity. Get your hands dirty, put the hours in and, above all else, have no fear (yes, another brand slogan, I know). But seriously, if you love it and believe in it, then what are you waiting for? Get a lamp, some dirt and pop a seed. Write a story and take some photos. Join your local 420 groups, get on social media and see who is around. Join forces and know that strength comes in numbers. Make friends, be honest, be serious, be yourself and go for it. The time is now, my friends, so save that doobie for after dinner and take another step towards your future…
Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!