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Grow Q&A: How Do I Get a Job Growing Legal Weed?



Nico's Nuggets, seedlings

Dear Dan,
I am a grower (self-taught) living in a state (don’t know if I should include my state) where marijuana is completely illegal. My ultimate goal is to become a legal grower, whether that’s waiting for my state to pass the legalization of cannabis and I’ve thought about moving to a legal state just to get involved. I’d say I have begun to get into advanced growing techniques (e.g. studying up on cross-breeding, advanced botany).

I have so many questions, I don’t know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with… What are the “essentials” that every legal professional grower should know? I know there is no end for the thirst of knowledge but I have to believe there is a legal grower out there with less knowledge than me.

Should I have some actual educational courses under my belt if I do move to a legal state? If I don’t get an education in cannabis, how do I relay my knowledge of the industry to companies looking to hire? Would they even hire an out-of-state guy that just has illegal grow experience (+/- 10 crops)? — Charlie

Dear Charlie,

As far as the essentials, a proper understanding of how plants grow and especially how cannabis plants grow is very important. Another very important thing to understand is that problems grow exponentially as growrooms get bigger. An expert at a 10-light garage grow is likely to have trouble handling their first 100-light warehouse grow. Heat, pests, mold and mildew—all of the issues become more difficult to deal with as you expand your operation.

Many places in legal states now have courses that you can take and a certification process that can help you learn and get a job in the cultivation industry. Oaksterdam University is one such place in California but others exist. Do some research to make sure the one you’re interested in attending is legit and worth the money.

My last bit of advice is to not be afraid to start at the bottom, working as a trimmer, janitor or helper/assistant. Smart companies promote and hire from within, and you’ll gain a better understanding of how things work without the intense pressure of being in charge right away. Good luck!

Don’t miss our previous Grow Q&A: Should I Keep the Leaves I Trim Off My Pot Plants?