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how to become a legal cannabis grower

How to become a legal cannabis grower

Getting a job as an entry-level trimmer or grower assistant is a great way to start your cannabis career. Cannabis jobs in retail and manufacturing such as budtending or packaging and also be springboards to a career in cannabis cultivation.

Become familiar with key individuals in your local municipality as well as on the state level. Recognizing the key players and decision-makers in your state will help you during the license application process. If the word compliance doesn’t impact you on a day-to-day basis right now, it will immediately after you enter the industry.

Legal marijuana cultivation is not all bong hits and giggles—it’s an extremely competitive, regulated, and scrutinized industry.

Here are a few things you can do to obtain a cultivation permit and succeed as a legal cannabis grower:

Entry- and Mid-Level Positions

Another option for those who want to become a legal cannabis grower—and a much easier goal to attain that requires less financial investment—is gaining employment with a legal grow already in production. Many cultivation companies are hiring if you meet their hiring prerequisites.

Those who are successful in winning a marijuana cultivation license need to learn more about approaching it as a business and not just a fun activity—regardless of the talent they may have.

Some regulations require license applicants to already have a facility in place along with proof of ownership or rental agreement.

Remain Compliant with State and Local Regulations

Those who own a legal cannabis company must prepare themselves for becoming proficient with cultivation as a business and not just a hobby. The financial investment is huge, the legal maze can be daunting, and the human resources required are substantial.

A good basement grower won’t cut the mustard—they’re a dime a dozen in this industry. Not to discount the knowledge and skill obtained through basement growing because it does have value, but growing for yourself and growing for a commercial market on a massive scale are two entirely different things.

How to become a legal cannabis grower

In Washington, state laws require the following minimum security solutions for all cannabis licensees:

As far as choosing which strains to sell, it’s really up to your company’s preferences and access to clones or seeds. The heavy-hitters in the cannabis market include names like Blue Dream, Girl Scout Cookies, Pineapple Express among others, so looking for more specific and unique strains to help diversify your product offerings will improve and expand your market potential going forward.

There are three types of cannabis seeds a first-time producer can purchase: feminized seeds, regular seeds, and autoflower seeds.

Lighting and Electrical

Artificial lighting, dehumidification, ventilation, air conditioning, and irrigation control systems all require immense amounts of electricity, leading some growers to investigate energy-efficiency options like the following:

As true historically as it is today, major financial institutions are averse to lending money to cannabis-based initiatives and business ventures. Under FDIC insurance rules, banks can lose their protection under federal law by taking on “existential” risks – including investment in companies who are technically violating federal law. Thankfully, more and more financial institutions are beginning to make investments in cannabis companies who support and service producers and retailers, but don’t necessarily have direct contact with the products themselves.

Indoor cannabis grow facilities must be in an enclosed and secured facility with functional windows, doors, rigid or semi-rigid walls and a roof.

Seeds or Clones to Start Your Cannabis Grow Operation?

Running a successful commercial cannabis grow operation is an expensive challenge. While growers can maintain a higher level of control over humidity, available light, and pests in an indoor environment, maintaining proper light levels and staying as energy-efficient as possible are top priorities for commercial cannabis production operations.

By 2022, legal cannabis operations in the United States are expected to consume 162% more energy than they do currently, according to the Cannabis Energy Report of 2018.

How to become a legal cannabis grower

To become a grower in the legal cannabis industry – either as a business license holder or as a career – you need to have a combination of knowledge, skills, and experience. You also need to be highly focused on compliance and adaptable to change because the legal marijuana industry is constantly evolving.

How to Become a Grower in the Legal Cannabis Industry

In order to run your cultivation site, you need to prepare in advance by setting up lighting and other environmental equipment, installing security, purchasing equipment and supplies, selecting a payment processor, setting up compliance processes, and more.

5. Opening

The good news is the industry is growing quickly across the United States, and there are many opportunities to join as a grower employee or entrepreneur.