Cannabis Cultivator: Who They Are and How to Become a Weed Grower

Tia Moskalenko
Tia Moskalenko

Tia Moskalenko, author of the AskGrowers blog, brings a unique blend of content to her readers. She is known for conducting insightful interviews with key figures in the cannabis industry, including brand representatives, manufacturers, and experts. In addition to her interview skills, Tia has a keen focus on CBD. She expertly curates product selections and reviews, offering her readers detailed insights into the various effects and benefits of CBD. Tia's ability to combine in-depth interviews with comprehensive CBD analysis makes her a valuable asset to the cannabis community, offering a well-rounded perspective on the industry.

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2015
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Cannabis Cultivator: Who They Are and How to Become a Weed Grower

There are people who consume marijuana, and there are people who sell it. However, at the very beginning of this chain, there are growers - the ones who experience the evolution of seeds to yields. The growing marijuana industry rapidly achieves widespread acceptance in the US, which makes it attractive to get involved in this activity in 2020. Now it is legal to start your own cannabis business in some USA states - the number of marijuana-friendly states in America is steadily growing, so if you are interested in cultivating this plant, you should know as much information as you can about this process.

In this article, we will explain to you who are cannabis growers, what problems they experience, and how to join their community. We want to highlight that we support only the legal activity of our readers and only declared businesses: please, be aware of your rights and obligations to avoid getting arrested instead of reaching the financial goals.


Read Also: 15 Ways to Increase Your Cannabis Yield


Who Are Cannabis Growers?

As it was already said, marijuana growers are people who are highly interested in cultivating this kind of plant for medicinal or personal use.

It should be mentioned that there are professional growers and people who recently started to cultivate cannabis on their own. If you want to become a grower, you should decide if you want to be a businessman or get cannabis yields for personal use only.

Who Are Cannabis Growers

Professional growers

Professional growers are experienced specialists who know everything about cannabis. They have a marijuana producer’s license and can store, grow, and sell this plant. However, there are businessmen who have the license and plantations: they do not need to be good cultivators and understand how to get the best marijuana harvest: they should understand how does a team of professionals should work together to achieve goals and perform, how they should sell the product and other important things that are related to making any business successful. If you have enough money, an idea that is likely to work, and business sense, you can hire the people who will help you to organize the whole process. A person who has money and power can have everything else - but be careful and always monitor what is going on in your business, if you decide to choose this path.

The advantages of being a businessman in weed cultivation are as follows:

  • No need to think about every single detail - hire the professionals to help you run the business.
  • Saving a lot of time because you will have specialists who can monitor everything.
  • Earning several times more than you could if you choose home cultivation.

Guide On Cannabis Growers: Who They Are And How To Become A Cultivator - AskGrowers

Having all these advantages, you will also experience such difficulties as monitoring the work of your employees, investing significant sums, preparing the documents for the governmental checks, and making sure that your team is satisfied with the working conditions.


Read Also: Growing CBD vs THC cannabis


Non-professionals and their activity

If you want to grow cannabis for personal use or you suppose that it would be better to start without specialists and investments to find out every detail about this activity. This is the best way for people who do not have the money to invest in a business, enough trust to the other people, or who have any other reasons to avoid involving anyone else into growing weed indoors or outdoors.

Usually, home growers have to care about their plants, address emerging issues, and make decisions on their own, as well as develop their cultivating skills without any side help. However, there are several advantages in starting a small home business, such as:

  • There are a lot of forums, articles, and even whole sites that can provide you with the latest information on the topic you are interested in; i.e, you can get help for free.
  • You do not need significant sums to start.
  • You do not have to monitor the activity of any employees and guarantee them liveable and regular salaries.

Guide On Cannabis Growers: Who They Are And How To Become A Cultivator - AskGrowers

We should mention that you can even apply for a grower position in a company that is focused on growing weed if you want to know more about this process more.

How to Become a Grower?

To become a grower, you don't need to have a Master’s Degree in botany or horticulture, but you should have it if your main goal is to become a Master Grower. Master Growers are cannabis cultivators with a proper license who are responsible for cultivating a significantly bigger number of plants - they can monitor and care about the entire cannabis fields.

Master Growers

However, there is no need to become a Master or need to start with a simpler step - to start a business or grow cannabis as a hobby, you can use our instruction:

  • Consider legality. In some states, there is still no tolerance for cannabis cultivators and sellers, and thus - no possibility to get a license. If your local laws do not clearly say that you can grow marijuana, store it, and sell it, you should not think about starting a growing activity.
  • Get a marijuana producer’s license.
  • Prepare other documents, such as an ID, proof of residency, medical paperwork documenting your condition (if needed), etc.
  • Decide if you want to be a businessman or a home grower.
  • Make a business plan (no matter what decision you’ve taken when considered the previous step).
  • Choose what kind of marijuana you want to cultivate - for medicinal or recreational use. If you choose the first option, you will have a lot more possibilities to sell cannabis: medicinal marijuana is allowed to be used in 35 states, while recreational use of cannabis is legalized in 15 states. Note, that we are talking about the use of cannabis: the number of states that decriminalized, tolerate or allow to grow this plant is different.
  • Do some research on how to cultivate the plants or apply for a position at a company that is involved in weed propagation. You can seek a website or several that provide people with reliable and up-to-date information. If you need real consultants to help you and answer your questions in real-time, you always can register on a forum or ask the profess
  • Choose a breeder to buy seeds from.
  • Select strains taking into consideration the effects you want to get from the grown plants. What kind of smell, appearance, and effect of marijuana you are looking for? Do you need a dynamic Sativa or Indica with its relaxing effect?
  • Set up a place. You can set up a tent or a commercial room.
  • Care about the conditions. Select the proper light, care about ventilation, temperature, security, and the other things that we can discuss in detail later.
  • Harvest your first buds.

How To Become A Grower

The cost of obtaining the marijuana producer’s license

Getting a license is the most important step in becoming a cultivator. In all the states where cultivation is allowed, there are different initial application and registration fees, as well as annual cultivation fees. In Washington, you may pay several hundreds of dollars for application and approximately $1,500 of annual fee, while in California, you may spend hundreds of thousands only for getting and keeping your license.


Read Also: Fan Leaves: How to Prune Cannabis for Optimal Growth and Yield


Cultivation: Introduction to Some Basics

At first glance, it seems that the cultivation of cannabis is a fairly simple process that is not associated with any difficulties, especially taking into consideration the fact that this plant is not a delicate plant. However, in order to get an excellent harvest, you will need to arrange a place, organize watering and feeding the seeds, and, most importantly, make your plantation non-visible from public places.

In this section, we will discuss the most convenient ways of growing marijuana.

Cultivation: Introduction To Some Basics - AskGrowersStart with choosing strains

You should know that there are three types of strains: Indica, Sativa, and auto-flowering strains (which represent a mix of these two). Sativa has a heavier, dynamic effect, is heat-resistant and grows in long buds. Indica, in its turn, will feel better in cold, give a relaxing effect, and grow in dense buds. Auto-flowering strains don’t need changing of light for budding or flowering.

As for the effects of cannabis - there are two types of it, such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). The first one is usually used to get “mental effects” like feeling uplifted, while the second one does not have special mental effects but can affect the physical state (for example, relieve pain).

You can purchase the seeds from seed banks - you can find them online or offline if selling them is legal in your state.

Arrange the place and choose the cultivation method

You can choose between the two variants to grow the discussed plants: indoors or outdoors. The first way is more preferable, as you will not depend on the weather conditions and soil: you will be able to create your own closed environment for the greens. Additionally, growing indoors means that your plantation will not be visible from public view, which is highly important too. You should always consider the local legislation and choose a place far from churches, schools, and residential zones. Some laws even dictate the thickness of the room walls, so be attentive when considering them.

If you are a novice grower, start with one box for your strains to test all the processes and conditions you’ve made for plants. You should think out the light changing as well -  your room or any other place has to be completely isolated from any outdoor light for you to fully control light switching. Use reflective walls and provide the plants with good air circulation - these very important steps will guarantee you good yields.

Water management and nutrients

The proper water supply in combination with controlled nutrition will give you the best harvest, and the hydroponic system is the thing that will allow you to recreate the perfect yet natural conditions for your greens to grow.

Hydroponic will give you the possibility to grow marijuana in well-oxygenated water with nutrients - the professionals usually call this method “deep water culture”. Your cannabis’ roots will be in the water all the time, which means you don’t even need to remember about watering the plants in the time. It should be said that cannabis will need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as the main nutrients: buy them from the local suppliers and add the amount that is needed for your particular type of cannabis to the water.

The only disadvantage of DWC is that it works better for large amounts of plants. In case if you want to start with one box, you should not use this method: it may take more money than give in the future.

Prepare for the flowering phase

You should be very attentive during this phase, as everything that will happen to the plants will influence their effects, size and number of buds, and smell. Remember that only female plants will produce buds, and if you provide the greens with the needed amount of nutrients, keep the humidity around 45%, support heavy buds, but deal leaves, and water your cannabis to get a good harvest.

Harvest the buds in the time

Timing is essential when it comes to harvesting. Depending on the harvesting time, you may get a yield with a higher or lower level of THC or CBD. If you harvest too early, you may miss the potency, harvesting too late may result in getting the yields with a too high level of THC which means it will have a significant sedative effect. Note this specialty and start the final stage only when the grown plants will meet your requirements and goals.

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Breeding the New Strains

Cannabis breeding is the process of creating new strains based on the hybrids of male and female cannabis strains. The main goal of breeding is to combine or improve the existing genetic qualities of two different plants, i.e to get plants with better effects, flavor, number of buds, etc. As a result, a breeder may get a perfect plant with perfect characteristics or experience a big failure, lose money and a lot of time. Preparing to breed plants, you should understand how much time you are ready to spend on this activity and decide if you can continue breeding even after multiple unsuccessful results.

So, who are breeders and what qualities should they have? These are patient and result-oriented people who are ready to study the genetics of the plants that were chosen for breeding in detail and repeat the same processes multiple times to get strains with the desired genetics and performance.

What does the breeding process look like?

A professional breeder selects parent plants that have the genetics that is close to perfect. After the parents are chosen, he/she crosses them to get the first generation of plants, which is usually called F1. Then the breeder evaluates the result of F1 generation plants, selects the most promising plants. Next, he/she crosses the F1 plants either using the inbreeding method (crossing the plants of F1 generation with each other) or the backcrossing method (crossing with the parents). As a result, the breeder will get the next plant generation called F2.

After selecting the best plants from the F2 generation, a breeder will start growing the generation called F3. It is the third generation that is usually much more stable than F2, although, in some cases (such as crossing auto-flowering plants), it is necessary to grow the fourth generation to get the maximum genetic stability.

What attributes of cannabis the breeders usually try to keep and improve?

attributes of cannabis the breeders try to keep

  1. Quality. This feature is the most valuable because strong high-quality plants grow quickly and give better yields.
  2. Adaptation. Cannabis is cultivated in a lot of countries and states, and the growing conditions may vary. Some cultivators do not want to use the deep water culture method and prefer growing plants in the open air which makes plants vulnerable to the weather conditions. Adaptation is one of the most important features of weed, even if it grows in a perfect place with full water and air control: the better adaptation, the less effort a cultivator needs to make to get a rich harvest
  3. Pest and disease resistance. The plants that are “immune” to any diseases and do not attract pests are considered as the best to choose.
  4. Maturation. The quicker the flowering and harvesting, the better for the modern growers, regardless of whether hemp is grown for getting fibre, buds, or seeds.
  5. Productivity. It is another essential feature that breeders try to improve when crossing the plants. A good flowers-to-buds ratio guarantees a good harvest.
  6. Shape and size of flowers and buds, their flavor and taste, CBD and THC content and other features that are important for obvious reasons usually are improved too.

It depends on the state you choose to start cultivating. In some of them, the local government has zero-tolerance to the growers. Still, there are states where you can grow marijuana for medicinal use, the ones where you can grow "greens" for recreational use, and the ones that allow recreational cultivation but have restrictions on the number of seedlings that 21+ individuals can have in their backyard or on a big closed plantation.

Where you can legally cultivate marijuana in America?

  • Alaska (only if you are 21+ and only 6 lp. per person)
  • Arizona (only for medicinal use, and only in a surrounded and protected area. One person can grow up to 12 pl.)
  • California (up to 6 pl. per residence. Which is more interesting is that if you are going to cultivate plants for medicinal use, you can have as many as you need in your house, but it's legal only for holders of a medical card)
  • Colorado (up to 6 pl. per person. Multiple adults can grow no more than 12 pl.)
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island  (adults may typically cultivate no more than 6 mature and 12 immature pl. per household or cultivation location.)
  • Guam (if you 21+ you can legally possess and transfer up to 1 ounce of flower or 8 grams of concentrates. Adults can grow privately up to 6 pl., of which no more than 3 pl. can be mature)
  • Hawaii –  (only for medicinal use. No more than 7 pl., whether immature or mature)
  • Illinois – (only for medicinal use. The patient may grow up to 5 pl. for personal use. Under the new law, adults 21+  who grow less than 5 plants for personal use will receive a “violation” with a $200 fine.)
  • Maine (up to 3 flowering pl., 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings. An adult may possess all the marijuana that was produced by the plants. Otherwise, adults can possess up to 2.5 oz. Also, cannabis must be consumed only on private property. Patients may possess up to 6 mature pl. 
  • Massachusetts (up to 6 pl. per house, but if there are 2+ growers, they can cultivate up to 12 pl. simultaneously)
  • Michigan (adults who are 21 can grow about 12 pl., but if they are caregivers and cultivate seedlings for medicinal use, they can have up to 60 pl. plus 12 for themselves. Only registered caregivers can cultivate such number of cannabis seedlings at home)
  • Missouri (only for medicinal use)
  • Montana – (only adults 21+ may grow up to 4 mature pl. and 4 seedlings at a private residence. 
  • Nevada (up to 6 pl. per house)
  • New Mexico (up to 16 marijuana pl. with four mature and 12 seedlings allowed at any given time)
  • Oklahoma (only for medicinal use. 6 mature pl. and up to 6 seedling pl.)
  • Oregon (up to 4 pl. per residence, regardless of how many people live in the residence)
  • Rhode Island (only for medicinal use. up to 12 pl. per person)
  • South Dakota – (home cultivation was legalized on November 3, 2020. Adults 21+ will be able to possess and distribute up to 1 ounce of weed, and they will also be allowed to cultivate up to 3 pl. Upon formal passage, legalization will become law on July 1, 2021. 
  • Vermont  (2 mature and 4 immature pl. may be grown for recreational use at one house, and medical marijuana cardholders can grow up to 2 mature pl. and 7 immature pl. for medicinal use)
  • Virgin Islands (patients may grow up to 12 pl.)
  • Washington (patients may cultivate up to 6 pl. at home and possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana they grew themselves)
  • Washington, D.C. (adults 21+ may grow up to 6 pl. at a time for recreational use. Only 3 pl. can be mature and three can be seedlings. If multiple adults live at a residence, no more than 12 pl. are allowed.

In all the other states, growing marijuana is outlawed. Please, note that all the above-mentioned states allow growing the plants discussed only if a person has an appropriate license.


Read More About Marijuana Laws In The Following States: Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, South Dakota, Alaska, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland


Where to Get Additional Information About Marijuana?

You can freely browse our website and read more about ways to grow marijuana in detail, find out more about its breeding, preparing the documents for getting a producer’s license, and a lot of other useful information that our experts present in a clear and readable way, the full guide is here.

Again, we would like to highlight that we only support the legal growing of cannabis, it’s breeding, and selling, as well as reasonable use. We highly recommend thinking about your future and health before making rash decisions and read some of our articles to understand how to start legal marijuana growing business in the US.

FAQ

To become a grower for a dispensary, gain expertise in cannabis cultivation through education, training, or hands-on experience. Obtain necessary licenses and certifications for legal compliance. Build a portfolio showcasing your cultivation skills and successes. Network within the industry and attend relevant events. Apply for grower positions, emphasizing your knowledge, passion, and understanding of compliance regulations and best practices. Gain experience, demonstrate dedication, and continually improve your skills to increase your chances of securing a grower role at a dispensary.
A weed cultivator, also called a cannabis grower, is responsible for growing and producing cannabis plants. They oversee the cultivation process, from selecting seeds or clones to nurturing the plants through various stages of growth. This involves providing the necessary care such as watering, nutrient management, pest control, and pruning. Cultivators also ensure that the plants are grown in compliance with legal regulations and industry standards. Their goal is to produce high-quality cannabis products, whether for medicinal or recreational use, by optimizing plant health and maximizing yields.
A weed grower is commonly referred to as a cannabis cultivator or simply a grower.
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