How to Become a Grower on a
Legal Weed Farm

By Liam Noonan


Growing cannabis as a hobby, or for personal use is one thing, but becoming a licensed commercial grower is another. You’ll need a combination of experience, knowledge, certifications, and business know-how in order to be successful. With that being said, if you can handle it can be a lucrative and rewarding career. 

The legal cannabis industry continues to professionalize into a legitimate sector where regulations need to be followed and production streamlined. If you get in the door as a grower now, you’ll still be getting in early.

Continue reading for a comprehensive review on how to start growing and making money off of cannabis in the legal industry.

What Does a Cannabis Grower Do? 

A cannabis grower’s day will vary greatly depending on the size of the operation, grow operation type, and seniority level. If you want to become a master grower you’ll need expert-level knowledge in all aspects of the cannabis growing and cultivation process. On the other hand, seasonal and entry-level harvesting or trimming jobs will require less first-hand knowledge. 

Cultivation Duties as a Master Grower 

  • Hiring and firing support staff. 
  • Ensuring grow operation compliance. 
  • Act as the go-to information source on all things soil, pH levels, nutrients, lighting, and more. 
  • Proper maintenance of all grow equipment.
  • Troubleshoot plant problems like diseases, pest infestations, and more. 
  • Relaying progress to upper management and other stakeholders.
  • Plenty more…

It goes without saying that if you don’t have any industry experience, it will take a lot of hard work and patience to work your way up to a master grower or management position. We recommend sticking your foot in the door as a grow assistant, bud trimmer, or even budtender. You may also need to brush up on your cannabis horticulture knowledge to work your way up the operation totem pole. 

Where to Learn How to Grow Cannabis 

The hardest part of starting out in any field is getting your foot in the door. Most open positions require previous experience making it difficult for novice growers. Luckily, there are a few different ways to learn about farming and gain some entry-level exposure. 

Keep in mind that cannabis is still federally illegal. Each adult-use legal state imposes its own set of cannabis laws in order to regulate the industry. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the specific laws enacted in the state you want to grow in. 

If you don’t already have a degree in a grower-related field or relevant experience, we suggest getting your feet wet at an existing cultivation operation. You won’t make a lot of money up-front, but a good team will teach you the skills you need to be successful in the industry. uoYou can join an existing cannabis business and growing 

You can also join a cannabis program online or at a local college. Some of the best options include Oaksterdam University, THC University, Cannabis Training University, Growers Network University, and the Trichome Institute


Additional Resources for Beginner Cannabis Growing 

How to Get a Job on a Cannabis Farm

As previously mentioned, if you don’t already have relevant growing experience, you’ll need to join a farm or cultivation team working an entry-level role. You will also need to decide what type of role you’re looking for as there are a few different options. The typical job types on a cannabis farm include harvesting, cultivating, trimming, grow assistant, facilities management, and more. 

Most entry-level roles in the cannabis industry simply pay the minimum wage of the State they operate in. That’s far from ideal, but if you can make it work you will be in a great position to move up in your career. Weed is more in demand than ever before and so are skilled workers in the industry. 

Trimming bud may seem like a menial endeavor, but it’s a fantastic way to get yourself some experience. Going above and beyond your job description as a trimmer should mean quick promotion and growth for workers. 

The hardest part of any cannabis farm job may be getting that job in the first place. This is still an industry moving away from the illicit market, which makes it tough to find reputable and well-paying jobs with licensed farms. Cannabis postings are slowly starting to show up on reputable places like Indeed and LinkedIn, but you may have better luck looking at niche job boards. 

Cannabis Job Sites and Resources: 

How to Get a License to Grow Cannabis 

Do you already have some experience and prefer not to work for anyone else? You may be able to start your own compliant grow op. Going out on your own and starting a cannabis farm is risky and an insane amount of work, but dedicated entrepreneurs can make a great living. 

In order to legally grow cannabis for medical or adult use, you’ll need a license from whatever state you plan to operate in. It’s also important to understand the difference between various types of growing licenses. For example, in some places, you need separate growing and cultivation licenses.

A cultivation license acts as a certificate to show dispensaries, regulators, and customers that the cannabis is grown in full compliance. You can think of getting your license as an investment. It costs some money and won’t be easy, but once you have it you’re golden. Click here to learn more about applying for a cultivation license in California. 

Steps Toward Starting a Legal Cannabis Grow Op

  • Create a Business Plan 
  • Obtain Sufficient Funding
  • Ensure Full Legality and Compliance 
  • Maintain Proper Grow Facilities
  • Apply for a License 
  • Sell Your Product to Dispensaries 

How to Sell Your Weed to a Dispensary

Once again, when it comes to selling your legal cannabis to a dispensary it will depend on your individual State’s rules and regulations. The best way to navigate this and get your product on shelves is to work with a cannabis distributor. Some of the biggest companies out here in California are Continuum, Nabis, Calyx, Humboldt Distribution Company, and plenty more. For more tips on getting your cannabis brand into a dispensary, check out this guide.

At the end of the day, you can network and speak with dispensary buyers yourself, but it’s often much easier to just work with a distributor. It will cost money upfront, but if you choose the right company, they’ll provide you with the connections and expertise to get your brand on the right shelves. Most distribution services offer inventory management, delivery management, marketing, order scheduling/tracking, cash collection, financing perks, and more. 

Tips for Selling Your Weed to Dispensaries

  • Research the market 
  • Seek out qualitative and quantitative feedback 
  • Ensure your product is legal 
  • Improve your packaging
  • Work with a distributor


At the end of the day finding and secure work on a cannabis farm can be hard work, but we bet you’ll find it fulfilling. If you’re already a licensed grower looking to separate your brand from the pack, we’re here to help. We at Stoned Root offer affordable cannabis content marketing services to help grow your online traffic, educate consumers, and tell your brand’s story.

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Creating quality content is hard, but we can help. Reach out to us today for a free quote and consultation!