Asking how to become a grower for a dispensary is the perfect start to getting into the marijuana market place. Being a grower opens the doors to doing business with dispensaries, stores, and other cannabis-based businesses. While being a marijuana grower sounds simple, you actually need to do some work if you want to become a reputable grower and build strong relationships with companies who might use your skills and/or product. Growers for dispensaries and other companies need to have solid growing backgrounds and have all the knowledge needed to be the best in the business.
Becoming a Licensed Cannabis Grower
The first step to learning how to become a cannabis grower for a dispensary is to find out how to get your growing license. This is more than taking a test and getting a certificate. There is much to learn if dispensaries are going to take your intent to grow seriously. If you really want to become a grower then there must be a plan set in motion as it is not something that happens quickly. There are three ways to begin this process:
1. Apply for a license to cultivate. Dispensaries are going to be looking for some specific qualifications when they interview you. They may ask about education and be looking for a degree in horticulture, botany or specialized cannabis work as this educational level is sought after by many of the bigger businesses. You don’t have to have a degree, but it will be an advantage if you have schooling of some nature that shows you have a background that will help in cannabis cultivation along with a license.
Getting your cultivation license shows that you can legally work as a grower in your area. It takes some time to attain it but is well worth it. A license will set up apart from other applicants and if you combine it with some education be it degree or certificate you will have more luck when you apply to a dispensary.
2. Get a job at a cultivation company. Doing this is a great way to become a grower if you do not have a degree or certificate in the cannabis field. Getting your foot in the door of a local well establish grow company is a big step to be a grower. While you can always practice and learn on your own, the costs of setting up your own area are substantial. If you can work with a business that is already up and running, you will be able to learn and work your way up the cannabis ladder.
Learning how to become a grower for a dispensary in a cultivation setting gives you good first-hand experience in working with plants along with the inside knowledge about strains, cross-breed strains and growing. It is a type of internship that can lead you to your final goal of a cultivation license. It is a great way to become a marijuana grower if you can’t go to school.
3. Obtain a grower’s license for the state in which you reside. Along with getting your cultivation license, some states will also ask you to have a grow license for the particular state in which you live and work. It shows that you can grow marijuana as well as supply dispensaries in the state with that product. Each state is different so be sure to understand local laws and regulations.
Grower Skills Dispensaries Want
While the prior steps are focused on the things you need to do before you search for a position, applying for one adds some more things to the list of skills needed. Each dispensary is going to have certain skills they want in a grower, but some things will be consistent throughout the marketplace.
1. Understand cannabis horticulture. Dispensary owners are not going to want to take time to train a grower, so they tend to look for growers who already know the ropes. Experience is a great skill to offer any dispensary. You don’t need to be the oldest, most educated grower but it helps to know about cannabis horticulture, and all grow details that go with it.
2. Don’t make things up when you are being interviewed. If you don’t know something, then be truthful but then go on to highlight all the talents and skills you do have. You want to show you are human and no one can know everything, but it is also important to balance that with being very competent and knowing how to find the information you may not currently have.
Knowing the basics of horticulture, crossbreeding plants and growing is all-important but it’s okay not to know some of the more obscure things. You want to show you know and understand your profession well but be open to learning more as the industry evolves.
3. Show that work is a priority and that you are open to being on call as needed. Showing you are committed to your job and profession is key to gaining the trust of the dispensaries you apply to. This doesn’t mean you never get a break but understanding there may be times beyond normal work hours that you are called upon is important.
Establishing a Growing Career from Square One
Not everyone can afford the time or money to head off to school and get a degree that will help their career in the cannabis industry. If this is the case for you then think of becoming a grower as a long term goal rather than one that has to happen right away. Getting your foot in the door at a cannabis company can help you reach that final professional goal. Working your way up is nothing to be ashamed of and many companies see it as a great learning experience that will benefit a grower.
One place to start is the sales side of the dispensary. It is a great way to get to know products, uses and customer needs. Once you have the basics down than spending time with a dispensary’s grower will help you work towards understanding growing and what next steps might be. There is nothing wrong with an entry-level position of a budtender or even better as a bud trimmer or assistant grower. You will gain a lot of wisdom in any of these roles.
Olivia Solero is the Co-founder of Cannabis Stack. Olivia has an unusual blend of creative thinking and the ability to put that thinking into effect. She likes to write; loves to edit; she knows how to lead, follow or get out of the way; she is good with a buck and wicked smart when it comes to data.