How To Become A Master Cannabis Grower
Whatever your reasons are for wanting to become a Master Cannabis Grower, you are no doubt wondering how exactly to go about it.
For decades, marijuana growers have had to work outside the law as well as in competition with one another, so trade practices were learned and perfected over the years (in many cases decades) and passed on to fellow cannabis farmers in secret.
Becoming a Certified Master Marijuana Grower today is a bit more straightforward these days, and the best ones are very passionate about the health of every plant in their garden. Master Growers are among the most in-demand hires in the cannabis industry, due to the knowledge and skills needed to produce large crops of marijuana.
To help you understand what it takes to land one of these jobs, here we talk about how to become a Master Grower of marijuana. A master marijuana grower is someone who has the experience and education required to cultivate cannabis on an industrial scale (bonus points if you know how to breed too).
A Master Grower has the in-depth knowledge necessary to thoroughly understand the entire life cycle of the cannabis plant, as well as the light, water, and nutrients necessary for various strains. They know how to grow both hydroponically and in soil, indoors and outdoors.
They have perfected the art of cloning their plants and understand every variable that must be accounted for in producing a successful crop. If you have had a few successful grows and are thinking about what it would be like to become a Master Grower, join the club!
Becoming a Master Grower is one of the most coveted jobs in the cannabis industry and for good reason so. While it is one of the best-paid positions (average salary is between $60,000 – $100,000 / year), you will live comfortably and hold one of the most respected titles in the cannabis industry.
Growing cannabis on a commercial scale is much different than growing a few plants as a hobby. Perfecting the art of growing a lot of cannabis (think 100+ plants) takes time. Consistently growing successful, large-scale crops is not exactly easy, and the growers that are doing it have perfected their craft over time.
What Is A Master Marijuana Grower?
Before cannabis was legal, the original Master Growers were the ones growing illegally, putting their lives and freedom on the line to perfect the art of cannabis cultivation.
These are the true pioneers of growing cannabis, and many have now moved into the legal market. A “Master Grower” is essentially an informal/unofficial certification or status within the legal cannabis industry.
It is conferred by several different organizations both in classroom settings and online to prepare individuals to oversee all aspects of marijuana cultivation. In other words, the title is handed down by peers in the industry, rather than a governing institution or equivalent.
Master Growers must not only be well-versed and experienced in cannabis cultivation but be generally educated in the fields of horticulture, agriculture and/or botany. Organizations and companies that hire Master Growers generally expect that they can handle every aspect of the grow from designing the space, figuring the equipment needs, composing the growing protocols, and may even be responsible for hiring all of the staff that would ultimately report to him or her.
Today’s Master Growers often carry a master’s degree in horticulture or botany. However, there are quite a few Master Growers with no formal education at all. And while there are certification programs you can take to become a Master Grower; they are not required to take on this highly desirable position.
Become A Master Cannabis Grower
While you have likely got the experience to back up your desire to become a Master Grower, do not go into your interview calling yourself one. The best thing you can do when interviewing for the position as a Master Grower is to be humble.
There is not currently a standardized Master Cannabis Grower Certification program or any set of universally recognized skills that a Master Grower must possess.
There are also no accredited institutions of higher education that confer the title of Master Grower onto anyone. The status of Master Grower may or may not be required by all companies or individuals looking to hire someone to oversee their growing operation.
A proven combination of horticultural skills in the field or greenhouse setting, an acumen for making sound business decisions, and an understanding of growing cannabis will often substitute for any document touting one as a Master Grower.
Likewise, a person can, with experience, assume the role of Master Grower among many other growers, unofficially, by simply taking charge of the grow and being the troubleshooter. If a grow room is operated by a sole individual, that person may or may not simply refer to themselves as a Master Grower, by default.
Nobody wants to hear that your plants are the best or that you grow the highest quality cannabis anyone’s ever smoked. There are a lot of people who grow good cannabis but are not considered Master Growers so do yourself a favor, and do not be that guy.
Instead of focusing on how rad your plants are, let your potential employer know you’re pleased with the results you’ve had in the past but are always open to improvement and learning new techniques. Let them know what methods have worked for you while expressing interest in the methods that have worked for them.
Know Your Sh*t
Okay, so this might sound like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how many growers who think they have mastered cannabis cultivation don’t know everything they think they do.
If you want to be a Master Grower, you’ve literally got to master the basics of growing marijuana. If you want to grow cannabis with the big boys, you need to know absolutely everything you can about it.
This includes basics like the three (3) stages of growing (seed/clone, vegetative, flower), environmental influences (water, light, temperature, ventilation, humidity, etc.), proper nutrients and why you need them, best training techniques, correct pH levels, pest control (including identifying different pests and problems), how to successfully harvest and cure plants, and more.
Before you become a Master Grower, you’ve got to learn everything you can about growing cannabis. Grow a couple of crops and then grow a few more. Know what you need to know like the back of your hand. Anyone can grow cannabis (seriously it’s that easy), but not everyone can master it.
If you want to grow professionally, you’ve got to know your sh*t.
Be Prepared To Work
Growing cannabis on a large scale is much more time consuming and tedious than tending to a backyard grow. If you thought there was a lot of work involved in taking care of 12 plants, try taking care of 120 or more – a huge difference.
A lot of people interested in becoming a Master Grower don’t realize that it takes up most of their time. Be prepared to work, and work hard. You will spend most of your day to day observing every aspect of your plants’ growth cycle. Watering, feeding, and observing the health of your plants is vital and must be done every single day.
Growing cannabis is one of the “cooler” jobs to have, but it’s not the most exciting of positions. In fact, being a Master Grower is one of the more monotonous jobs there is. While the end results are extremely rewarding, the process of getting from point A to harvest is a lot of work.
The position of Master Grower, or the Director of Cultivation, is one of those positions highly sought after in the cannabis growing industry. While many consider this title an honor, not everyone knows how to become a Master Grower.
Although some people think they have what it takes to be a Master Grower, they must know what they’re talking about. It’s not enough to think you can create the right cannabis strain, you must know the basics. A Master Grower knows the ins and outs of cultivating cannabis.
Make sure you are completely comfortable with the stages of growing – starting from clones/seeds, to vegetative growth into flowering stages and finally harvesting. Do not throw around these terms unless you know exactly what they mean. Also, you must be familiar with the optimal environmental factors such as ventilation, temperature, light, water, humidity, etc.
You can’t grow a great plant unless you feed it the right nutrients, keep pests away, fix pH levels, and keep it healthy. Master Growers must know all the government regulations and how to follow them. They must know how to deal with state inspectors, as well as cannabis industry regulators and enforcement officials.
They also must know what information needs to be submitted to the state and when. All these guidelines must be followed exactly as set forth by the state to avoid fines, recalls and possibly being shut down. So, before you earn the title of Master Grower, you need to cultivate cannabis in a legal setting for several years, keeping all the factors mentioned above in mind.
The work of a Master Grower never ends. Master Growers oversee growing cannabis on a larger scale. Most people who grow it as a hobby don’t have any idea all the work it takes to grow in 10,000 – 50,000 square foot plus plants as supposed to 200 square feet.
If you want to become a Master Grower, know that you will have to put in a lot of work and many hours a day. Also, you should not expect this job to be fun and exciting every day. Most Master Growers spend their time observing each plant. They must track the plant’s growth cycle, feed, water, and watch out for health issues.
Although it can get tedious and repetitive on a day to day basis, once the cannabis plant is harvested it will be quite rewarding.
Master Grower: What Does it Mean?
As more governments change their medicinal and recreational marijuana laws, the role of a Master Grower has legitimized in the industry.
A Master Grower is a person who has dedicated their career to perfect the cultivation of cannabis. Although there are some exceptions, a Master Grower usually holds a master’s degree in botany or horticulture.
You can still become an excellent Master Grower if you do not have that specific level of education, as there are also Master Growers, with other various forms of education, but have over 5 years’ experience cultivating cannabis in a large legal setting.
Master Marijuana Grower Duties
As mentioned before, a Master Grower has a long list of responsibilities.
When looking for a Master Grower, a licensed cannabis grower will look for a candidate who has an extensive horticulture background, but someone who also possesses managerial skills.
The duties of a Master Grower include:
- Extensive knowledge of garden maintenance plus grow and trim rooms
- Able to work in collaboration with other experts
- Responsible for hiring and firing employees
- Expert in plant soil, nutrients, pH levels, and more
- Know which pests to use depending on the disease
- Understanding the light requirements for each plant
- Making sure the crops have the proper temperature, humidity, and ventilation
- Expert in government regulations, Inventory and Point-of-Sale (or POS) Systems
Working Your Way Up
If you wish to become a Master Grower but do not possess a formal university education in botany or horticulture, there are other ways to become a Master Grower.
You can start as a bud trimmer, grow assistant, or budtender, although, some work their way up all three (3) positions.
As a bud trimmer, you will get your foot in the door of the cannabis industry, which will give you the hands-on experience to become one in the future. Bud trimmers oversee working with the harvested flowers. They snip away any of the sugar and fan leaves.
The trimmer must make sure the bud is properly manicured. Although this job can be considered monotonous, being a trimmer is an important job in the overall process.
After spending some time as a bud trimmer, or if they have some education or nursery experience, a person can become a grow assistant. A grow assistant also works closely with other cannabis growers. When working as a grow assistant, you will have more of an opportunity to work with the growers.
This is a great opportunity to ask important questions and absorb the knowledge of other cannabis growers. Now that you know all the different paths for how to become a Master Grower, it’s the time you decide which one makes more sense for you.
You can go the traditional route and start attending college to get a bachelor’s or master’s education in botany or horticulture. Others prefer to get a job in the industry and work their way up over the same amount of time it takes to earn a college degree.
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Master Grower
Becoming a Master Grower is a dream job for many people interested in cannabis cultivation. It is not the easiest of positions to acquire but can lead to a rewarding occupation that is one of the most respected in the industry.
Understand that most cultivation centers will not hire “just anyone” and even getting an interview can be hard to come by. A lot of companies hire from within, they are more likely to hire someone already employed looking to work their way up.
When you do land the interview, be sure to keep these tips in mind. If you want to become a Master Grower, you’ve got to know more than just how to grow good cannabis. Be patient with the process and remember that much like growing a successful crop, anything good takes time.
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