What’s it Like to Grow Weed for a Living
Beginner Grow Guide is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you click on a link on this site that takes you to Amazon, I will earn a small commission and help keep the lights on at no extra cost to you 🙂
If you’re thinking about growing weed for a living and you live in a state where it’s legal, there are a few things you may want to consider first. In fact, many growers will tell you that growing marijuana is not as glamorous as it may seem.
For instance, the start-up costs can be phenomenal, it can be very stressful plus there’s a lot to learn about growing. Truthfully, growing pot takes a lot of commitment and dedication to be profitable and successful.
There are Numerous Regulations
When it comes to growing marijuana, there are a lot of regulations that you need to be aware of. Additionally, a lot of regulations can make it very confusing and difficult to keep up with the latest policy.
Just because it is legal to grow in your state does not mean that you can grow as many plants as you desire. For example, the state of California allows you to grow 99 plants. If you exceed 99 plants, then you are breaking the law.
However, that is for commercial growers. If you are growing for medicinal purposes, you can only grow 24 plants provided that it the number of plants that you need to treat your condition.
Depending on the state, there are other policies and laws you need to be aware:
- Pot farms are not allowed in suburban areas
- You cannot grow within 1,000 feet of a home that has children
- You cannot grow within 1,000 feet of a school, local park, movie theater, zoo, or church
- Every state has a number of “mature” plants that you can have. The definition of “mature” can vary from state to state
There are also regulations for the disposal of most everything that involves growing weed, especially “synthetic” fertilizers. The improper dumping of “synthetic” fertilizers is actually considered terrorism and can be charged for intentionally polluting the groundwater.
Before considering planting any number of pot plants, make sure to do some research and get to know all of the regulations and laws.
High Start-Up Costs
The initial start-up costs for growing weed can be outrageous. According to Marijuana Business News, a one ten by ten room with five lights of 1,000 watts each can produce about $115,000 per year.
However, the preliminary set up costs is around $2,000 to $3,000. What is more, the costs do not include rent or labor. As well, the initial labor would be about 40 hours a week and would take one to two weeks to set up.
The other costs to consider are containers, soil with a lot of nutrients, and high quality seed. Rendering to I Love Growing Marujuana, three 15 gallon containers with high quality soil and seed will cost around $55.
On the other hand, it is generally best to start your seed indoors so that you can nurture them properly. Indoor planting is more effective but I also cost more to operate.
Conferring to, I Love Growing Marujuana, an indoor Pro set up for 10, 2 gallon pots will cost around $350. Let’s not forget the utility bills once a month like water and electric.
You may also want to add in hidden costs that can be forgotten or overlooked such as a exhaust fan or reflector.
Requires More than just Horticulture Knowledge
Growing pot may sound like an easy job. However, to produce healthy and productive plants, you need to have a lot of horticulture knowledge.
It also helps to have a green thumb. In truth, marijuana plants are living and breathing organisms that require more than love to grow. You have to be pretty “pot” savvy and a “Jack of all Trades” for a good crop such as
- When an how much to fertilize
- What soil is best for your plants
- Ventilation and aeration (air flow)
- How much to water your plants and how often
- When to transplant plants from indoors to outdoors
- Be familiar with high voltage wiring (which can be dangerous)
- The best type of grow lights for each stage of a plants growth
In addition, skills that come in handy include electrical, plumbing, construction, lab science, and of course horticulture.
Competition is Fierce
Although cannabis sales have drastically increased the last few years, the completion has grown even higher. In fact, according to Forbes, the competition for growers, retailers, and other entrepreneurs is a huge struggle.
In addition, the industry is highly regulated plus there is an oversupply of weed. Overall, the completion is fierce and the prices have drastically lowered.
This is particularly true in states where marijuana has been legal for a while such as Washington and California.
Theft and Security
Growing marijuana can be a job that comes with a lot of risks. In fact, oftentimes a grower has an amazing season then loses their entire crop to thieves’ right before harvest.
Truthfully, it is not uncommon for growers to have top security system and also guard dogs to defend the perimeter and grounds. Whether you grow outdoors where your plants are exposed to possible thieves or indoors inside a greenhouse, top security is essential to for protecting your crop.
In addition, according to Marijuana Business Daily, about 90% of product and financial loss the weed industry is from employee theft. The other 10% is from external theft like robbery.
In fact, larger operations can lose tens of thousands of dollars annually. However, there are many ways you can reduce the risk of theft from employees such as
- Avoid hiring part-time workers
- Take stock of where your products are
- Do a hard-count inventory at least twice a day
- Pay your employees a living wage so they aren’t tempted to steal
- Get a kiosk that takes payments, instead of a regular of using a cash register
- Install electronic access doors that use key cards and badges, keep record of who enters and when
Constant State of Anxiety
Growing weed is not all about happy moments that are spent frolicking in the garden. Aside from theft and needing security, there are many things that can make growing weed very stressful.
- Your plants aren’t growing like they should
- Pests or diseases can wipe out an entire crop
- You cannot find enough pickers to harvest your crop on time
- Weather can get to cold before your crop is ready for harvest
- You may not have the right lamp position which can burn your plants if the light is to close
There are many variables and things that can go wrong when relying on a good crop. Just keep in mind that it takes a while to know how to grow weed successfully.
The good news is, if it is too overwhelming, you can always hire someone to grow your pot for you.
In the Crazy Club
When you grow marijuana, you can sometimes be categorized as a certain type of individual. In fact, many will see you as crazy and irrational.
Unfortunately, after being in a continuous state of paranoia, it can make a person very nervous. Just because weed is legal where you live, does not mean that a grower doesn’t deal with constant anxiety.
There are always policies to worry about, theft, security, plant growth and production, selling, marketing, and next season’s crop. If that is not hard enough, some growers get approached by “shady” characters who work in the black market.
Eventually, the stress of the job can literally make you a little anxious. Unless, you have other means of reliving stress, growing pot can sometimes be overwhelming.
As you may now know, it is not always easy to make a living growing weed. Then again, there are numerous pros to the job such as
- It can be grown in small and large areas
- Offers a sense of fulfillment if you succeed
- Long term financial benefits can be rewarding
- You know exactly where your weed comes from
Understandably, where there are benefits, there are challenges to growing your own weed. However, knowing the downfalls and challenges of growing is most of the battle.
All in all, there are many risks to growing pot, but to many growers, it is quite rewarding once you have a successful crop.