As a master grower, your job is to manage a greenhouse or other plant-growing facility. This job often involves breeding new types of plants, checking each existing plant for diseases and other problems, and generally supporting the facility's production. Master growers usually focus on products for a specific industry, such as home horticulture or agriculture. In recent years, master growers have also taken on the responsibility of growing cannabis in states that allow the legal use of marijuana. Some details of this job vary by company. For example, master growers working in the food industry need to meet certain product safety standards, while master growers that focus on producing seeds for farmers usually emphasize product volume.
The primary qualifications for a master grower position are a bachelor's or master's degree in a field like horticulture or plant physiology and experience working in the industry. Most employers accept student research as experience. Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of this position requires familiarity with operating controlled environment agriculture systems, knowledge of plant growing and disease prevention principles, the ability to work with engineers and software developers to create new tools and equipment, and in some cases, familiarity with food safety protocols. Communication and planning skills are essential to success in this position, particularly because you must plant some plants weeks or months ahead of their harvest or sale time.
What Does a Master Grower Do?
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While you’ve likely got the experience to back up your desire to become a master grower, don’t 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. Nobody wants to hear that your plants are the best or that you grow the most chronic weed anyone’s ever smoked. A lot of people grow really good weed who aren’t considered master growers. Do yourself a favor, and don’t 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.
Okay, so this might sound like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how many growers who think they’ve 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 weed. Haven’t read all the books written about growing weed? If you want to be a master grower, it’s about time to start. Pick up a copy of The Marijuana Grower’s Handbook by Ed Rosenthal and read it cover to cover…at least two or three times. The Grower’s Bible by Jorge Cervantes is another one you’re going to want to read a few times before you even consider stepping into the master grower realm.
Don’t Call Yourself a Master Grower
Growing weed 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 – 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.
If you’ve 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 you won’t necessarily get rich (the average salary of a master grower is between $60-$100K a year), you’ll live comfortably and hold one of the most respected positions in the industry.
How to Become a Master Grower
Growing weed on a commercial scale is much different than growing a few plants as a hobby. Perfecting the art of growing a lot of weed (think 100+ plants) takes time. Consistently growing successful, large-scale crops isn’t exactly easy, and the growers that are doing it have perfected their craft over time.
A salary range for a Master Grower can range from $90K – $150K in bigger companies.
Master Grower is a new term and position that comes with this new industry. As more governments change their laws to allow both medical and recreational use of marijuana, the position of Master Grower is becoming more legitimized within the industry and beyond.
The two most helpful positions will be a bud trimmer and grow assistant. Bud trimmers offer hands-on experience in the company as well as with the product. Working with a product that has been harvested means you learn about it and the growing area. A bud trimmer manicures the bud that is going out to a customer.
Along with plant care, a Master Grower must have a solid understanding of all regulations, legislation and laws that apply to the company. They will have to deal with inspectors and law enforcement, so it is critical to know all the legalities. Paperwork needs to be maintained and submitted to meet requirements and guidelines. If it isn’t, the company can be fined, have recalls or be shut down. A company can’t have someone in the Master Grower position who us unable to meet these standards.
Be Willing to Start at the Bottom
Lots of people in the cannabis industry talk a good game but to be a Master Grower, there must be a complete understanding of the industry. It isn’t good enough to just know the language and terminology but knowing all the basics about growing, cannabis strains and the marketplace is critical.
A person who holds the title of Master Grower is someone whose career goal is to make the cultivation of cannabis the best that it can be. A Master Grower usually has an educational background that includes a Master’s Degree (Masters of Science (MSc) in Botany or horticulture). This is not always the case but as the competition for these jobs increases, a master’s degree will become required for most of the Master Grower positions.
If you don’t have that level of education, it is still possible to become a Master Grower with a BA or certain other educational specifications along with at least 5 years or more of cultivating experience in a large legal grow company. This will change as more individuals enter the job marketplace.
Master Growers work hard and some of that work can be tedious. Being a Master Grower means you must spend time with each plant and track details such as growth cycles, nutrient levels, water makeup and any other health problems that could affect a crop. It’s a wonderful feeling to bring a harvest in but it takes a lot of hard work to get to that point.
A further step to be a Master Grower is being a grow assistant. This is someone who has moved up from bud trimmer or has some education or experience. An assistant works with other cannabis growers. This is a great job to work at to learn about growing and experiencing the processes. There is a lot to learn from the other growers.