Legal in Canada … for medicinal purposes. Photograph: Alamy
One advantage the educated and licensed pot purveyor has over his illegal competitors is consistency. “With legal products you know exactly what you’re getting,” Adams says. “There are pesticide tests to make sure there are no residues on the plants. If you get it from an illegal supplier, those guys aren’t allowed to test their products. You have no idea what they’re putting on their plants. You don’t know how they’re handling it. If you get it from a licensed producer, you know that it’s clean and a lot safer.”
Then there are “environmental monitoring and sanitation issues” unique to the growing of weed. “I think the main challenge,” Adams concludes, “is that marijuana is an agricultural or horticultural crop but it’s being regulated from a pharmaceutical perspective. One of the major challenges is joining the agricultural and pharmaceutical ways of doing things.”
So what exactly makes for a good professional manager of marijuana for medical purposes?
4. Build a boutique brand
If you’ve got a good product, you’ve got to get it into your customer’s hands and have them come back.
A marijuana field. Photograph: Stephanie Paschal / Rex Features
I f you’ve had enough of your nine-to-five’s wearying toil, perhaps a change of vocation is in order. The Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver can recommend an intriguing alternative starting this September: selling pot.
3. Build a client base – and keep them
The solution? “We need to focus on consumer satisfaction. How do you get your messaging out to your patients? How do you retain them, make them happy, answer their questions? How do you get their loyalty?” Answering those questions, Adams says, is “how you’re going to stay in business in the end”.
Growing and selling marijuana the proper way is rather more difficult than simply popping a plant under a black light in your closet. Doing it right means planning to grow on a large scale – and planning to deal with large-scale problems.
And maybe one day the tides will turn so for as long as I can, I am going to keep trying to grow the absolute best weed that I can.
Knowledge is flowing more freely than ever and the young mavericks of our craft are increasingly free to explore the rich depths of the industry. What’s truly remarkable are the possibilities we haven’t even imagined yet.
Over the course of the next few years, I worked with a variety of outdoor growers in the famous “Emerald Triangle” of pot-growing counties in Northern California. I acquired some good knowledge and made some extra cash, but struggled to find a role beyond seasonal work.
Then there are the secondary industries that will blossom in the shadow of the industry, from technology to tourism. A renaissance is beginning. Cultivators are coming together to share generations of knowledge and ground-breaking technology. Communities of cannabis-enthusiasts are forming on-line and IRL.
We love what we do.
As prosperity arrives for a select few of us, we must not forget our brothers and sisters who are still incarcerated as a result of the Drug War. According to DrugPolicy.Org, more than a half-million Americans were arrested for simple possession in 2015. I’m buying weed cooked into macaroons from a fancy boutique and 10,000 people are suffering the indignities of incarceration for having a bag? It’s not right.
The work falls between agricultural and industrial. It requires a broad and diverse skill set. The gardening is peaceful, but there is also a plumbing and electrical system to operate, critical data to track, and a huge amount of routine janitorial work that comes with growing plants, which–inevitably– includes killing rats.
8 states (and Washington D.C.) have now legalized marijuana for recreational use, and more than 20 other states have medical marijuana laws in place. While support has been strong for marijuana, almost half of the country still lives under prohibition. It is my belief that every American deserves to have access to the medicinal benefits of marijuana, and that no government should be allowed to interfere with a citizen’s right to grow and harvest a plant on their own property for their own usage.
The work is hard.
So before settling for a job that was just barely good enough, I decided I would try to live the dream and get a job in the cannabis industry.
Now, I’m a cultivator and a veteran member of the team with an increasingly significant role to play. I’ve worked hard and learned on the job. I’ve thrived with the company and, while it hasn’t always been easy, I’ve loved every second of it.
For example, Canada's national health department had to create quality control analyst positions across the country, with an average starting salary of $72,000 (U.S.).
Note that state application and licensing fees for a new dispensary operator typically surpass $10,000, and your state also may require you to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in working capital on hand.
That's right: You can roll pot into your portfolio.
A business credit card might help with financing.
Weed is a new sector with lots of new jobs. A report from the cannabis website Leafly and Whitney Economics says the U.S. now has 211,000 full-time legal cannabis jobs, including more than 64,000 that were added in 2018.
Budbo, an app for finding pot products at local dispensaries, has been developing a blockchain-powered seed-to-sale system for marijuana companies and has even launched its own cryptocurrency through an initial coin offering.
The positions vary, but you can find something that pays well if you are driven, have the right skills and know how to market yourself.
2. Crypto and blockchain
For those who are looking to profit from pot, either through investments or other means, the time is now. Here are four ways to make money from legal marijuana.
Several larger marijuana companies in the U.S. have been attracting venture capital money, and the world's first marijuana exchange-traded fund, or ETF, now includes more than four dozen stocks related to weed.