A master grower is someone who has the experience and education necessary to cultivate chronic on an industrial scale. Bonus points if you know how to breed. 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’ve perfected the art of cloning their plants and understand each and every variable that must be accounted for in producing a successful crop.
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 (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.
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.
Whether you’ve just started growing or have been growing underground for years and are interested in moving into the legal realm of weed, the following tips will help you on your way to becoming a master grower at a large-scale commercial grow.
What is a Master Grower?
Before weed was legal, 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 weed, and many have now moved into the legal market. 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’re definitely not required to take on this highly-desirable position.
How to Become a Master Grower
Don’t Call Yourself a Master Grower
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.
Know Your Sh*t
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.
If you want to grow weed with the big boys, you need to know absolutely everything you can about it. This includes basics like the three 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 weed. Grow a couple crops and then grow a few more. Know what you need to know like the back of your hand. Anyone can grow weed (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 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.
You’ll 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 weed is definitely 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.
Final Thoughts on Becoming a Master Grower
Becoming a master grower is a dream job for many people interested in cannabis cultivation. It’s 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 won’t hire “just anyone” and even getting an interview can be hard to come by. A lot of companies hire from within, meaning that they’re more likely to hire budtenders they already employ 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 weed. Be patient with the process and remember that much like growing a successful crop, anything good takes time.