It is possible to make money and even earn a living growing Marijuana and providing it to Dispensaries and directly to medical Marijuana patients. If you have the skills – or want to learn – to work with plants in a controlled environment, and get really excited about varieties of Marijuana and the limitless possibilities hybridization – then this is the job for you!
The New Era of Growing Marijuana
Of all the aspects contributing to changing the culture and opinion of Marijuana, the ability for growers to perfect their art and be compensated for their time so they can reinvest into continually improving their processes is the greatest. This is because the metrics and rating systems for establishing valid and repeatable characteristics of specific strains can be verified.
Quite simply, on the black market, anyone could (and would if they were a good salesperson) make claims that the product they had was of a certain variety, so if you were used to hearing that you were getting BC’sters (anything with a popcorn style to weight and size of the Marijuana has traditionally been called this in the northern states because, supposedly, it came from British Columbia), then you were willing to pay a $10 premium when someone had Blueberry Northern Lights or White Widow – primarily because it was different, but there was never any guarantee that what you got was the strain you expected nor that it was better. This has drastically changed with the new number of legal growers who can now operate legitimately, without having to take measures to hide their greenhouses, and reliably acquire source materials (like clones and seeds).
The methodology of quantifying and classifying different strains that reinforces the work of caregivers as hybridization scientists, and provides your storefront staff with the capacity to responsibly and reliably recommend different strains to patients based on their needs.
First and Foremost, You are a Care Giver
It is easy to get caught up and excited about the growing process, because you are working in a progressive industry and it is extremely rewarding to put the effort into creating an efficient and effective set-up to produce a beautiful product. However, it is very important to remember, especially where the law is concerned, that your primary reason for growing Marijuana is to provide for your patients.
Your patients’ specific needs is what drives your experimentation as a growing engineer. Different patients will have different needs. Glaucoma patients will have positive results from a strain that has little or less desired effect for patients with spinal injuries. It is important for the grower to study and learn all of the intricate differences relevant to each strain’s impacts in relation to dosage and time of day for ingestion so that they can accurately advise patients in the best use of their medicine.
Responsibilities of caregivers, like all other regulation specifics, have slight variations from state to state, but the following two summaries give a good overview of what it means to be a caregiver.
Excerpt from Colorado State Law:
“A primary caregiver shall have significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient with a debilitating condition. The care-giving relationship must be more than providing medical marijuana or medical marijuana paraphernalia. Patients who do not require caregiver service beyond provision of medical marijuana shall not designate a primary caregiver. Additional care-giving services may include, but are not limited to, transportation, housekeeping, meal preparation, shopping or arranging access to medical care or other services unrelated to medical marijuana. A designated primary caregiver shall not delegate the responsibility of provision of medical marijuana for a patient to another person.”
Excerpt from the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, that extends this concept to include some ethical and quality considerations as well:
“Caregivers agree to follow all applicable state and local laws, regulations and ordinances; Caregivers pledge to put the well-being of patients and the public good foremost; Caregivers will always give honest measure or weight; Caregivers will produce a “pure” product, uncontaminated with pesticides, mold and un-necessary additives or adulterants; All ingredients used to make medical marijuana tinctures, preparations, suppositories or foods will be of high quality, clearly identified and made known to patients; Caregivers will protect the confidentiality of their client patients; Caregivers will strive to adopt green, eco-friendly techniques. We hope to better define more of these techniques in the future, but, at a minimum, don’t pollute and recycle and re-use where possible to create the highest quality medicine with the minimum use of natural resources.”
The Basic Steps to Making Money Selling to Dispensaries
There are differences between state rules and regulations, especially related to the specifics of how much a Caregiver can grow, posess and how many Patients and Dispensaries they can distribute to, but the basic steps are as follows:
- Apply for your Patient Status with Doctor recommendation
- If you are in Colorado or Washington you can bypass this step and directly apply for a Retail Growers license
- Register with the state if there is a registry that requires you to do so
- Get your Caregiver license, and file additional paperwork if you plan to provide for more than 5 patients
- A retail license is required to sell non-medicinal Marijuana to dispensaries in Colorado
- You have to decide how big you want your operation to be and how much time you have to dedicate to your product
- Finally, the most difficult step, is establishing a relationship with a Dispensary
- Many Dispensaries grow their own product so your product needs to be quality and reliable
- Secure clones and strains that
- The last step is maintaining your relationship and your paperwork
How Many Plants Caregivers can Grow and How Much they can Possess
For each state there are different regulations regarding the number of plants a caregiver can grow and the rules related to transportation of medicines, and in some states the only wway to be paid as a grower is to work for dispensaries directly. We have compiled this table to give you a brief rundown of the basics.
Each state has different guidelines based on requirements for caregivers (like age and criminal records), but there are also differing regulations on a variety of other factors as well. In addition, specific regulations govern the provision of Marijuana to recreational dispensaries in Colorado and Washington States. We have compiled a summary from our extensive research detailing the rules for people wanting to specifically grow Marijuana to provide dispensaries and patients, read our article How Many Plants and Dispensaries One Caregiver Can Supply. You will also find information about how to apply for your retail grower’s license in Colorado.