Make money growing weed.
I started this thread to talk about how to make money growing weed, hence the title. If your reading this right now it is because when you saw the title you thought one of two things: A) I wanna get rich growing weed! B) Its not that easy, Lets see what this dummy is gonna say.
Well, those of you whom fall under our first category are gonna be dissapointed! But if you wanna continue reading I will share with you how I live comfortably, Have a continually growing savings account and stock portfolio, all the free smoke my lungs can inhale and live debt free.
First of all I started a service based business a couple years ago with profits from growing. I dont make a whole lot of money. but I make more than wages from an hourly job would pay. After deducting all my living expenses i.e. mortgage, utilities, insurance, gas, groceries,ect. I only would have about $250 a month for extra money to buy things I want. That dont go far when the kiddos need a pair of shoes or the wife wants to go for a nice dinner. So I started a perpetual grow in the basement. I sectioned off a room in the laundry area and set up two tents. I run two 4’x4’x7′ tents. 8 plants per tent, and harvest every other month. I use hempy buckets with GH nutes and get around 3-4 oz per plant. These days its more towards the 4 mark. I run 2 600 watt lights on a single 1000watt ballast with a splitter.
So every 2 months Im bagging up 32oz. I cut them cheap to ONE person for $250 a oz. So Im getting $8000 every other month, or $4000 a month. The key thing is though that my day job covers all my living expenses, allowing me to save, invest or spend this money how I see fit. Ive been doing this for 3 years now and cant believe how fast you can really accumulate savings if your disiplined enough to not spend it all frivolously.
So the whole morel of this post is if your looking to make money or a living growing, think long term. Dont think you just need to go balls to the wall and put out 100 plants. The keys to long term success are:
* Maintain a day job. Even if its a little shitty job. By having a job your blending in with society. Your neighbors dont suspect anything b/c they see you leave for work, and the government dont suspect when your bank account starts to accumulate, as long as you let it happen over time.
* TELL NOONE ABOUT WHAT YOUR DOING!!
* when getting rid of your product, dont nickel and dime it out. Get rid of it to one person or as few as possible to minimize your risks. Never tell the people you give it to you grew it, tell them your cousin has some crazy columbian cartel ties or something.
* TELL NOONE WHAT YOUR DOING.
* Stay patient! think of it as a second job! Making small amounts of money over time is alot less risky than a huge grow op. You fly under the radar as long as your smart and careful. Plus I dont know who I could drop 20lbs on at once anyway!
I hope thins may inspire a few of you out there reading this to take a different perspective when considering growing for a profit to think long term as opposed to that one big score. Be smart and stick to whats comfortable to you and let discipline override your ambitions sometimes and you will be well off in the future. Remember, you cant make or spend money from a jail cell! Be smart and over time you will be rewarded as long as you dont blow all the money on hookers and booze! Set a certain number of how much you wanna put back each harvest and stick to it. Its hard sometimes but after a couple times and you see that acount growing it makes it a little easier!
Hope this helped someone! Anyone have any questions feel free to ask! Comments welcome as well!
Ya know, I thought of including “not being a smartass, just really wondering” in my post, but decided against it and the reason. nevermind. Don’t drop the soap.
thats pretty much the only thing that stands in the way of a grower and success (in terms of being a “for profit” grower).
i remember when i was in high school i was buying a 1/4oz and parting it out to make a small profit. i always said, “if i grew i’d be rich” as my problem wasn’t selling it all. but having enough bud to sell to everyone.
then when you grow and harvest a few lb’s you realize its just as hard as starting off with a 1/4oz just the opposite problem.
Making a few good connections is very difficult as buyers aren’t as loyal as sellers. if you’re a grower and find someone to buy 10lbs off you (for example) then come next harvest you’ll hit them up first soon as the bud is dry. a buyer will go to whoever has the best buds/price so unless you’re really consistent in terms of quality/price and never run out then chances are the buyer will go elsewhere.
theres only 1 way to find a good consistent buyer(s). throw your hook in the water and wait for a fish to bite.
in other words there is some risk taking involved in the beginning. you cant get “crazy paid” by just dealing to your friends unless they are rich and have a huge mj habit.
places like budtrader and craigslist can be good if you can verify ahead of time. take proper precautions when meeting new people and (i know this isnt popular w/ mj smokers/growers but) OWN/CARRY A FIREARM!
Its a sad world and people WILL try and jack you. just check out the rippers section on bud trader. happens all the time.
My advice would be this (when meeting some new person assuming you’re doing this semi legal w/ a mmj business):
1) PRE-VERIFY in ALL situations no matter how much they want. That means get a copy of their rec/mmj card AND Driver’s License/State ID. make sure both are valid and current. no exceptions. thats the first step to not getting jacked. Make them email you a pic of both or a scanned copy of both.
2) get to your meet spot early and never say what you look like or what you’re driving. instead act like you’re still on your way or something and try to observe THEM arriving at the meet spot. are they alone? w/ a friend? w/ a car full of friends? do they look shady or a happy hippie?
chances are if they show up w/ a car full of people its time to GTFO as thats the first sign something is wrong. if they show up w/ another following close behind them = a good time to GTFO!
3) Once you meet them VERIFY them again by seeing their LICENSE and MMJ CARD BEFORE you do anything else. Don’t carry the tree w/ u. instead either A) leave it w/ a friend. or leave it in your car assuming they dont see which car you’re driving. its a good idea to leave it in your car and walk away before they show up so they don’t think thats your car, so meet in a busy parking lot as some people have lured the seller away from their car while a buddy smashes the window and steals it.
once you verify them again go on and take them to your car. unlock the door or trunk (wherever you keep it. i say the trunk is best as it can’t be seen by people walking by). another good reason to use the trunk is because you can unlock it. and back away. let the buyer go inbetween you and the trunk.
Now you can stand back and watch his body language. if he starts looking around a lot or making motions to his waistline you’ll be in a good position to counter the potential attack. if YOU go between the buyer and the trunk you’re at risk as you can’t see what he’s doing.
this way if he starts to do something fishy you can quietly put your hand on your piece in preparation of the attempting theft/robbery.
imo thats how you should conduct your business if you meet someone you don’t know.
it might not be the best way of doing things but at the least you can almost guarantee you wont get ripped.
btw: if you’re dealing (legally under MMJ or otherwise) and you DONT have a piece you’ll eventually get robbed or ripped off.
i dont advocate violence or gun violence but you have to stay safe. also: never shoot unless you have to. in most cases just the brandishing of a weapon is more than enough to deter the criminal. but not always so be prepared to shoot if they make a move for their waistline after you pull yours.
sorry i took over the thread but i just wanna make sure people stay safe.
if you have the means though deal with people you know well enough and feel comfortable with only.
yeah. i agree if you’re doing it illegally. Granted under current MMJ laws no one is really safe but i’d say its the best of the two if you can remain anonymous (at least more anonymous than your avg joe in the biz.) you stand a decent chance. I wouldn’t say stay in it for the long haul though. You should do like this guy says and get your $ and use it for something else. My advice would be to turn that $ into more $ though a new business or investments.
Its really the best way to go. too many people get their $ and blow it on stupid things (clothes and cars, etc) just to “feel” rich. Its nice to have nice things but at the same time think of all the risk and effort you put in to get it. wouldn’t you want to put it towards something that can make you $ instead of just give you instant satisfaction for the short time being (clothes and cars get old and lose value instantly) thats a problem i see legally under mmj laws or otherwise.
People get caught up in the juice of making a few K just by vending at a dispensary or after a weekend of illegal sales (if you’re an illegal dealer/grower on the street)
I don’t claim to be a know it all because i just sold on the side in high school. Thats the extent of my 1st hand dealing experience. Ever since i learned to grow (after HS) I just said screw dealing and grew for myself. I then realized i sold more to get free smoke than i did for cash at first. Money only got interesting after I was starting to make more than I needed to re-up. When i learned to grow i just gave it up as i decided the extra $ i was making wasn’t enough to make me wanna risk my life or freedom.
Safety is almost ALWAYS the last thing on a dealers mind whos making a good amount of $. the more you make the more chances you naturally tend to take as you get comfortable.
Safety from LE and jackers/robbers. Its sad to hear about home invasions, robbery, theft, and murders all over some herb.
A 18 year old kid was shot and killed in a robbery gone bad in my area code of residence. MJ related. Apparently a guy got his number thru someone from somewhere (i dont remember how he got the number exactly) and called him up. Bought a small amount. deal went smoothly. guy bought an 8th or something. paid. left.
then he calls the guy later on (possibly another day) and wanted something much larger (oz). met him late at night. dealer lets him in the car. shows the bud. guy checks it. buyer pulls out a gun and tries to rob him. apparently the dealer fought back and was shot repeatedly and was killed. guy took the bud and left (dealer was smart and didnt carry cash)
buyer got caught because the stupid ass didnt think to block his number when he called the dealer. remember he called him from the SAME NUMBER the day before to buy from and didnt block his number then either.
cops put it together because i guess the were able to estimate the time of passing well and figured he passed around the time of the last phone call he received.
anyway..(sorry i got off track) but the point is that it doesnt pay to deal. No matter if you’re just supporting your own personal stash or making $100,000 a month. In the end (death, prison) doesn’t make it worth it. Especially these days where the jackers out there are so desperate for bud that they are acting like its crack.
However if you’re doing it under MMJ you’re much better off as you’re: LEGAL (state laws), helping out those who really need it instead of the jackers who are killing for an oz, and if you work strictly with dispensaries/delivery services/co-ops,etc. only then you stand a much better chance to see some longevity imo. especially if you can put someone between you and the dispensaries/delivery services/co-ops.
I started this thread to talk about how to make money growing weed, hence the title… If your reading this right now it is because when you saw the title…
What I learned during my first year in the pot-growing business
I’ve been a pretty avid pot smoker since I moved to San Francisco from Massachusetts in 2005.
I didn’t smoke much growing up on the East Coast, but I took to NorCal weed quickly.
For the next ten years, I maintained a pretty mainstream lifestyle (by San Francisco standards) as well as a stable career in Operations-Management for a local non-profit, all while smoking massive amounts of ganja at every opportunity.
Smoking rarely got in the way of work, and work rarely got in the way of smoking.
As I entered my thirties, my career was moving along nicely but I didn’t feel any fireworks for the job. While I was making good money in a respectable position, I didn’t feel any enthusiasm for my work. Slowly, I became one of those jabronis who dreads going to work every day for a measly paycheck. In truth, the best part of my work day was the fat joint I would smoke every night on my way home.
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.
I started trying to pick up any work I could find around the marijuana business. I hit up friends, and friends of friends, and friendly folks who smelled like weed. My first gig was helping a buddy trim the 30 White Widow plants he had grown in his basement.
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.
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.
I am proud to tell people what I do for work and eager to talk about the state of the business. With the groundswell of support the nation showed for marijuana in November, the conversation about cannabis has been brought into the public light more than ever. However, I’ve noticed a few recurring misconceptions which seem to come up whenever I talk about the cannabis business with outsiders.
And of course, it wasn’t that along ago when I was an “outsider” myself, and had similar misconceptions. Looking back on the journey now, these are the five most important things I’ve learned about the cannabis industry:
The business isn’t just for gangsters and degenerates anymore.
I don’t really think it ever was just for gangsters and degenerates, but you know the reputation. When I talk about the pot business, people often imagine a guy with blond dreadlocks who smells like patchouli oil, sitting in a lawn chair in the woods with a pit-bull and a shotgun.
“I’m hoping to work my way up to Head Guy Sitting In A Lawn Chair In The Woods,” I tell them. And while that description may look a bit like me in that old picture a few lines up (trading the shotgun for a ukelele), it doesn’t look much like the modern grow facilities that now dominate the marketplace.
Growers have been operating within the shifting gray areas of the law for decades around Northern California. With the passage of Prop 64, the business becomes increasingly legal, legitimate, safe, and regulated. The people that have operated at the outskirts of the law– the rogue entrepreneurs, botanists, shamans, and outlaws who dared to grow a forbidden plant (it sounds so ridiculous now, doesn’t it?)–have a year to get square with Sacramento.
Meanwhile, the early on-boarders to legalization find themselves at the vanguard of the industry. The business is an eclectic mix of outlaws and upstarts; a true meritocracy with no discrimination or prejudice. Whether you’re rich or poor, black or white, Protestant or Juggalo; the only thing that matters is how well you do your job.
And while there might still be more patchouli than your average workplace, marijuana growers are some of the greatest people on earth.
But we’re not startups either.
“I ride to work every day on a bus that’s got a smoothie bar, foosball table, and vaping lounge” one of my techie chums tells me, “But I can’t imagine the amenities your workplace must have!”
The modern pot biz, I have frequently noticed, is easily confused with that other California boom industry: tech. And while there is a lot of cross-over between the cannabis and tech industries (such as app’s and web-based delivery systems; an ever-more-perfect product line from PAX; and constantly advancing grow technology) their respective corporate atmospheres couldn’t be any more different. While tech is famed for opulent facilities and lavish spending, the pot business is lean and spartan. A good grow-op will have everything you need to grow a huge amount of great weed, and nothing else. We pride ourselves on efficiency and we measure success in inches, seconds, and cents. A successful pot operation devotes maximum resources to the plants while creating as little extra cost as possible.
(Flashy cars, sneakers, and dab-rigs excluded).
The work is hard.
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.
But, as we frequently say around the office, the plants never stop growing. The workload is heavy and unlikely to light up anytime soon as the market-demand for marijuana continues to grow. Fortunately.
We love what we do.
Imagine a workplace in which every single one of your coworkers has a deep and passionate love for the product. They use the product every day. It is deeply connected to their mental, physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual well-being. It has been more central to their identity than their race, religion, music, or favorite sports team.
They love the product so much that they may have gone to jail for it. Maybe they even have the product tattooed on their neck, which probably wasn’t a great decision in hindsight but still a meaningful testament.
No one has “fallen into” the cannabis industry. Growing pot isn’t anybodies “plan B” (unless “plan A” was seriously bonkers). The industry is populated almost entirely by people who are passionately, enthusiastically, fervently devoted to marijuana. Job satisfaction is high (*nailed it*). It’s an inspiring atmosphere, to say the least.
The future is bright, but the fight’s not done.
Many folks think that with the pending legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, the fabled Green Rush is approaching it’s peak. While the industry is certainly thriving now, the rush is just beginning. California is set to be the largest cannabis marketplace in the world when it opens in January of 2018. Additionally, the national market place is going to be available soon and even a legitimate international marketplace, eventually.
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.
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.
2017 will be my second year in the business, and the last before fully legalized marijuana becomes the law of the land in the Bear-Flag state. Our federal government has fought a war on cannabis for decades and the good guys are finally winning but the fight is far from done.
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.
It’s also not time to take it for granted that legal weed is the law of the land.
With Donald Trump on the Iron Throne, it’s hard to be sure of anything. While he has historically held a progressive stance on marijuana, he has surrounded himself with several high-profile anti-cannabis crusaders (including Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions) who have repeatedly floated insinuations that the Drug War isn’t done.
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.
So until that’s the law of the land, I’m going to keep making noise about it in City Hall and on Facebook (and with some of the resources listed below).
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.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Insider.
2016 was the year I broke into the legitimate cannabis industry.