How Much Do Cannabis Growers Make Selling to Dispensaries?
Marijuana is uprooting laws everywhere and set the United States on fire with intrigue. Currently, 33 states have legalized marijuana in some form, whether it’s recreational or medicinal. At this rate, by 2021 the industry is projected to net $31.4 billion.
With such exponential growth, dispensaries are now popping up everywhere, and everyone wants a piece of the profits. Growers are starting to cultivate fields of the plant in hopes that they’ll reap more green than just marijuana.
But how much do growers make selling to dispensaries?
If you’re watching the marijuana industry expansion, and you’re thinking of starting your cannabis cultivation, read on to learn the numbers of a marijuana grower’s salary and more.
What do Cannabis Cultivators Do?
People who grow marijuana tend to be known as cannabis cultivators or marijuana growers. Cannabis is the technical term for marijuana.
In short, cannabis cultivators oversee the growth and production of marijuana. Typically marijuana is grown in a greenhouse. These greenhouses range anywhere from small-scale to several thousand feet.
Even though cannabis is a relatively easy plant to grow, there are certain aspects that are needed to produce a quality product. Cultivators become experts in marijuana. They understand the details that go into growing a healthy crop, such as soil, water, lighting, temperature, and more.
The responsibilities don’t stop at growth, production, and oversight.
Cultivators potentially manage an array of different tasks related to their business. One day they could be inspecting their crops, another day they could be dedicated to marketing, meeting with buyers, combing through finances, or maintaining strict guidelines.
At this time, the market is vast for growers and opportunity is plentiful.
What Are Dispensaries?
Cannabis dispensaries are places that you can visit to gain access to marijuana. Their location is in a hospital or doctor’s office.
Dispensaries, at its basic level, has similar traits to a pharmacy. Though contrary to a typical pharmacy, instead of seeing pills in bottles, in a dispensary, you’ll find jars filled with herbs or plants.
Budtenders work like pharmacists and answer questions about the type of marijuana strain you’re looking for. They’re knowledgable in THC and CBD compounds, and make recommendations on what they believe might be right for you.
There are two types of marijuana dispensaries, recreational and medical.
Medical dispensaries cater to the needs of patients. These dispensaries distribute marijuana per doctor’s orders with a written document. You must register at the dispensary before being given any medication, and they may track your purchase.
There might be more privacy in a medical dispensary, for example, a separate waiting area and dispensing area.
Recreational dispensaries work differently.
One noticeable difference is that anyone (over the age of 21), can visit a recreational dispensary, no doctor’s orders necessary. They might carry a variety of products like edibles, topicals, or flowers.
Unlike medical dispensaries, recreational ones are more of a come-and-go place, and while they both employee budtenders, the budtenders devote more time to helping those in a medical environment.
The Relationship Between Growers and Dispensaries
Selling to a dispensary isn’t as clear-cut as it sounds. There could be some humps to overcome, especially when it comes to legalities.
For starters, you’ll need a license to sell, and licenses can vary depending on which state you live or want to market to.
You’ll also need to decide if you want to sell to a medical or recreational dispensary. This is probably one of the most vital decisions you make when choosing to cultivate cannabis for a few reasons.
First, the standards for medical marijuana are higher than recreational. Even though each dispensary will have their requirements, marijuana that’s sold to medical dispensaries must be of strict medical quality.
Second, again, each dispensary will have their requirements and preferences on which type of marijuana they will purchase.
Some want organic, or specific strains. Knowing which dispensary you’re aiming for when growing, narrows your choices down so you can focus on producing a stellar crop.
How Much Do Growers Make Selling to Dispensaries?
The range of pay for growers fluctuates according to location, size of crops, where and how marijuana grows, and the laws in your area. An average annual salary could be between $50,000 and up to $100,000 or substantially more.
In 2017, dispensaries in California were purchasing marijuana for a few thousand dollars a pound.
But nailing down set prices across the board for all dispensaries is impossible. Each facility will have different pricing as they adhere to different standards.
Being a grower is not the sole option for pursuing a career in cannabis. If growing marijuana does not appeal to you, you might consider these other positions:
Budtender: You’ve read that budtenders work in dispensaries, but how much do budtenders make anyway? They rake in $31,000-$42,000 depending on the dispensary.
Bud Trimmer: Budtrimmers prune and trim marijuana and make about $25,000-$30,000 per year.
Dispensary Store Manager: If you’re wondering how much a dispensary pays to manage a store, the pay scale is anywhere from $60,000-$120,000
Technician: Every plant needs to be extracted, and a technician can make $70,000-$100,000
Marijuana Edibles Chef: Cannabis and cooking go hand-in-hand bringing in a steady $40,000-$80,000.
These are just a taste of careers in the cannabis field. For additional choices, read more about what other jobs are offered and see if one attracts you.
How Do I Become a Grower?
Becoming a cannabis cultivator is much more complex than just buying a few plants and hoping for the best.
Having a license is a must, but before that comes many other factors.
A degree in horticulture or extensive knowledge and experience in the field of botany can help tremendously.
Realize growing cannabis is an opportunity to grow (no pun intended), and learn in your craft more than you already do. Resist the urge to call yourself ‘a master grower’ and instead showcase your product.
Growing cannabis is hard work. Most likely, you’ll be responsible for the health of more than 100 plants at a time.
If you have trouble maintaining houseplants or even a garden, seriously reconsider (or cultivate a love for!) pursuing a career as a grower.
Go For Growth
Hopefully, this article has answered how much do growers make selling to dispensaries and has left you thoughtfully contemplating (or not!) becoming a cannabis cultivator. Do you think you have what it takes?
Do you still need help deciding on an education? We’ve got you covered! Visit our site for information on education.
If you're watching the marijuana industry, and you're thinking of starting your cannabis growing company, read on to learn how much cannabis growers earn.