What is a Master Grower and How Much Do They Make?

What is a Master Grower?

Master growers are the people who oversee operations at cannabis growing and production facilities. They have the experience and education necessary to cultivate chronic on an industrial scale. Specifically, a master grower will have expertise in the following disciplines:

  • Sourcing
  • Cloning
  • Transplanting
  • Providing nutrients
  • Irrigation
  • Environmental control
  • Pest control

While not necessary for the cultivation of marijuana, master growers are typically granted some managerial responsibility. This includes overseeing bud trimmers and extraction technicians as well as managing the growing facility’s inventory. Additionally, some are required to ensure that the production facility remains organized so tasks are completed on time and on budget.

What Does it Take to be a Master Grower?

Most growing facilities require their master grower to have at least a bachelors degree in horticulture, agriculture, or agronomy. It should be noted that while these degrees do not have to be marijuana specific, some institutions are now offering certificate programs in cannabis production, safety, law, and biological effects. Certifications augment your resume when applying for grower position, setting you apart from the field.

Master growers may need to be licensed by the state in which they work. Get your license prior to applying for a position and it will put you ahead of other candidates since you will be ready to start working immediately. Expect to be asked to pass a background check and pay a fee to the state to obtain this license.

In addition to formal education, you should also do your own reading. Two books every aspiring grower should read are The Marijuana Grower’s Handbook by Ed Rosenthal and The Grower’s Bible by Jorge Cervantes. Even if you have been growing on your own and feel like you have a good handle on the process, reading books like these can help you to put what you’ve been doing into words and better explain your craft in an interview setting. Reading will also help you understand the why. When you are self taught, you often will get really good at the how through trial and error, but understanding the why will help you take your grow game to the next level.

What Does a Master Grower Make?

Salaries for master growers vary widely. On the low end, they can expect to make around $35,000 – although it should be noted that these master growers generally have very little, if any, managerial responsibilities. Some master growers for large operations can make well into six figures, however that is not the norm. The high end of master growers’ salaries tend to be around $90,000. The average is somewhere around $70,000. Note that the average is much closer to the high end than the low end. Using some basic math skills, we can assume that there are more jobs out there paying above $70,000 than below it.

In addition to the high average salary, master grower openings are forecasted to increase by more than 10% in the next year. As with nearly every other job in the marijuana industry, the outlook is bright.