Anyone starting a marijuana cultivation business is instantly faced with perhaps the most important challenge to their operation’s chances of success – how to find and recruit the right master grower.
While many people may have dabbled in growing cannabis, doing it at scale and to a high standard is no small task. Pick the wrong grower, and your business could be set back for years. Make the right choice, and you will have a product you can confidently sell to give your business the best chance of success.
Here are five tips to keep in mind in your search for best cannabis cultivator for your business:
1. Qualifications and experience are key
While marijuana-specific growing qualifications are in their infancy, there are a huge number of growers out there with extensive experience in commercial cannabis cultivation.
Don’t settle for someone your buddy knows who’s grown a few plants here and there. Instead, set the bar high and look for someone who has five or more years of commercial marijuana production.
In terms of personal qualities and characteristics, it helps if they are passionate about cannabis, live closeby to the grow site, and have the requisite people skills to manage a team.
2. Search far and wide for candidates
As the marijuana industry professionalizes, there are many open avenues to look for cannabis cultivators. There are regular marijuana conferences taking place across the country where you can meet and get to know professional growers in a more informal setting.
There are also marijuana-specific job boards where you can outline exactly the type of candidate you are looking for.
And if these routes bear little fruit, don’t be shy about approaching cultivators from another business. They may not be happy in their role and interested in what you have to offer.
3. Prepare well for the interview
You need to prepare as much if not more for a job interview as the candidate does. Look into their background and quiz them on it. Come up with challenging growing scenarios and see how they would respond. Show photos of cannabis plants suffering from common issues. Ask them to diagnose it then propose a remedy.
4. Compensate fairly
The master grower should probably be the best paid employee in your business. Growing quality cannabis is at the heart of what you do and they are essential to this.
The very best cannabis cultivators require no training, little instruction and they can easily command anywhere between $250,000 to $300,000 annually.
If that’s too much for you, then you can consider going for a candidate with less experience but who makes up for it in terms of their ambition, passion, and willingness to learn. Such candidates are an investment for your business’ future, so may require more patience as they get accustomed to state laws and regulations.
5. Hold on to your grower as you await your license
Marijuana business licensing can be a long and costly process. Before you are even legally able to sell cannabis you will likely rack up a lot of fees from consultants, accountants, and lawyers to get things going.
In the meantime, you have recruited a suitable master grower who is waiting to get the green light to start. Obviously this is conditional on getting the license and this uncertainty can be frustrating for both parties. But given you are already paying for the services of various professionals, you should consider doing the same to retain the services of your master grower. After all, it would be unfortunate to let one slip by the wayside only to then be issued with a license and be in a rush to recruit a new one. Hiring a new candidate is often more costly than retaining an existing employee.