Table of Contents
- How to Become a Marijuana Farmer: The Basics
- Growing Weed Professionally in 2020
There are currently over 240,000 jobs in the legal cannabis industry in the United States.
There are countless jobs that you could do as a worker in the cannabis industry. However, marijuana farming is possibly the most important.
If you’re interested in learning how to become a marijuana farmer, there are certain things that will be of paramount importance.
Read on as we take a closer look at them.
How to Become a Marijuana Farmer: The Basics
Farming marijuana is a much newer job than most others out there. However, in many respects, the job is similar to others.
Firstly, marijuana farming is still farming. You’ll need to buy or rent an area of land or property that’s suitable for growing weed, preferably with facilities for indoor growing.
You’ll also need to consider funding. Start-up costs for marijuana farms can be considerable, especially if you’re getting equipment for indoor growing.
Adding to the financial burden is the fact that you won’t start making money from the business until you sell your first crop. Depending on how long it takes you to get from the inception of the business to your first sale, it could be over a year before you see your first paycheck.
One of the most important things you’ll need to consider when starting out as a marijuana farmer is the legal situation in your area. Cannabis laws, in general, are quickly becoming laxer, but many areas still penalize people heavily for cannabis-related offenses.
The stricter your state’s laws in relation to the possession and consumption of cannabis are, the stricter they will be when it comes to the plant’s manufacture and distribution.
The first thing you’ll need before you pursue weed farming as a business venture is a cultivation license. The process involved in securing one of these depends on the state you live in.
This is one of the foremost considerations for anyone wondering how to become a marijuana farmer. Until you’re licensed, it’s illegal to start growing cannabis for money.
One advantage that the old marijuana farmers had over those doing it today was tax liability. In the days of prohibition, producers didn’t have to worry about the IRS taking a slice of their action (although they did have to worry about the DEA breaking down their door and throwing them in jail).
Nowadays, marijuana businesses have to pay taxes just like anyone else. However, the exact amount you’ll be liable for will vary on the basis of several factors.
We’ve looked at the two main types of tax you’ll pay as a marijuana farmer here.
Federal taxes are those that you have to pay to the US government. These differ from one business to the next.
As a marijuana farm, the federal taxes that will apply to you are likely to include income tax, excise tax, employment tax, and self-employment tax.
Taxes vary widely from state to state, especially when it comes to cannabis. However, there are three main ways in which state authorities tax marijuana; by retail price, by weight, and by THC potency.
In Alaska, for example, growers pay $50 in tax on every ounce of properly developed bud. There are reduced rates for immature buds or less valuable parts of the plant. Local areas within the state can then apply excise taxes as they see fit.
The rules on insurance for businesses vary from state to state. In most cases, however, the majority of business insurance options are optional for a company.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider taking out a policy. Marijuana businesses are vulnerable to unexpected difficulties, just like any others. Having insurance in place when disaster strikes can be the difference between bankruptcy and a minor inconvenience.
We’ve looked at some of the most important types of business insurance here.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
This type of insurance is mandatory in every American state except Texas. If you’re employing workers on your marijuana farm, chances are you’ll have to carry it.
If an employee falls ill or suffers an injury at work, their employer is legally required to compensate them for medical expenses and lost earnings. Because these kinds of expenses can be considerable, workers’ compensation insurance payouts are often necessary to foot the bill.
Premises Liability Insurance
Premises liability is any expense you might legally have to cover after an incident on your business premises. If someone suffers an injury on your premises, you might have to compensate them for it.
This type of insurance isn’t usually mandatory. However, it’s a good idea to carry it, as the payout after a successful premises liability claim can be very considerable.
If anything happens to your business property (such as a fire or flood) the fallout for your business could be disastrous. If you don’t have property insurance in place, the costs could be enough to run your business into the ground.
How to Farm Marijuana
When you’ve filled out the paperwork and successfully navigated the red tape, it’s time to consider the practical aspects to marijuana farming.
Picking your seeds is one of the most important jobs you’ll do as a marijuana farmer. You want to make sure you’re growing strains that distributors want, but that are also cost-effective for you to grow.
If you’re new to growing, keep an eye out for strains that are easy to grow and give plentiful yields.
Feminization is one of the great debates when it comes to seed selection in 2020. A feminized seed is one that does not have male chromosomes.
Growers ordinarily need to discard male plants at the outset of the flowering stage. However, if you plant feminized seeds, you won’t have any male plants at all, meaning that you’ll save yourself the effort and uncertainty of this process.
The disadvantage of feminized seeds is that they are generally more expensive than non-feminized seeds. If you know a male plant when you see one and you don’t mind taking the time to separate them from the females, you could save significant costs with non-feminized seeds.
This applies whether you’re growing traditional weed or CBD. If you want to keep costs to a minimum when you’re growing CBD, use non feminized CBD seeds.
Not every climate is suitable for growing marijuana. Seeds need warm and relatively dry conditions to flourish.
If you’re running an indoor growing operation, the climate won’t matter to you, as you can imitate just about any kind of growing conditions.
However, if you want to grow your crop outside, the weather will be a very important consideration for you. In colder climates, you’ll need to limit your plants’ exposure to the elements as much as you can, as cannabis needs warm weather to truly thrive.
Like other kinds of farming, cannabis farming is a seasonal business. You’ll be kept busy with it for some months, while you’ll have nothing to do for others.
Ideal growing seasons vary from strain to strain. Some have far shorter flowering times than others. Also, some have less tolerance for colder weather than others, which means you’ll have to harvest them earlier in the year if you’re growing outdoors.
As a general rule, you plant marijuana seeds in February or March and harvest the grown plant in September or October. If you are growing indoors, you don’t have to stick to this schedule. However, your costs will be higher if you try to imitate summer conditions in cold weather.
Marijuana Farming as a Hobby
Not everyone wants to grow weed to try to become the biggest supplier in the US. Many of you reading this may not even want to pursue it as a full-time job.
If your interest in marijuana farming is more of a casual one, the process should be even easier for you.
Firstly, you probably won’t have to spend any money on insurance. If you don’t have employees and you can afford to lose your entire investment should some issue arise, you won’t have to have this kind of protection.
Also, you should have a much easier time from a regulatory point of view. If you’re not turning over a significant amount of money, your tax burden will be far lower.
Growing Weed Professionally in 2020
Every stoner has, at one point, dreamed of growing a huge crop of weed. However, whether due to legal restrictions or practical considerations, it was never a possibility for the vast majority.
Nowadays, however, those wondering how to become a marijuana farmer are finding out that it’s no longer that difficult. If you want to grow weed nowadays, whether as a business venture or a passion project, there isn’t that much stopping you.
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