While there are many delusions of grandeur and plenty of misleading media reports regarding the cannabis industry in general, here are a few of the most common myths about cannabis cultivation that need to be corrected:
All Cannabis Growers Are Rolling In The Dough
While cannabis usually has a higher per pound value than most traditional crops, the production of cannabis (especially if forced to grow only indoors by state/local regulations) can be a very expensive crop to grow. Also, with banking issues still unresolved and sky-high taxes for cannabis-associated business owners, the media portrayal of a “Green Rush,” with everyone making money hand over fist, is simply inaccurate.
Cannabis Growers Test The Product During Work Hours
Due to the heavy regulation and oversight from state and local governing bodies, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Employees in the regulated cannabis markets must pass background checks and in most states be licensed, and even finger-printed, before being able to work. Many cannabis-based companies also have specific drug and alcohol policies prohibiting use consumption of any controlled substance during working hours. The Colorado Supreme Court even unanimously ruled in 2015 that employers have the right to terminate an employee for cannabis consumption, even if that employee has been prescribed medical cannabis. Long story short, there’s too much at stake for horticulturists or any industry-related employees to partake, especially during working hours.
Only Master Growers Can Properly Grow Cannabis
With the great advances in technologies and the cannabis industry becoming more mainstream, there is an increasing trend for cultivation companies to shy away from the master grower. Those master growers typically have unrealistic salary expectations, and if or when they leave a company, that knowledge leaves the company, as well. Most successful cultivators now focus more on establishing replicable standard operating procedures and the ability to scale their operations without relying on one person.
Cannabis Is A Weed; It Can Be Grown Anywhere
While it is true that cannabis grows naturally in a variety of climates all over the world, it is difficult to consistently produce high-yielding, high-quality finished product that can pass demanding testing requirements. Legal cannabis production almost always occurs in secured facilities where all product can be consistently tracked and controlled. While there are advantages and disadvantages to all three methods of commercial cultivation (i.e., indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor), as the industry matures, large-scale cultivators will likely be more deliberate in the methods of cultivation they employ, depending on the nature of the final product they are seeking to produce.
Cannabis Cultivation Is Easy And Anyone Can Do It
The cannabis industry is heavily scrutinized and even more heavily regulated. The trend toward strict regulation will undoubtedly continue. While many standard horticultural practices have been adopted from traditional agriculture, the legal cannabis industry is complex and presents challenges not faced by other agricultural businesses, for example, challenging integrated pest management protocols and the unavailability of certain standard pesticides, onerous product testing, and tracking/compliance requirements. The legal cannabis industry, and especially commercial cannabis cultivation, is fraught with complexity and risks. It is not for the faint of heart.