Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 11, 2023

The cannabis market is booming and it’s expected to reach $41.5 billion by 2025 as more and more states are legalizing cannabis and medical marijuana in the US. CBD, on the other hand, has been legalized under federal law with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, so it can be obtained in all states as long as the THC percentage is below 0.3%.

As a result of these legalization laws, there is an increased interest in the cannabis cultivation business as more cultivators are taking the necessary steps to start their application process and become medical marijuana growers.

This article will provide you with all the necessary information for all those potential medical marijuana growers who are looking to start their own medical marijuana business and sell their products to licensed marijuana dispensaries. 

Figure Out How Much Medical Cannabis and Marijuana for Recreational Use You Can Cultivate in Each State

Some states that have legalized the cultivation of medical marijuana may also approve the cultivation of a few plants for personal use. To be on the safe side, it’s best to check the regulations and laws on a state-by-state basis.

To give you an example, we’ll go over a few states that allow you to grow medical marijuana and see how their regulations differ:

  • In Arizona, you can grow up to 12 cannabis plants for medical use if you reside more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary.
  • In California, people over 21 can grow up to 6 plants for recreational use, and medical card holders can own up to 12 immature or 6 mature plants. 
  • In Colorado, people can grow up to 6 plants per person if they’re over 21, and only 3 of them can be in the flowering stage. 
  • In Hawaii, you can grow up to 7 plants between the patient and caregiver for personal cultivation of medical marijuana.

The information mentioned below is generally related to small-scale cultivation and cultivation for personal use, however, a lot of US states allow large-scale cultivation, and the regions where weed is mostly cultivated include:

  • California;
  • Washington;
  • Oregon;
  • Maine;
  • Kentucky;
  • Tennessee.

Cultivators who are planning on growing weed for personal use and make a business out of their growing experience, need to have proper licenses, as well as obtain the gear, lighting setup, growing medium, seeds, and other necessary equipment. Read on to find out what you need to do to obtain a grower’s license and start cultivating weed.

How to Get Started in the Cannabis Industry as a Marijuana Grower?

To get started in the cannabis industry as a marijuana grower, you’ll need a mix of skills, knowledge, and experience, as well as apply for a grower’s license. There are a few steps you need to take to grow your cannabis business from the bottom up, so let’s get started with the details.


A good plan is half the execution, and that is also true if you want to develop a cannabis company. You will need an elaborate business plan which will secure potential investors, a cultivation license issued by the state where you’re planning to grow your crops, as well as the required permits from your local municipality for the land you’re renting or buying.

Cultivation License Application

The next step for starting your cannabis business is completing a cultivation license application which should also be reviewed by your consultant and attorney to increase the chances of it being approved since cannabis growing is an extremely competitive process. Additionally, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits from your local municipality.

Apart from that, growers need to meet a minimum age requirement, along with passing a criminal background check. If you don’t meet all the necessary criteria, it would be best not to waste your time by applying for a cultivation license.

How to Obtain a Cannabis Grower’s License for Medical Marijuana?

If you’re thinking about applying for a grower’s license, you need to find out whether the state you reside in issues medical marijuana licenses. Furthermore, not every medical marijuana state is accepting applications all the time, so it’s essential to see if the timing is right for your application. Contact your municipality as well as your state’s information office to receive up-to-date information on whether they accept applications.

If your state is issuing applications, keep in mind that there are limited spots, and the application process is highly competitive, so make sure your application stands out. It’s important to have all the required documents, licenses, employees, and authorizations before you apply for the license by following the timeline provided by the state.

Finally, remember that a medical cannabis license is obtained the hardest, so if you don’t want to be bothered and go through this tedious process, opt for personal use cultivation if your state allows it.

The Stages of Production and Supply

An extensive knowledge of the cannabis cultivation process is essential for everyone who plans to start cultivating weed. Planning the stages of the production and supply, as well as purchasing the necessary equipment which is based on the newest technology is crucial. Moreover, you’ll need to think about the requirements for each stage, including:

  • Breeding;
  • Cloning;
  • Trimming;
  • Drying;
  • Curing;
  • Packaging;
  • Distribution. 

Daily Business Operations

Your day-to-day operation costs should be calculated and included in your business plan. You’ll need to know the daily cost for equipment and employees, as well as the procedures that need to be followed by you and your employees.

It’s extremely important to prepare your grow tent or your outside cultivation site in advance and install cameras, provide adequate lighting, purchase supplies, select a payment processor, and more. Not doing so may be detrimental to your cannabis business, and be the cause of its failure.


After you’ve acquired the proper licenses, bought or rented the place where you plan to grow, obtained the investors, equipment, and personnel, and gotten the permit from your local municipality, you can open your cannabis business.

Becoming Employed as a Marijuana Grower

For those of you who’d like to become growers in the marijuana industry but aren’t keen on starting their own business, there are a lot of jobs you can choose from including trimmers, master growers, assistant growers, and others.

Master growers usually have a higher education in botany, horticulture, or physical science (like a master’s degree or PhD) because they’re in charge of the genetics of the crops, managing grow facilities and grow teams, maximizing harvests, and all the necessary processes of commercial grow sites. Additionally, they need to be able to scale the business even more under the right circumstances.

Assistant growers generally hold a bachelor’s degree in the fields of botany, horticulture, or physical science and have extensive knowledge of cannabis strains, lighting systems, irrigation and fertilizing, and the latest growing technologies. 

Trimmers are generally employees paid by the hour who are in charge of cutting the marijuana plants during the harvest period by hand. College degrees aren’t a requirement in order to become a trimmer, therefore, this position is a good way to get acquainted with the marijuana industry.

Final Thoughts on Becoming a Medical Marijuana Grower

While obtaining your medical cannabis grower’s license is a long process, it will be worth it if you’re serious about starting a medical cannabis business.

All you need to do is get the proper documentation together, buy or rent land, plan out your expenses in an elaborate business plan, apply for a license in a state where weed cultivation is legal, and you’re on your way to starting your own cannabis business.

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to have that big of a responsibility, you can always search for a job as a cannabis trimmer, assistant grower, or master grower.

Finally, some states allow you to legally cultivate small quantities of cannabis plants for personal use, so if you’d like to grow your own weed, research your state’s regulations.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.