Beyond Horticulture Degrees | Qualifications for a Cannabis Master Grower

cannabis master grower

The commercial cannabis industry is trending toward hiring Master Growers with degrees in Horticulture or Botany and with work experience in greenhouses producing flowers or food. These degrees and work experience provide a good background for potential Master Grower candidates for cannabis facilities. However, without a solid understanding of the specific nature of the cannabis plant, such hires tend not to be as successful as hoped.

Conversely, a person with many years of cannabis growing experience, but no formal training, may not have the skills needed to grow cannabis on a large commercial scale. The good news is that without a degree and commercial growing experience, it is still possible to be a viable hiring option for a commercial cannabis facility.

Cannabis Master Grower Qualifications

Growers with Horticulture or Botany degrees and experience in commercial greenhouse or indoor settings unrelated to cannabis need to learn about the specific growing needs of the cannabis plant. While traditional food or flower growing processes provide a base for your skills and knowledge, cannabis has it’s own set of requirements for growth. It’s important for potential Master Grower candidates to learn about:

  • Specific light cycle needs
  • Nutrient and plant feeding schedules
  • CO2 enrichment
  • Ideal growing conditions
  • Temperature and humidity
  • Grow methods and mediums

Grower candidates without degrees and commercial growing experience need to have a comprehensive understanding of the cannabis plant, mold/mildew/pest prevention, and propagation fundamentals. Learning about these specific factors that influence the growth of the cannabis plant are essential for individuals hoping to become Master Growers in the industry.

While either degrees or real world cannabis experience are important, what is truly essential for a successful Master Grower is embracing the arduous work involved in growing plants, placing significant importance on the cleanliness of the grow environment, skills to manage people and manage the perpetual cannabis grow cycle in the most efficient manner.

Degrees in either Botany or Horticulture have their place in the cannabis industry and provide many growers with the basic skills necessary to grow on a commercial scale. Without a degree or experience growing in a commercial setting, potential Master Grower candidates can improve their chances of being hired by learning about the specifics of marijuana cultivation and honing their managerial skills. In depth knowledge of the plant, the ability to organize the propagation and cultivation of cannabis on a large scale, and quality people management skills are essential for potential Master Grower candidates.

Whole Plant Technologies offers grower training and placement options within the commercial cannabis industry. Contact Whole Plant for more information about our grower training and placement programs.

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  • Roger on January 8, 2017 at 5:35 pm Reply

    I want to grow 50 cannabis plants. I need to know how much space I need and how many lights I need for 50 plants and the best CO2 set up. It will be grown indoors under 600 watt HPS

    • Abbie Testaberg on January 8, 2017 at 8:24 pm


      Thank you for the inquiry. Using our system, you could grow 50-100 plants using 4-8 trays in 200-500 square feet of grow space. If you wanted to grow larger plants using slightly more time, you may want to consider more trays with less plants in each tray.

      An 8 tray system can yield 72-96lbs per year and do so 30% more profitably than a soil or drip irrigation system.

      We have sent you an email, too.

      Thank you!

  • Memori Haynes on April 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm Reply

    My son is 16 (17 in November). He wants to be a pot farmer & go into saling for businesses & medical reasons. He has been in & out of school, therefore has all his classes on line but in a classroom. He was told by a teacher that he just needs to get his GED next year & start working on college. What are the requirements to get his college education/degree in botany/business? To even get in?

    • Abbie Testaberg on September 10, 2017 at 2:51 am

      We suggest contacting your area tech school and/or university and speak with an admissions adviser – they are best equipped to help you with what he needs to get into an appropriate school and area of study.

  • SeVern Lee Ashes II on June 2, 2017 at 6:07 pm Reply

    I have aspirations to one day become a master grower, unfortunately, because of my location it is very hard to talk about these things without running the risk of being flagged as a drug dealer. If anyone has any information (books, classes, personal exp. Etc.) Please feel free to contact me and help me take proper steps to a bright future. Thank you!

    • Abbie Testaberg on September 10, 2017 at 2:49 am

      Consider tech school or university in Botany, Horticulture, Agriculture, Controlled Environment Agriculture…Also, take a look at books by Ed Rosenthal and Jorge Cervantes for intro to growing reading materials.

  • TY on July 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm Reply

    I would like to learn more about the Cannabis industry. I hope to someday own my own farm, I have zero experience in the growing industry but I am very eager to learn. I have even considered going to college to study Botany and Business Management, are there any schools, training programs or classes you would suggest?

    • Abbie Testaberg on September 10, 2017 at 2:44 am

      There are tech-school and university options. More schools are offering classes on cannabis. It is very dependent on where you are located. Feel free to contact us at We should have our training facility up and running in about nine months!

  • Colton Bailey on September 6, 2017 at 6:28 am Reply

    Is there a specific Degree that major buisnesses are looking for in a master grower

    • Abbie Testaberg on September 10, 2017 at 2:30 am

      Degrees in Botany, Horticulture, and/or Agriculture tend to be more highly regarded for growers. Controlled Environment Agriculture for indoor/greenhouse.

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