Dear Dabby… How Do I Work in Weed?
Advice for how to educate yourself on strain designations, cook with marijuana and secure a job in the cannabis industry.
What is the best way to start a career in cannabis? — Anita Goodjob
How would I know? I kinda just lucked into things because I love weed. That being said, isn’t it amazing how someone can have a career in cannabis? Hell, 15 to 20 years ago, the only cannabis gig was “activist” or “writer for High Times.” These days, you can be anything from a budtender to an insurance rep… Even a cannabis advice columnist.
If you are looking for training, there are a few spots that will teach you all you need to know to get started. Oaksterdam University is a good one. You could also check out The Cannabis University or even the Cleveland School of Cannabis if you aren’t on the West Coast. But when you say “a career in cannabis,” what do you mean? There are so many niches. Do you want to own a club? Are you launching some sort of weed app? Are you a good grower? Are you good at sales? It’s not even a matter of “a career in cannabis” as much as it is more of a “what branch of cannabis do I want to get into?”
My advice: Play to your strengths. Are you good at organizing and motivating? Manage club or a lab. Good at sales? Distribution is probably your thing. There are plenty of job boards on the internet: Vangsters, leafbuyer.com, et cetera. You don’t even need to do that anymore. You can find job openings in the cannabis industry listed on mainstream job sites like Monster or Indeed. Tighten up your resume, find your nice clothes, and go out and get a job, you stoner. Good luck.
I’m interested in learning more about cooking with cannabis. Can you recommend a good cookbook or guide? Also: When I eat an edible, I get way more stoned than when I smoke. Why is this? — Ed Ibble
You are in luck. I am also a big fan of cooking with cannabis. In fact, please watch my show “Cooking on High” on Netflix. It’s awesome. As to your question: There are a bunch of good cookbooks. Cheri Sicard has a great one called “The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.” It should help you get started. You can also find some good recipes online. Check out the “Cooking on High” website for some fancy pants deliciousness.
When you smoke weed, the THCA gets metabolized by your lungs and turns into delta-9-THC (this is the ingredient in cannabis that gets you “high”). When you eat an edible, the THCA is metabolized by your liver before it gets to your bloodstream and becomes a compound called 11-hydroxy-THC, which leads to a stronger and longer-lasting high. The good news is, if you eat too much weed, you will not die. You will just feel weird. Have some water and some CBD and you will be fine. Enjoy yourself.
Why do they keep emphasizing the difference between sativa and indica when there really is no difference at all? — @Highergroundtv (via Twitter)
I wouldn’t say there is no difference. Sativas tend to have long leaves and they get really tall. Indicas tend to be shorter and bushier with fat, wide leaves. They are actually different, even though they are the same species. Also, indicas and sativas need different cultivation techniques. Indicas mature quickly, while sativas can take a long time to reach maturity. It’s an evolution thing. Sativas come from hot places like Africa or Panama (Think Malawi Gold or a really good Michoacan), while indicas started out in colder mountainous regions (think Hindu Kush and Nepal).
Now if you are talking about effects, I kinda agree. We are finding more and more that it’s the terpenes (myrcene, pinene, limonene) rather than the type of plant that create the different effects. The expansion of our terpene knowledge has led to a few growers and breeders trying to do away with strain names completely in favor of a stricter chemical composition nomenclature. It’s kinda silly. Not many people order a beer by asking for a “5 percent ABV with 10 percent hops and a malt finish.” They order a “Heineken” or a “stout.” Pot smokers are the same way. No one asks for “something with a lot of myrcene,” they ask for a strain with a good “kushy” smell.
Anyway, back to the answer: The line between sativa and indica is getting blurry, what with all the crossbreeding and whatnot. It is possible to grow a short bushy plant that gives you sativa-esque effects. But really, who cares? Find some weed you like and smoke it. Life is too short to argue about sativas and indicas. Weed is weed, love is love and Jeff Sessions is a racist prohibitionist who uses the Bible to justify evil. Stay strong.
TELL US, what’s your dream job in the cannabis industry?
Originally published in Issue 34 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE