Published: Feb 11, 2015, 9:40 am By Josiah M. Hesse, The Cannabist Staff When legal marijuana becomes so mainstream that being a black market grower is as antiquated as bootlegging moonshine, what will become of those who have devoted their lives to the underground trade?
In the wake of last year’s policy changes on the vertical integration of marijuana shops in Colorado, wholesale growers are expanding their operations, creating loads of new industry jobs.
But is it worth it for black market growers to click off their lamps and go work for the man?
Profit margins may have sunk on illegal weed, yet these growers working in the shadows still can earn more than entry-level jobs in the white market are currently paying. Even if they were looking to go mainstream, are employers in the legal industry motivated to hire them?
Some cannabis employers look at an applicant who has spent the last decade raising 20 or 30 plants each season and think: experience. Others see it and think: stubborn habits and outdated technology.
“A lot of those skills (from the black market) translate into this industry,” says Todd Mitchem, a Denver-based marijuana consultant who runs the CannaSearch marijuana job fair.
On the other hand, Native Roots Apothecary owner Rhett Jordan says that when his company, which has seven shops across Colorado, is looking at a potential hire, “a good work ethic, being timely, diligent and following up on things are more important to us than weed knowledge.”
Ata Gonzalez, CEO of G FarmaLabs, a wholesale marijuana grow company out of California and Washington, agrees with Mitchem that there are some skills that translate well from a black market business to a white market job — botanical knowledge about humidity, temperature, mixing nutrients, etc. — though in his experience, those assets can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth.

Gonzalez says that growing up, his family was always in the restaurant business, and when his father would hire cooks, “he’d rather hire someone that didn’t know how to cook than one who did, because the ones who did know how to cook came in with bad habits. Someone who didn’t know how to cook, he could train them his way.”
“If someone is used to growing in soil, it’s difficult to train them in another type of medium,” he continues. “Growers can be dialed in to a certain method, and once … – Click Here To Visit Article Source