Cannabis Grower Wanted: Must Work For Free

A grow room is filled with numerous blooming cannabis plants

SO, YOU HAVE your Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) card, and you’ve checked out the local dispensaries. But let’s say you want to try a particular strain the dispensaries don’t carry, or maybe you want to save some money.

In Oregon, you can designate a third party as your grower. There are lots of reasons why you might decide not to grow for yourself: not enough time, not enough space in your studio apartment—or maybe the last thing you grew was a potato plant in fourth grade that caught the plague.

You’ll want to find a grower, which is harder than it sounds.

The Oregon Health Authority, which oversees the OMMP, states on their website they can’t help you locate one, as they are not a resource center.

You do have options, though: If you went through a clinic that specializes in qualifying patients for a card, ask if they have some type of bulletin board that allows growers and patients to connect.

Or you could join NORML, which holds meetings and opportunities for members to network. There are various local websites that allow postings for growers and patients to connect, such as Canna-Connection.

Or try Craigslist, home of handjobs for coffee tables, and post a request seeking a grower. (Or a handjob.)

Once you’ve found a grower, you have to stay within OMMP rules, which state: “A grower may be reimbursed for the cost of supplies and utilities associated with the production of medical marijuana; the act does not allow reimbursement for labor or any other costs…. All usable marijuana, plants, seedlings, and seeds are the property of the patient and must be returned to the patient upon request.”

This may be the biggest gray area of the OMMP. Growers are not allowed to profit from growing for other parties, but they are also not required to show their patients any receipts for the hard costs—electricity, lighting, A/C equipment, nutrients, soil, clones, or seeds, and so on.

A common solution is some variation on the following:

A grower provides his or her patient with one or more ounces a month at no charge, and the remaining cannabis is then provided to other patients or dispensaries at the cost of expenses incurred.

This often works for all parties, as few patients have use for all the cannabis produced in the course of a grow cycle. How much a crop can yield varies, but you can safely assume an adult plant will produce at least two to four ounces of marijuana. With a grower’s allowance of six adult plants per patient, that equals 12 to 24 ounces a harvest, which works out to be Snoop Dogg levels of product.

Consider writing up an agreement between you and your grower stating what each party expects. Memories of what was promised can get fuzzy during the course of a grow cycle, especially when it involves—ahem—cannabis.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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