Cultivation Experience.

Their is more traffic on the extraction side of this website and I have more experience with growing cannabis so i’m creating this topic for more discussion regarding these questions listed below.

  1. Would you rather hire a person who has no experience cultivating but has a 4 year degree or somebody that has lets say 8 years growing cannabis with no degree? I put this question because i see almost all job offers make it a requisite to have a degree for them to be considered. You can be a great grower but because of that piece of paper you would never be considered, thoughts?

  2. What Genetics do you think will be popular this year and what breeders/companies do you see producing the better quality strains (subjective, as for one quality could mean more CBD or breeding for higher THCV, ETC…)

  3. Will LEDs take over in the next 5 years due to the technology advancing/possibly getting more affordable and the customizable spectrums?

  4. How long have you been growing for?

Lets see those replies!


College degrees are way overrated, especially in the cultivation side of things. The best growers I’ve known by and large are not college educated, and if they do have a degree it has nothing to do with cannabis or the industry at all. I actually know people with degrees in botany they can’t keep houseplants alive.

I really hope to see strains high in THCV that weren’t Malawi.

I’ve been growing indoors for 11 years and am probably biased on #3 because I’ve been flowering with led lights for seven years and have had great success. I’ve also seen side by side comparisons between the CLW lights and the Gavita DE 1k and though the Gavita produces slightly more biomass overall, the CLW lights slaughtered the DE on geade A bud weight per watt and the potency was well over 7% higher. I would argue the time has been here to switch.


A couple of opinions…take them as such…

I have met brilliance and absolute ignorance both backed by degrees and not. A big misconception is that if you have a degree you’re worth a shit…nah you just had the time and the finances and perhaps persistance to attain a degree…if its a bachelors…you barely made it through general ed and just began learning the specifics of your chosen field…some of the stupidest (but most confident) folks i have met come with phds…meanwhile personal/social growth is stunted due to lack of exposure to the real world…its a rouse and one that falsely commands respect and admiration.

Leds…efficiency and spectral control win the day. We know light intensity and color has significant impacts on nearly all physiology on the planet. We are only beginning to understad the subtleties of this interaction…meanwhile the tech gets cheaper and more robust. Take a look at some of the work by Tessa Pocok at RPI and others that illustrate a manipulatuon of plant constituents/qualities through selective spectral and intensity exposures. Nothing but LEDs (or some version there in) can provide the level of control and robustness. And less heat…way less heat…as a caveat, lets not forget that the sun will always be the best option and is the gold standard.

Been hobbying since the early 90s and found some schooling to expand understanding…still learning everyday…the beauty of complex natural systems…they are constant opportunities for improved understanding and performance.

  1. I will almost always hire someone with some cannabis experience over zero. With most operations the margin for error is way too small to risk banking even a fraction of one crop on someone’s non-cannabis experience. But if the degreed applicant has certifications like certified crop advisor, qualified applicator, etc, and they are making efforts to become acquainted with cannabis by pursuing certs like patient focused certification I will definitely take a second look.

  2. On the international scale, I know a lot of companies that are looking for THCV dominant cultivars to grow in places like Columbia and Zimbabwe–but in my opinion most of that will end up being used for research trials or breeding, as so far the international markets aren’t as large as many assume. For domestic MED/REC markets that is hard to synopsize due the variance of limited and open license states, but I think MA, MT, CA, and OR will have the best genetic variety of any legal states. Lots of businesses don’t see an incentive to create THCV products, but there are insane opportunities for appetite suppressant edibles/tinctures if they cultivate Doug’s Varin/etc.

But for my subjective opinion–I really like what Oni, Freeborn Selections, and Lucky Dog Seed Co are putting out.

  1. In markets that allow it, outdoor and greenhouse will obviously take over. But for indoor/greenhouse cultivation yes, most likely for the affordability aspect. All of the large vertically integrated warehouse operations in CO, etc haven’t had much of an incentive to change their operations due to essentially having such a strong hold on the market, but if/when they change anything, especially lighting, it will be because of cost.

  2. 3-4 years since I was 18, haven’t been for the last 2 years as I’ve been in a MED state with no homegrow allowance.


School of hardknocks here 15 year degree in thc wen i hire people they need to have credentials and i dont mean from a college any joker can get a degree but half the people with them barely retained any information that they paid so much to get


5 years growing now. I was actually talking to someone about this first question last night while I believe that a degree will help with the business side of things i dont believe that its something necessary, its all a matter of situation some people just dont have the time/funds to go to a 4 year college so while I believe it might help with financial decisions in the business i dont think someone with no experience belongs in this and I dont like that it has become a suit and tie game.
I have been seeing a lot of good work from Maxyields recently a lot of good work from terp_fi3nd as well and relentless has been putting some good work out. CSI is making some of the strains that ive been dying to get with the bubblegum crosses and so has duke diamond. I love the collaborations chemdog has been making.
Ive heard a lot of things about LED’s and heard good things about them during flower period from most that work with them but we’ll see as the time rolls out.

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My opinion is you need both… you need the eye of the experienced grower to be able to watch for any anomaly. And to implement all his practical knowledge that is successful and not reinvent the wheel.

But i have seen growers trying to copy the methods they cultivated indoors to a greenhouse. continuing to talk about efficiency in gr/m2 as if space still is limiting factor like growing illegally in a basement that you have a x amount of space. Maxing out supplemental lights in a greenhouse to reach max production doubling electricity load for 15% more product when with the electricity costs alone they could build a second greenhouse and double their production.
You also need also someone who can make double blind experiments on small scale to reach conclusion that will improve the growing process. and have a theoretical understanding of plant processes and responses.
As you said there is no time for mistakes and i wouldn’t let a person without experience grow lettuce … As i would not let a cannabis grower design a fertilization program cause either he would buy liquid or ready made formulations (100x more expensive) or he would mess it up cause he lacks the chemistry background needed


For everyone using led, what kind? Hlg boards, or other manufacturers? Cobs or boards?

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Both are solid companies with good R&D have worked alot on the spectrum of their led lights and are not spreading misinformation trying to confuse people like most led manufacturers

  1. Experience over paper… I have a degree in finance and none of that helped when I started growing.
  2. Ethos and In house our my two fave.
  3. I have only ever used LED from Fluence Bioengineering
  4. 3 years

It’s nice to see quality products out now. I’ve read about the fluence fixtures before, they seem well built for sure.

I’ve been building my own lights with bridgelux veros, eb strips, and hlg boards. I recently have been using the hlg board with the extra 660nm lights, and my plants under it definitely are not as healthy as the others, is there something I’m missing with these lights? I’m curious about far red and uvb, but so far I’m not liking the reds on my plants.

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Both great reads on light spectrum and photomorphogenesis.


I actually just purchased some far red 740nm 3w leds and parts to build a little ten watt puck to try out this flower initiation thing I’ve read about. And some uvb spectrum ones as well to play with.

I’m curious how much you can see the difference with adding these spectrums to an led fixture.

Also sorry for hijacking your thread op. I will start a new thread for discussion of leds.


As my personal experience, I was the guy with experience and no degree and we contacted with a guy with no experience but a degree. I think the best way it’s to get both of them, as @Jackofalltrades said, you need the eye of the experience and somebody that can help to make it proffesional or improve the techs.


Well, speaking as someone that has a college degree, I know from experience that college mostly is a scam, but it does still hold a certain degree of value. The main thing that having a college degree demonstrates, in my opinion, is that you:

  1. Hold the ability to learn and retain information
  2. Have the discipline to follow through and complete a long term goal

Other than that, college has completely nothing to do with being a good cannabis grower and I would 100% rather have someone that has experience growing over a college degree. I think businesses are just making it a prerequisite to have a college degree as a part of their application process to filter people out, but this is a big mistake in my opinion. I’d be willing to bet that some of the best growers in the world don’t have a college degree, probably because they were too busy running their grow and gaining real experience/skills.

  1. I have no idea what genetics will be popular this year but as general advice, I would suggest skating to where you think the hockey puck is going to be not where it currently is instead of following the herd.

  2. Yes, LED’s will eventually take over in the next 5 years. The technology has room for growth in terms of efficiency and it is inevitable. I’m currently running a room of DE Gavitas, a room of DE Luxx, and a room of Fluence LED SPYDR’s, so I’m speaking from experience. The only reason why they haven’t already “taken over” in my opinion is because of the cost of getting good fixtures. Once the cost of LED fixtures goes down and makes them a more appealing investment proposition, I think we will see a huge shift over to LED’s because they are the best technology on the market.

  3. I’ve been growing for 5+ years

  1. New employee who knows nothing can be trained quickly without bad habits from before.
  2. Total THC genetics could be the future.
  3. LEDS are taking over, cost is coming down, almost equalized with market demand.
  4. 9 years in cannabis; 5 of that hemp.

much love, best of luck to you, and if you’re anywhere near MD come thru!

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