Beaulieu: The risky business of making weed your life

Mack Beaulieu

There are probably hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people at CSU and in the surrounding area that not only smoke weed, but take pride in it to the point where they believe it defines them. You’ve probably seen a stoner pissing contest once or twice; two red-eyed scruffy dude’s half bragging and half arguing about who smokes more.

That’s all well and good while you’re still in the stage where anything that would disappoint your parents is something to set your hat on, but to be honest, it gets boring. Don’t get me wrong, I’m someone who definitely believes a responsible adult can have a healthy love for weed, but it better go beyond smoking if you choose to bask in it so much.


Eventually, you’re going to have to pull back or stop smoking altogether if you want to make a real mark on the world: whatever that may be. I recently had a friend who quit smoking for his airline career.

If you really love marijuana though, then maybe try to work in the emerging industry. Something that, to be successful, you’ll probably still have to cut back. I talked to a grower in California this week about his journey to where he is now and what it means with his relationship to weed.

Nick, as we’ll call him here, never really got involved in the harvesting of weed until this past year. Bored of his college, Nick was flown out to California by his brother. His brother is a caregiver, has all the legal paperwork to sell to dispensaries, and owns multiple facilities out of which he grows.

Nick is running one of those facilities and tends to about 200 plants, putting in lots of long hours. When I talked to Nick this past Wednesday, it was take-down day. “I spent about 10 hours today cutting down the plants and hanging them up to dry,” Nick said, having just smoked for the first time that day around 7:00 pm.

When asked if he smokes as much as he did in college, before he came to California, Nick answers with a resounding no. “I don’t smoke nearly as much, not like I used to,” Nick said, “I feel like I have to be focused, and all the growers out here who are known as major stoners aren’t very good growers.”

As chill as his job might sound, Nick stays focused for several reasons. First and foremost is the health of the plants. “It’s not something everyone who smokes should do,” said Nick, “Four of my brother’s growers failed already. He brought me out after he fired the last guy.” There are more serious concerns though. Cops and robbers, mainly.

“My brother got arrested a few years ago, but he got a lawyer and beat the charges” Nick said, “Though the feds basically kicked in the door of his grow op, he got real lucky.” When asked if he worries about that possibility for him, Nick demurs. “I don’t really think about it much, it could depend on who Trump puts in that position,” speaking of the secretary of agriculture. “It’s more common that people get robbed,” he adds.

For taking all these risks, Nick is rewarded with free rent in a large house that also houses the grow up he’s overlooking. Besides that, he writes down his hours and gives them to his brother. He also gets a bonus if he produces a certain amount more per light than what’s considered average.

Nick sees this as his career now. Long term, he’s hopeful that the skills he’s learning now will set him up for corporate marijuana. “If everything goes well politicly than we’re probably headed to corporate marijuana, people like my brother will be bought out,” Nick said, “I just hope when it does I’ll be able to go in and be a grow manager for them or something.”

The very scary thing for many people, myself included, is that it no longer seems like a slam dunk that weed will be legalized everywhere or even the states its currently in. I don’t think it’s at the top of Trump’s list and some people he knows would certainly make a quick buck of it, but he does have republicans to cater to.


So that, “when,” may never come for Nick, but he’s just one example of how a person can make their love for weed into work, and how a person who’s serious about this should start thinking seriously about how to get a foothold in the industry.

You could harvest, you could work at a dispensary, you can own or manage one, get into making edibles/different forms of dabs, or you could just take on a career where it’s not something that hurts you so much. Regardless, like Nick said with growers, the best person at their weed-tolerant career probably isn’t the biggest stoner.