There are some misconceptions about what it’s like to grow weed for a living. People conjure images of endless rows of cannabis plants swaying majestically in the greenhouse, while the spectral workers are tending the crop and freely enjoying the fruits of their labor.
For the last two months, I have spent every single day working at a cannabis grow operation, and I can tell ya: I AM A FARMER; THIS JOB IS HARD; and PLEASE THANK YOUR LOCAL GROWER!
I’m gonna let you guys in on some of the less glorious aspects of growing pot in Oklahoma:
This job is HOT and smells like shit. Literally.
Do you know what conditions cannabis plants thrive in? Warm and dry. Luckily, if you’re a cannabis plant in Oklahoma you may feel blessed, because it has been particularly hot and dry the last few weeks. The other day, we had a heat index of 116 degrees! The plants were thrilled (they told me so)!
I, however, was on the constant brink of heat-exhaustion doing one of those things you don’t ever consider when thinking about growing weed: Hauling 40-lb bags of fertilizer that smell like a rotten skunk from the deepest pits of hell from one spot to another spot, several feet away.
Fun fact! When growing cannabis you are almost more likely to smell chicken shit than you are to smell cannabis! This smell is made extra pungent by the fact that it has been cooking all day in its plastic wrapping under the hot sun — just like me.
Water, water everywhere. But not a drop to drink.
You may think working on a cannabis farm is awesome, because I have a job where I can light up essentially any time I please and no one will care. You would be correct about this one! However, it is still my cannabis I’m smoking, purchased with my money. Getting high on the farm’s supply is, sadly, not part of the gig.
This puts me in a strange position where it is entirely possible to have no weed to smoke…while being entirely surrounded by weed. I’ve never been dying of dehydration on a raft in the middle of the ocean, but I imagine the feeling is similar to that day last week I forgot to bring my own weed to my weed job.
The plants own me.
With zero exaggeration, I have worked the last 26 days in a row (at least!), eight hours a day…and most days were hours longer. When your livelihood is directly linked to how well something is growing, the growth of that thing CONTROLS YOUR LIFE.
A missed watering, an overlooked critter, a torn greenhouse can mean thousands of dollars lost. So people working for a grow op are required to be there as needed and do whatever it takes to keep the plants healthy and happy. Sometimes, that can be rough.
I don’t know when cannabis is going to let me have a day off, but when it does, you can put your money on this: I’ll be using my newfound free time to smoke a whole lot of cannabis, while I’m getting a much-deserved break from all this cannabis.
It’s a weird life.