Marijuana legalization is making a lot of money and opportunities for Americans and Canadians, and that’s great. It’s also freeing people in some parts of North America to purchase, use, grow or process marijuana without fear of police raids and prison, and that’s great too.

What isn’t great is that embedded in marijuana legalization is an accelerated war against black market marijuana growers such as those of us on the Growing Marijuana Perfectly team. Growers like us are the people who risked police raids, armed robbery, and prison for decades to grow and supply Americans with marijuana before it was legal anywhere other than Holland.

Our black market marijuana kept millions of people supplied with marijuana, which encouraged them to vote for marijuana legalization because they realize marijuana is the safest recreational drug and medicine available anywhere.

Let’s get real–the white market marijuana industry wouldn’t even exist but for the hard work and sacrifices of tens of thousands of home growers who’ve been supplying America with cannabis since the 1960s.

I know a few black market growers who eagerly joined the white market marijuana industry. They like that they can be involved with cannabis without worrying about getting busted. They like the health insurance, social security withholding, and predictable job hours and pay that comes with working in a legal cannabis cultivation, processing, or retail facility.

That’s all good for them, even though the white market marijuana industry is a direct competitor for the black market and has caused me and other black market growers many problems. These problems include loss of customers, lower wholesale and retail prices, and in some states (especially Oregon) a ridiculous oversupply of marijuana that has made prices drop so low it’s not worth growing weed for sale.

Legalization also hurt the hydroponics supplies, grow shop, and cannabis seeds industries because a percentage of home growers who used to grow their own cannabis are now buying it legally. The drop in wholesale and retail prices caused by legalization (this only happened in some legalized states, not all) harms cannabis growers, grow shops, marijuana seed sellers, and related businesses.

But one thing to know about black market marijuana growers—we’re tough people. After all, we’ve battled police and DEA thugs who use war tactics and snitches. We’ve battled other enemies too, including enemies like spider mites, thrips, root aphids, gray mold, and powdery mildew.  The black market marijuana industry isn’t going to let the white market  take away the entire marijuana marketplace from us. Here’s how you fight back, stay in the game, and win as a black market grower…

Grow Connoisseur Craft Marijuana

The dispensaries mostly sell weed grown for them by large-scale legal grow ops financed by greedy venture capitalists. They grow generic strains of weed that are easy to cultivate via mass production. That’s why almost all dispensaries carry variations of the same old boring menu of Haze, Skunk, Cookies, Blue Dream, Jack Herer, Super Silver, Bubba Kush, OG Kush, this or that Diesel, Trainwreck, Headband, Chemdawg, White Widow, Gorilla Glue, Gelato, and blah blah blah…the same old same old strains.

Don’t get me wrong–some of those popular strains grown from exceptional seeds or clones in small cultivation grow ops by black market craft growers can be dynamite. But when they’re grown by people whose main motivation is to make a lot of money fast, they become dull, boring, generic. I’ve toured dispensaries and sampled dozens of buds from different strains. Almost all of them were overdried, crunched, chemmy, overpriced schwag.

I can and do grow much better cannabis than these commercial growers produce, because I use rare seeds and clones from the world’s top breeders and clone-makers, such as New420Guy seeds and other breeders many people have never heard of. I also breed my own strains, and provide loving attention to every step of the growing, drying, and curing process. My customers who tried dispensary weed came back to me because my weed is better and my prices are lower.

Make Sure Your Product is Properly Processed & Presented

I just mentioned how a lot of legal weed is crappy not just due to boring genetics but because commercial producers bake it in ovens or dehydrators, spray it with too much pest control garbage and other crap, harvest too early or too late, don’t allow enough time or use best methods for drying and curing.

Their shipping and packaging further damages cannabinoid and terpenoid longevity, and their storage of product (often in glass jars on shelves in stores) contributes to potency degradation. What’s more, I’ve found storage mold and other contaminants in commercial cannabis, even in states where cannabis is allegedly inspected before it goes to the sales floor.

In contrast, you as a black market craft connoisseur grower can carefully harvest at exactly the right time. You can do long drying and curing regimens in controlled conditions to give your buds the exact moisture content, scent and taste that makes consumers ecstatic. You can store your buds in the freezer or top part of your refrigerator and deliver them to your customers so when they open the container, the delicious scent overpowers them and they’re happy to hand you their money.

Grow Exactly What Your Customers Want

I have nearly a dozen regular customers who depend on me for weed. When legalization happened, some went to dispensaries to see if they could do better than buying from me. They couldn’t.

One reason they prefer my marijuana menu is I grow cannabis strains and process the strains specifically for each customer. For example, one customer is an athlete who wants Sativa stimulus for competitions, but he also wants high-CBD, Indica and Kush buds for pain relief. Another of my customers is a person with insomnia who loves only pure Indica. Another has a fondness for specific strains created by obscure breeders, so I had to track down and contact those reclusive breeders and beg them for seeds so I could grow what my customer preferred. I grow strains for customers that I’d never grow for myself, because their satisfaction is what pays my bills.

I do incremental harvesting of certain strains because I know that early or late harvests of those strains have the cannabinoid and terpenoid profiles specific customers prefer. The more attention you show to your customers’ needs by matching what you grow and provide to what they want, the better for your business.

Offer Free Samples, Bonuses, Referral Rewards

Take a look at how non-marijuana businesses recruit and retain customers. They treat them like gold, and black market marijuana growers can build loyalty and recurring sales by doing the same things.

I offer my customers bulk discounts if they buy more than three ounces at a time. I offer them smaller discounts if they guarantee to buy at least an ounce per month. If they refer a new customer to me who becomes a recurring purchaser, I give the referring customer a discount. When they’ve purchased a significant quantity in a specified calendar period, I give them bonus weed or concentrates as a thank-you gift.

When I have new strains of cannabis and can’t figure out because I’m too high all the time just how great the cannabis is, I use my customers as guinea pigs. They love it when I give them free samples. All I ask is that they use the samples when they have a clean head so they can evaluate the potency, effects, taste and scent accurately. Their feedback lets me know if the strain is a keeper.

Anything you do to show your customers that you value them as people, rather than being a relentlessly greedy vulture only in it for the money, builds loyalty and rapport that ensures income and stability in your marijuana growing and selling business.

Make Extracts & Concentrates

The only place the white market marijuana industry can do what we black market growers can’t do is in the making and marketing of marijuana beverages, extracts, edibles, and other processed products. The equipment, money, time and chemistry expertise needed to run C02 extraction and other high-tech cannabis processing are beyond the scope of most home growers.  Some commercially-produced concentrates and other processed cannabis goods are much better than what black market growers can create.

However, there are plenty of low-tech methods for making cannabis concentrates your customers will love. Dry sift sieved cannabis is super easy and results in a tasty concentrate that combusts or dabs well and has about 60% THC.

It’s easy to make cannabis oils and tinctures using coconut oil, glycerin, pure alcohol, and other materials so you transfer cannabinoids and terpenoids into carrier materials. I personally dislike making edibles and medibles because I’m terrible at cooking, but other members of the Growing Marijuana Perfectly team make gourmet marijuana brownies, pastries, beverages and other tasty treats with standardized cannabinoid percentages.

Don’t surrender the edibles, tincture, hashish, concentrates, oils sales to dispensaries. You can and should make your own. My customers increase their spending by buying the same amount of buds they always did, while also buying my processed goodies.

As you can easily see, you don’t have to be intimidated or shut down by the legalized marijuana industry. Whether you live in a totally legal state like Colorado, Washington, or California, a partially legalized state, a state adjoining a legalized state, or a total prohibitionist state, you can and will meet people who want cannabis.

Which brings me to my last tactic—safely communicate to people that you know a professional cannabis grower and seller who has superior marijuana for sale. You’ll be surprised how many people want cannabis, especially high-CBD cannabis. (Read this article about growing the best high-CBD marijuana strains).

Obviously, be prudent and cautious when reaching out to people. Loose lips sink ships. But when you let trustworthy people know the finest marijuana is available, a surprisingly high percentage of them will want to try it, especially if you offer free samples first.

Just remember—never let anyone know you’re growing marijuana. Pretend you’re the mule, just a middleman. That way, if something goes wrong, the customer is less likely to successfully nark you. The less they know about you, the better.

The white market cannabis industry and their allies in government and the police forces want to eliminate black market growers. They’re working hard to do that in Canada and the USA. Lots of raids and harsher penalties have happened due to increased efforts against black market cultivators. And many black market growers, seed breeders and others who’ve tried to comply with state law to become legal have found it’s a waste of money and time.

I’ll never buy marijuana from anyone, especially not a legal dispensary or recreational outlet. I don’t trust them or their products. I only trust myself. I grow strains I’ve made myself that perfectly suit my needs and desires.

So even if I’m living where it’s illegal to grow your own, I’m going to keep growing cannabis, just like I have for many years. It’s not just about making money. It’s about having the best marijuana.

So I say this to all black market growers: stay covert, grow better cannabis than the commercial people can, treat your customers like gold, and continue to enjoy black market marijuana success!