Let me start off by stressing the following list is comprised of eight ways to get paid for smoking weed except for having a job in the cannabis industry, such as a budtender or product designer. I assume if you are working for Bloom Farms they are paying you.
Additionally, a few entries on this list will require you to have a large social media following, although a modest one should work just as well. The key here is exposure, meaning getting your brand of “dankness” into as many people’s system as possible.
Post Original Pot Pics On Social Media
Got a camera? Of course you don’t. Who the hell besides a photographer has a camera anymore? But you do have a phone, right? Hopefully, it’s relatively smart, as a flip phone won’t cut it for this method to work.
First step: sign up for the following social media accounts– Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Another site you may have heard of, Reddit is an option, as are many others–I’ll leave it up to you to decide which ones are most effective.
Got those original pot pics sorted out? Great. Post them to the above social media sites with a cannabis-related affiliate URL linked in. Your affiliate link could be an Amazon product or a cannabis affiliate or any affiliate link for that matter. Since they are original pictures, they will be shown throughout search engine results and you will soon be making passive income from purchases made through your affiliate link.
The key here is trial and error. If you’re not seeing results from one pic post another. Also, don’t feel you need to stick to pot pics. You could post pics of bongs or cannabis gear, for example, and still use the aforementioned method. In my experience, folks on social media respond very well to meme’s, videos and anything that provides informative value.
Be a 420 Blogger
If you enjoy writing, smoking weed and don’t mind learning the ins and outs of running a website; being a 420 blogger just might be the profitable niche you’ve been looking for.
I’ve written a lengthier article about the subject, but here’s the short and sweet: you won’t get paid for actually writing about weed, rather you get paid through advertising, promoting affiliate products and even selling cannabis products (such as bongs, dab rigs, books, etc) directly on your site. Your content is what drives people to your site. If you do want to get paid for writing, however, many sites (most of the ones you commonly read, in fact) will pay you for submitting relevant and engaging articles.
Regarding advertising, methods used through such entities as Google Adsense and Facebook Ads are worthless due to your subject. Therefore your best bet for profiting from advertising revenue is Mantis and Traffic Roots, both of which work specifically with those in the cannabis industry. There are others, but these two are definitely the most widely used.
Make Marijuana-Related Videos on YouTube
Similar to promoting affiliate products on your website, you can do the same on a YouTube video (thereby increasing your visibility and consequently your coin). This method is by far one of the most profitable methods on the list, as YouTube receives millions of unique visitors a day. One way to increase your profit margin is by featuring Mantis ads. You get paid for each click on your ad, with each click averaging a few cents to a few dollars.
Note: YouTube, Instagram and Facebook have been stringently shutting down cannabis related channels and posts, hence why the link above is broken. While you may be successful at creating your own YouTube channel and following, it can be a bit of crapshoot when it comes to the longevity of your channel. Trust me, it sucks to put in all that effort in creating a channel and building an audience just to have it disappear one day. However, to learn more about how some folks were able to quit their day jobs and become YouTube cannabis celebrities, this article is an excellent start.
Be a Product Reviewer
You might not realize this (I certainly didn’t when I first started trying to make money from weed) but the road to riches is often paved with bongs, vapes, edibles and pot gear.
Reviewing products is a great way to get hooked up with free weed stuff (as well as free money). If you have a physical address readily available on your social media sites and website, you might find that some companies will reach out to you directly to review their products. Others might need some wooing, so don’t be afraid to proactively contact them. In return for providing you their product, you give them an honest product review and post it on your website and social media accounts. If you have a large enough audience you could actually charge for the review. Again, if you utilize YouTube, your website AND your Social Media accounts you will be sure to see results.
There are upsides and downsides to gaining sponsorship in the cannabis industry, especially seeing as it’s not even a thing yet. I mean, have you seen ads of Snoop Dogg promoting Absolute Xtracts new line of Strawberry Kush vape pens on FX? No, neither have I.
However, it is possible, granted you’ve got personality like that pig Arthur. There are many internet show host who are growing in popularity, like this guy who gets paid to travel and smoke weed.
You too could be the next Anthony Bourdain of pot by soliciting reputable cannabis companies to sponsor your travels.
Another option is for you to simply sponsor your damn self. Yes, to make money you often have to invest in your greatest asset, which is YOU. You could travel on your own dime and do different reviews of dispensaries, cannabis events and personalities in the states and cities where weed is legal (or soon will be). With recreational and medical cannabis now legal in states such as Nevada (and soon California), you could easily create your cult of pot personality.
Become a Cannabis Ambassador
No, I’m not talking about you applying to become the Ambassador of your country to Jamaica or Amsterdam or someplace, rather, you want to apply to become a cannabis brand ambassador through many of the reputable online cannabis dispensaries located in the United States and Canada. The process is damn easy and does not take much effort on your part to be approved. I personally stand by three online cannabis dispensaries located in the West Coast to work with–Eaze, Greenrush and Nugg. All three pay very reasonable commission rates. Nugg will pay you a very tangible $10 per referral. Greenrush will pay you $10 per referral and $2 every time they make a subsequent purchase (this adds up). Eaze is the most generous of the three, with a very tangy $15 in your PayPal account everytime someone makes a purchase through your affiliate link. I would be lying if I didn’t explicitly state this method, while the most potentially lucrative on the list, requires you to have some sort of platform (or platforms, ideally) through which to promote your link.
Be a Marijuana Tester
You see those ads or articles on your Facebook timeline that proclaim NASA will pay you $3,5000 a month to smoke weed? Yeah, no they won’t. Nor will any other company pay you to go through life offensively high. If that was the case then you wouldn’t have high school art teachers, TSA agents or half of PBS’s viewing audience as they would all be millionaires.
But there are some companies that will pay you to smoke their weed and write detailed reviews of each strains unique qualities. You want to check with major growers and distributors, especially those who have their own “brand” of cannabis. Remember, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Or in this case, paid.
Be a Weed Writer
If the idea of creating, maintaining AND providing the content of a website seems a bit daunting to you, there is the option of writing a book and publishing it yourself. Remember that bomb pot brownie recipe your degenerate grandmother left for you on her deathbed? Well, you could write a book of cannabis recipes. Have a penchant for art and not afflicted with drunk tremors? Create your own adult stoner coloring book. Do you know some aspect of weed really well, like horticulture? You could write your own grow book. Another option is to “brand” your own personality and detail your wacky adventures on the printed page–the possibilities are endless my friend.
Yet another option is to be a cannabis journalist. This is different from say, a cannabis blogger in that you are working with actual companies who will pay you to review some aspect of cannabis (not necessarily just the part you smoke).
Oregon Live recently published a position for a freelance pot smoker to review and write about different strains of cannabis-
“The candidate should be an experienced cannabis consumer with deep knowledge about the variety of strains and products available on the Oregon market. The items would appear 2-4 times a month on OregonLive and/or The Oregonian. “
The Denver post also offered a similar position-
“We are absolutely hiring a freelance pot critic. And a freelance pot advice columnist. And a freelance video game writer. What we’re doing here is covering cannabis culture and news from a professional, journalistic and critical point of view. If you think you have something to offer: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Okay, so maybe NASA won’t pay you to smoke weed. But guess what? Some other companies might. There are HUNDREDS of clinical trials out there this very moment. Many are being completed on a wide range of cannabis topics. Anything from how cannabis affects sleep to how it affects cancer cells.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.