To get around the enormous barriers to entry for California’s legal marijuana industry, a growing number of small farmers are increasingly turning to a practice mainstream agriculture has used for generations: so-called “contract farming.”

It’s a different business model from regular employment by a cultivation company, and the types of contracts can vary widely.

In short, landowners obtain local and state cultivation permits and then bring on experienced marijuana growers to do the actual farming, with the promise of splitting profits from the crop.

Contract cannabis farming gaining popularity in California, but practice draws lawsuits