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Cannabis Careers: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Cannabis Careers

Getting a job in the Cannabis industry is the new gold rush. The marijuana business is lit. With total market sales set to exceed $24 billion by 2025, the U.S. cannabis industry will create roughly 300,000 jobs by 2020—eclipsing the projected job growth of manufacturing, according to a recent report from New Frontier Data, a business intelligence firm focused on cannabis. Competition is fierce. Despite the growth, there are more people interested in cannabis careers than jobs available.

Cannabis jobs include not only the cultivation, processing and dispensing of the cannabis plant, but also several other jobs types as well. They’ll need drivers for delivering cannabis, computer programmers and marketers for websites. In fact, specialized services for many cannabis companies have already surfaced. There are many ways you can find a job in the cannabis industry.

Take a Hard Look at Your Skills

While the cannabis industry is new and the cannabis has unique properties, it’s still a business. It may sound awesome to be an extractor or grower. Unless you’ve the right kind of experience, you will need to start at entry level.

It’s important to take a look at your skills and let them determine the best place for your initial placement. It doesn’t mean that’s where you will stay because you can learn new skills. For example, you may have experience in marketing. They’ll hire you for as a marketer, but you’ll learn about cannabis dispensing, etc.

You can take that knowledge and use it to move into the area of your preference. The cannabis sector has many options that you can fit into. You need to first have the proper skills or start in an entry level position.

Cannabis Careers: Your Many Options

The cannabis industry is that…an industry. It’s not a single job or position, but encompasses many areas. Your skills dictate what areas you’re best suited for, but there are many options.


Agriculture is an important aspect of the cannabis trade. There are large scale farms and smaller more experimental farms throughout the United States. They you’re your traditional marijuana strains and they also experiment with new strains with varying levels of THC and CBD.

There are many positions available in this industry from the master grower, who knows everything about the cultivation of the cannabis plant, then there is the cultivation site manager and site workers, trimmers, clone technicians, fertigation managers and water filtration systems experts and security just to name a few.

Each of these jobs is indispensable to the cultivation and manufacture of cannabis. They’re sought after marijuana industry jobs.


Marijuana growers need a place to sell their wares, and your local dispensary is the place. Dispensaries can sell either medical marijuana only or both medical and recreational marijuana, depending on state laws. There are strict state regulations about selling both. Dispensaries are under heavy scrutiny by law enforcement. They’re still illegal under federal law.

It’s extremely important that people who work in the dispensaries are trained in the laws and procedures. They and the parent company can face punishment if they make mistakes. When interviewing applicants, they’ll look for people with an eye for detail and those who know how to assist patients properly on day one. Even a small mistake can lead to fines for dispensary and potentially a loss of license.

Jobs in the dispensaries include the owner, which could be a person or a corporation with a board of directors. The budtender is the person that sells the cannabis. The store manager oversees everything. In same states, a dispatcher keeps everything orderly for the delivery drivers. There’s also a receptionist, accountant, marketer/website developer and sometimes security.

With the strict guidelines, the accountant, owner and store manager have very important jobs to make sure the money flows and they follow all procedures to the letter.

Cannabis industry jobs in marketing are different than traditional marketing positions. Cannabis has many restrictions on how companies can market it. For example, even if it’s legal in the state, Google will not allow you to run ads. Marketers must understand how to get the word out without breaking any rules.

Everyone needs a website and cannabis sellers are no different. Web programmers and software developers create apps, websites and more. When you have websites, accounting and other computer needs, you need an IT person to handle it all. We can’t forget about the cannabis plant tour guide or the glassblower.

Ancillary Cannabis Businesses

There are people in the cannabis industry that don’t have to work or handle the cannabis. They are part of the support services that provide necessary tools to grow and sell the product, like HempStaff.

People don’t only smoke and vape marijuana, there is a large industry for edibles and other cannabis products. There are many companies that make the needed packaging for these cannabis products, such as edible packaging or vape batteries and cartridges.

Breaking Into the Cannabis Industry

You’ve heard of the saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Cannabis is a billion dollar industry, so companies can be choosy with employees. With such competition in the industry, networking very is important. This can help get your foot in the door and give you a leg up on the competition.

Visit cannabis networking events and trade shows and get to know the people behind the scenes. Take cannabis training courses to expand your knowledge.

Your skills are important, but tailor them to the cannabis industry. Learn about state and federal laws, procedures and how your skills can improve their operation. As we mentioned before, states regulate the marijuana industry. They need people that understand their legal limits.

You may have extensive experience with cannabis, but don’t go to the job interview looking like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. It’s a job interview, so wear the appropriate attire. This is a business and not a frat house, look and act professional…and don’t sample the product beforehand. Prepare for it like you would any other job interview.

Living the High Life

The marijuana industry is booming and doesn’t show signs of slowing any time soon. New dispensaries and farms pop up every day throughout the Unites States and Canada. Jobs are growing at a record pace, but so is competition.

People can break into the industry and live the high life with successful cannabis careers if they follow these tips. For more information about the cannabis industry or breaking into the industry, visit our website.