Top 10 Careers in Cannabis to Pay Attention to In 2020
What are the Top Careers in Cannabis? A Master Grower or Master Extractor can make up to $150,000 a year, but CEOs in the Cannabis Industry can make ten times that!
Did you know that jobs in the legal cannabis industry pay 11% more than the median US salary in other industries? It’s no wonder so many people are interested in finding cannabis industry jobs.
Have you found yourself considering looking for jobs in the marijuana industry, but aren’t sure if there’s a place for you?
Many compare the cannabis industry now to that of the Internet industry in the early 2000s. While some companies like Pets.com didn’t make it, others, like Google, thrived. Imagine getting in on the ground floor with a company like Google? Now is your chance in the cannabis industry!
It’s projected that by 2022, there will be an additional 340,000 full-time cannabis industry jobs. Even if you’re not interested in working directly with marijuana, there still could be a spot for you in this growing industry.
Some careers in cannabis are entry-level and others require quite a bit of experience and expertise. Let’s take a look at some of the top jobs in cannabis for 2020.
- Budtender, Dispensary Tech, Dispensary Agent
This entry-level cannabis industry job is highly sought after. When a customer comes into a dispensary, you’ll be the face they see! In order to succeed in this role, you’ll need stellar interpersonal skills and a knack for customer service.
Another important part of this job is being able to help people find what product their looking for, as well as checking IDs and medical cards. Many states are now requiring dispensary training for all dispensary employees. Even in states that don’t require training it goes to reason that trained applicants get the job over non-trained applicants most of the time.
While you might not make a huge salary to start, promotions happen quickly in the cannabis industry and many dispensary managers started out as budtenders a few years prior.
- Cultivation Site Worker/Trimmer
Another great entry-level cannabis job. Lots of people entering the cannabis industry will get their feet wet as trimmers. While working at the cultivation site, you’ll be responsible for trimming the leaves and removing buds from the stems in preparation for curing and sale.
If you’re interested in becoming a master grower or anything higher up on the cultivation side of the industry, this is a great place to start. You’ll get first-hand experience with the growing process, which will be invaluable as you work your way up in your career. As we discussed, promotions happen quickly, so you can easily go from Trimmer to Site Cultivation Worker to Asst. Grower in just a couple years.
- Dispensary Manager
This is a great position for someone with management experience in retail or prior experience in pharmacology or prior experience working as a Team Lead for a Cannabis Dispensary.
As the manager, you’ll be the face of the dispensary. That means that you’re responsible for interacting with law enforcement, inspectors, landlords and vendors and it’s your job to manage the dispensary’s staff. However, with more pay comes more responsibility – a bad manager can destroy a dispensary very quickly.
- Delivery Driver
As a delivery driver in the cannabis industry, there are two different roles you could fulfill.
The first is providing house calls for medical patients who are unable to go to the dispensary, in states that allow for home deliveries. This is a job for a compassionate and patient person with a clean driving record. It is pretty much a travelling Budtender.
The other way you could be a marijuana delivery driver is acting as a courier for the company. This means that you’d be responsible for driving the cannabis from the cultivation center to either the dispensary or a processing center. This usually requires previous armored truck experience, military or police experience.
Far from an entry-level position, this is a high-paying, highly competitive job that comes with high risks.
An extractor is responsible for making cannabis concentrates or products through different chemical processes. This is a role for a very skilled and highly-trained person because if done improperly it could lead to explosions in the lab.
Most extractors have been working in a cannabis extraction lab for many years and most also have a degree in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. Experience extractors for larger companies can make upwards of $180,000/year!
- Laboratory Workers
Testing labs are essential to the legal cannabis industry and more of them are opening every year.
Lab testing is a way that state and local governments can ensure that patients are receiving safe products. In testing cannabis, lab testers check to make sure there are the proper levels of cannabinoids present, as well as making sure there are no heavy metals or pesticides.
In order to work in a cannabis testing lab, there are a number of requirements you have to fulfill. Find out if you have what it takes to work in a testing lab.
- Sales and Marketing
As the industry continues to expand throughout the nation, companies are hiring Sales and Marketing people to represent their products. This could mean B2B sales interstate or intrastate, depending on the products. If this is your field and you’re looking to break into the cannabis industry, you’re in luck!
Cannabis Sales position requirements are like sales position requirements in any other industry. If you have a proven track record in sales, you can be successful in cannabis sales as well. Many of these jobs are even done remote, so you don’t have to live in the area of the company you are marketing.
- Master Grower
Also known as the Director of Cultivation, this position requires years of growing experience in the legal cannabis industry and/or a degree horticulture.
As the master grower, it’s your responsibility to manage a team of growers as well as interact with law enforcement and compliance inspectors. You’ll also be overseeing the planting, feeding, and watering process, and keep a detailed daily log of lighting, chemical use, and any other factors that could affect the growing process. A master grower, with years of legal experience, can make upwards of $150,000/year for larger companies.
If you’re interested in working security in the marijuana industry, there are plenty of opportunities. Cannabis is a valuable product and still catches a pretty penny on the black market, so it’s important for companies to protect their staff, the patients, and their products. There are often security guards at both dispensaries and cultivation centers for everyone’s safety.
If you have experience in security, police, military or corrections experience, you would be qualified for Cannabis Security positions. Close caption TV monitoring experience is also a plus.
This is another way to jump in on the marijuana industry without coming in direct contact with the plants.
An accountant in the cannabis business would be much like one in any other business, responsible for keeping track of the finances, payroll, taxes, budgets and much more. However, cannabis is a regulated by the IRS differently than any other industry. So be prepared to learn a whole new tax law if you decide to switch into the marijuana industry.
Which Marijuana Jobs is Right For You?
As you can see, there are careers in cannabis for people with all different types of interests, experience and expertise. Whether your strength is in science, farming, business or customer service, there’s a place for you to get in on the action.
Have you decided you’re going to pursue a job in the marijuana industry? Head over to our cannabis and hemp industry job openings page. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blogs for more awesome articles about the cannabis industry and cannabis industry jobs!