As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana, the number of cannabis jobs opportunities is rapidly growing.
An estimated 243,700 workers make their living in the new green industry, an impressive 15% year-over-year increase. This makes now the perfect time to get in on the ground floor of a booming, $9.1 billion industry.
While some of the marijuana jobs are common in most industries (you always need a bookkeeper, for example), others are new and unique.
Our guide breaks down how to get a job in the marijuana industry: From types of jobs available, the skills needed to snag them, and marijuana-centered job boards.
First, let’s check out the most exciting cannabis industry jobs:
Exciting Marijuana Jobs
“Budtenders” (sometimes referred to as Dispensary Agents or other less playful titles) work at dispensaries answering customer product questions. Don’t expect this job to be smoking a bowl and casually chatting about pot.
Budtenders are expected to move product and make expert recommendations. You’ll need a good amount of people skills, in addition to product knowledge, and most dispensaries will expect you to do it sober.
Former bartenders and workers with exceptional customer service would do well as budtenders.
Does working with your hands surrounded by greenery sound appealing? If so, working as a trimmer might be the right choice for you.
Trimmers are entry level workers who manicure and trim growing cannabis plants for Growers. Trimmers earn around $12-15 an hour and can be a great job to learn the industry from the ground up.
3. Edible Maker/Baker
As marijuana becomes legalized, more people are looking for ways other than smoking to partake. Enter your average edible maker, producing cookies, candies, cakes, and other delicacies laden with THC.
If you want to hang up your own shingle, you will have to file state-specific paperwork. Otherwise, you can simplify your job search by finding a bakery or dispensary hiring.
4. Cannabis Extractor
Every industry has its scientists, and in the marijuana industry, that’s the Cannabis Extractors. A cannabis extractor is a trained worker who separates the cannabinoid-rich trichomes from cannabis flowers using complicated (and sometimes flammable) equipment.
Workers with a chemistry or other science based degree will have an edge in landing this job. However, since the industry is so new and lacking in experienced applicants, don’t count yourself out based on your degree.
A Grower is just what it sounds like- A person responsible for farming marijuana. You will need some business knack and an understanding of state laws to succeed in the complicated, if lucrative world of legal cannabis.
Getting the sought-after cultivation license is the first step. From there you will need start-up funds and equipment and tools for cultivation.
However, you will reap the profits of your harvest and be your own boss, all while growing something a little more exciting than wheat.
Other common marijuana jobs
Not all marijuana-industry jobs involve skills or experiences unique to the industry. Cannabis companies need many of the same, common jobs other mainstream companies need to function. Below, we highlight some careers currently in demand:
- Delivery driver
- Web Developer
- Production Manager
- Security Guard
- Store Manager
Cannabis Job Boards
There are also several niche job hunting boards with a focus on marijuana jobs. We list some of the more prominent ones below:
Pros And Cons Of Working Marijuana Jobs
- Rapidly growing industry
- Opportunities for workers of all skill levels
- Potential discounts and freebies
- Heavily regulated
- Not federally legal
- Different state laws
- Future employers outside of industry may stigmatize you
Above we highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of working a legal marijuan job. Ultimately, cannabis is a growing industry with lots of job opportunities.
Workers of all skill and education levels can find employment in the industry, from trimmer to budtender to savvy marijuana marketer, there’s something for everyone.
For those who enjoy partaking personally or are passionate advocates of medicinal marijuana, there may also be a deep personal satisfaction from working green.
However, as marijuana is still federally illegal, there are some strong cons. Should you choose to leave the industry, you might encounter prejudice from employers who assume a former budtender is a “lazy stoner” or other negative stereotypes.
Similarly, since legal marijuana is handled at the state level, even states with legalization have different laws. Moving from one state to another could heavily impact your job- and maybe even mean your career is now a crime.
While legalization is becoming more common and many experts expect more and more states to join the green wave, there are no guarantees.