Explore the Opportunities in the Cannabis Industry

The legal marijuana and cannabis industry have created new job creation and categories. See if you can find your fit!

nd categories. See if you can find your fit!

1. Master Extractor—$80K to $250K+

When it comes to high-paying medical marijuana careers, it’s hard to beat this one. Master extractors usually get paid so well because they have a very rare combination of expertise. Their job involves overseeing the production of safe and effective oils and concentrates from harvested marijuana plants. They accurately extract precise amounts of THC and/or CBD (the main active components of cannabis). They also manage their laboratory facilities and adhere to strict safety standards and government regulations. So in order to get into this career, you generally need a PhD in biochemistry as well as some engineering expertise.

2. Master Grower—$50K to $120K+

Without the reliable cultivation of healthy marijuana plants, there can be no cannabis industry. That’s why the specialists who manage big grow operations are often paid handsomely for their work. Planting, cloning, crop nutrition, pest management, grow-house technology, and staffing are all factors that need to be overseen by a master cannabis grower. Jobs of this type also frequently require interaction with law enforcement and compliance inspectors. But when they do their jobs well, many master growers receive large bonuses or a cut of the profits in addition to their good salaries. Most people with this career have a background in botany or horticulture as well as plenty of experience with the cultivation of cannabis.

3. Marijuana Tester or Quality-Control Inspector—$50K to $100K+

This kind of cannabis professional helps ensure that marijuana products comply with health, safety, and potency standards. They can work for cannabis companies or government departments or agencies. In some cases, they may help inspect and enforce marijuana cultivation laws and regulations (including those that apply to the use of pesticides). You may need a PhD in a related scientific field such as biology, agronomy, chemistry, or entomology in order to get a marijuana tester job like this.

4. Edibles Chef—$40K to $90K+

People who’ve had culinary arts training can pursue this avenue of marijuana employment. Companies that produce edible cannabis products need skilled chefs and pastry artists to develop, create, and help oversee the production of various food items. Marijuana or marijuana extracts can be infused into candies, chocolates, baked treats, soda, coffee, tea, and all kinds of other edible products at very precise doses.

5. Dispensary Manager—$40K to $75K+

Marijuana dispensaries represent a huge portion of the cannabis industry. Like other kinds of stores, they are complex retail operations that require good management. That’s why a lot of dispensary owners actively recruit experienced retail professionals from high-end apparel stores and other types of quality retail outlets. Some medical marijuana dispensary owners also seek people with a background in pharmacology. In addition to a good salary, managers often get performance bonuses, health insurance, and paid vacation time. Dispensary careers like this can also lead to advanced opportunities that come with six-figure salaries and involve overseeing multiple stores.

6. Extraction Technician—$27K to $43K+

Marijuana extraction techs generally work under the supervision of a master extractor. They are the ones who operate the sophisticated equipment that produces high-quality oils and concentrates (like shatter) from marijuana plants. They are also frequently tasked with controlling laboratory inventory and ensuring that work areas stay safe and clean. Employers typically prefer candidates who have some kind of science education.

7. Budtender—$21K to $40K+

Are you a people person? Budtender jobs involve helping dispensary customers choose the best strains of cannabis for their particular needs. It’s a role that requires good listening, sales, and customer service skills. It also requires knowing the differences between sativa, indica, and hybrid strains and understanding how different levels or combinations of THC and CBD might affect someone. Like fine wine, different strains of Mary Jane also have their own flavor and aroma profiles. So, in some respects, the job can be similar to bartending or being a sommelier. That’s why people who regularly purchase medical or recreational marijuana from licensed dispensaries often develop a friendly rapport with their budtenders. In addition to good hourly wages, a lot of budtenders earn tips.

8. Dispensary Receptionist or Cashier—$20K to $37K+

Many cannabis dispensaries hire people for the front end of their stores to greet customers, answer phone calls, and handle final sales transactions. At medical marijuana dispensaries, workers in this role are also frequently responsible for verifying customers’ prescriptions, identification, and eligibility for making purchases. It’s an entry-level role, but good employees often get promoted to more advanced dispensary jobs relatively quickly.

9. Marijuana Courier—$19K to $35K+

Medical marijuana jobs that involve delivering products to customers’ homes can keep you physically active, especially if a bicycle is your method of transportation. Of course, delivery drivers are also common. In addition to (or instead of) an hourly wage, some cannabis dispensaries pay sales commissions to their couriers. You can also earn good tips.

10. Trimmer, Harvester, or Cultivator—$17K to $41K+

Weed-trimming jobs are probably the most common entry-level opportunities in the cannabis industry. They involve removing buds from the stems of harvested marijuana plants and trimming off the largest leaves on those buds so that they have good visual appeal. This job requires speed, precision, and a careful approach that minimizes waste. Trimmed buds get sorted, weighed, and dried in preparation for sale at dispensaries. Bud-trimming positions have become the most popular marijuana jobs in Colorado (and some other states) for people who might otherwise work as lower-paid cooks or dishwashers in the restaurant industry.

Entry-level harvesting and cultivation jobs are closely related to trimming positions. They involve helping growers gather or take care of cannabis crops in a grow-house or on a marijuana farm. Jobs of this kind tend to be rather physical in nature. But people who enjoy gardening or landscaping are often a good fit for these types of marijuana jobs. California will continue to have some of the best growing-related positions thanks to its great year-round climate.

11. Marijuana or Edibles Packager—$17K to $40K+

Like marijuana trimming jobs, packaging positions are often good routes into the cannabis industry. They simply involve safely and efficiently packaging cannabis or cannabis-infused products for distribution and sale. After a little experience, you can often move into a more advanced role.


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