As the cannabis industry continues to grow so does the need for qualified professionals. Cannabis careers draw from a variety of skill sets, training, and professional backgrounds to fill positions in cultivation, distribution, and sales. In addition, there are scores of jobs that support the industry such as marketing and accounting.
Top Pay, Benefits, and a Professional Work Environment
The best cannabis careers offer top pay, benefits, and professional work environment. Even though the industry is young, it’s already providing more than 200,000 jobs nationwide. Thriving cannabis companies need staff at every level and function much the same as any other business. There are positions that handle the cannabis product and others that don’t touch it at all.
If you’ve got a chemistry background, one of the best cannabis careers to have is a master extractor. This position manages the safe production of cannabis oil and concentrates from the mature marijuana plant. During the extraction process, the master extractor isolates the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes to produce formula specific cannabis products. They are also in charge of all of the health and safety requirements of the laboratory. This job generally requires a Ph.D. in biochemistry and can earn anywhere from 80-250k.
Marijuana Tester/Quality Control
Marijuana testers and quality control experts are typically employed by the cannabis company or a government agency tasked with compliance. These positions may require a scientific degree and knowledge of agronomy, biology, or entomology. At this job you’ll be inspecting marijuana grows for adherence to safety regulations. Out of all of the cannabis careers, this one would be the best title to put on a business card and it can earn you between 50-100k.
A background in retail will position you well for a dispensary manager job. These positions are often filled by people from established retail chains or those with pharmacology experience. The dispensary manager is responsible for overseeing the total operation of the dispensary or in some cases multiple dispensaries. In addition to earning between 47-75k, these jobs generally include benefits and opportunities for advancement.
Cannabis Careers Without Cannabis
There are so many opportunities to work in the cannabis industry even if you’re not a Ph.D. or a farmer. All of these new cannabis businesses need the same services that any traditional company would need. If they’re just starting out they’ll need an identity and require the services of a marketing agency or a branding expert. In addition, companies selling packaged goods will require the services of a package designer and print shop.
There are opportunities for bookkeepers and CPAs as well as a variety of tech-oriented positions. Cannabis dispensaries have websites with online shopping carts that require the skills of a web developer and all of those websites need content which comes from creative talent. Moreover, these businesses need legal counsel to help them navigate the evolving marijuana laws. This is merely a snapshot of the opportunity landscape when it comes to cannabis.
While the cannabis industry is relatively young, it does not lack opportunity. One can choose to work closely with cannabis or in more of a supporting role. The highly educated can find a place in cannabis and people with retail management experience are highly sought after. It’s an industry that can infuse the economy by generating work for companies in many different sectors. If you want to work in cannabis, consider your skillset and how it can be applied to a cannabis career. Chances are, you already have what it takes to break into cannabis.