Eager to have a career in the cannabis industry? There are tens of thousands of new jobs created every year in this sector, and companies need great employees now more than ever as the growth continues.
- You should be well-versed in the plant, industry trends and practices, and legalities surrounding the cannabis industry as a whole
- The more experience and expertise you can offer, the better!
- Cannabis industry jobs have backgrounds in various roles and can be tailored to all kinds of unique skill sets
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Getting into the Marijuana Industry
It’s the fastest growing industry in the country and it’s the most complex legal issue for the economy. Who wouldn’t want to roll the dice and take advantage of the green rush before the floodgates open? In order to make the most of your first interviews with companies working in the cannabis industry, we recommend taking the time to consider these tips.
Get to Know The Plant Itself
How much do you know about cannabis itself? Can you explain the difference between indica and sativa? What about the difference between ice water hash and BHO? Have you tried growing yourself? Having a holistic, educational foundation of cannabis will help you further appreciate the industry and help you relate to potential employers who live and breathe weed. It is very obvious to an employer if you are just in it for the money–most companies seek employees who are both passionate about the plant and skilled in what they do. Possessing only one of these qualities will simply not be enough.
Stay in Tune with Legal Issues
Are you following the legislative changes that are occurring in your state? By keeping a pulse on the regulations in the market, you’ll be fully aware of changes that could disrupt or reveal new opportunities. This awareness is a huge asset to companies constantly operating in legal gray areas. In fact, if you go to any cannabis business conference, the investor presentation will always stress that understanding the regulatory framework is a much greater predictor of success than your personal business acumen.
Know the Companies Impressing You
Have you done research on the best companies in the industry today? There are only a select few setting high standards and providing a level of product quality, customer experience, and corporate responsibility that’s on par with other established industries. Recognizing the techniques being used by the best firms will help you identify where you want to work and how you can add value to their company mission.
Apply Your Non Cannabis Skill Set
Talent is extremely hard to come by in the industry today. Whether your specialty is content, customer service, creative, operations, management, legal, agriculture…you name it, every company needs all-star employees and your background in other roles is extremely valuable. The cannabis industry is comprised of hundreds of ancillary companies that are required to keep the businesses that touch the plant operational–security services, credit unions, and staffing agencies are just a few examples.
Demonstrate Value for Free
Most cannabis firms are being raked over the coals by brutal taxing structures and operate on a shoestring budget. If you really want to get into the industry, offer your time. Everyone is running short on it, but if you can demonstrate your value to a potential employer by giving them nothing more than your undivided effort and attention, they will notice.
Create Your Own Role
A lot of cannabis companies are understaffed, so if you see a company that could really use an events manager, or a marketing director, don’t be afraid to pitch the creation of a new role within a firm. Just because they aren’t advertising a position doesn’t mean they don’t need the help.
Start Your Own Company
If you’re feeling the entrepreneurial spirit, there are huge swaths of the market being completely under-served or even ignored altogether. Whether you go it alone or with a business partner, you’ll begin the ride of a lifetime.
Unique Jobs in Cannabis to Consider
Below are 15 jobs to consider for your first foray into the world of cannabis. These jobs have backgrounds in various roles and can be tailored to all kinds of unique skill sets. There’s a job for everyone in the cannabis industry and we hope you find your dream role—the more people invested in the Mary Jane movement the faster we succeed!
Every brand wants its products where the transactions are being made: dispensaries. A sales rep bridges the gap between brands and dispensaries by helping a company land lucrative in-store real estate. If you’ve held a sales rep position in another industry, this position may just be your ticket into the world of working with cannabis.
Do you have experience as a buyer? Along with sales reps, dispensaries need discerning buyers to evaluate all the potential product offers they receive and decide which products the dispensary will sell. You should probably know both the plant and the ancillary market for this role.
Whether people are looking for the best legal cannabis products or simply just want to take a peak inside a dispensary, 420 tourism has become a huge draw for visitors in legal states. If you have an endless trough of weed knowledge and love sharing your favorite spots, companies are always looking for great tour guides for dispensary tours and cannabis-themed experiences. Prior experience and a positive attitude are always a plus.
Strain Reviewer / Writer
Love to smoke and write? Have an excellent nose and palette for the plant? There are plenty of cannabis-oriented blogs that have whole sections of their website dedicated to strain and product reviews. Depending on the amount of cannabis that you review and write about, you can make a great living! Another plus: Most companies offer the product for free when you review it.
Love working in a science lab? Extraction companies in legal states strive to produce the highest-potency THC and CBD concentrates in the world for people who need extremely high dosages. Extractors in the cannabis industry can make upwards of six figures and there’s room to grow should you start as an extraction assistant.
Are you a chef or baker looking to elaborate on your skillset? All you need to do is add a little cannabis oil to your recipes and you’re in business. If you’re just getting started in the industry, entry-level and mid-level edibles chef salaries range around $28,000-$40,000. As you move your way up the employee chain, sous chefs and head chefs can make upwards of $90,000 a year or more!
Before marijuana flower hits dispensary shelves, the plant has to be trimmed. If you’re fast with a pair of scissors and love getting in the zone, this is a great option for an entry-level position in the cannabis industry. While the salary for a trimmer is on the lower end—$20,000-$25,000 a year—it’s a great way to get your foot in the door for higher-paying opportunities in the future.
Always had a green thumb? States with legal cannabis programs are starved for quality farmers who love cultivating medicine for their patients. Whether you’re looking for an entry-level position or have years of experience growing marijuana, there are plenty of grower positions with healthy salaries. Assistant growers can make anywhere between $30,000-$70,000 and master growers can earn over six figures.
Every cannabis business needs a law firm and/or attorney to represent the company but not every law firm will touch a cannabis case or client. Marijuana-specific business attorneys and law offices serve the cannabis industry and are always in need of more attorneys for this niche. Salaries for cannabis attorneys are comparable to other industries.
While most dispensaries accept major credit and debit cards, there are some shops that still operate as cash only. Because of the high volume of cash that can be in a store at one time, employees and the business need protection and transportation services. Security officers can make a healthy living, depending on your experience.
If you’re someone who thrives on human interaction and you love educating people on the qualities and benefits of cannabis, budtending should be on your radar. Budtenders stand behind the counter at dispensaries and help customers purchase the cannabis products they want and need. The average budtender salary in the United States, as of March, 2020, is $35,000.
Love driving, but not necessarily other people? The future of cannabis certainly has a delivery component to it, so look for the startups trying to make it happen. Delivery drivers are increasing in demand and can make well over $30,000 a year. All you need to become a delivery driver is a working vehicle and valid driver’s license.
Have a background in politics and law? Whether you’re for or against cannabis, the social and political war for complete legalization rages on. Use your skills to regulate the cannabis industry.
Web Development Provider
Cannabis companies need great websites just like every other business today. Specializing in cannabis-centric branding and marketing will make you relatable and relevant to young companies looking for help. Web developers, including in the cannabis industry, make a killing, so transfer those web skills into online sales.
Ready to run a retail store and be your own boss? It’s not out of the question to open your own dispensary or cannabis company. If you can build the team and have the connections to the industry, it’s time to launch your own brand!