There are more job opportunities than ever in the cannabis industry! It’s a year of growth, expansion, and prosperity. The best legal marijuana industry jobs aren’t easy to get but are becoming more accessible due to more favorable cannabis laws nationwide.
There’s also an increasing number of medical marijuana career opportunities for those willing to start from the ground up learning about marijuana as medicine and helping consumers find relief. If you’re looking for cannabis employment opportunities near you, here’s everything you need to know about finding a cannabis job in 2020.
Why Join The Cannabis Industry In 2020?
Cannabis legalization still faces opposition from lawmakers and constituents for many reasons. Opponents may fear an increase in impaired driving. Others worry that marijuana is a gateway drug. Some just view marijuana use as plain immoral.
Despite the detractors, the marijuana industry has been thriving and infusing legal states with a surge of legal marijuana industry jobs ranging from cannabis cooking jobs to marijuana extractions jobs to 420 product testers who sample and review cannabis products. In terms of industry and job growth, the sky’s the limit.
Cannabis is a Schedule I drug federally, while cannabidiol (CBD) has been descheduled and awaits regulation from the FDA for use in food, drinks, and supplements.
Because of the plant’s illegal status, cannabis companies face unique challenges when it comes to obtaining financing through traditional means. Banking hurdles and the inability to write-off certain business expenses has caused some growing pains in the industry.
The cannabis industry is still relatively in its infancy and may attract those willing to learn and grow from the industry’s unique hurdles. Despite these factors, many individuals have been serving the industry for years and even decades with much success. Today, having a full-time cannabis industry job has become more accessible than ever.
If you’re interested in a new challenge in a competitive industry, the marijuana industry is looking for people like you. It’s never been a better time to get in on the ground floor of companies poised for expansion. Get started on your cannabis career today.
How Competitive Is The Marijuana Industry?
Nearly anyone can join in on the fun and excitement that is the cannabis industry. 420 job opportunities range from entry-level bud trimmers to C-level executives. Jobs will differ in requirements on qualifications, education levels, and experience levels.
While competitive, the marijuana industry is set for remarkable growth. Analysts predict that the pot industry will employ an additional 340,000 full-time marijuana jobs by 2022.
If you want to be a part of the industry, you don’t even have to touch the plant. Apply for one of many ancillary job openings in sectors such as accounting, security, marketing, law firms, and more. These services are crucial to running a marijuana business.
243,700 American Cannabis Jobs And Counting
As of January 2020, Leafly estimates that legal marijuana supports 243,700 full-time jobs. That number is a 15 percent increase from last year’s job numbers. This continued growth has made the marijuana industry one of the fastest-growing industries in America. Jobs have doubled over the past four years creating nearly 121,000 full-time jobs.
Based on Leafly’s report, legal cannabis workers are projected to have significantly faster job growth than other fast-growing occupations. From 2018 to 2028, legal cannabis jobs are expected to grow 250 percent.
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the second-fastest-growing occupation is solar photovoltaic installers with a 63 percent job growth. Wind turbine service technicians have a growth rate of 57 percent. Home health aides and personal care aides come in at 37 and 36 percent growth, respectively.
Occupational therapists, information security analysts, statisticians, and nurse practitioners are also fast-growing jobs with about 30 percent job growth for them during the 2018 to 2028 time period.
According to Leafly’s estimates, 2019 was a big year for cannabis’ across the country, not just the West Coast. In 2019, medical sales in Oklahoma tripled to $350 million. The Sooner State created more than 7,000 full-time cannabis jobs. Pennsylvania’s medical dispensaries doubled their sales creating thousands of marijuana jobs. Ohio’s medical marijuana market grew at a 273 percent rate.
Cannabis Job Search Tips For 2020
The industry experienced fantastic growth in 2019 that is continuing into 2020 and beyond. Emerging recreational markets in Michigan and Illinois are set to step up their hiring to fill entry-level and advanced cannabis positions.
Missouri is set to experience triple-digit job growth to meet the staffing demand for the oncoming 192 medical dispensaries set to open in the coming year.
Some California towns that have retracted their prohibition of cannabis are opening their doors to the market and tax revenue. These towns are set to hire more cannabis industry applicants.
A few states are also expected to legalize marijuana use in November via ballot initiative.
As a presidential election looms in the near future, the cannabis industry eagerly awaits the vote. A win by a major Democratic presidential nominee could inch forward marijuana legislation. Marijuana legalization would inspire confidence in the stock market, job opportunities, and company growth.
The Best Entry-Level Cannabis Jobs 2020
The best entry-level cannabis jobs for 2020 are suitable for individuals over the age of 21 and with some experience in a similar job. Many cannabis job openings may also be open to applicants who don’t have a high school diploma or GED or have gaps in their resume.
Here’s a list of the best entry-level pot jobs that can be the first step toward a fulfilling career in marijuana.
Budtending jobs in 2020 are set to skyrocket, especially in new recreational markets like Illinois and Michigan.
A budtender is an entry-level cannabis position that can come with competitive pay and decent benefits. Budtenders need to be friendly, helpful, and adept at handling any customer service issue. Budtenders must also verify documentation and ID for customers, as well as manage a point-of-sale system.
Budtenders are a customer’s liasion for finding the best product for them. Previous retail experience and cannabis training can give candidates a competitive edge. The requirements to work in a dispensary as a budtender vary, but can require a budtender to have a medical card if working in a medical marijuana dispensary.
Budtenders must fully understand the menu, strains, products, consumption methods, and cannabis culture, in general. A budtending job can be a great first step toward moving up the chain of command to becoming a dispensary manager or something else in the industry.
Marijuana Trimmer Jobs
Marijuana growers are offering tons of job opportunities in 2020 and are hiring entry-level positions such as trimmers. Trimmers work on-site to prune and manicure the leaves and remove the flower buds from the stems before the curing stage. Cultivators may also use machine trimmers to speed up production and finish off the buds with manual trimming.
A marijuana trimming position is an excellent starting point for a prosperous career in the cannabis cultivation field. Trimmers can gain experience, earn promotions, and learn more about eventually becoming a master grower. Keep in mind, trimming is honest and hard work and requires precision, concentration, and endurance.
Marijuana Delivery Jobs
Cannabis driver jobs can deliver medical or recreational marijuana to a customer’s home. For this marijuana-related position, individuals need a clean driving record, insurance, registration, a smartphone, and reliable transportation. Drivers can earn tips, bonuses, and even store discounts.
In Colorado, for example, medical marijuana delivery became legal and recreational delivery will begin at the start of 2021.
Another type of delivery drives transports cannabis from a cultivation site to a processing center or dispensary. These cannabis delivery services usually come with security services, as well, to protect the cash and merchandise.
Marijuana Manufacturing Jobs
Marijuana manufacturers and processors are hiring entry-level packaging staff who work well in a team and have a strong attention to detail. A cannabis packager can do everything from stickering all the boxes, bags, and jars to weighing the product and counting inventory.
Marijuana packagers must also ensure the weight, packaging loss, and inventory is properly documented and compliant with state laws. Cannabis packaging jobs don’t usually require prior experience, but it helps.
Marijuana Receptionist Jobs
Dispensary receptionists are the first point of contact for customers visiting a dispensary. Receptionists must be warm and welcoming of medical and recreational patients. A receptionist position in a dispensary involves helping customers fill out forms, check for valid photo IDs, and coordinate with security personnel. Dispensary managers will usually hire someone with previous experience in a similar field. Marijuana receptionists can earn between $12 and $14 per hour.
Cannabis Job Salaries
For the most part, cannabis job salaries rival those of similar positions in non-cannabis industry positions. In fact, salary estimates show that 420 cannabis jobs pay 11 percent more than the U.S. median salary.
Not only do marijuana industry jobs tend to pay more, but they’re also experiencing unprecedented growth in the U.S.
From December 2017 to December 2018, marijuana job openings rose 76 percent. In December 2018, 1,512 job listings were posted on job boards.
Marijuana job salaries depend on location, education, and experience level. Based on the latest numbers, cannabis industry recruiting platform Vangst released a 2019 job report that divided the salary ranges into three percentiles: 25 percent, 50 percent, and 75 percent.
For example, the 75th percentile salary represents the salary averaged between the highest data point and the 50th percentile. Vangst also included information on the varying cost of living in different cities compared to the average.
For example, San Francisco’s cost of living was 62.6 percent higher than the average. Denver’s is +5.7 percent. Portland’s is +10.8 percent.
Based on last year’s job reports, here are a few of the industry’s hottest marijuana jobs in 2020 and an estimate of salary ranges in the three percentiles:
Director of Cultivation: $59,800, $87,100, $118,600
Grow Manager: $43,400, $61,800, $93,400
Grower/Horticulturist: $13,10/hour, $14.60/hour, $19.80/hour
Trimmers/Post Harvesters: $11.40/hour, $13.90/hour, $16.90/hour
Director of Extraction: $75,000, $92,500, $119,500
Extraction Manager: $51,500, $67,000, $96,000
Quality Manager: $51,500, $68,000, $89,000
Compliance Manager: $49,500, $69,000, $122,000
Chemist: $51,600, $63,200, $83,500
VP of Manufacturing: $107,000, $134,000, $167,000
Production Supervisor: $44,200, $54,900, $77,500
Edibles Specialist: $35,300. $41,000, $63,000
Production Technicians: $15.50/hour, $17.25/hour, $26.75/hour
Packagers: $12.40/hour, $14.80/hour, $17.70/hour
VP of Retail: $80,000, $104,000, $152,000
Director of Retail: $76,700, $98,300, $124,200
Merchandise Planner: $63,000, $71,100, $95,500
General Manager: $35,000, $56,000, $90,600
Budtender: $12.50/hour, $14.90/hour, $18/hour
Cannabis Job Benefits 2020
Cannabis companies are offering job candidates competitive benefits to attract top talent. A growing number of employees are valuing inclusive benefits over pay. 2020 is fully underway and if we look at last year’s data on benefits offered, the cannabis industry is a highly attractive option for employees who want a balance of employee perks and competitive pay.
The number of cannabis companies that offer job benefits is increasing year over year. Companies that offered benefits like dental and vision went up by almost 15 percent from 2018 to 2019. The number of companies that didn’t offer benefits went down by 7.5 percent. The momentum is set to grow these numbers in 2020.
An overwhelming majority of cannabis companies offer their employees paid time off, medical, dental, and vision packages. More marijuana companies are also offering other perks such as disability insurance, stock options, 401k, and other benefits. Companies may even offer commuting expense reimbursement and free catering.
The Best Cannabis Jobs For 2020
Entry-level cannabis positions can be the start to a prosperous future in cannabis cultivation, cannabis cooking, cannabis extraction, or cannabis testing positions. A passion for the plant, the trade, and the consumer are crucial to having a lasting career in the industry. The room for growth in the industry knows no bounds.
Here are a few of the most high-paying cannabis job positions you can earn with experience in a similar role and strong cannabis education.
Marijuana edibles chefs are culinary innovators who are tasked with creating flavorful and carefully dosed edibles containing cannabinoids and terpenes. Cooks who have worked with marijuana are stepping out of their kitchens and into state-compliant facilities filled with kitchen equipment built for commercial edible production.
Edibles chefs can work in numerous avenues from creating cannabis cookbooks to concocting an infused ingredient such as cannabis-infused olive or coconut oil products. Chefs who have experience in the kitchen and catering events have gone on to host private cannabis dinner parties in legal marijuana states.
Cannabis Extraction Technician
Cannabis extraction jobs aren’t entry-level MMJ jobs but can be attainable by working your way up a marijuana extraction company. Extraction technicians and master extractors can earn a considerable amount, albeit, the position requires a high level of skill and experience using closed-loop extraction equipment and potentially flammable solvents.
Extractor are responsible for creating marijuana concentrate products, typically, through a solvent-based extraction process. The process can create extracts such as wax, shatter, oil, live resin, and more. Marijuana extraction jobs may require a degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, or a related field.
Cannabis Testing Lab Jobs
Cannabis testing labs ensure cannabis products are tested for potency and purity. Lab testing keeps companies compliant with state and local laws and improving public safety. Lab testing technicians test for heavy metals, residual solvents, and pesticides. Lab testing jobs may require advanced degrees in chemistry and experience in an analytical laboratory.
A dispensary manager position is a highly coveted job title for individuals with management experience in a retail environment and a love for cannabis. A cannabis dispensary manager is responsible for ensuring that the shop is complying with state laws.
Managers manage the day-to-day operations of a dispensary and ensure revenue remains strong. They also hire, train, and oversee all retail operations to meet customer demand. Dispensary manager positions may require a college degree or relevant experience.
Ancillary Cannabis Jobs 2020
Ancillary cannabis job opportunities can be a great way to work with the cannabis industry without actually touching the plant. Ancillary businesses can include technology companies, banking solutions, attorneys, manufacturers, and more. Here are a few of the most pivotal ancillary weed jobs.
Cannabis Marketing and Sales
Sales and marketing teams help cannabis companies brand their product and increase their revenue throughout the nation. Marketing and sales personnel help expand companies to various markets in other states or even within their home state, depending on local laws and products.
Entry-level sales positions can also include marijuana sales ambassadors. Cannabis brand ambassadors assume the role of traveling salespeople visiting dispensaries and events to introduce customers to the benefits of a cannabis product or a line of products.
Cannabis marketing jobs can also include entry-level or intern positions that learn how to promote and brand a business. Cannabis-friendly marketing agencies know how to overcome the common social media hurdles due to social media platforms’ marijuana policies.
Digital marketers reach a targeted audience with relevant blog and social media content. Marijuana blog writer jobs require writers to produce educational and entertaining content for potential customers. Graphic designers can also add a colorful and captivating touch to social media posts, ads, and the website.
Marijuana security is an essential component to the marijuana industry. Cannabis plants, products, and cash obtained through sales can be a prime target for those in the black market. Companies are going above and beyond to meet state regulations and protect their staff and customers with security personnel and tools.
Security personnel typically have previous law enforcement or military background and can work in dispensaries or cultivation facilities protecting customers and the product.
An accounting firm specializing in cannabis is important to keep finances above board. Accountants help with a company’s payroll, taxes, and more financial services.
Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits businesses from deducting ordinary business expenses from gross income associated with cannabis sales. Accountants must ensure companies are complying with these state and federal tax laws.
Cannabis tourism is all the latest rage. From the U.S. to Canada and beyond, people are buying weed when they travel for many reasons. Cannabis tourism has skyrocketed in the U.S. Job seekers can find jobs giving tours of grow facilities, dispensaries, and glass-blowing studios.
Drivers can take guests around in a luxury limo or party bus to a variety of events and activities. Cannabis-friendly bed and breakfasts have also been sprouting up across the nation offering guests a 420-friendly experience.
Where To Find Marijuana Jobs
Most cannabis jobs will be concentrated in large cities in legal states. For context, 2019’s top three areas for marijuana job openings were San Francisco, CA (197 open jobs), Los Angeles, CA (181 open jobs), and Denver, CO (99 open jobs).
Job seekers can find a wide range of jobs in states that have had years to refine their medical and recreational cannabis programs such as California, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Other ] markets such as Florida have also shown tremendous cannabis job growth.
The best way to find high-quality marijuana jobs is through major job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and even LinkedIn. Job applicants on the 420 job search can also apply to dispensary jobs and more on Craigslist.
Cannabis-specific job boards can also be a great source for cannabis-related employment. A range of weed-friendly job allows job seekers to build a profile and find industry gigs. Vangst have also hosted cannabis job fairs for dispensary and cultivation jobs.
Cannabis job seekers can attend networking events, expos, and meet-ups to stay up-to-date about the industry, sign up with cannabis recruiters, and find a job.
Marijuana Jobs By State
Cannabis job markets differ in size by state. For example, here’s a quick overview of the top 10 states by cannabis jobs based on 2019 job numbers:
- California – 39,804 jobs
- Colorado – 34,705 jobs
- Washington – 23,756 jobs
- Oregon – 18,274 jobs
- Florida – 15,498 jobs
- Arizona – 15,059 jobs
- Nevada – 14,305
- Massachusetts – 13,255
- Oklahoma – 9,412
- Illinois – 9,176
Alaska’s sales went up 20 percent in 2019 and helped bolster the estimated 3,559 cannabis jobs. Applicants should be on the lookout for jobs in cannabis consumption lounges expected to boost the tourism sector in 2020.
Arizona saw a 21 percent increase in sales. The mature market supports 15,059 jobs. More jobs may soon become available if Arizona voters pass recreational marijuana laws on the November 2020 ballot.
Arkansas has about 1,777 cannabis jobs and counting. Leafly predicts that the Arkansas medical dispensary market is set to double in 2020.
California earned $2.03 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2019 and supported 39,804 jobs. More cannabis jobs may be expected as municipalities loosen their strict prohibitions on cannabis businesses.
Colorado earned $1.77 billion in sales in 2019. More than 34,700 residents had a full-time cannabis job in Colorado, almost the size of California’s job market.
Connecticut’s throttled medical marijuana market only has 14 dispensaries serving tens of thousands of patients. While the state does not track sales, Leafy predicts the state earned about $60 million in 2019 and supports 1,372 cannabis jobs.
Delaware has an 82 percent year-over-year growth in the medical patient count. Delaware supported 720 cannabis jobs in 2019.
District of Columbia’s recreational marijuana laws are still ineffective, but D.C.’s medical marijuana market brought in more than $19 million in sales in 2019. D.C. supported about 390 jobs in 2019.
Florida posted a 93 percent year-over-year growth, particularly because medical patients were allowed to purchase the smokeable flower. Dispensaries were selling about 19,000 ounces per week toward the end of 2019, which means more jobs are coming in 2020.
Hawaii’s small dispensary count is meant to serve tens of thousands of patients. Patients, however, are allowed to grow weed at home. Leafly estimates Hawaii’s annual sales to be between $30 million and $40 million. Hawaii supported about 745 weed-related jobs.
Illinois has had tremendous success after starting up a recreational market at the beginning of 2020. Analysts believe the state could reach $600 million in sales by the end of 2020. Illinois supports about 9,176 jobs.
Iowa’s small market consists of 5,500 registered patients in a $6 million annual industry. Iowa supports about 120 cannabis jobs.
Louisiana opened nine cannabis pharmacies in 2019, but still isn’t a hub for cannabis activity. Iowa supported around 90 jobs in 2019.
Maine is expected to open its adult-use stores sometime in 2020. Currently, Maine supports 400 full-time medical cannabis jobs. The job numbers could double or triple by the end of 2020.
Maryland experienced a 74 percent market growth over 2018 that resulted in a $324 million annual market that supports 6,353 cannabis jobs.
Massachusetts brought in $404 million in 2019 sales. Massachusetts is the East Coast’s first adult-use market. The Massachusetts market could reach $700 million in sales in 2020. The state employed a total of 13,255 cannabis jobs in 2019. Expect that number to grow in 2020.
Michigan’s adult-use shops opened in late 2019. Michigan’s market supports about 8,235 jobs. Its slow rollout is expected to bring in more full-time cannabis jobs later in 2020.
Minnesota’s two dispensary system supports about 764 jobs and a $39 million annual market.
Missouri’s medical dispensaries are set to open later in 2020. Missouri has issued 192 dispensary licenses so expect a hiring boom in 2020. Cannabis industry experts estimate Missouri’s job numbers to double in 2020.
Montana’s 36,000 patients supported about 1,800 jobs and a $92 million industry in 2019.
Nevada saw $639 million in marijuana sales. Nevada supports about 14,305 cannabis jobs.
New Hampshire’s $22.5 million market supports about 441 cannabis jobs.
New Jersey’s strict cannabis program has a market value of $120 million and supports 2,356 legal marijuana jobs.
New Mexico has a patient count nearing 79,000 registered patients. The state supports about 2,549 jobs.
New York is hopeful to legalize cannabis by the end of the year. Currently, the state’s medical market supports 2,941 jobs.
North Dakota’s medical marijuana dispensaries opened in 2019. The state’s eight dispensaries and other cannabis companies employ about 200 people. The state will experience more job growth as more patients sign up for a medical card in 2020.
Ohio has regulations that limit medical cannabis access for patients. More dispensaries are set to open in 2020, which will improve sales. Ohio supports 4,275 jobs.
Oklahoma is a rising star among cannabis markets. The state experienced a 221 percent growth in 2019. Oklahoma supports 9,412 full-time jobs. Oklahoma has the highest per-capita registration in the country.
Oregon saw more than $800 million in sales in 2019. The state’s medical and recreational market supports a total of 18,274 jobs.
Pennsylvania’s cannabis industry doubled in size in 2019. The state saw $406 million in 2019 sales and supported 8,765 jobs.
Rhode Island only has three dispensaries serving about 18,000 patients. Rhode Island’s sales topped $50 million in 2019 and supported 1,098 full-time jobs.
Utah is issuing dispensary licenses with a handful of locations set to open in 2020. While the market is small and set to open, expect more jobs to come in 2020.
Vermont saw nearly $14 million in medical sales and supports 266 full-time cannabis jobs.
Washington brought in $1.21 billion in total sales and supported 23,756 marijuana jobs.
West Virginia’s cannabis job market is small but may soon issue cannabis licenses to set the wheels in motion.
Can Anyone Find A Job In The Cannabis Industry?
Despite the tremendous momentum experienced by cannabis retailers, manufacturers, cultivators, and more, certain individuals have been left out of the industry. For instance, some people with prior marijuana possession charges may be barred from entering into the industry.
Some employers may also choose to disqualify candidates who fail a drug test for THC. Some states, however, have passed employment protection measures prohibiting employers from giving new hires a drug test for THC with some exceptions.
Companies are now seeing cannabis use more like alcohol use that can be done at home. It’s a far cry from having weed at company parties like alcohol, but it’s a start.
Finding The Best Cannabis Job For You
Finding the best cannabis job for you depends on your personality, preferences, job experience, education level, and willingness to commit to the cannabis and hemp industry. Cannabis job prospects are available for individuals with previous customer service, agricultural, manufacturing, or extraction experience.
If you think you need more experience learning about the industry, don’t hesitate to sign up for a cannabis training course to learn more about marijuana and how to get a job in the industry. It’s important to understand cannabis terminology and its medical benefits to best help customers.
If you’re ready to join the hundreds of thousands of employees currently serving the marijuana industry, it’s time to invest in your cannabis education. Join Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis college to learn from the best in the business.
Learn from expert growers, extractors, lawyers, managers, and budtenders the ins and outs of this exciting industry. Earn your cannabis certification within a year and learn at your own pace about topics such as marijuana growing, marijuana cooking and extraction, marijuana laws and regulations, marijuana as medicine, cannabis jobs, becoming a budtender, and marijuana dispensary and delivery service management.
Join a growing list of alumni at CTU today. Learn how to grow marijuana. What cannabis seeds to buy. How to get a marijuana job. Indica vs Sativa. CBD oil benefits, and much more at the #1-rated cannabis college.
Start your cannabis career with online cannabis training from CTU!