Cannabis Job Salaries

Cannabis Job Salaries





There are many great cannabis jobs available in todays booming cannabis industry. When comparing cannabis job salaries it is important to look at some of the most popular positions available.

There’s no doubt about it—the legal cannabis industry is growing by leaps and bounds!

In defiance of the record-breaking, pandemic-fueled unemployment crisis of 2020, employment opportunities in the cannabis industry have steadily increased. With many industries still struggling economically in 2021, the cannabis industry continues to thrive. Let’s break it down.

On January 1, 2020, legal cannabis industry supported 243,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs. By January 1, 2021, a total of 321,000 people were working full time in the cannabis industry—an increase of 77,300 jobs. That’s twice the job growth of the previous year. Cannabis Analysts predict that the weed industry will generate another 340,000 full-time cannabis jobs by 2022.

Those numbers don’t even include the black market cannabis industry, which is valued at roughly $64 billion according to New Frontier Data. As more states legalize and regulations are put in place, thousands of black market jobs will move to the legal cannabis industry.

What does this mean for aspiring cannabis industry employees? It means that a cannabis career is no longer marginalized. It’s as mainstream as it gets!

This news is both inspiring and challenging. Although a maturing industry comes with plenty of job opportunities, there’s a caveat. A bigger job market means a bigger pool of applicants. With more applicants, established cannabis companies are looking for employees who have specific cannabis-industry career training, not just passion for the plant and black market experience.

That said, there’s never been a better time to start a legitimate career in the thriving legal cannabis industry! Read on as we spill the tea on the hottest geographical areas for cannabis jobs in 2021.

Cannabis Salaries and Benefits in 2021

Just about anyone can find a job they love in the cannabis industry. The industry supports a variety of traditional occupations in agriculture, hospitality, customer service, retail, education, government, healthcare, information technology (IT), chemistry, and more.

Whether you just graduated high school or you’re putting the finishing touches on your dissertation for that long-awaited Ph.D., the cannabis industry has a job for you.

But what kind of salaries do cannabis industry employees make? Is it a good financial move to switch to the cannabis industry?

You might be shocked at how much you can make in your first year in the marijuana industry. For the most part, cannabis salaries are higher those of similar positions in non-cannabis industry jobs. In fact, on average, cannabis industry workers earn 11 percent more than the US median salary.

That depends on where you live and what you do, though. Like all industries, cannabis job salaries depend on location, education, and experience level. If you live in an area with a lower cost of living, you can expect a lower salary. However, if that area is an emerging cannabis market, you might make more than average.

ZipRecruiter tracks job salaries for specific job markets. The following table will give you an idea of salary differences in select cannabis job markets. To give you an idea of job availability, the table also provides the number of job listings on that website for each listed area on one day in August 2021. The area with the highest average annual salary is listed first, and the area with the lowest average annual salary is listed last.

Geographical Area Annual Salary (Lowest 25%) Annual Salary (Middle 50%) Annual Salary (Highest 25%) Listings on 8/28/2021
Sacramento, CA $31,576 $67,049 $72,317 67
Oakland, CA $34,674 $66,905 $79,414 161
Seattle, WA $33,653 $65,011 $77,078 63
Chicago, IL $31,734 $62,013 $72,681 85
New York, NY $34,002 $61,932 $77,877 87
Detroit, MI $30,807 $60,546 $70,558 86
Boston, MA $33,488 $60,319 $76,699 135
Philadelphia, PA $30,924 $60,132 $70,826 53
Los Angeles, CA $32,822 $57,371 $75,175 272
Tulsa, OK $28,107 $57,274 $64,374 25
Spokane, WA $29,442 $56,877 $67,432 16
Denver, CO $31,233 $56,364 $71,534 127
Arizona (all) $28,803 $55,383 $65,968 82
Cleveland, OH $29,159 $54,002 $66,783 24
Georgia (all) $27,786 $53,427 $63,369 39
Grand Rapids, MI $29,203 $53,020 $66,884 15
Pueblo, CO $29,320 $52,836 $67,152 24
Portland, OR $30,950 $52,535 $70,886 80
Florida (all) $26,189 $50,354 $59,931 151

Salaries aren’t the only thing to consider when looking for a cannabis job. As the industry matures, more and more cannabis companies are offering competitive benefits to attract top talent.

Cannabis Job Opportunities by State

As of September 2021, 75% of US states had some form legalized medical or recreational cannabis or hemp program. That percentage will only increase in 2022.

When you’re looking for a cannabis job, keep in mind that most are concentrated in large cities in legal states. To give you an idea of this, we took a snapshot of cannabis jobs listings on Indeed for one day in August 2021.

The snapshot showed that Denver, CO (356 listings), Los Angeles, CA (337 listings), and Chicago, IL (167 listings) had the most cannabis-related listings in the US. This was followed closely by Las Vegas, NV (163 listings), Portland, OR (153 listings), and Sacramento, CA (145 listings). Notably, the website listed 158 remote job openings in the cannabis industry on that day.

Although jobs remain concentrated in cities, some states have more job opportunities than others. Here’s a quick overview of the number of people employed by the cannabis industry in the top 10 states based on 2020 statistics:

  1. California – 57,970 cannabis jobs
  2. Colorado – 35,539 cannabis jobs
  3. Florida – 31,444 cannabis jobs
  4. Arizona – 20,728 cannabis jobs
  5. Washington – 19,873 cannabis jobs
  6. Michigan – 18,078 cannabis jobs
  7. Oregon – 17,981 cannabis jobs
  8. Illinois – 16,837 cannabis jobs
  9. Oklahoma – 16,759 cannabis jobs
  10. Pennsylvania – cannabis 15,895 jobs

Let’s take a closer look at cannabis industry jobs in those states.

Cannabis Jobs in California

Although California wasn’t the first state to go legal for recreational use, the cannabis industry has thrived there for decades. Cannabis is an intrinsic part of California culture.

California generated $3.77 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2020 and supported 57,970 cannabis jobs. Nearly 24,000 new cannabis jobs were created last year. As California customers continue to migrate from the black market to the legal market, legal job opportunities have significantly increased.

The California areas with the most cannabis industry jobs are Los Angeles, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco. Let’s take a closer look.

Cannabis Jobs in Los Angeles

Over 200 cannabis retailers are currently authorized to operate in Los Angeles, with even more located in the greater Los Angeles area. More than half of those retailers opened their businesses in the past two years.

This means plenty of job opportunities in LA for cannabis budtenders and dispensary managers. New job openings are available in the cultivation and manufacturing sectors that serve those dispensaries.

Cannabis Jobs in Sacramento

In November 2020, the Sacramento City Council added 10 new permits for storefront dispensaries, increasing the number from 30 to 40. That number doesn’t include retail cannabis delivery businesses. With business applications still available for cultivation, manufacturing, and other cannabis businesses, this is a great time to look for a cannabis job in Sacramento!

Cannabis Jobs in Oakland

Although only 13 dispensaries were open in Oakland as of August 2021, 13 more were conditionally approved. That means dispensary jobs are set to double in Oakland in the near future. With Oakland cannabis business license applications available in every major cannabis industry sector, job opportunities are expected to increase through 2021 and beyond.

Cannabis Jobs in San Francisco

According to Marisa Rodriguez, Director of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis (OOC), “The industry welcomed the opening of 11 modern and compliant equity-owned cannabis businesses in 2020. It supported the continuing operation…of 38 medical cannabis dispensaries and approximately 75 supply-side cannabis businesses (operating with approximately 142 temporary permits).”

Even more cannabis businesses are expected to come online in San Francisco in the near future. And each new business will create cannabis-industry job opportunities.

Cannabis Jobs in Colorado

Colorado has more cannabis businesses than any other state. In 2020, Colorado supported more than 35,000 full-time cannabis jobs. The Colorado cannabis industry continues to grow steadily, with a 29% year-over-year gain from 2019.

That said, the Colorado industry has stabilized over the last 6 years. Although there is still a modest annual job increase, but it’s nothing like the job growth in emerging markets. If you want to start at the ground floor of a new sector, look to consumption lounges and delivery services—both of those sectors are new and expanding in the Colorado market.

The most Colorado cannabis job openings are in Denver. A limited number of job openings can also be found in Aurora, Boulder, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Trinidad, and Fort Collins.  Let’s take a closer look

Cannabis Jobs in Denver

If you’re looking for a cannabis job in Denver, make sure you’re at the top of your game. Although Denver has a lot of cannabis cultivation and extraction facilities, you’ll find that you’re competing with the best of the best for the available jobs.

Colorado broke its own record in 2020 when it hit the $2.2 billion mark in legal cannabis sales. As demand for cannabis continues to grow, there is an equally increased demand for labor.

Cannabis Jobs in Pueblo

If you want a cannabis cultivation job, look no further than Pueblo, Colorado. After Denver, Pueblo is the second biggest cannabis cultivator in the state. A mecca for both indoor and outdoor cannabis cultivation businesses, 5 percent of Pueblo county’s workforce is employed in the cannabis industry. Maybe that’s why Pueblo is sometimes called the “Napa Valley of Weed.”

Cannabis Jobs in Florida

For a state with only a medical program, the Florida cannabis industry is growing surprisingly quickly. The number of registered patients increased more than 50% in 2020. Now, Florida dispensaries sell more cannabis products than any other state except Colorado and California. This could double if Florida decides to legalize recreational cannabis.

With new patients comes new industry jobs to support them. Florida already has more than 31,000 full-time cannabis employees. Expect to see increased job openings in all sectors of the Florida cannabis industry in 2021 and beyond.

Many of these jobs will be offered by Florida’s largest cannabis corporations: Trulieve, Surterra, and Curaleaf. Let’s take a closer look at these companies.

Cannabis Jobs at Trulieve

Many of the cannabis-industry job openings in Florida are in Quincy—the headquarters of Trulieve. One of the biggest cannabis companies in the United States, Trulieve holds 51% of the cannabis market share in Florida. 82 of Trulieve’s 87 dispensaries are in the Sunshine State.

In addition to traditional cannabis sector jobs, Trulieve hires electrical technicians, control specialists, delivery coordinators, accountants, and other mainstream job roles.

Cannabis Jobs at Surterra

Surterra, a privately held cannabis company, operates 17% of Florida’s dispensaries. Job seekers can apply at any of 39 retail locations spread throughout the state, including the panhandle and smaller cities.

Cannabis Jobs at Curaleaf

Curaleaf, one of the largest cannabis companies in the United States, operates retail cannabis dispensaries throughout the United States. More than a third of these dispensaries are in Florida. With 36 retail locations, it’s safe to say that Curaleaf is one of the top cannabis-industry employers in Florida.

That said, Curaleaf is not your best bet if you live in the Florida panhandle or other rural areas. Curaleaf’s dispensaries are mostly concentrated in the larger cities on the peninsula.

Cannabis Jobs in Arizona

Medical sales in Arizona topped $1 billion in 2020. With recreational cannabis now legal in the state, sales could double in 2021. Arizona is now reviewing thousands of applicants for dispensary, cultivation, extraction, and edible manufacturing business licenses.

With new businesses comes new jobs. Arizona added more than 5,000 cannabis-industry jobs in 2020. That will only increase in 2021! That makes Arizona one of the hottest destinations for anyone looking to nab a cannabis job.

Cannabis Jobs in Washington State

The cannabis industry in Washington state continues to grow at a relatively slow and steady pace. Purchases increased from $1.21 billion in 2019 to $1.42 billion in 2020, with the state adding 524 cannabis jobs.

Although growth is slow, Washington is your state if you want to work in a stable, fully mainstreamed, cannabis industry. You’ll find the most Washington state job openings in Seattle and Spokane.

Cannabis Jobs in Michigan

Michigan’s first recreational cannabis store opened in December 2019. The state doubled both its revenue and its legal cannabis workforce in 2020.

Michigan’s recreational cannabis industry should continue to grow throughout 2021. Job openings will be available primarily in the greater Detroit area, but also along the I-96 and I-94 corridors in cities like Marshall, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Lansing.

Cannabis Jobs in Oregon

Over the past few years, Oregon was famous for their oversupply of cannabis. However, in reality, some sectors of Oregon’s cannabis market have an undersupply of cannabis products. According to the 2021 Recreational Marijuana Supply and Demand Legislative Report, “…production has  increased by 78% while the amount of cannabis sold increased by 150%…” since the 2019 report. 

With demand catching up to supply, prices have stabilized. This led to 2020 sales in excess of $1 billion. The state added 687 new cannabis jobs in 2020 and is poised to add more in 2021. The vast majority of those jobs are in and around the greater Portland area.

Cannabis Jobs in Illinois

The Illinois cannabis industry is flourishing! With the implementation of the recreational cannabis program in 2020, cannabis jobs in Illinois more than doubled. Now nearly 17,000 cannabis workers are employed full-time in Illinois.

With the recent approval of 81 new dispensaries, job opportunities will only grow in 2021 and 2022. The majority of Illinois cannabis job openings are in Chicago, although cannabis workers can also find employment in smaller cities like Barry, Oglesby, Lincoln, and Rockford.

Cannabis Jobs in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s liberal medial cannabis industry continues to grow. In 2020, cannabis sales more than doubled. The job market followed suit, with the addition 6,000 new cannabis jobs—an 88% increase from 2019.

You’re most likely to find a cannabis industry job in Tulsa or Oklahoma City, but job openings are also scattered throughout the smaller cities and rural areas of the state.

Cannabis Jobs in Pennsylvania

Although Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program is very strict (patients aren’t even allowed to smoke cannabis flower), that hasn’t stopped the state’s medical cannabis industry from prospering! As of July 2021, the state’s cannabis industry employed 15,895 workers.

More than 7,000 of those jobs were added in 2020. The state will add 80 more dispensaries once all permits have been issued, for a total of 210 dispensaries! This makes Pennsylvania a surprisingly sweet destination for cannabis industry hopefuls.

Cannabis Jobs in Other States

In addition to the top 10 cannabis states for job seekers in 2021 and 2022, other states are full of opportunity too! Read on to find out about job opportunities in other US states with legal cannabis programs.

Alaska Marijuana Jobs

Despite 2020’s 20% reduction in profits across the cannabis industry due to declining tourism, cannabis sales continue to grow steadily. In fact, sales in Anchorage jumped 33 percent from 2019 to 2020. Experts predict that sales will continue to grow steadily in the coming years. As tourism returns to Alaska, job applicants should be on the lookout for jobs in cannabis consumption lounges in 2021—especially in the tourist cities of Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks.

That said, it’s probably not worth it to move to Alaska just to get a cannabis job. Even adding in cannabis tourism, Alaska doesn’t support a large enough number of cannabis jobs to warrant relocation, and turnover in the jobs that are available is fairly low.

Arkansas Marijuana Jobs

Since the first medical dispensaries opened in Arkansas in 2019, cannabis sales have grown steadily. With six new dispensaries licensed in 2021 (increasing the number of dispensaries by 18%), new dispensary jobs will continue to open up in 2021 and beyond.

To fill these new dispensary shelves, new cultivation and manufacturing facilities are opening throughout the state. Just one new facility can bring hundreds of new jobs to Arkansas workers.

Connecticut Marijuana Jobs

Connecticut’s medical cannabis industry currently has 18 dispensaries that serve 50,000 patients Although this number is modest, the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Connecticut is expected to revitalize the state’s limping medical cannabis market. Experts predict that the legal recreational cannabis industry will bring 5,000 to 7,000 jobs to Connecticut’s workforce in the first year of operation.

Connecticut’s adult-use business licensing requirements were posted in September 2021. Legal sales to adults are expected to begin in May 2022. Expect the state’s cannabis job market to heat up in winter of 2021/2022.

Delaware Marijuana Jobs

Despite only having three operators and six dispensaries, Delaware’s small medical cannabis market continues to grow steadily each year. Annual cannabis sales more than doubled between 2018 ($11.8 million) and 2020 ($27.7 million).

To meet the increasing demand, Delaware awarded 3 new vertical licenses and 4 new dispensary locations to cannabis businesses in 2021. Although this adds some jobs to the Delaware cannabis market, it’s not a reason to drop everything and move to Delaware. Job opportunities are still relatively low in the state.

That might change in 2022, though. New legislation has been proposed that would add 30 retail stores, 30 processors, and 60 cultivators. If that legislation is passed, Delaware will become a new mecca for cannabis job seekers—at least for a little while.

District of Columbia Marijuana Jobs

Although the District of Columbia legalized the possession and gifting of cannabis in 2014, the US Congress blocked DC cannabis sales through an add-on to the federal budget. This created a “gray market,” where cannabis is given as a “free gift” in conjunction with sales of legal items at pop-up markets and private residences. Because District of Columbia cannabis sales lie in a gray area of the law, the District of Columbia is not a preferred destination for people who want to work in the legal cannabis industry.

That might change in 2022. Earlier this year, the Washington, D.C. city government introduced two bills to correct the situation and allow legal cannabis sales. If one of these bills is passed, hundreds of legal cannabis jobs will become available. Keep an eye out for progress on the most robust of those bills, B24118, in 2022.

Georgia Marijuana Jobs

You won’t hear many people talking about the medical cannabis program in Georgia. That may be because the program is extremely strict: it only allows the sale of infused oil that contains less than 5% THC.

As someone who wants to work in the cannabis industry, however, you might want to take a second look at Georgia. The Georgia state board recently approved 6 companies to produce and sell cannabis oil. Two of these companies will have 100,000 square feet of growing space and the other four will have 50,000 square feet. That will add a lot of cannabis job opportunities for Georgians.

If you’re interested in starting a cannabis career in Georgia, the time is coming soon. The new cannabis companies are expected start hiring in 2022.

Hawaii Marijuana Jobs

Currently, Hawaii’s medical cannabis program supports only 10 dispensaries. Many Hawaiian patients choose to grow their own medicine at home, which limits available jobs. On our sample day in August 2021, fewer than 20 job openings were listed for the entire state!

Hawaiian state lawmakers continue to float bills to legalize recreational cannabis in Hawaii. If any of those bills gain traction, tourism will turn Hawaii into a cannabis boom market.

Don’t hold your breath, though. Consensus among Hawaiian lawmakers is that the state needs to gain expertise with the medical program before adding an adult-use program.

Iowa Marijuana Jobs

Iowa’s small medical cannabis market is nothing to write home about. With only two dispensaries in the state, the few available jobs are usually already filled. On one day in August 2021, fewer than 10 job listings were available in the entire state.

This is not likely to change anytime soon. Although Democratic lawmakers continue to push for adult-use legislation, their efforts are not likely to gain traction with Iowa Republicans.

Louisiana Marijuana Jobs

Although Louisiana opened nine cannabis pharmacies in 2019, the state still isn’t a hub for cannabis activity. Part of that is the limited nature of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Cannabis sales may increase when approval for smokable cannabis products goes into effect in January 2022, but this isn’t expected to translate immediately into new job opportunities. To have a good chance of landing a job in the cannabis industry, try a different state.

Maine Marijuana Jobs

Back in 2019, Maine’s medical cannabis industry supported only 5 dispensaries and 400 full-time jobs. The opening of the adult-use dispensaries in October 2020 blew those numbers out of the water!

As of August 2021, Maine has dozens of active adult-use cannabis businesses, including 22 cultivation centers, 23 infused-product facilities, and 47 dispensaries. With hundreds of additional cannabis business licenses pending, there’s never been a better time to look for a job in the Maine cannabis industry.

Maryland Marijuana Jobs

With more than 100 medical dispensaries within its borders, Maryland is definitely a valid destination for cannabis industry workers who are seeking jobs. As pre-approved cannabis businesses work through stage 2 of Maryland’s registration process, it’s safe to say that the number of cannabis dispensaries (and jobs) in Maryland will continue to grow.

The Maryland industry is not growing as quickly as it would if adult-use cannabis became legal. Although the Maryland General Assembly failed to take up the legalization issue before their 2021 session ended in April, the House Speaker is committed to referring legalization to voters in 2022. If this happens, the Maryland cannabis job market might upgrade from good to excellent!

Massachusetts Marijuana Jobs

As the East Coast’s first adult-use cannabis market, Massachusetts sales have been steadily increasing since their first dispensaries opened their doors in 2018. The Massachusetts market was expected to reach $1.5 billion in sales by 2021.

As of August 2021, state cannabis businesses employ 16,665 registered agents, an increase of 3,440 since 2019. This makes Massachusetts a great place to start your cannabis career in 2021 and beyond.

Minnesota Marijuana Jobs

Since medical cannabis sales began in 2018, Minnesota’s medical cannabis program has grown from a 2-dispensary system to a 13-dispensary system, creating cannabis job opportunities throughout the state. However, cannabis jobs are still in limited supply.

This will change if Minnesota legalizes adult-use cannabis. Unfortunately, although the House of Representatives voted to legalize cannabis in May 2021, the legislature adjourned two days later. To get a good idea of the 2022 job outlook, watch for updates as HF 600 goes to the state Senate.

Missouri Marijuana Jobs

Although Missouri issued 192 medical cannabis dispensary licenses in 2019, only 60 of them were operational as of June 15, 2021. In spite of the late start, new dispensaries are opening weekly in Missouri, distributed throughout the state. Missouri’s dispensaries are expected to sell $200 million in 2021.

As of July 2021, Missouri had issued nearly 3,700 state agent ID cards to cannabis industry workers—an increase of 200 from the previous month! It’s safe to say that Missouri’s cannabis job market is growing and will continue to do so through 2021 and 2022.

Montana Marijuana Jobs

Montana’s medical cannabis population increased by almost 5,000 patients between 2019 and 2021. Now, the state has more than 40,000 registered patients!

Although this modest increase resulted in more available industry jobs, the real increase will come in early 2022 when Montana’s adult-use cannabis program kicks into gear. Expect to see a steady increase in job listings throughout 2022.

Nevada Marijuana Jobs

Although Nevada is known as a gambling destination, it’s also becoming famous for its high-end cannabis. Nevada is home to state-of-the-art cannabis cultivation facilities, extraction companies, and top-rated dispensaries. With the expansion of adult-use cannabis rules in the state, including the addition of consumption lounges and curbside pickup options, job opportunities will continue to increase.

The Nevada cannabis industry isn’t without its share of worker problems, though. In November 2020, the Cannabis Compliance Board had trouble keeping up with the more than 60 applications coming in each day. Agents were experiencing months-long delays in receiving their Agent cards.

Although that problem has slowly resolved itself, a new monkey wrench has come into play for Nevada cannabis workers. Effective July 1, 2021, cannabis establishment employees are required to take OSHA courses within the first year of employment in order to keep their jobs.

New Hampshire Marijuana Jobs

New Hampshire’s medical cannabis patient population increased steadily between program implementation in 2016 (2,089 patients) and 2020 (10,688 patients). 1,260 more patients were added to the registry between June 2020 and May 2021.

One of the biggest problems in the New Hampshire industry is high prices, which are driving patients to purchase their cannabis in nearby states. This has created a mediocre job market, with only 441 FTE cannabis jobs in New Hampshire as of May 2020. This poor job outlook isn’t likely to change without major changes to the state’s medical cannabis rules.

New Jersey Marijuana Jobs

In 2020, New Jersey’s medical cannabis job market was nothing to write home about. With 13 dispensaries, the market had a value of only around $300 million as of March 2021.

Part of the problem is the state’s high prices. An ounce of cannabis can cost as much as $500 at a New Jersey dispensary! This explains the poor performance of the New Jersey cannabis job market, which supported less than 3,000 jobs in 2020.

That said, the New Jersey cannabis market is expected to increase to $1.5 billion when the new adult-use program ramps up in 2022. That makes 2022 the perfect time to look for a cannabis job in New Jersey.

New Mexico Marijuana Jobs

Although New Mexico’s medical cannabis patient count increased from 79,000 in 2019 to more than 120,000 as of July 2021, the increase in cannabis industry jobs was not reciprocal. That’s about to change.

With legal sales set to begin no later than April 2022, New Mexico’s new recreational cannabis program is expected to bring in $318 million in the first year. This could create as many as 11,000 New Mexico cannabis jobs over the next few years.

New York Marijuana Jobs

New York state’s highly limited medical cannabis market supported less than 3,000 FTE jobs in 2019. However, that’s expected to change in the near future when New York opens adult-use dispensaries. The anticipated $1.87 billion industry could generate as many as 30,700 new jobs, making New York likely to be a prime cannabis job destination in 2022.

Unlike many other states, the New York cannabis workers will likely belong to union. New York State’s “Cannabis Union”—Local 338 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union—is planning to sign up thousands of workers in the state.

North Dakota Marijuana Jobs

With only 5,392 medical cannabis patients as of May 2021, North Dakota isn’t winning any awards for the number of workers employed in their cannabis industry. The number of available jobs will increase marginally as more patients sign up for the program, but not enough to make North Dakota a prime cannabis job destination by any stretch of the imagination.

Ohio Marijuana Jobs

Ohio plans to license 73 additional medical dispensaries in 2021, more than doubling Ohio’s medical cannabis marketplace. The expansion will support the more than 150,000 patients added since the program’s first year of operation in 2017.

The increase in patients and dispensaries is expected to double the available cannabis jobs in Ohio. Although this doesn’t necessarily make Ohio the best place to move to get a cannabis job, it is good news for aspiring cannabis workers who already live in Ohio and don’t want to move to seek employment.

Rhode Island Marijuana Jobs

At this point, Rhode Island’s medical cannabis market only has three dispensaries that serve fewer than 20,000 patients. The industry supported only 1,098 full-time jobs in 2019.

That’s poised to change in 2021. The state plans to issue 6 more dispensary licenses, which could conceivably triple the available cannabis jobs. Unfortunately, the lottery to award those applications has been fraught with delays and appeals.[1] As soon as the appeal process is concluded (hopefully by the end of 2021), cannabis career hopefuls in Rhode Island can expect a wave of new job opportunities!

Utah Marijuana Jobs

Effective July 1, 2021, Utah medical cannabis cardholders must purchase their products from a Utah pharmacy (as opposed to being allowed to purchase products from other states). This will increase demand—and job opportunities—in the state.

Currently, 14 Utah dispensaries are open with a fifteenth to be awarded in 2021. Although that’s good news for cannabis industry workers in Utah, the increase will not support out-of-state cannabis workers moving into the state.

Vermont Marijuana Jobs

Vermont’s five medical cannabis dispensaries support fewer than 300 full time cannabis industry workers. Those numbers are expected to increase dramatically as Vermont’s adult-use program is implemented.

Currently, the state’s existing medical dispensaries are allowed to sell to the general public before recreational dispensary licenses are issued. That change is already prompting the medical dispensaries to hire more employees. With the opening of recreational dispensaries in Fall 2022, job opportunities will only increase!

West Virginia Marijuana Jobs

This January, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources issued dispensary licenses to 32 companies with locations in 23 counties. The Office of Medical Cannabis selected 10 growers in October 2020 and 10 processors in November 2020.

That means that the West Virginia cannabis industry hiring boom that started early this year will continue through 2021 and is likely to increase in 2022.

Cannabis Job Search Tips For 2021

As we’ve discussed, the cannabis industry experienced fantastic growth in 2020—despite the global pandemic. That will continue into 2021 and beyond.

But what can you do to ensure your place in this growing industry?

Learn the rules. In some areas, people with prior marijuana possession charges are barred from entering the cannabis industry. In other areas, employers can disqualify candidates who fail a drug test for cannabis. Conversely, some states have passed measures that prohibit employers from testing new hires for cannabis. Other states have introduced social equity programs that make prior cannabis convictions a plus when looking for a cannabis job!

The takeaway is that you need to learn the local laws before you apply for a job! Knowing whether your prior convictions or status as a cannabis user will help or hurt your chances of employment is key to landing a cannabis job. Once you’re informed, you’ll be ready to take the steps you need to pass a blood test or expunge your record—or not!—before you apply.

Get credentials. Nowadays, a passion for cannabis might not be enough to get you the cannabis job you want. To outshine other candidates, you need to learn real, relevant, job skills.

The best way to get credentials is to sign up for a cannabis training course. Consider enrolling in Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis college to learn from the best of the best in the business.

Update your resume. Cannabis-industry resumes and interviews can be particularly tricky to write. Does your home-grow experience count for anything? How do you talk about experience you got while living in a prohibition state? Will any non-cannabis skills help you land the job?

CTU’s Careers classes (included in all of our certification programs) answer these questions and more. Learn how to write a resume, customize your cover letter, and ace the interview for a cannabis job. CTU even provides templates you can use to write a killer resume and cover letter that highlights your training and credentials.

Find your job. In the current market, the best place to look for cannabis job listings is through major online job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn. Cannabis-specific recruiters like Vangst can also be a good resource for cannabis jobs.

That said, the best way to actually land a cannabis job is to network, network, network! Cannabis job seekers should attend as many cannabis networking events, industry business expos, and local B2B meet-ups as possible. At these events, you can rub elbows with cannabis hiring managers, stay up-to-date about the industry, and ultimately, score a cannabis job.

Top 6 Cannabis Jobs & Salaries:

Marijuana Grower Jobs

Marijuana growers earn on average $50,000 to over $1 million annually.
These figures vary greatly based on which state the grow is located in, how many plants are grown, and how the laws are as far as legally selling cannabis that is cultivated.

Some of the best states to make a good living growing marijuana in are:
California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, and Massachusetts.

When looking at cannabis job salaries being a marijuana grower is the most sought after position by cannabis career applicants.

To learn how to grow marijuana it is suggested to sign up for an online cannabis college. Learn everything you need to  know about growing weed step by step.

Dispensary Owner/Operator Jobs

Cannabis job salaries are sometimes topped off by dispensary owners. In some instances, cannabis dispensary owners earn well over $1 million annually.

    For example, Harborside Medical dispensary in San Jose, California reportedly does over $20 million in annual sales.

    Dispensary Manager Jobs

    A dispensary manager earns on average between $60,000 and $150,000 per year.

    Dispensary managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations at medical marijuana dispensaries, or even at recreational cannabis stores. Dispensary managers are often hired from within after starting as a budtender or cannabis trimmer.

      Marijuana Edibles Chef Jobs

      When looking at cannabis job salaries the position of marijuana edibles chef comes up as one of the most popular positions in the cannabis industry.

      A Marijuana Edibles Chef on average earns between $40,000 and $90,000 a year.

      Salaries depend on how big of a company they are employed by. How many cannabis edibles they create and sell. How many dispensaries carry their line of edibles.

      To learn how to cook with cannabis and start your own cannabis edibles business it is best to do so online.

      Budtender Jobs

      Budtender's earn on average $31,200 to $42,000 per year. Budtender jobs are very competitive and only the most educated applicants are usually chosen.

      Budtender's are responsible for choosing cannabis strains for medical marijuana patients, as well as customer service and patient education.

      Budtending is one of the most popular marijuana jobs. Budtenders are most often found in: California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Nevada, and soon to be many others.

        Marijuana Trimmer (Bud Trimmer Jobs)

        Marijuana Trimmers make on average $12 to $18 per hour, although some of the best cannabis trimmers can earn over $30 an hour.

        These trimmer jobs are most commonly found in California, Colorado, Washington, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Maine.

        Although the need for cannabis trimmers is expected to steadily clim each year and grow to many more states.

        Cannabis trimmers are also offers hired in Canada, Spain, and Australia.

        *Cannabis job salaries vary greatly based on which state you live in and which cannabis company you are hired by.

        Cannabis Industry Benefits Packages

        Cannabis companies aren’t just paying higher salaries than comparable jobs that are not in the marijuana industry. They’re also providing benefits packages, too!

        Cannabis companies are rapidly reaching and exceeding national averages in vision, dental, and 401(k) plans.

        77.9 percent of companies offered paid time off. 59.6 percent offered vision plans. 69.2 percent provided medical plans. 65.4 percent provided dental plans. 19.2 percent had 401(k) plans for employees. 22.1 percent had stock options. 28.8 percent had disability plans and only 13.5 percent had no perks.

        Cannabis Salary Differences Between States

        Cannabis salaries differences exist beyond the job description. Where you work also determines how much you make. Salary data analyzed by Marijuana Business Daily uncovered some surprising weed salary differences between states in April 2019.

        Generally, East Coast companies have been known to poach talent from the West Coast by offering higher pay and more benefits. In particular, the Northeast and mid-Atlantic have been offering higher pay and benefits than West Coast companies.

        Salary differences exist between states, but also within states. Salary differences can be impacted by a city’s cost of living and also the type of business. Some notable salary differences between states include the following:

         Maryland paid more than other states in all categories including dispensary manager, cannabis extractor, trimmer, and budtender.

        Dispensary managers in Massachusetts and Maryland earn more than managers in Oregon, California, Illinois, or Colorado. Maryland dispensary managers earn an average of $75,500 compared to $37,500 earned by dispensary managers in Oregon.

        Master cannabis extractors in North Carolina and California make more than extractors in Pennsylvania and Colorado. They can earn up to $120,000 per year in North Carolina.

        Master cultivators are paid more in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, and Maryland compared to those in Rhode Island, Illinois, Colorado, and Alaska. Their salary in Massachusetts is between $120,000 to $150,000 per year.

        California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland budtenders make more than their fellow budtenders in Oregon, Arizona, and Michigan. A Massachusetts budtender can earn between $12 and $14 per hour. In Arizona, a budtender can earn about $10 to $12 per hour.

        California and Washington state paid their trimmers less than trimmers in Colorado. Colorado pays between $12 and $16 per hour for trimmers, while California trimmers earn between $10 and $12.50 per hour.

        Colorado Marijuana Industry Salaries

        Colorado’s developed and robust medical and recreational cannabis sector is primed for expansion with new job opportunities. In Colorado, a master extractor can earn up to $70,000 a year. 

         Trimmers can earn more in Colorado than most states. Trimmers in Colorado can earn around $12 to $16 per hour. An experienced trimmer in Colorado can earn more than $2,000 more than a trimmer in Washington over the course of three months.

        Budtender hourly pay in Colorado is about $12.78 per hour on average based on data from Indeed. Common budtender benefits include store discounts, paid sick time, and flexible schedules. A marijuana grower’s average salary in Colorado reaches $51,000 and up to $73,000 a year.

        Cannabis Salaries In Canada

        Cannabis job salaries aren’t just hot in the United States. Canada’s bustling legal adult-use marijuana market is becoming profitable and cannabis job salaries are higher compared to the average job in Canada.

        A November 2018 report released shortly after legalization by Statistics Canada found that cannabis-related jobs pay $29.58 per hour compared to the Canadian average of $27.03 per hour.

         In terms of annual wages, that’s a difference of $5,304. Based on those numbers, a cannabis-related job in Canada pays about $61,526 each year. The average Canadian job pays $56,222 per year.

        Cannabis industry salaries can even exceed six figures. For example, British Columbia’s Liquor and Distribution Branch has listed positions reaching up to $112,000 a year.

         Other notable positions listed in government databases include Compliance Auditor, Product Consultant, Cannabis Harvester, Social Media Specialist, and Technical Security Officer.

        While cannabis cultivation is big in Canada, other cannabis sectors that are hiring include educational services, health care, and retail shops.

        Based on Statistics Canada’s report, the highest level of marijuana-related employment was in Ontario with an estimated 5,700 jobs as of Nov. 2018. These numbers are expected to steadily rise.

        Cannabis Cultivation Jobs In Canada

        Canada’s agriculture industry is seeing enormous gains from cultivating cannabis. A 2018 survey conducted by Cannabis At Work found pay scales for cannabis cultivation jobs are increasing faster than other jobs in the marijuana market.

        According to CEO Alison McMahon, job salaries for cultivation manager, quality assurance, processing assistant, and cultivation technician have gone up. Some cultivation-related job salaries have even increased by 14 percent.

         A quality assurance position in Alberta could earn an average of $103,000 a year. Master growers in Canada can expect about $81,000 annually. Despite the need to fill cannabis cultivation positions, applicants need job training to stand out.

        One of the biggest Canadian producers is Aurora Cannabis. According to job descriptions, Aurora Cannabis’ annual marijuana salaries include the following:

        • Store Manager: $49,000-$67,000
        • Assistant Store Manager – $37,000-$53,000
        • Quality Assurance Auditor – $56,000-$77,000
        • Store Associate – $35,00-$44,000
        • Supervisor, Packaging – $49,000-$69,000

        How to get a job in the marijuana industry

        To become the best possible cannabis candidate and to learn how to write a cannabis resume, be sure to enroll to the leading cannabis training destination, Cannabis Training University.

        Anyone interested in finding a marijuana job or starting a cannabis business will benefit from online training at the best marijuana college, Cannabis Training University.

        Start a cannabis career or marijuana job with online cannabis training at the industry-leading marijuana school.

        If you’re ready to take charge of your life and transition to the most revolutionary industry since high tech, look no further than the cannabis industry. In many areas across the United States, cannabis job opportunities will continue to grow through 2021 and into 2022.

        With a maturing industry comes stricter job qualifications. To land that perfect cannabis job, you’ll need dedication and verifiable credentials. You can get the credentials you need at Cannabis Training University.

        Take the first step towards your new career! Join thousands of satisfied cannabis professionals around the world. Sign up for a CTU cannabis certification program today!


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