Arizona cannabis jobs and marijuana careers are on the rise. The state has one of the fastest-growing medical weed markets in the country. From trimming weed to working retail, the industry has a wide range of entry-level jobs for the aspiring weed worker. Keep reading to learn more about the state of the industry and the types of jobs available.
Industry Snapshot: Arizona
The Copper State has one of the country’s most robust medical markets. In 2019, the state saw a 21 percent increase in sales. It posted an estimated $709 million in total market value. Its market supported 15,059 full-time weed jobs and counting. If adult-use weed passes in 2020, the job numbers could skyrocket.
The state’s new laws have reformed the medical pot industry by extending the validity of medical cards to two years. The state is also testing weed products, using digital cards, and improving patient access with more stores in certain areas. With an adult-use initiative on the ballot and reform of the medical program, the state’s market is set to explode.
Requirements to Work in the Industry
While the state only has a medical weed market, for now, you don’t need a medical card to work in the industry. All you need to be is over 21 years of age to work in weed. However, some security guard jobs are open to those over 18 years old. While most sectors of the industry don’t have any requirements, you must obtain a dispensary agent card if you want to work in a pot shop.
Dispensary members (principal officer and/or board member) can apply for a card for other workers. The process involves undergoing a background check, getting fingerprinted, and signing a certification agreeing you won’t give weed to unauthorized people. Other jobs in weed may also require a background check.
The state’s pot stores provide medical patients with a range of quality weed products. Budtenders are the unsung heroes of the buying process, while the store manager ensures the store meets its sales goals.
Budtenders are the main point of contact between a patient and the product. They are hired to help patients find the right type of product or strain to relieve the patient’s condition. As a budtender, you must know how weed works as a medicine. You must also know the differences between strains and how different products work inside the body.
As a front desk receptionist, you’ll be checking in all patients. They must have strong computer, typing, and communication skills. You’ll be managing inbound calls and doing other clerical duties. Front desk receptionists can earn about $14 an hour.
Security guards are in charge of protecting the staff and inventory. As a security guard, you must be friendly and approachable, while keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. You’ll be patrolling the inside and outside of the building. You may need to obtain a guard card license to work in this field. Security guards can earn between $12 and $14 per hour.
Pot farming is the backbone of the industry. Indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse companies need help to run a commercial operation. Head growers manage a team of assistants, trimmers, and other personnel. Each worker has a responsibility to keep the plants healthy and reap big yields.
Weed trimmers must have careful attention to detail when harvesting the plant. As a trimmer, you will be inspecting the buds for mold, disease, and other anomalies. You may have to package the flower products and assemble pre-rolls. Weed trimmers can make between $12 and $13 per hour.
Entry-level growers are part of the support and maintenance staff of a commercial facility. They’re in charge of a range of farming duties including cloning, transplanting, watering, and defoliation. Previous experience working in the agriculture industry is preferred. Growers can make between $15 and $16 per hour.
Weed’s processing side converts the raw material into a range of consumable products. Processors create edibles, tinctures, topicals, concentrates, and more. Entry-level jobs include prep work in the kitchen or packaging ready-for-sale products. Advanced jobs include quality control managers, weed extraction technicians, and edibles chefs.
As a packaging assistant, you’re in charge of assembling and packaging all the products. You’ll be filling, capping, inspecting, packaging, and labeling products. You’ll be doing inventory checks, loading delivery trucks, and maintaining the work area clean. While the work may be repetitive, it’s a great start for a beginner in the industry. These jobs can earn you between $11 and $17 per hour.
As an inventory specialist, you’re in charge of coordinating inventory operations. You must document and track products from packaging to sale. You’ll be working with buyers and ensuring deliveries are made on time. Pot shops may also hire inventory assistants to maintain the back-of-house storage and front displays. Inventory specialists can earn between $11 and $16 per hour.
Extraction technicians run the extraction equipment. They must work with solvents to remove the active compounds from the plant. Then, they’ll do post-extraction refinement to remove any unwanted compounds like solvents. Applicants should ideally have a degree in chemistry or related field and related work experience. Extraction technicians can earn between $35,000-$55,000 a year.
Weed’s ancillary jobs are essential for the industry. You may not be working directly with the plant, but you’ll be providing an important service to the market. Weed companies are in need of supportive services to keep their business running. In a world where pot is still maligned, now may be the best time to discover a new industry niche.
Here are just some of the most in-demand ancillary services needed for the weed industry:
- Real Estate
Arizona Cannabis College
The state weed industry is slowly on the rise. Get your foot in the door of this exciting field today. Enroll in CTU’s online weed college to learn the essentials of working in weed. CTU offers students courses in every major segment of the industry. Ready to start your pot career? Sign up here today!