New York cannabis jobs and marijuana careers are set to grow over the coming years. From budtenders to trimmers, medical pot jobs are aplenty. While adult-use isn’t legal yet, it’s never too early to prepare for the rise of recreational weed jobs. If you’re ready to take the leap into the industry, keep reading our New York weed job guide.
Industry Snapshot: New York
New Yorkers have been on the verge of passing adult-use laws. COVID-19 has derailed their effort for the time being. Currently, the state only allows medical pot use for qualifying patients. In 2019, the state’s patient count reached 112,000. The industry supported a total of 2,941 full-time jobs and made about $125 million that year.
Despite its slow pace toward legal weed, the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot. It’s worked hard to automatically expunge hundreds of thousands of weed possession convictions in the state. The state is now seeing the moral and financial incentive to legalize weed. It’s only a matter of time until it does.
Requirements to Work in the Industry
Weed jobs span from retail budtenders and edibles chefs to master growers running an entire growing facility. All applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Most pot jobs require applicants to have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent experience. Some jobs may require applicants to undergo a background check.
Regardless of which pot job you’re applying to, they all require you to have certain weed-specific skill sets. Entry-level jobs like budtenders, trimmers, and packaging associates must be familiar with the plants and products they sell. Advanced jobs like extraction technicians and master growers can require a college degree and years of relevant experience.
Cannabis education, whether online or in-person, can train workers to gain entry into this exciting world. The best education programs cover horticulture, business, medicine, and all other relevant aspects of the industry. Successfully completing a weed education program is a good sign for hiring managers who want passionate and knowledgeable workers.
Budtenders, also known as dispensary technicians and wellness advisors, work one-on-one with patients. As a budtender, you’re responsible for answering all of your patients’ questions about products, strains, and consumption methods. You’ll be checking that they have the proper identification and process their order into the POS system. Budtenders also track products and maintain inventory.
A front desk receptionist at a store or any other pot company handles incoming calls and guests. In a pot shop, a receptionist will check the patient’s identification and answer any of their questions before heading into the main showroom. As a receptionist, your day will be full of clerical duties. Strong computer and communication skills are a must.
Weed security jobs are needed for stores and cultivation facilities. As a security officer, you’re in charge of protecting the inventory and personnel. You’ll be monitoring the camera system and premises for suspicious activity. Security guards must be friendly and welcoming as they check customers in.
A trimmer, also known as a post-harvest technician, is responsible for all processing procedures during harvest. Procedures include debulking, trimming, grinding, drying, and curing harvests. As a trimmer, you’ll have to carefully manicure the buds for maximum bag appeal or extraction. Throughout the process, you’ll be entering data into state-run inventory systems and assembling the product for sale.
As an assistant grower, you’ll perform various tasks associated with growing weed plants. Tasks include seeding, transplanting, harvesting, and packaging. Cleanliness and organization are important. You’ll be in charge of sanitizing tools and work areas. You’ll also be conducting pest management to keep the plants healthy. This job is a great first step toward a rewarding career in weed cultivation.
Packaging associates are responsible for measuring, packaging, and labeling flower and/or oil-based products. You may be tasked with collecting samples to test for quality. Throughout your job, you’ll maintain a clean work environment and keep accurate records. After packaging, you’ll transport the products to a storage area.
Extraction operators work in a laboratory setting with flammable solvents and closed-loop equipment. As an operator, you must be familiar with working with solvents and botanical extraction. It’s your job to process the raw material (flower or trim) into crude oil for use in extracts, edibles, or topicals. A related science degree or equivalent experience is preferred.
Ancillary jobs don’t touch the plant in any way but provide an invaluable resource for weed companies. Some major weed companies can handle many of these tasks internally, but others outsource their services. From finding the right facility for your company to marketing the product, ancillary jobs are a great start for those curious about the pot industry.
Here are some of the weed industry’s most in-demand ancillary sectors:
- Real Estate
New York Cannabis College
New York has never been closer to legalization. Prepare for the oncoming adult-use market with CTU’s online cannabis college. We’ll teach you the ins and outs of the industry from growing to retail to medicine and more. If you’re not sure where you fit in the industry, our curriculum can help. Sign up to find your weed passion today!