Let’s go in-depth on Florida marijuana jobs and cannabis careers. There’s no denying that the Sunshine State is one of the fastest-growing cannabis job markets in the world. In fact, a report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics indicates that Florida is expected to bring in about $1.3 billion over the next five years.
Florida is the third-most populous state in the country and has one of the largest registered patient counts in the country. In terms of cannabis job growth, analysts predict the state’s medical cannabis market could create even more marijuana jobs in Florida in industries such as cannabis cultivation, cannabis extraction, and more.
Is Marijuana Legal In Florida?
Currently, cannabis is illegal for recreational use in Florida. Although marijuana possession laws vary by county, generally, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, a driver’s license suspension, and a $1,000 fine in Florida. Some counties such as Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County allow civil citations instead of harsher penalties.
In 2016, medical marijuana use was legalized via a constitutional amendment and approved by voters with a 71 percent vote. The medical marijuana law allowed patients with qualifying conditions to receive medical cannabis treatment. Until recently, smoking cannabis was banned. The restriction was later ruled unconstitutional and eventually dropped in March 2019.
Florida Medical Marijuana Jobs
Florida’s medical marijuana market alone is responsible for the momentous demand and remarkable revenue growth. Florida medical marijuana jobs are more accessible than ever, but the job market can become quite competitive. Florida dispensaries and cultivators are looking for dependable and knowledgeable job candidates who know the basics of cannabis.
In the first year of legal sales, Florida’s medical marijuana market saw a 93 percent increase in revenue. According to Leafly’s latest 2020 cannabis jobs report, Florida’s more than 300,000 registered patients were finally able to buy whole cannabis flower buds to smoke. Dispensaries were selling about 19,000 ounces of flower per week by the end of 2019.
In 2019, Florida came in fifth with the most cannabis jobs. Florida had 15,498 cannabis-related jobs compared to California’s leading 39,804 cannabis jobs. Leafly notes that “Florida’s total market value (annual gross sales) now approaches $800 million – which puts it within shouting distance of adult-use retail states like Oregon and Washington.”
Florida’s medical marijuana patient count is now leading other major markets. If recreational marijuana use was legalized, Florida would account for 12 percent of the country’s cannabis market and employ 128,000 by 2025 according to a 2019 study from New Frontier Data.
Even without a robust recreational market, Florida is ripe for marijuana job growth in cultivation, retail, manufacturing, extraction, cooking, healthcare, and many more cannabis-related job sectors.
Per Florida law, cannabis industry employees must be at least 21 years of age. Experience and educational levels vary by job position. Job applicants may also be subject to a comprehensive background check and a drug screening test before getting hired.
Florida Cultivation Jobs
Florida’s cultivation field is hiring for many different cultivation positions including trimmer, assistant grower, and master grower. Master grower may grow cannabis or hemp in a large-scale facility and manage every aspect of plant growth along with a team of growers. A master grower in Florida can earn well over six figures.
Entry-level job applicants can apply to become a trimmer or cultivation technician in Florida to build their way up the job ladder. For trimmers, positions may require at least a year of trimming experience or experience in the agriculture industry. A trimming position in Florida pays about $12 an hour.
Trimmers are responsible for cutting and preparing marijuana flowers. Trimmers may help out in propagating, cultivating, harvesting, and packaging the product. Trimmers must be adept at noticing pests or diseases and pruning the leaf according to the company’s best practices.
Trimmers can work their way up to become a grower’s assistant. A growing assistant may require a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture or a relevant field, but companies may also look for applicants with three to five years of experience in a related position. Assistant growers can earn between $40,000 and $50,000 per year.
Florida Dispensary Jobs
Dispensary managers take care of the day-to-day operations of a retail location in accordance with state and local regulations. Managers must create a work schedule, train new employees, meet sales quotas, approve payroll, manage inventory, and ensure that staff are providing the best customer service to patients, caregivers, and vendors. A dispensary manager can earn about $60,000 a year or more.
An assistant general manager is responsible for helping the dispensary manager with managing the day-to-day operations of a medical cannabis dispensary. An assistant manager will oversee patient identification and document certain inventory information. An assistant manager in Florida can earn between $14 and $19 per hour.
A Florida budtender is a highly motivated and energetic individual with a passion for helping medical patients find the right type of cannabis on a consistent basis. Budtenders must exhibit professionalism and compassion when explaining the different cannabis terms and medicinal products.
Budtending positions may require at least three years of experience in retail and using a point-of-sale system. Budtenders can earn between $13 and $15 per hour. No certification is needed, but applicants can earn online marijuana certification for a better chance at getting hired.
Florida Extraction Jobs
Florida is also hiring in the cannabis extraction job sector. Extraction technicians support the entire extraction process. Applicants must know how to use the equipment and systems associated with concentrate production. Applicants may need a Bachelor’s or Associate degree and knowledge about solventless extraction methods. Extraction technicians can earn about $50,000 per year.
A master extractor or director of cannabis extraction can earn more than six figures. Master extractors are responsible for managing the entire facility and personnel. The head of the extraction facility is in charge of remaining compliant with state law. The master extractor is ultimately responsible for producing pure and potent cannabis extracts.
Ancillary Cannabis Jobs
Florida has also seen a surge for certified marijuana doctor positions. For these positions, applicants must be licensed as an MD or DO and have a medical marijuana certification. Prior experience prescribing marijuana is not necessary. Florida marijuana doctors can earn between $100,000 to $300,000 a year.
A packaging and warehouse position can pay about $13.50 per hour. A warehouse worker is responsible for tracking inventory and managing production goals. A packager may process orders and coordinate with carriers to ensure speedy shipping.
Packagers must understand state and local medical marijuana laws and how they apply to certain processes. This position may also require keeping records of shipped and received goods and operating large machinery.
Other ancillary industries hiring include sales, accounting, attorneys, marketing, security, distribution, delivery, and so much more.
Florida Marijuana Job Benefits
Florida’s medical marijuana jobs can also come with some enticing job perks and benefits. Besides a competitive salary, companies may offer medical, dental, vision, life insurance, personal time off and holiday for management positions. Entry-level positions can sometimes earn many of these same job benefits as well as store discounts and bonuses.
Do Florida Jobs Allow Medical Marijuana Use?
Florida allows the use and sale of medical marijuana, but employers can still maintain a drug-free workplace. Generally, employers are able to enforce zero-tolerance policies, but legislators are fighting for protections for medical users against employers. Certain safety-sensitive positions would not qualify for the protections.
Legalization In Florida
An overwhelming majority of Florida voters already support marijuana legalization. A February 2020 poll conducted by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Lab and First Coast News found that 64 percent of voters supported the recreational sale and use of 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana. Both Democrats and Republicans had a majority support for legalization.
Despite the massive support for weed by Floridians, initiatives have failed to make it to the recent 2020 ballot. One of the major two initiatives ran out of money, while the other failed to reach enough signatures due to certain provisions in the proposed bill. While recreational pot isn’t knocking on the door, medical marijuana continues to grow to unprecedented proportions.
Florida Marijuana College
If you want to learn how to get a job in Florida’s competitive medical marijuana industry, join Cannabis Training U’s online cannabis college for a complete education on the essentials of cannabis as an industry, the science of the plant, state regulations, and more fundamental topics.
Students can join our Tampa marijuana college, Orlando marijuana college, Jacksonville cannabis school, Miami marijuana training, St. Petersburg marijuana school, and basically learn from any Florida city and beyond as long as they have an internet connection and a phone, tablet, or laptop. Start your journey toward a rewarding career in cannabis today with CTU.