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If you live in the Golden State and want to get your foot in the door of the cannabis industry, check out our guide on how to get California dispensary jobs. From budtenders to receptionists to security officers, a retail operation requires a knowledgeable and compassionate staff.

To learn how to impress hiring managers and have the right qualifications, keep reading.

California Dispensary Jobs

Whether you're planning on working for a medical or recreational dispensary (or both), there are plenty of exciting entry-level and advanced jobs for the taking. Here are just a few of the most popular dispensary jobs in California.


Budtenders are the knowledgeable and friendly salespeople that help customers find the perfect product for them. Budtenders must be aware of the different strains, products, and regulations. Previous customer service and cash handling experience are preferred.

Average salary: About $13 per hour

Delivery Driver

Delivery drivers transport purchases from the dispensary to a patient’s or customer’s home. A clean driving history and a driver’s license is required. Drivers must verify customer IDs and deliver purchases in a timely manner.

Average Salary: About $15 per hour


Receptionists must be friendly, organized, and reliable. They must check-in patients and customers, verify IDs and documents, answer phones, and other administrative support tasks. Receptionists will welcome customers and deliver exceptional customer service.

Average salary: About $12 per hour

Security Officer

Keeping employees, customers, and inventory protected is the name of the game. Monitor for suspicious activity on video and during perimeter checks. Security officers are in charge of identifying threats and preventing theft.

Average salary: About $15 per hour

Dispensary Manager

Hire staff. Run day-to-day operations. Manage expenses, inventory, and scheduling. It’s all in a day’s work. Plus, you have to keep operations compliant to retain your retail license. Dispensary managers must have previous management and leadership experience.

Average salary: About 66k per year

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work in a California Dispensary?

Under state law, all cannabis industry employees must be over the age of 21 to work at a dispensary or other cannabis business. Whether you work in a medical or recreational store, you must meet this minimum age requirement.

What Are the Legal Requirements to Work in a California Dispensary?

California does not have any legal requirements (besides the minimum age requirement) to work in a cannabis dispensary. Businesses are not required to perform criminal background checks on employees. However, some companies require you to pass a background check. Some dispensary training is required for certain employees.

Do You Need a Permit to Work in a California Dispensary?

In California, you do not need a work permit to work in a medical or adult-use dispensary. However, an employer must issue you a laminated or plastic-coated ID badge, which you must wear at all times while engaging in commercial cannabis activity.

What Are the Training Requirements to Work in a California Dispensary?

California does not have any employee training requirements for most dispensary employees. However, one supervisor and one employee must successfully complete a Cal/OSHA 30-hour General Industry Outreach course. In addition, an account manager must complete the required track-and-trace system training.

California Dispensary Job Qualifications

Job qualifications vary by job, company, and location. Here are some of the most common qualifications California dispensaries look for:

  • Driver's license
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Must pass a background check
  • Open availability/flexible schedule
  • At least 1-year experience in a similar position
  • Cannabis industry experience (preferred)

How to Get a Dispensary Job in California

Cannabis job opportunities in the state are more accessible than ever. If you’re interested in getting hired in a medical or recreational dispensary, here’s a step-by-step process on how to land the job:

  1. Know the industry: Be aware of state and local regulations. Stay on top of product trends. Read up on books, blogs, forums, and other resources about the plant, its uses, and the many different strains and products. Develop a passion for learning.
  2. Get certified: Gain industry certification from a reputable and renowned cannabis training program. Online industry training is a convenient and affordable way to gain a complete understanding of the industry and where you can fit in.
  3. Gain experience: Show off transferable skills from previous jobs or look for work in a similar non-cannabis industry job.
  4. Create a resume and cover letter: Craft an easy-to-read and thorough resume and cover letter. Cover your work history, education, certification, languages, and other skills that make you good for the job.
  5. Research dispensaries: Check out the careers section of a dispensary’s website or look for jobs on general job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter or cannabis-specific job boards.
  6. Network: Join online groups. Attend trade shows. Polish your LinkedIn profile. Reach out to employees and business owners themselves when you’ve developed a strong background and are ready to get hired.

Where to Find Dispensary Jobs in California?

California allows for the legal sale of cannabis across the state, but municipalities can ban commercial activity within its jurisdiction. In fact, two-thirds of the state’s municipalities ban cannabis businesses. Cities and counties may also limit the type of business (medical, recreational, retail, testing, etc.) that is allowed.

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Here’s a snapshot of locations in the state with the most cannabis job opportunities:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Oakland
  • Sacramento
  • San Jose
  • Long Beach
  • San Diego
  • Palm Springs
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa Rosa
  • Port Hueneme
  • San Leandro
  • Santa Barbara
  • Irvine
  • Mendota
  • Pasadena
  • Vista
  • Grover Beach
  • Berkeley
  • Moreno Valley
  • Goleta
  • Santa Cruz

California Cannabis Dispensary Training

If you're interested in joining the Golden State's cannabis industry, cannabis industry certification can help your resume stand out. Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis school to learn about the industry as a whole and how to start your career in any legal state or country. Here’s to a green and prosperous future!

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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