TABLE OF CONTENTS
As of January 1, 2021, the United States cannabis industry supported 321,000 full-time jobs. Analysts predict that the industry will generate another 340,000 full-time marijuana jobs in 2022.
Those numbers don’t even include the black market cannabis industry, which is valued at roughly $64 billion. As more states legalize marijuana, thousands of black market jobs will move to the legal weed industry.
What does this mean for aspiring marijuana industry employees? It means that 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 cannabis jobs in the industry.
Cannabis Cultivation Jobs
Let’s start at the beginning. The cannabis industry supply chain starts in the farms and cultivation centers that grow hemp and marijuana plants. Some of the most popular marijuana jobs can be found in cannabis cultivation.
At the most basic level, marijuana growers and trimmers are responsible for cultivating and harvesting cannabis plants. Specific duties depend on the employee’s job title and level f responsibility.
Master growers are responsible for setting up and managing every single aspect of the grow. New cultivation associates might work on basic jobs like watering plants. Mid-level growers often do more advanced jobs like garden problem solving. Cannabis trimmers are responsible for trimming and packaging the harvested plants.
It isn’t easy to get a job in a marijuana cultivation center, especially at the upper levels. Even if you have a lot of experience, you might have to start out as an assistant grower and work your way up. A Cannabis Growing Pro certification will help you land a cannabis cultivation job. Once you find a job, self-motivation and willingness to learn new techniques will be essential to advancement.
As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana, cannabis cultivation jobs will continue to crop up. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular marijuana cultivation jobs.
Master Grower Cannabis Careers
Master Growers rake in a substantial annual salary in the marijuana industry. That makes sense—becoming a Master Grower requires extensive knowledge, experience, and motivation. So what does it mean to be a Master Grower?
A Master Grower has agricultural experience that includes the oversight of large crops. Because a Master Grower is in charge of the entire cultivation operation, this is essential. Whether it’s thousands of marijuana plants or acres of avocado trees, Master Growers need to prove that they understand the ins and outs of commercial agricultural production.
Master Growers must be knowledgeable in the fields of botany, soil science, and agricultural studies. A deep understanding of these complex systems is the key to implementing tried-and-true strategies in nutrition, integrated pest management (IPM), micro-propagation, and more.
Master Growers don’t only manage the plants—they manage the entire cultivation operation. This means that Master Growers need to have stellar management skills. Master growers need to be able to deal with supply chains, troubleshoot problems, and delegate tasks to Junior Growers, Inventory Managers, and Bud Trimmers.
Cannabis Cultivation Manager
Cannabis Cultivation Managers manage parts of the grow operation under the guidance of the Master Grower. Cultivation Facility Managers must have a solid understanding of agricultural sciences, including cropping systems, soil science, agronomy, botany, and horticulture.
Marijuana Cultivation Managers are often responsible for plant irrigation, nutrient administration, soil mixes, and light exposure. They may also be responsible for correcting nutrient deficiencies, pest infestations, and plant diseases. Cannabis Cultivation Managers also manage other employees, such as Assistant Growers, Cannabis Trimmers, and Marijuana Packagers.
Assistant Cannabis Grower
Entry-level growers (known as Assistant Growers, Field Hands, or Cultivation Associates) work directly under the guidance of a Cannabis Cultivation Manager. At a minimum, workers in these positions need to have experience working with plants in a commercial environment. If you’ve worked in a plant nursery or interned on a farm, you’re a perfect candidate for a junior marijuana grower position.
Assistant Cannabis Growers are responsible for the overall cleanliness of the cultivation facility. They ensure that the warehouse is free of debris, water, soil, and chemical residue. Assistant Marijuana Growers also water plants, mix nutrients, and check marijuana plants for nutrient deficiencies, pests, and diseases. A Cannabis Cultivation Manager directs all activities.
With a sharp eye, an entry-level grower can quickly move up the grow facility ladder to become a Cultivation Manager and eventually, even a Master Grower!
Marijuana bud trimming is one of the most popular cannabis industry jobs. As the demand for cannabis flower increases, so does the need for Cannabis Bud Trimmers.
Cannabis trimming requires precision, concentration, and endurance. A Cannabis Trimmer’s main objective is to separate cannabis buds from the stalks and leaves. Marijuana Trimmers need to know how to remove most of the stems and leaves while retaining trichome coverage. Cannabis Bud Trimmers might also have to use marijuana trimming machines to speed up production.
A Marijuana Trimmer job is an excellent starting point for a cannabis cultivation career. Trimmers can gain experience, earn promotions, and learn more about growing cannabis.
Marijuana Cultivation Job Requirements
This table summarizes the requirements for jobs at cannabis cultivation facilities. In addition to education and experience requirements, employees who work in cannabis cultivation need to get a special cannabis-industry work permit from their local government.
|Master’s degree (agriculture),
|Bachelor’s degree (agriculture),
|High school diploma,
|High school diploma,
Salaries for Cannabis Cultivation Jobs
Salaries for marijuana growers vary by geographic area. Urban cannabis farmers make much more money than their rural peers. Wages also depend on the size of the facility. This table summarizes average annual salaries for marijuana cultivation jobs in 2021: in the United States as a whole and in two US cities.
Cannabis Extraction Jobs
After cannabis is grown and harvested, flowers that aren’t sold directly to consumers are usually converted into marijuana extracts. Cannabis concentrates are not only popular with consumers—they’re also the active ingredient in marijuana edibles, vape pens, and virtually all cannabis-infused products.
Let’s take a closer look at the jobs in a cannabis extraction facility.
Cannabis Extraction Laboratory Director
The director of a cannabis extraction laboratory provides strategic leadership and oversees all laboratory operations. From purchasing extraction equipment to recruiting team members, Marijuana Extraction Lab Directors control every aspect of the manufacturing process from start to finish.
Cannabis Extraction Laboratory Directors are not only responsible for the quality of the product they make—they are also responsible for the safety of their employees and equipment. Extraction facilities are full of dangerous equipment and highly combustible materials. Safety is a big consideration in a cannabis extraction lab.
Master Cannabis Extractor
If you want to embark on the most lucrative job in the marijuana industry, become a Master Marijuana Extractor. A Master Cannabis Extractor is responsible for the processes that turn thousands of pounds of raw cannabis material into liquid gold—cannabis concentrate.
Marijuana extraction is an incredibly complicated field. Everything you do is pure science. Cannabis Extractors need to understand chemistry, botany, solvents, cannabinoids, terpenes, pressure, temperature, and much more.
In most cases, Master Marijuana Extractors come from one of two backgrounds.
When the legal cannabis industry was new, extract artists were usually passionate, self-trained technicians who had a lot of experience in cannabis extraction at a commercial level. These Master Cannabis Extractors made up for their lack of formal education with a lot of experience.
In the modern market, Master Marijuana Extractors are more likely to be laboratory-trained chemists who have switched to the marijuana industry. These chemists are likely to hold a Ph.D. in chemistry or chemical engineering.
Cannabis Extraction Laboratory Manager
Cannabis Extraction Laboratory Managers handle the day-to-day operations of the extraction facility. They delegate activities to the extraction team and make sure that the team processes, tests, and packages the products correctly.
Marijuana Extraction Lab Managers need a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or chemical engineering and experience in cannabis extraction.
Cannabis Extraction Technician
Cannabis Extraction Technicians, often called chemists or lab technicians, work under a Master Extractor and Extraction Lab Manager. Extraction technicians set up the equipment for cannabis extraction, keep the equipment clean, and follow safe work practices. They run extraction, post-extraction, and distillation process.
Producing cannabis concentrates is one of the most difficult jobs in the cannabis industry. Most extraction technicians have a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry or chemical engineering.
Cannabis Extraction Assistant
Cannabis Extraction Assistants help Marijuana Extraction Technicians with all parts of the extraction process. This job allows employees to learn about the entire extraction process, giving them a path to becoming an Extraction Technician. Entry-level Extraction Technicians usually do simpler tasks, such as cleaning the workspace, preparing biomass for extraction, and packaging.
Marijuana Extraction Job Requirements
This table summarizes the requirements for jobs at cannabis extraction facilities. In addition to education and experience requirements, marijuana extraction employees need to get a special cannabis-industry work permit from their local government. A Cannabis Extraction Pro certification can help you land a cannabis extraction job.
|Master’s degree (business and/or chemistry), cannabis certification
|Ph.D. (chemistry or chemical engineering), cannabis certification
|Bachelor’s degree (chemistry),
|Associate’s degree (chemistry),
|High school diploma,
Salaries for Cannabis Extraction Jobs
Salaries in a cannabis extraction facility vary by geographic area and facility size. This table summarizes average annual salaries for marijuana cultivation jobs in 2021: in the United States as a whole and in two US cities.
|Extraction Lab Director/ Master Extractor
|Extraction Lab Manager
Cannabis Infused-Product Manufacturing Jobs
After extraction facilities extract and concentrate the cannabis essential oils, these oils can be infused into cannabis edibles, topicals, beverages, and other products. That’s where marijuana infused product manufacturers (MIPs) come in.
Although some infused product manufacturers use marijuana flowers to infuse their products, the vast majority of MIPs start the process with cannabis concentrates. There’s a good reason for this. When an infused product manufacturer starts with canna-butter from marijuana flowers, they have to send the cannabis butter to a laboratory for potency testing before they can add it to an infused product.
However, if they start with a cannabis concentrate, the percentage of cannabinoids is already known, so they can skip that potency test. This saves MIPs a significant amount of time and money.
Cannabis infused product manufacturers usually follow one of two business models. Smaller companies manufacture their products in a commercial kitchen. These cannabis businesses hire people with training as kitchen workers and use standard commercial kitchen processes and equipment. Larger marijuana infused product manufacturers are more likely to make products in a factory setting.
These marijuana businesses hire factory workers and use standard industrial processes and equipment. In either of these models, a Cannabis Cooking Pro certification can help you land a job.
Let’s take a closer look at marijuana infused-product manufacturing jobs.
Executive/Cannabis Formulation Chef
Are you a trained chef who likes to make cannabis-infused food? Then a Canna-Chef job might be perfect for you!
The cannabis industry has plenty of opportunities for chefs who cook with marijuana. In fact, cannabis cooking is one of the most popular cannabis jobs! Cannabis jobs for highly experienced chefs include formulation chef and executive chef. Let’s break it down.
Marijuana Formulation Chefs create recipes for cannabis-infused products. A Cannabis Formulation Chef needs to know how to dose cannabis-infused products and scale recipes in a commercial setting. Experienced Formulation Chefs who have worked with cannabis are in high demand at both small- and large-scale edible manufacturing companies.
The cannabis catering industry is a growing destination for Canna-Chefs. Ever since California opened the first-ever cannabis cafe, hundreds of businesses have begun to petition for marijuana restaurant permits. Fusing these two sectors into a single job has incredible potential.
Cannabis Executive Chefs run day-to-day cannabis kitchen operations in small-to-medium MIPs and catering companies. Often, the Executive Chef also formulates the products and designs the menus—especially in smaller cannabis companies. Executive Cannabis Chefs need to have excellent time and people management skills in addition to stellar cooking expertise.
Cannabis Kitchen Manager
Cannabis Kitchen Managers run day-to-day marijuana kitchen operations for small-to-medium cannabis catering companies and marijuana infused product manufacturers. Marijuana Kitchen Managers don’t formulate products or design menus—they stick to managing the operations put in place by the Executive/Formulation Chef(s).
Cannabis Kitchen Managers are responsible for quality control, organization, and efficiency. Because of this, Marijuana Kitchen Managers need to have time and people management skills in addition to cannabis kitchen experience.
Cannabis Kitchen Assistant
To get your foot in the door at a cannabis kitchen, consider a job as a Marijuana Kitchen Assistant. Cannabis Kitchen Assistants perform the day-to-day tasks in cannabis commercial kitchens. There’s no better way to learn about everything that goes into creating a cannabis infused product!
For a Cannabis Kitchen Assistant job, commercial kitchen experience is key. Hiring mangers know that if you understand the workings of a commercial kitchen, you will be able to learn cannabis-specific processes without a problem.
Cannabis Machine Operator
Do you have experience operating the equipment at a factory that produces edible or cosmetic products? If so, you have the skills you need to work at a cannabis infused product factory!
Cannabis factory workers operate, maintain, and repair the production equipment used to make cannabis-infused products. Machine Operators usually learn the skills of their trade through apprenticeship or on-the-job training. That means you might be able to land an entry-level job without much experience!
Cannabis Production Manager
A Marijuana Production Manager is responsible for day-to-day operations at a cannabis-infused product factory. They ensure that production stays on schedule, manage workers, and troubleshoot production problems. A Cannabis Production Manager needs to be detail oriented and have excellent math, computer, and inventory management skills.
Cannabis Quality Control Specialist
Also known as a Quality Assurance Associate, Quality & Compliance Manager, or Quality Analyst, a Cannabis Quality Control Specialist is responsible for ensuring that products are in compliance with state, local, and company regulations. This position is especially important in the cannabis industry.
With multiple state and local regulations, frequent policy changes, and very real safety risks, cannabis-industry Quality Control Specialists have a more difficult job than their peers in other industries.
Marijuana Quality Control Specialists develop and improve the supply chain, test products, and ensure that all aspects of the company comply with government requirements. They also handle product recalls, internal product releases, and product labeling.
To work as a Cannabis Quality Control Specialist, you should be familiar with overall quality manufacturing standards as well as specific government rules and requirements for the cannabis, food, and cosmetics industries.
Cannabis Infused-Product Manufacturing Job Requirements
This table summarizes the requirements for jobs at cannabis infused product manufacturing facilities. In addition to education and experience requirements, marijuana infused product manufacturing employees need to get a special cannabis-industry work permit from their local government.
|Bachelor’s degree (culinary arts), cannabis certification
|High school diploma,
|High school diploma,
|High school diploma,
|None (on-the-job training provided)
|Bachelor’s degree (business), cannabis certification
|Quality Control Specialist
|Associate’s degree (quality assurance), cannabis certification
|None (on-the-job training provided)
Salaries for Infused-Product Manufacturing Cannabis Careers
Salaries in a cannabis commercial kitchen or marijuana infused product facility vary by geographic area and facility size. This table summarizes average annual salaries for marijuana manufacturing jobs in 2021: in the United States as a whole and in two US cities.
|Quality Control Specialist
Cannabis Test Lab Jobs
All marijuana and hemp products—from flowers to extracts to edibles—must be tested at an approved cannabis testing laboratory. The specific requirements depend on state regulations, but can include tests for potency, residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and microorganisms. Companies use laboratories to test their marijuana products to stay compliant with state and local laws and ensure public safety.
Since all cannabis products must be tested, jobs in a marijuana testing laboratory will never be in short supply. However, these jobs may require advanced degrees in chemistry and experience in an analytical laboratory.
Read on for more information about jobs in a marijuana test lab.
Cannabis Testing Laboratory Manager
A Cannabis Test Lab Manager is responsible for all processes, personnel, and equipment in a laboratory that tests marijuana for potency and purity. This includes creating policies and procedures, handling and analyzing samples, allocation of resources, workflow, quality assurance, and employee management. A Marijuana Testing Laboratory Manager usually reports to the owner of the marijuana test facility.
Cannabis Testing Laboratory Technician
Cannabis Testing Lab Technicians, also known as Lab Analysts, are responsible for receiving samples of cannabis products, preparing them for analysis, conducting analysis, and maintaining logs and equipment. They may have to work with a laboratory information management system (LIMS). A Marijuana Laboratory Analyst usually reports directly to the Cannabis Test Lab Manager.
Cannabis Test Lab Job Requirements
This table summarizes the requirements for jobs at a cannabis test lab. In addition to education and experience requirements, marijuana test lab employees need to get a special cannabis-industry work permit from their local government.
|Testing Lab Manager
|Master’s degree (chemistry), cannabis certification
|2 to 4+ years
|Testing Lab Technician
|Associate’s degree (chemistry),
Salaries for Marijuana Testing Lab Jobs
Salaries in a cannabis test labs vary by geographic area and facility size. This table summarizes average annual salaries for marijuana test lab jobs in 2021: in the United States as a whole and in two US cities.
|Cannabis Testing Laboratory Manager
|Marijuana Testing Laboratory Technician
Marijuana Dispensary Jobs
After the marijuana crop has been harvested, concentrates have been extracted, products have been infused, and everything has been tested, it’s time to sell the cannabis products at a marijuana dispensary. Cannabis dispensary jobs are similar to other retail jobs—with a lot more responsibilities!
Dispensary managers, budtenders, and receptionists play a crucial role in the day-to-day operations of a marijuana dispensary. These workers screen clients, recommend products, and ensure the safety of customers and staff. Cannabis dispensaries are always looking competent individuals who are responsible, dedicated, and knowledgeable enough to excel at these important tasks. A Cannabis Dispensary Pro or Cannabis Budtender certification can also help you land a marijuana dispensary job.
Let’s look at the main jobs at a dispensary.
Cannabis Dispensary Manager
Do you have management experience in a retail environment and a love for cannabis? Then a Marijuana Dispensary Manager job might be perfect for you!
Cannabis Dispensary Managers are expected to handle a wide range of tasks in an efficient and streamlined manner. A Dispensary Store Manager must be able to delegate tasks, ensure that customers are satisfied, supervise day-to-day operations, and maintain revenue on an ongoing basis. Marijuana Store Managers are also responsible for making sure that the dispensary complies with federal, state, and local laws.
Becoming a Marijuana Dispensary Manager isn’t easy. There’s a lot of competition. Applicants must prove that they have excellent delegation, communication, problem-solving, planning, and decision-making skills—just to get in the door. Experience in training employees, loss prevention, and merchandising is also a plus. A Cannabis Dispensary Pro certification can give you an edge over other candidates.
Marijuana budtending can be an incredibly rewarding job. Cannabis budtenders have the opportunity to educate people about cannabis every single day. They engage with a wide variety of individuals—from 21-year-olds buying recreational cannabis for the first time to elderly patients who are finally ready to try a marijuana product.
As the face of the cannabis industry, budtenders need to be friendly, helpful, and adept at handling customer service issues.
Cannabis Budtenders need to be exceedingly knowledgeable about everything cannabis. They need to know popular marijuana strains like the backs of their hands. They should be able to describe cannabinoid, terpene, and entourage effects. A good Marijuana Budtender will know their dispensary’s products inside and out.
Medical Marijuana Budtenders need an even better understanding of cannabis than recreational budtenders. They need to be able to explain the differences between cannabis administration methods and teach patients how to titrate their marijuana dose. A Medical Cannabis Budtender should know about marijuana drug interactions, contraindications, and side effects as well.
All Cannabis Budtenders need to know how to verify customer documentation and work with a point-of-sale system. Previous retail experience and Cannabis Budtender training can give Cannabis Budtender job candidates a competitive edge.
A Marijuana Dispensary Receptionist at a greets customers, checks IDs, and manages customer entry into the product sales room. A Marijuana Receptionist might also coordinate with security personnel and help customers fill out forms. Because Cannabis Receptionists are the first point of contact for the dispensary, they should be warm and welcoming.
Some Marijuana Receptionist jobs are full-time, but at smaller dispensaries, budtenders and security guards often take on front desk duties as part of their job. For a receptionist-only position, Marijuana Dispensary Managers usually hire people who have experience in both the hospitality and marijuana industries.
Cannabis Dispensary Job Requirements
The requirements to work in a marijuana dispensary vary based on the type of dispensary (medical or adult use) and the location.
In addition to education and experience requirements, dispensary employees need to get a special cannabis-industry work permit from their local government. Some areas require medical dispensary employees to have a medical marijuana card as well.
This table summarizes the requirements for cannabis dispensary jobs.
|Bachelor’s degree (retail management), cannabis certification
|High school diploma,
Salaries for Marijuana Dispensary Jobs
Salaries in a cannabis dispensaries vary by dispensary type, geographic area, and store size. This table summarizes average annual salaries for marijuana dispensary jobs in 2021: in the United States as a whole and in two US cities.
Hemp Retail Jobs
A discussion of cannabis-industry jobs would be remiss if it didn’t cover hemp retail jobs. Hemp is a legal term describing marijuana that has 0.3% THC or less. That means hemp is cannabis too!
Hemp retail stores sell cannabis flowers and infused products that contain less than 0.3% THC. They carry products infused with every cannabinoid available—except THC! Although hemp retail store inventories are generally heavy with CBD products, other cannabinoids, like delta-8, have become increasingly popular.
Because of changing products and regulations, it’s imperative that hemp retail store employees keep up with laws and legal definitions that apply to the cannabinoids found in hemp.
Let’s look at the main jobs in a hemp retail store.
Hemp Retail Store Manager
Do you have management experience in a retail environment and a love for cannabis, but live in a prohibition state? If so, a Hemp Retail Manager job might be perfect for you!
Hemp Retail Managers are expected to handle a wide range of tasks efficiently. A Hemp Store Manager must be able to delegate tasks, ensure that customers are satisfied, supervise day-to-day operations, and maintain revenue on an ongoing basis. Hemp Store Managers are also responsible for ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
Hemp Sales Associate
Retail Sales Associates at hemp stores have the opportunity to educate people about hemp and cannabinoids every single day. They engage with a wide variety of individuals—from recreational users to patients who want to try legal, cannabis-based medicine. Hemp Retail Associates need to be friendly, helpful, and adept at handling customer service issues.
Hemp Sales Associates need to be exceedingly knowledgeable about everything cannabis—including THC! Just because hemp stores don’t sell THC doesn’t mean that Hemp Sales Associates won’t have to field questions about it.
A Good Hemp Retail Associate knows their store’s products inside and out. A Hemp Retail Associate also needs to know popular hemp strains like the back of their hand. They should also be able to describe the effects of cannabinoids, terpenes, and entourage effects.
Hemp Retail Store Job Requirements
This table summarizes the requirements for hemp retail jobs.
|Hemp Store Manager
|Associate’s degree (retail management), hemp or cannabis certification
|Hemp Retail Associate
|High school diploma,
hemp or cannabis certification
Salaries for Hemp Retail Store Jobs
Salaries in hemp retail stores vary by geographic area. Often, employees in prohibition states earn more than their peers in states that have legal cannabis programs.
This table summarizes average annual salaries for hemp retail store jobs in 2021: in the United States as a whole and in two US cities.
|Hemp Retail Store Manager
|Hemp Store Retail Associate
Jobs That Apply to Multiple Cannabis Industry Sectors
Now that we’ve discussed cannabis jobs from cultivation through retail, let’s take a look at jobs that are applicable to several cannabis industry sectors.
Regardless of the cannabis industry sector they operate in, most marijuana business need employees to do things like package products, manage inventory, and provide security. Many marijuana businesses also need to hire cannabis delivery drivers. These drivers deliver products either directly to customers or to retail locations.
Let’s take a closer look at cannabis jobs that apply to multiple industry sectors.
Marijuana cultivation, extraction, and infused-product manufacturing facilities all have employees who are responsible for packaging cannabis products. Large dispensaries and hemp retail stores sometimes hire Cannabis Product Packagers as well.
Marijuana Packagers are responsible for weighing products, filling vials and jars, applying labels, and counting inventory. They are also responsible for ensuring that all aspects of their work are properly documented and compliant with state laws.
Successful Cannabis Packagers have a strong attention to detail and work well in a team environment. Packaging personnel do not need extensive experience. However, it helps to have a background in production. If you’ve worked at a warehouse job for Amazon or another major distributor, you’re a prime candidate for a marijuana packaging job.
Cannabis Inventory Manager
Marijuana Inventory Managers are responsible for tracking cannabis products and raw materials as they move from place to place. Cannabis Inventory Managers process outgoing orders and make sure they get to the right place. This includes logging the loss, sale, and receipt of cannabis products and ingredients.
Cannabis Inventory Managers track the purchase of raw materials for marijuana production facilities and merchandise for retail stores. A Dispensary Inventory Manager may be responsible for updating the dispensary menu as well. A Cannabis Inventory Manager always needs to know what is on hand at their facility, when the next batch will be ready, and when the current batch will be shipping out.
Marijuana Inventory Managers also track inventory for compliance reasons. Most states with a legal cannabis program have a government-enforced track-and-trace system that retailers and distributors must use. Cannabis Inventory Managers must ensure that each transaction is in compliance with local laws and regulations.
Cannabis Security Guard
Have you recently retired from the military? Have you ever worked in law enforcement? If so, a Cannabis Security Guard position might be a good fit for you.
Cannabis plants, products, and cash obtained through sales can be prime targets for theft. This makes security an essential component of the marijuana industry.
Marijuana Security Guards are responsible for the safety of customers, employees, and inventory at a marijuana business. Cannabis Security Guards work at all types of cannabis facilities, including marijuana cultivation centers, cannabis infused product factories, and medical and recreational dispensaries.
Cannabis Security Guards typically have law enforcement or military experience. Alertness and professionalism are key—as is the ability to recognize and diffuse a tough situation before it escalates. Marijuana Security Guards must be aware, diligent, and trustworthy. Applicants for a Cannabis Security Guard position may also need to have a BSIS Guard Card (in California) or other government-sanctioned certification.
Depending on the job, you may need to carry a firearm for a Marijuana Security Guard job. Armed positions will require applicants to have a concealed pistol license. Armed Cannabis Security Guards usually earn more than unarmed guards.
Because cannabis companies can’t have business accounts in federal banks, they often operate on a cash basis. Because of this, Cannabis Security Guards are often responsible for watching over the massive sums of cash that accumulate in marijuana businesses in addition to monitoring people and products.
Cannabis Delivery Driver
There are two types of Marijuana Delivery Drivers: drivers who deliver cannabis from one marijuana businesses to another, and drivers who deliver cannabis to retail customers and medical marijuana patients.
Delivering cannabis from business to business was one of the first jobs in the cannabis industry. After all, someone needs to get the cannabis from the cultivation center to the processing facility or dispensary! Business-to-business Cannabis Delivery Drivers usually provide security services to protect the cash and merchandise.
In 2017, Oregon became the first state to allow marijuana delivery to customers. Since then, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont have legalized cannabis delivery.
Although this is exciting news for aspiring Marijuana Delivery Drivers, keep in mind that currently, only half of the states with legal cannabis programs allow home delivery. Each state takes a different approach to cannabis delivery. Some areas limit cannabis delivery to medical patients. In Colorado, for example, medical marijuana delivery became legal in 2020, but recreational delivery didn’t begin until 2021. Other states impose limiting conditions on Marijuana Delivery Drivers. For example, Cannabis Delivery Drivers in California must be W2 employees of a dispensary.
The primary responsibilities of a Marijuana Delivery Driver are to deliver products on time, be respectful to customers, and drive safely. All drivers who transport marijuana need to have a clean driving record, a smartphone, and a reliable, insured, and registered vehicle. If you use your own car for the delivery job, your employer will reimburse you for gas and tolls.
In addition to wages paid by their employer, Cannabis Delivery Drivers often to receive and keep tips from customers. With minimal requirements and good pay, delivering marijuana is an excellent way to break into the cannabis industry and gain some legitimate experience.
Requirements for Multi-Sector Cannabis Jobs
The requirements for the multi-sector jobs in this section vary based on the type of business and the geographical location. In addition to education and experience requirements, cannabis employees often need to get a special cannabis-industry work permit.
This table summarizes the requirements for all multi-sector marijuana jobs.
|High school diploma,
|Cannabis Inventory Manager
|High school diploma, cannabis certification
|Marijuana Security Guard
|High school diploma, cannabis certification
|Cannabis Delivery Driver
|High school diploma,
clean driving record, cannabis certification
Salaries for Multi-Sector Cannabis Industry Jobs
Salaries in the multi-sector cannabis-industry jobs described in this section vary by business type, geographic area, and business size. This table summarizes average annual salaries for these jobs in 2021: in the United States as a whole and in two US cities.
|Cannabis Inventory Manager
|Marijuana Security Guard
|Cannabis Delivery Driver
Professions With a Marijuana Focus
The marijuana careers described up to this point are specific to the cannabis industry. However, several traditional professions can have a cannabis-industry focus. When professionals offer their services to marijuana businesses and consumers, they can carve out a niche that will increase both customer base and company revenue.
In most cases, changing focus won’t even require professionals to touch the cannabis plant! This makes the prospect of serving cannabis clients both more lucrative and safer than the average cannabis job. A Cannabis Business Pro certification can help you learn what you need to know about cannabis to bring your skills to the cannabis industry.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these marijuana professions.
There are two types of cannabis attorneys: those who serve businesses and those who serve individuals. Although the work in these two specialties is very different, all marijuana lawyers must stay up to date on local, state, and federal cannabis laws.
Cannabis Business Attorneys help cannabis businesses adhere to state and local regulations. They specialize in various aspects of cannabis business ownership, including real estate, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, compliance, and more.
If you want to become a Marijuana Business Attorney, you should obtain your license to practice law in a state that has a legal cannabis program. Salaries for Cannabis Business Lawyers are on par with the average salaries of attorneys in general.
Marijuana Trial Attorneys help cannabis consumers and patients who have violated local, state, and federal regulations. Marijuana Trial Lawyers usually practice in states that prohibit the legal sale and use of marijuana. On average, Cannabis Trial Attorneys earn slightly less than their mainstream peers.
However, the intrinsic rewards of working with cannabis clients—often medical patients with heart-wrenching stories—can be priceless.
Zoning restrictions, moratoriums, and commercial leases are the source of major confusion for budding cannabis businesses. As a Marijuana Realtor, you can help marijuana businesses cut through the red tape—at a premium price! Cannabis Realtors earn well over six figures, making cannabis real estate one of the highest-grossing cannabis professions.
Cannabis Business Realtors are in high demand and hard to find. These professionals need to understand the laws that govern the cannabis industry in their area. They use this knowledge to help cannabis businesses find locations for their facilities that adhere to state and local regulations.
Marijuana Residential Realtors are even harder to find. Residential Cannabis Real Estate Agents help individuals find homes in areas that are friendly to home growers. In addition to local and state laws, Residential Marijuana Real Estate Agents need to know about personal marijuana cultivation rules issued by HOAs in the areas that they serve.
Medical Marijuana Physicians recommend cannabis treatments to medical marijuana patients. Cannabis Doctors usually need to get a special marijuana license in the area where they practice medicine before they can legally recommend cannabis.
Cannabis Physicians meet with patients, review their medical histories, and determine if they qualify for treatment with medical marijuana. They also educate patients about medical marijuana use and risks. Most medical cannabis programs require Marijuana Doctors to submit their patient evaluations to the state Department of Health for review.
Surprisingly, the average Medical Cannabis Doctor earns less than a typical mainstream doctor. This may be due to the nature of the job. Marijuana is federally illegal. Doctors who have a medical practice often fear that recommending cannabis could cause them to lose their medical license.
Because of this, a large number of physicians who practice cannabis medicine are retired from private practice. These retirees work part-time in the marijuana industry to earn extra cash.
Accounting is complicated in any industry, but the cannabis industry takes that complexity to a whole new level. Marijuana Accountants must ensure that the companies they serve comply with all state and federal tax laws. That’s not easy when marijuana is federally illegal!
Fitting a marijuana business into US tax law is like fitting a square peg into a round hole. That’s why Cannabis Accountants can make as much as four times more than accountants in other industries!
Marijuana Marketing Specialists help cannabis companies brand their products and increase sales. The primary goal of a Cannabis Marketer is to expand a company’s reach to new customers.
Because marijuana is federally illegal in the United States, most traditional marketing avenues are not open to cannabis businesses. For example, marijuana companies cannot advertise on digital marketing platforms like Google and Facebook Ads. These restrictions make cannabis marketing services a true niche.
Cannabis-friendly marketers know how to overcome the common social media hurdles created by prohibitive marijuana policies. They do this by creating highly targeted blog and social media content coupled with finely tuned sales funnels. That’s why Marijuana Marketers usually pull in a higher salary than their mainstream counterparts.
Cannabis Website Developer
A clean and user-friendly website is crucial to maintaining a strong client base in any industry. Website Developers help establish their company’s vision by creating a dynamic website that’s easy to navigate.
Cannabis companies need Website Developers too! In addition to the need for standard business websites, each and every cannabis dispensary needs to maintain an online menu that lists deals, operating hours, directions, and more. Because websites are their primary marketing vehicle, dispensary owners often spare no expense when creating one.
This is why Cannabis Website Managers earn so much—sometimes even higher than their mainstream peers. If you’re ready to use your web design skills to the fullest, check out the cannabis industry.
Writers work in every industry, and the cannabis industry is no exception. The marijuana industry employs writers in the fields of education, manufacturing, business, marketing, and more!
The pay range for Marijuana Writers is huge. A Cannabis Blog Writer who works for a dispensary or small canna-business may earn less than a hundred dollars for a thousand-word, in-depth article. Conversely, a Marijuana Writer for an international cannabis website such as Leafly might earn more than a dollar per word!
Although the majority of Cannabis Writers work as bloggers, other parts of the marijuana industry need writers, too. Cannabis cultivation centers and marijuana infused product manufacturing facilities need people to write and maintain their standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Cannabis educational institutions need people to write marijuana training materials. And all cannabis businesses need writers who specialize in writing business plans, applications, and corporate documentation. In these types of jobs, Cannabis Writer compensation is in line with writer salaries in other industries.
Requirements for Cannabis Professionals
The requirements for professional marijuana careers can vary based on the type of job and the geographical location. If they touch marijuana plants as a part of their jobs, cannabis professionals may need to obtain a special cannabis work permit to work in the industry.
This table summarizes the requirements for professions that serve the marijuana industry.
|J.D., cannabis certification
|High school diploma, real estate certification, cannabis certification
|M.D., cannabis certification
|Master’s degree, CPA certification, cannabis certification
|Bachelor’s degree (marketing), cannabis certification
|Bachelor’s degree (computer science), cannabis certification
|Bachelor’s degree (communications), cannabis certification
Professional Salaries in the Cannabis Industry vs. Other Industries
Salaries in a cannabis-industry professions vary by business type, geographic area, business size, and the specific job. Some professions earn more in the cannabis industry, while others earn the same or even less than their mainstream peers.
This table summarizes average annual salaries for these jobs in 2021. The table compares the average salary for each job to the average salary for the job the cannabis industry.
|All Industries Average
|Cannabis Industry Average
The Best Cannabis Careers For You
Dozens of career paths are available in the cannabis industry! How do you know which one is right for you?
To choose the best cannabis career path, you should consider several factors.
Are you comfortable working with marijuana plants, or would you prefer to be hands-off?
Do you have experience or credentials in a field such as law, medicine, customer service, agriculture, manufacturing, or chemistry?
What type of job suits your personality, preferences, job experience, and education?
Once you make your decision, you might find that you need cannabis-specific credentials to take your career in the right direction. You might also need to learn some practical cannabis skills. If that’s the case, Cannabis Training University can help!
Before You Apply To a Cannabis Job
If you’re interested in embarking on one of these popular cannabis careers, you’ll need to be prepared—both to do the work and to set yourself apart from other job candidates. Before you enter any new industry, it’s helpful to get training. This is especially true in the highly regulated cannabis industry.
While it’s easy to find mainstream job training, solid cannabis education is harder to come by. Some cannabis training companies provide certificates but fall short when it comes to teaching essential industry skills.
If you’re ready to join the hundreds of thousands of people currently working in the marijuana industry, invest in your own cannabis education. Join Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis college to learn from the best in the business.
At CTU, you will learn the ins and outs of this exciting industry from expert growers, extractors, chefs, lawyers, managers, and budtenders. You can earn your cannabis certification in as little as a few days.
Join the growing list of alumni at CTU today!
Enroll today at Cannabis Training University and start your new cannabis career!