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Are you interested in learning how to work in a dispensary in Arizona? Do you want to become a budtender, receptionist, security guard, inventory specialist, or dispensary manager? Now that Arizona legalized adult-use cannabis, cannabis jobs, in general, are on the rise.
Our career guide breaks down the Grand Canyon State’s medical and recreational cannabis job market. We’ll cover the requirements for working in an Arizona dispensary and show you how you can land a job in the industry.
Arizona’s Fast-Growing Cannabis Job Market
Arizona has one of the country’s most robust medical marijuana markets in the nation.
- In 2019, the state saw a 21 percent increase in sales and posted an estimated $709 million in total market value.
- In 2020, cannabis sales reached $1.03 billion.
- In 2020, the state’s medical cannabis sales grew year-over-year, for an eighth straight year.
Cannabis Job Growth
In terms of job growth, the state has seen a fast increase in cannabis jobs, especially after cannabis was legalized in Arizona in 2020.
- A 2021 jobs report released by Leafly ranked Arizona number 4 in terms of its total number of full-time cannabis jobs (20,728).
- Arizona added 5,648 jobs in 2020 alone.
- A report from Vangst estimates that Arizona will create 25,000 jobs over the next five years.
If you want to start working in Arizona’s cannabis industry, here are some of the most in-demand jobs in retail and beyond. Landing a job in retail can be a stepping stone towards other work in the industry.
- Security guard
- Delivery driver (medical cannabis only)
- Dispensary manager
- Extraction technician
- Inventory specialist
- Quality control specialist
- Grower’s assistant
- Head grower
Arizona’s Cannabis Laws
Arizona allows for the medical and recreational use of cannabis. Medical cannabis was legalized in 2010. Recreational cannabis was legalized in 2020.
In 1996, 65 percent of Arizona voters approved the Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act, allowing physicians to prescribe marijuana. Lawmakers quickly repealed the medical-use provision just a few months later. Arizonans had to wait until 2010 to pass Proposition 203, allowing the medical use of cannabis.
According to Arizona’s medical marijuana laws, a qualifying patient can possess up to 2.5 ounces and can grow cannabis at home only if they live more than 25 miles away from a dispensary. The law limited the state to 124 medical marijuana dispensaries.
Qualifying medical conditions include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
In November 2020, Proposition 207, the Safe and Smart Act, was passed into law. Prop 207 legalized cannabis for adult personal use. The rules and regulations took effect on January 15, 2021.
- Possession and purchasing limit: 1 ounce or less of cannabis or 5 grams or less of cannabis concentrate.
- Home cultivation limit: Up to 6 plants; up to 12 plants per household
Do You Need A Medical Card To Work At A Medical Dispensary In Arizona?
Let’s say you don’t have any reason to obtain a medical marijuana card in Arizona. Can you still work in a medical cannabis dispensary without a medical cannabis prescription? The short answer is yes. You can work at an Arizona medical cannabis dispensary without a medical marijuana recommendation.
Dispensary and Facility Agent Registration
If you want to work at a medical or recreational cannabis dispensary, you must obtain the necessary agent card. A dispensary agent card is required to work at a medical cannabis dispensary. A facility agent card is required to work at a recreational cannabis dispensary.
Dispensary Agent (Medical)
Every medical cannabis dispensary worker must obtain a dispensary agent registration card to work.
Only a dispensary member (principal officer and/or board member) can apply for a dispensary agent registry identification card for themselves and/or other dispensary employees or volunteers.
You will need to complete the dispensary agent application, as well as provide proof of residence and two full sets of fingerprints for a background check.
Facility Agent (Adult-Use)
A cannabis facility agent is a principal officer, board member, employee, or volunteer of an adult-use cannabis establishment who is at least 21 years of age and has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense. Even if you work in multiple facilities, you only need one facility agent card.
In order to get a facility agent card, the applicant must pay a non-refundable fee application and pass a background check. The facility agent card is valid for two years. After that, it must be renewed.
How Old Do You Have To Work At A Dispensary In Arizona?
You have to be at least 21 years old to work at a medical or recreational marijuana dispensary in Arizona. Minors can qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation as long as they have a medical marijuana caregiver such as a parent or legal guardian.
While an 18-year-old patient could legally use medical cannabis, they can’t work at a dispensary in Arizona.
How To Work In A Dispensary In Arizona?
Getting a job at a dispensary in Arizona is relatively easy, if you’re at least 21 years old. There are many different entry-level and advanced marijuana dispensary jobs in Arizona, such as budtender/patient advisor, security officer, and front desk receptionist.
You can even work your way up to the assistant manager or dispensary manager/owner position one day.
Here is how you can land a cannabis dispensary job in Arizona.
Apply Every Day
Apply for any of the many Arizona dispensary jobs on traditional job boards such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and even Craigslist. You’ll likely also find jobs outside dispensaries such as cultivation, extraction, operations, sales, manufacturing, and more.
Make sure to check these job boards every day at least once a day. Many of these jobs can get filled up within hours of posting the job ad. You will have a better chance of getting hired if you apply early and often.
Do Your Research
If you feel like you don’t have enough experience or knowledge about the legal marijuana industry, you can begin by doing your own research to zero in on which cannabis job would best suit you. Read up on cannabis blogs and booksor attend industry events and sign up for online cannabis training to get a solid cannabis education.
If you want to get hired as a budtender at a dispensary in Arizona, you must be familiar with the products they sell, stay on top of new cannabis trends, and have excellent customer service skills. Medical patients may require you to explain the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, the different consumption methods and may want you to recommend a product for their condition.
Seek Expungement of Cannabis Convictions
In Arizona, people with certain criminal convictions cannot work in the cannabis sector. Adult-use legalization included an expungement provision that would clear certain cannabis convictions.
The Arizona Supreme Court launched a website to help people expunge their past cannabis conviction records. The new website will help individuals determine if they are eligible for expungement and provide the necessary forms and instructions for filing a claim.
Individuals who have been convicted of possessing up to 2 and 1/2 oz of cannabis, 6 plants, or cannabis paraphernalia are eligible for expungements.
Find a Job That Matches Your Skills
Security officers/safety coordinators maintain security and compliance at a dispensary. Front desk receptionists greet and consult with patients and caregivers. Budtenders must provide recommendations of products to patients and customers. Make sure you have the right experience and skills to help you excel in the industry.
Meet or Exceed the Education Requirements
Dispensaries may require a high school diploma (or a GED) and some experience in a relevant field. If you don't have direct experience, you can sign up for an industry training program like CTU to learn all about the plant and the position you want to apply for.
Understand the Pay Rate
Most of these entry-level positions at a dispensary pay between $12 and $15 an hour. Hourly rates vary depending on your job experience, education, and the individual dispensary.
Here are some of the average pay rates for a dispensary worker:
- Budtender: $13/hour
- Receptionist: $13/hour
- Security guard: $14/hour
- Inventory specialist: $13/hour
- Assistant manager: $16/hour
- Delivery driver: $13/hour
Create a Resume and Cover Letter
When applying, send in a detailed resume showing your previous job experience, education (includingany cannabis certification courses you’ve taken), and soft skills such as communication and leadership.
In addition, send a cover letter along with your resume. A cover letter should be about 1 page and should include why you are the best fit for the job. By including a cover letter, you will already be one step ahead of the pool of applicants.
Find the Right Dispensary
Research dispensaries beforehand to get an idea of the company’s culture and mission. Not all dispensaries are created equal. Finding a suitable workplace for you can make all of the difference.
Look Beyond Your Local Area
Arizona is full of exciting opportunities for the right individuals. Score one of many dispensary jobs in Phoenix, Arizona, if you live near the area. Perhaps you’d prefer to apply for dispensary jobs in Tucson, Arizona or jobs in dispensaries near Mesa, Arizona. Other Arizona cities hiring include Chandler, Cave Creek, Cottonwood, Scottsdale, Snowflake, Casa Grande, Peoria, Glendale, Flagstaff, and more Arizona cities.
Arizona Marijuana College
Join an exceptional group of students and alumni by enrolling in CTU’s in-depth marijuana industry training course. Our online cannabis program can teach you how to get a job at a dispensary in Arizona or any other legal state. Learn at your own pace to absorb all the information, pass the final exam, and receive a certificate of completion.
Online marijuana training is not necessary to work at a dispensary in Arizona, but the initiative can boost your resume and give you the foundational knowledge needed to excel during the job interview and speak with medical marijuana patients.
Don’t have cannabis job experience? No problem! Cannabis training gives you the competitive edge to beat out the rest.
Start your Arizona cannabis career with online cannabis training from the leading Arizona cannabis college. Learn all aspects of the booming cannabis industry and begin your Arizona cannabis career today!
Budtender Jobs in Arizona
To get a job as a Budtender in Arizona, first get your budtender certificate from CTU. No other marijuana industry school can help you land a budtending job like CTU can. Start your new budtender job with a budtender certification from the leading and premier marijuana institute.