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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.
In November 2020, voters in the state of Arizona approved Proposition 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, which legalized the consumption of cannabis by adults over the age of 21.
On November 30, 2020, the law was signed into effect, and on January 22, 2021, the first sales of marijuana for recreational use were made.
As of December 2021, there were more than 393,000 patients in the state of Arizona who were registered to use medical marijuana, as stated by the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Since its inception in 2010, California's program for the legalization and medical use of cannabis has resulted in significant financial gains for the state.
The Arizona Department of Revenue reported that the state collected more than $21 million in tax revenue from the sale of recreational cannabis during the first five months of sales, which occurred between January and May of 2021.
This surpassed the initial projections of revenue, and it is highly likely that the industry will continue to generate significant revenue in the years to come.
Arizona cannabis revenue has been growing in both 2022 and 2023 due to a strong medical and recreational Arizona cannabis market!
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.
- Extraction technician
- Inventory specialist
- Quality control specialist
- Bud Trimmer
- Cannabis grower’s assistant
- Head cannabis 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 Marijuana 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 weed 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 Arizona cannabis industry training program like CTU to learn all about the plant and the position you want to apply for.
Understand the Dispensary Job Pay Rate
Most of these entry-level positions at a dispensary pay between $15 and $18 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: $15/hour
- Receptionist: $14/hour
- Security guard: $18/hour
- Inventory specialist: $16/hour
- Assistant manager: $18/hour
- Delivery driver: $19/hour
Create a Cannabis Resume and Cover Letter
When applying, send in a detailed cannabis resume showing your previous job experience, education (including any cannabis certification courses you’ve taken from CTU), and soft skills such as communication and leadership.
In addition, send a cover letter along with your cannabis resume. A cannabis industry 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.
Working in the Arizona Cannabis Industry
The legalization of marijuana in Arizona has resulted in the creation of a diverse range of job opportunities, including positions in the cultivation, manufacturing, retail, marketing, and administration of the industry.
The following are some of Arizona's most common types of cannabis-related employment:
Budtender Jobs in Arizona
A customer service representative who works in a dispensary and assists customers with their cannabis purchases is known as a budtender. There is a possibility that responsibilities will include providing information regarding cannabs products, instructing customers on responsible cannabis consumption, and checking the identification of dispensary customers.
It is typical to require a high school diploma or its equivalent, and previous experience working in retail or customer service is highly desirable. Depending on location and level of experience, the hourly wage of a budtender in Arizona can range anywhere from approximately $15 to $20.
Arizona Cannabis Cultivation Jobs
A cannabis cultivation technician's duties include overseeing the development and upkeep of cannabis plants in an indoor or outdoor environment. There is a possibility that responsibilities will include tending to cannabis plants by watering and fertilizing them, keeping an eye on the surrounding environment, and keeping track of how much the weed plants have grown. The majority of cannabis jobs require a high school diploma or its equivalent, and previous experience working in agriculture or horticulture is highly preferred.
Also, earning cannabis certifications from Cannabis Training University is the best way to get as much education on growing cannabis and to get prepared for an Arizona cannabis growing job.
The hourly wages of cannabis cultivation technicians in the state of Arizona can range anywhere from $15 to $25, depending on factors such as experience and location.
Extraction Technician Jobs in Arizona
Technicians who specialize in extracting cannabinoid compounds from their plant sources, such as THC and CBD, are known as “extraction technicians.” It's possible that some of your responsibilities will involve operating extraction equipment, keeping an eye on temperatures and pressures, and evaluating product quality and potency.
Taking cannabis extraction courses online is a great way to get prepared for a career as an extraction technician.
In most cases, you will need to have a degree in chemistry or a field that is closely related to it, and previous experience working in a laboratory is highly desirable.
The hourly wages of extraction technicians in the state of Arizona can range anywhere from $18 to $30, depending on factors such as location and level of experience.
Cannabis Marketing Jobs Arizona
A marketing specialist is someone who is in charge of promoting cannabis products and brands through a variety of different channels, including social media, email marketing, and events. Among the responsibilities may be the formulation of marketing strategies, the production of content, and the examination of data in order to evaluate the efficacy of campaigns.
Experience in the marketing of cannabis products is typically required, in addition to a bachelor's degree in marketing, communications, or a field that is closely related to marketing. The annual salary of a marketing specialist in Arizona can range anywhere from around $40,000 to $80,000, depending on factors such as experience level and location.
How To Get A Work License In Arizona To Work In the Cannabis Industry
The Arizona Department of Health Services requires individuals to obtain a license before they can begin working in the cannabis industry in the state of Arizona. The specific requirements that must be met in order to obtain a license change depending on the kind of license one seeks, such as a license to operate a dispensary or a license to grow cannabis.
Applicants are typically required to be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, and demonstrate familiarity with state and local laws and regulations.
Arizona Cannabis Jobs Summary
In summing up, the cannabis industry in Arizona provides a wide range of employment opportunities, each of which has its own distinct set of responsibilities, duties, and educational prerequisites. As a result of the continued expansion of the sector, it is likely that new employment opportunities will become available. It is essential for people who are interested in working in the cannabis industry to maintain current knowledge of applicable laws and regulations, as well as actively seek out education and training opportunities, in order to acquire the competencies necessary for the career path that they wish to pursue. Cannabis Training University is the Arizona marijuana school of choice for Arizona cannabis industry hiring managers.
Arizona Cannabis Career Training
For Arizona cannabis career training courses online enroll at the Arizona cannabis college and get started on your new career in cannabis! Want to start a cannabis business in Arizona? Learn how and get all the information you need at Cannabis Training University!
What do you need to work at a dispensary in AZ (Arizona)?
At least 21 years of age to enter. Send in an application that has been finished. Include an up-to-date photo of the Facility Agent that was taken no more than sixty days before the application was turned in. Attach a photocopy of your official identification.
How much do dispensary workers make in Arizona?
As of March, 2023, the average annual salary for jobs in a dispensary in the state of Arizona is $40,898, which is approximately $19.66 per hour. This equates to $786 dollars per week or $3,408 dollars per month.
How much do budtenders make in Arizona?
An annual salary of $25,000 is considered to be the norm for budtenders working in the state of Arizona. The salary range for a budtender in Arizona can be anywhere from $16,000 to $38,500, depending on a variety of factors such as the skills, experience, employer, bonuses, and tips earned by the employee.
How do you qualify for a dispensary job?
To be eligible for employment in this sector, you must be at least 18 years old, and certain jobs may require you to pass a background check to demonstrate that you do not have a history of driving offenses or arrests. There are additional requirements that you must fulfill in order to be eligible for certain careers. Some states require the minimum age to be 21 years old to work in the cannabis industry.
How much is a dispensary agent card in AZ?
To apply for a registry identification card, contact a cannabis doctor (they will assist you through the process). The application fee for a qualifying cannabis patient in AZ is $150.
What are the dispensary rules in Arizona?
The provision outlined in the statute, this voter initiative, known as Prop 207, can be found in Title 36, Chapter 28.2 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.). Prop 207 makes it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess, buy, transport, or process up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or 1 ounce of cannabis, whichever is less.
How much does a dispensary owner make in Arizona?
The annual profit that a dispensary, even a typical one, can make can range anywhere from $100,000 to $1.2 million. Assuming that you own your dispensary in its entirety and run it successfully, you can anticipate an annual income of between $100,000 and $1.2 million as a result of your business.
Is there an Arizona cannabis career training college?
Cannabis Training University has been offering cannabis career training courses online in Arizona since 2009 and is accredited through IACET/ANSI.
What is the best cannabis school in Arizona?
The best cannabis school in Arizona is Cannabis Training University. CTU has trained thousands of Arizona cannabis career seekers since 2009 and is the premiere online cannabis college.
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.