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New York cannabis jobs and marijuana careers are set to grow over the coming years, especially now that cannabis is legal. From budtenders to trimmers to growers to business owners, cannabis jobs are available for people of all skill level.
Even if you do not have any previous cannabis work experience or higher education, there is still place for you in the industry. If you're ready to take the leap into New York's cannabis market, keep reading our cannabis jobs guide.
Industry Snapshot: New York
Cannabis became legal in New York in 2016 and recreationally in 2021. In 2021, the state’s patient count reached 140,000. At that time the industry supported a total of 2,358 full-time cannabis jobs and made about $149 million that year.
Requirements to Work in the Cannabis Industry
Cannabis jobs range from retail budtenders and edibles chefs to master growers running an entire growing facility. All applicants must be at least 21 years of age.
Most cannabis jobs require applicants to have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent experience.
Some jobs may require applicants to undergo a background check. In addition, some felony convictions are prohibited from cannabis employment.
Is Cannabis Education Necessary to Work in the Industry?
Cannabis education, whether online or in-person, can train workers to gain entry into this exciting world. The best education programs cover horticulture, business, medicine, and all other relevant aspects of the industry.
Completing a cannabis education program is a good sign for hiring managers who want passionate and knowledgeable workers.
Cannabis Training University offers a comprehensive Master of Cannabis Certification program covering cultivation, careers, business, medicine, cooking, and extraction.
No matter your area of interest, CTU’s affordable and in-depth online program allows you to learn on your schedule with 12 weeks of access.
While there are many cannabis colleges out there, Cannabis Training University provides the best value, with over 40 hours of required content and 300 hours of optional content, ebooks, HD videos, and downloadable resources, so you can learn the basics and advanced topics.
New York Cannabis Jobs
Budtenders, also known as dispensary technicians and wellness advisors, work one-on-one with customers. As a budtender, you’re responsible for answering all of your customer’s questions about products, strains, and consumption methods.
You’ll be checking that they have the proper identification and process their order into the POS system. Budtenders also track products and maintain inventory. Previous retail, customers service or hospitality experience is preferred.
A front desk receptionist at a store or any other cannabis company handles incoming calls and guests. In a cannabis retail shop, a receptionist will check the customer's identification and answer any of their questions before heading into the main showroom.
As a receptionist, your day will be full of clerical duties. Strong computer and communication skills are a must.
Cannabis security jobs are needed for stores and cultivation facilities. As a security officer, you’re in charge of protecting the inventory and personnel. You’ll be monitoring the camera system and premises for suspicious activity.
Security guards must be friendly and welcoming as they check customers in.
A retail dispensary manager is responsible for overseeing the store’s daily procedures, delegating tasks to dispensary staff, hiring employees and providing training, organizing schedules, and handling customer complaints.
Dispensary managers must have several years of experience in retail store management.
Cannabis delivery drivers are responsible for receiving orders, delivering them, and receiving the cash patient. Drivers must document the transaction information in the POS system.
They must also ensure their vehicle is safe to drive and filled with gas. Drivers must have a clean driving record.
A trimmer, also known as a post-harvest technician, is responsible for all processing procedures during harvest. Harvesting procedures include debulking, trimming, grinding, drying, and curing harvests.
As a trimmer, you’ll have to carefully manicure the buds for maximum bag appeal or extraction. Throughout the process, you’ll enter data into state-run inventory systems and assemble the product for sale.
As an assistant grower, you’ll perform various tasks associated with growing cannabis plants. Duties include seeding, transplanting, harvesting, and packaging. Cleanliness and organization are essential to prevent the spread of disease.
You’ll be in charge of sanitizing tools and work areas. You’ll also be conducting pest management to keep the plants healthy. This job is a significant step toward a rewarding career in cannabis cultivation.
A cannabis master grower, also known as a head grower, is responsible for managing the grow facility and its staff. They must ensure the staff properly executes critical cultivation tasks such as watering, pest management, pruning, transplanting, and harvesting.
Master growers must have several years of horticultural management experience.
Packaging associates are responsible for measuring, packaging, and labeling flower and/or oil-based products. You may be tasked with collecting samples to test for quality. You’ll maintain a clean work environment and keep accurate records throughout your job.
After packaging, you’ll transport the products to a storage area. No previous experience or education is required but it is preferred.
Extraction operators work in a laboratory setting with flammable solvents and closed-loop equipment or with solventless equipment (i.e. bubble bags and rosin press). As an operator, you must be familiar with chemical solvents and botanical extraction.
It’s your job to process the dried or fresh-frozen raw material (flower or trim) into crude oil for use in extracts, edibles, or topicals.
Extraction technicians must know how to safely operate equipment and produce a wide range of concentrate consistencies, such as badder, shatter, live resin, and isolate. A related science degree or equivalent experience is preferred.
If you love cooking and have years of experience running a commercial kitchen, the edibles chef job may be right for you. A cannabis chef is responsible for infusing food and beverages with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
Edibles chefs start by infusing flower or concentrate into butter or oil, which can then be infused into numerous edible products. Chefs must understand basic safety requirements, delegate tasks to kitchen staff, and ensure the kitchen is compliant with state regulations.
If you’re looking for an entry-level position in the cannabis kitchen space, a kitchen assistant job is right up your alley. Kitchen assistants handle the preparation, cleaning, and organizational tasks involved with producing cannabis infusions.
Common tasks include washing dishes, cleaning equipment, preparing ingredients, and more. Kitchen assistants must understand basic food safety and cross-contamination precautions. Previous experience in a kitchen or fast-paced environment is preferred.
Ancillary jobs don’t touch the plant in any way but provide services for cannabis companies. Some multi-state operators can handle many of these tasks internally, but others smaller companies outsource these services.
From finding the right facility location for your company to marketing the brand and products, ancillary jobs are an excellent start for those curious about the marijuana industry.
Here are some of the cannabis industry’s most in-demand ancillary sectors:
- Packaging and labeling
- Real Estate
- Software and technology
Employees of an ancillary company do not have to follow the same rules and regulations as cannabis employees. For example, some felony convictions are prohibited depending on the type of cannabis job.
Where to Find New York Cannabis Jobs
There are many places you can find cannabis jobs online and offline. Some of the best places to look for cannabis jobs include traditional job boards, such as Indeed, Monster, Zip Recruiter, SimplyHired, and Glassdoor. There are also several cannabis-specific job boards, like 420 Jobs, Canna Recruiter, and Weed Hire.
Networking at local industry events is another great way to meet cannabis company employees and business owners. In addition to in-person events, you can network with others in the industry online at forums and networking groups.
LinkedIn is especially cannabis-friendly. You can create a profile there and include your previous work and education experience. Feel free to connect with others in the industry. Use this and other social media sites to be the first to know about open positions.
Enroll at New York Cannabis College
Start your path toward a greener future by enrolling at New York Cannabis College. Our Master of Cannabis Certification Program can get you up-to-speed on the latest rules and regulations and jumpstart your cannabis career or business. Sign up to find your cannabis passion today!