Cannabis has been the most consumed “illicit” substance around the world for decades now, although over the past decade we have seen massive leaps and bounds in as far as legalization; at the time of this article, cannabis is legal in 14 states recreationally and medicinally, and 33 states for medicinal use, with more on the way. Added to this, Canada legalized recreational use of cannabis in 2018 – the cannabis industry has never been as appealing as it is right now, with legal cannabis industry jobs popping up all over both countries, and hopefully more in the future.
If you’re interested in working in the cannabis industry and happen to live in a country in which legal cannabis industry jobs are attainable, or somewhere that’s planning on legalizing, then you’re in luck – there are an incredible amount of jobs available in the cannabis industry. In 2019 alone, the industry was estimated at around $13.6 billion, with an amazing 340,000 jobs related to the industry, a number which has been predticted to rise. So, how do you get into the cannabis industry?
- 1 How to Get Into the Cannabis Industry
- 2 Cannabis Industry Job Types – Growing Cannabis
- 3 Trimmer
- 4 Harvester / Cultivator – Master Grower
- 5 Cannabis Industry Job Types – Lab Work
- 6 Extract Technician
- 7 Lab Director
- 8 Cannabis Industry Job Types – Manufacturing and Handling
- 9 Packager
- 10 Edibles Chef
- 11 Cannabis Industry Job Types – Retail
- 12 Budtender
- 13 Courier
- 14 Getting Into the Cannabis Industry
How to Get Into the Cannabis Industry
While working in the cannabis industry may scream “dream job” to many consumers out there, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s just as professional as the next sector, and you should always do your homework before simply jumping in to the job search. If you live in a state or country where cannabis is legal, to get your search started all you have to do is open up google or take a trip to your local dispensary and ask for an application.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, while you may consume cannabis, you’re going to need to learn a lot more about marijuana in order to impress potential employers and convince them you’re right for the job. You also may want to do some research regarding the laws and regulations in your particular state or country. The cannabis industry is one of the most highly regulated industries in the entire world – employers may even ask potential employees about laws and regulations, especially if the position in question requires the employee to make important decisions.
Cannabis Industry Job Types – Growing Cannabis
One of the most common ways to get into the industry is to go straight for the entry level trimmer job, and it’s a great way to get your foot in the door if you’re aspiring to gain a higher position when it comes to cultivation-related jobs. Trimmers are in charge of trimming the leaves from harvested buds in order to get them looking dispensary-worthy and in some cases, drying them. Trimmers are expected to be fast, highly precise and if you have experience when it comes to actual gardening you already have a leg up in the industry.
A good trimmer can easily work his or her way up the ladder, moving on to harvest work or even actual growing work and greenhouse maintenance. If you enjoy landscaping and physical work, this might just be the perfect position for you.
Harvester / Cultivator – Master Grower
This position is the logical next step up, and it typically involves helping Master Growers or Cultivation Directors, both of which are high ranking cannabis cultivation jobs, to tend to and care for their crops. All of these jobs require applicants to be extremely hands on, and quite flexible when it comes to sharing the work load – between maintenance, cultivation overseeing, trimming, feeding and checking, these jobs can sometimes seem a bit muddled.
Cannabis Industry Job Types – Lab Work
One of the most popular cannabis-related products in legalized states and countries are cannabis extracts such as CBD oil, BHO and hash, all of which need to be made in a controlled environment using specific techniques. This position is ideal for people that have experience in science or chemistry, as the processes are incredibly exact and require laboratory knowledge. Plus, lab technicians are also often in charge of cannabis testing – all flowers are tested for harmful substances before being sold in order to guarantee compliance with state or federal laws. There are many chains in a laboratory that need to be filled, with directors, managers and technicians needed far and wide.
Those in charge of extracts and concentrates need to be incredibly skilled – medicinal products need to be perfect in proportion, and more and more recreational users are also consuming extracts.
A lab director, as can be expected, is the person in charge of almost the entire post-harvest process – they’re usually in charge of the lab technicians, legal compliancy in the facility, quality control processes and even determining when to harvest cannabis plants via chemical analyses.
Cannabis Industry Job Types – Manufacturing and Handling
Like in any booming industry, handling jobs are high in demand and packaging is no exception – all cannabis products must be packed into their containers or rolled into pre-rolled blunts or put neatly into baggies. This type of job is similar to trimming in that it’s an entry-level job that’s ideal for those that want to start out in the industry but don’t have a specialty yet.
Packagers have the opportunity to ascend to positions such as managing the packaging facility, or even couriers in charge of getting the packaged products to their corresponding dispensaries.
If you have the necessary training and experience, there’s also quite a lot of demand for cannabis edibles chefs, who are in charge with infusing meals and desserts with cannabinoids – many dispensaries across the US stock items such as cannabis gummy bears and cannabis-infused drinks for those that prefer to ingest their medicine. This position usually requires training, as the doses to be added to each meal or item are quite specific.
Cannabis Industry Job Types – Retail
A budtender is essentially a bartender for dispensaries – someone working as a budtender needs to have thorough knowledge of their products and the capacity to recommend certain products over others when customers, especially medicinal customers, come into the store. Dispensaries usually look for people with previous sales experience or people that have worked in customer service.
Another common position within retail is Dispensary manager, who is in charge of supervising the dispensary and its employees, as well as create business plans to work towards.
Lots of dispensaries offer delivery services just like many restaurants, which means there’s an opening for courier services. There are many medicinal cannabis patients that would prefer not to leave the house or simply can’t due to their illness, which is why having a courier is a must for most dispensaries – couriers can deliver by bike or car, and dispensaries usually have their eye out for those with previous experience. An extra bonus is that couriers usually get tips from their customers, too.
Getting Into the Cannabis Industry
The best possible advice that we can give you is to make connections, research the business, and apply to your local stores – the more professional the better. In fact, it’s common knowledge that most dispensaries actually screen out applicants that are very obvious “stoner” types, in search of serious, professional cannabis aficionados.