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29 Awesome Cannabis Jobs in the Fast-Growing Legal Weed Industry

By Publisher
| Last Updated May 6, 2024

It's been described as a new green revolution: Thanks to legalized cannabis, jobs that never existed before are being created in huge numbers. Passionate people from all backgrounds are getting in on the action, eager to contribute their talents to a young industry they truly believe in.

Whether you call it weed, pot, ganja, cannabis, or Mary Jane, the marijuana plant is quickly becoming a more effective and socially acceptable driver of good career opportunities. That's why, with cannabis companies launching and growing at a rapid rate, now is an amazing time to pursue marijuana jobs that offer the potential for better pay and faster-than-normal advancement.

Is Cannabis Legal?

Yes, cannabis is still a banned substance at the federal level in America. However, at the time of this writing, medical marijuana is legal and regulated in 38 U.S. states. And in 25 of those states, recreational marijuana is also legal and regulated. Will the federal government ever follow suit? Maybe, eventually. In the meantime, many people are prospering from state-level cannabis legalization.

Across America, the state-legalized marijuana industry provided work for over 428,000 people in February, 2022. And according to the MJBizFactbook, the U.S. market for legal marijuana should continue to grow through at least 2028. That could result in the legal cannabis sector supporting the employment of more people than America's manufacturing industry.

Consider a Cannabis Career

So, if you want a fresh alternative to the standard job options, then consider pursuing a cannabis career. You can work directly with cannabis in areas of the industry such as growing, extraction, edibles production, packaging, delivery, or dispensing. Or you can do a job that helps support the industry without ever having direct contact with marijuana. You could qualify for some cool cannabis-related opportunities if you have training or experience in areas such as business, marketing, design, technology, the culinary arts, legal support, law enforcement, or certain skilled trades like HVAC technology, carpentry, or electrical work.

Simply put, jobs are available in the legal cannabis industry for many different kinds of workers, professionals, and tradespeople. Some people even choose the path of entrepreneurship by starting their own marijuana-related companies.

The following examples of marijuana careers only scratch the surface of what you may run across. But this article covers several of the best and most widespread opportunities. You'll also learn how to find and gain employment in this exciting new industry.

11 Jobs That Involve Working Directly With Cannabis

Cannabis Jobs Do you like the thought of getting paid to work with legal weed? Jobs in this category let you be around some form of cannabis every day. Your direct, hands-on work can help this revolutionary industry keep moving forward. And since most of today's marijuana businesses are still relatively young, you may be able to get quick promotions. (Some workers in the industry have reported advancing from entry-level roles to supervisory or managerial positions within three years or less.)

A few of these careers require very specific skill sets and high-end credentials. Others can be started with little or no experience. Regardless, you may need to obtain a special state license, permit, or badge that lets you work with marijuana or its derivatives, so be sure to check the requirements in your particular state. Keep in mind that medical marijuana (MMJ) jobs sometimes have stricter licensing requirements than jobs that only involve recreational cannabis.

1. Master Cannabis Extractor

When it comes to high-paying medical marijuana careers, it's hard to beat this one. Master extractors are typically well-paid because they have a rare combination of expertise. Their job involves overseeing the production of safe and effective oils and concentrates from harvested marijuana plants. They accurately extract precise amounts of THC and/or CBD (the main active components of cannabis). They also manage their laboratory facilities and adhere to strict safety standards and government regulations.

2. Master Cannabis Grower

Without the reliable cultivation of healthy marijuana plants, there can be no cannabis industry. That's why the specialists who manage big grow operations are often paid handsomely for their work. Planting, cloning, crop nutrition, pest management, grow-house technology, and staffing must be overseen by a master cannabis grower. Jobs of this type also frequently require interaction with law enforcement and compliance inspectors. But when they do their jobs well, many master growers receive large bonuses or a cut of the profits in addition to their good salaries. Most people with this career have a background in botany or horticulture and plenty of experience growing cannabis.

3. Marijuana Tester or Quality-Control Inspector

This kind of cannabis professional helps ensure that marijuana products comply with health, safety, and potency standards. They can work for cannabis companies or government departments or agencies. In some cases, they may help inspect and enforce marijuana cultivation laws and regulations (including those that apply to the use of pesticides).

4. Edibles Chef

People who've had culinary arts training can pursue this avenue of marijuana employment. Companies that produce edible cannabis products need skilled chefs and baking and pastry artists to develop, create, and help oversee the production of various food items. Marijuana or marijuana extracts can be infused into candies, chocolates, baked treats, soda, coffee, tea, and all kinds of other edible products at very precise doses.

5. Cannabis Dispensary Manager

Marijuana dispensaries represent a huge portion of the cannabis industry. Like other kinds of stores, they are complex retail operations that require good management. That's why many dispensary owners actively recruit experienced retail professionals from high-end apparel stores and other quality retail outlets. Some medical marijuana dispensary owners also seek people with a background in pharmacology. In addition to a good salary, managers often get performance bonuses, health insurance, and paid vacation time. Dispensary careers like this can also lead to advanced opportunities with good salaries and involve overseeing multiple stores.

6. Marijuana Extraction Technician

Marijuana extraction techs generally work under the supervision of a master extractor. They are the ones who operate the sophisticated equipment that produces high-quality oils and concentrates (like shatter) from marijuana plants. They are also frequently tasked with controlling laboratory inventory and ensuring that work areas stay safe and clean. Employers typically prefer candidates who have some kind of science education.

7. Budtender

Are you a people person? Budtender jobs involve helping dispensary customers choose the best strains of cannabis for their particular needs. It's a role that requires good listening, sales, and customer service skills. It also requires knowing the differences between Sativa, Indica, and hybrid strains and understanding how different levels or combinations of THC and CBD might affect someone. Like fine wine, different strains of marijuana also have their own flavor and aroma profiles. So, in some respects, the job can be similar to bartending or being a sommelier. That's why people who regularly purchase medical or recreational marijuana from licensed dispensaries often develop a friendly rapport with their budtenders. In addition to good hourly wages, a lot of budtenders earn tips.

8. Marijuana Dispensary Receptionist or Cashier

Many cannabis dispensaries hire people for the front end of their stores to greet customers, answer phone calls, and handle final sales transactions. At medical marijuana dispensaries, workers in this role are also frequently responsible for verifying customers' prescriptions, identification, and purchasing eligibility. It's an entry-level role, but good employees often get promoted to more advanced dispensary jobs relatively quickly.

9. Marijuana Courier

Medical marijuana jobs that involve delivering products to customers' homes can keep you physically active, especially if you use a bicycle. Of course, delivery drivers are also common. In addition to (or instead of) an hourly wage, some cannabis dispensaries pay sales commissions to their couriers. You can also earn good tips.

10. Cannabis Trimmer, Harvester, or Cultivator

Weed-trimming jobs are probably the most common entry-level opportunities in the cannabis industry. They involve removing buds from the stems of harvested marijuana plants and trimming off the largest leaves on those buds so that they have good visual appeal. This job requires speed, precision, and a careful approach that minimizes waste. Trimmed buds get sorted, weighed, and dried in preparation for sale at dispensaries. Bud-trimming positions have become the most popular marijuana jobs in Colorado (and some other states) for people who might otherwise work as lower-paid cooks or dishwashers in the restaurant industry.

Entry-level harvesting and cultivation jobs are closely related to trimming positions. They involve helping growers gather or take care of cannabis crops in a grow house or on a marijuana farm. Jobs of this kind tend to be rather physical. However, people who enjoy gardening or landscaping are often a good fit for these types of marijuana jobs.

11. Marijuana or Edibles Packager

Like marijuana trimming jobs, packaging positions are often good routes into the cannabis industry. They simply involve safely and efficiently packaging cannabis or cannabis-infused products for distribution and sale. After a little experience, you can often move into a more advanced role.

Cannabis Jobs Just like many other fields, the cannabis industry offers a wide range of jobs that don't involve handling the plant itself. There are plenty of opportunities in areas such as administration, marketing, compliance, legal affairs, and tech support. These roles are integral to the industry and allow you to be part of this growing market without directly working with the cannabis product.

As the following examples prove, jobs in the marijuana industry are just as diverse as those in any other sector. And although cannabis-related knowledge or skills can help, you don't necessarily need them. You just need marketable skills or expertise that can assist a marijuana-related company with some aspect of its business.

1. IT Manager

Many marijuana companies use advanced information technologies to run their operations as efficiently as possible. From sales-tracking software to sophisticated systems for growing facilities, technology often helps companies comply with government laws and regulations. IT managers oversee the procurement, implementation, and maintenance of that technology.

2. Marketing Director

Do you want to help develop, launch, or expand an exciting cannabis brand? Every marijuana company needs effective marketing strategies for short- and long-term success. Market research, advertising, customer engagement, and public relations are all vital areas that require talented professionals.

3. Human Resources Manager

Staffing is a major aspect of running any business, but for cannabis companies, finding and retaining great employees is an especially important endeavor. After all, in this young industry, many workers begin at one company and move quickly to a different company to take advantage of better opportunities or try different roles. Pay, benefits, and workplace culture are all elements that need to be smartly overseen by specialists in human resources.

4. Production Manager

From seed to sale, the whole cycle of a marijuana product's creation and distribution needs to be properly managed. That's why marijuana companies often seek people with a project management or business management background. They need professionals to help plan and oversee budgets, operations, and timelines.

5. Software Developer

Some cannabis-related companies create custom software to manage particular operations. Many tech start-ups in this industry are based entirely on the unique apps or system software they've developed to solve industry problems or improve existing methods.

6. Lawyer

The cannabis industry operates in a tricky legal area. Between the U.S. federal prohibition of marijuana, constantly changing state laws, and complex regulations, cannabis companies need to operate on solid legal advice. Marijuana advocacy organizations also need help with drafting proposed legislation and challenging state and federal prohibitions.

7. Accountant

Marijuana ventures attract increased scrutiny from regulators, so keeping accurate financial records is vital. Plus, companies in this industry face unique challenges when managing their cash, obtaining credit, handling taxes, and processing payments, so accounting expertise is a must.

8. Web Developer

In today's digital age, a vibrant and functional website is essential for businesses to thrive, and the cannabis industry is no exception. With its rapid growth, there is a need for skilled web developers to create engaging online platforms that can effectively communicate brand messages, showcase products, and connect with consumers. If you have expertise in web development, you could find ample opportunities to shape the digital presence of cannabis companies in this evolving market.

9. Digital Media Manager

This type of public relations specialist interacts with potential and existing customers using email, custom apps, social media, or other web-based platforms. It's a fun role that is usually part of a marijuana company's marketing strategy. Internet marketing, communications, and digital media design are all good educational paths for this career.

10. Electrician

Indoor marijuana grow operations require special lighting and electrical needs. That's why qualified, properly trained electricians are often in demand where cannabis producers are constructing new grow houses or adding to their existing ones.

11. Paralegal

Starting or running a legal cannabis business means tackling many regulations and detailed documentation. Paralegals play a crucial role in this process, working alongside lawyers to manage the complex paperwork and regulatory compliance, easing these companies' operational burden.

12. Writer

Every company website needs engaging copy. And many cannabis producers, dispensaries, and edibles manufacturers like to promote their brands through creatively written content on their blogs.

13. Sales Representative

Marijuana growers and edibles manufacturers need to forge profitable relationships with stores and dispensaries that will carry their products. Many of them hire business-to-business sales reps to make deals with licensed buyers who will pay a fair price for their goods and follow cannabis regulations just as strictly as they do.

14. Graphic Designer

Graphic designers have become a valued asset in the cannabis industry, where a solid visual identity supports brand recognition. They bring expertise in creating distinctive logos, product labels, and web interfaces, contributing to effective marketing and an enhanced customer experience.

15. HVAC Technician

Like electricians, tradespeople who specialize in heating, cooling, and ventilation are frequently in demand by marijuana companies that are constructing or expanding their indoor grow operations. An HVAC trade school can help you prepare to work in this field.

16. Real Estate Agent

Marijuana businesses often have very particular requirements for the buildings and facilities they can operate in. For instance, indoor grow operations require a lot of physical space that can handle special ventilation and lighting systems that you wouldn't necessarily find in other types of industrial operations. However, finding pre-existing buildings that can accommodate those needs can be a real challenge. That's why some real estate agents now specialize in providing service to cannabis entrepreneurs.

17. Executive or Administrative Assistant

Every business has administrative tasks that need to be handled promptly and efficiently. Cannabis businesses are no different. From simple bookkeeping to general office management, there's never a shortage of administrative work.

18. Security Guard

Despite the legalization of marijuana in several states, security is still a major issue for companies that choose to operate in this industry. Because of its value, marijuana is a target for thieves. But so is cash. Since cannabis businesses generally can't open federally insured bank accounts, they operate as cash-only businesses. That means they often store their cash in safes and must transport large amounts of cash between different locations. The cannabis industry highly values people with law enforcement training. Security-related opportunities are available with dispensaries, growers, edibles manufacturers, armed courier services, and surveillance companies.

5 Essential Tips for Finding Cannabis Jobs and Getting Hired

Cannabis Jobs Are you a user of marijuana? Don't worry if you aren't. For most positions, you don't need firsthand experience consuming weed. Your professional skills and demeanor are what matter. Most employers in the cannabis industry actively screen out obvious stoners.

Also, keep in mind that the marijuana job market is fairly competitive. Since only about two-thirds of states have legalized cannabis in some form, many job seekers are moving away from states where pot is still illegal so that they can try taking advantage of the new opportunities. The market can be especially competitive in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, making the following tips even more important.

1. Research potential employers and job opportunities.

This step may seem obvious, but few people spend as much time on it as they should. Are you willing to work for just anybody in the cannabis industry? Why not put in the effort to match your goals and personality with a company that shares your values? (Your work colleagues will be like your other family, especially in a small company.) What do you believe in? What do the companies you're thinking of joining believe in?

To get your foot in the door of the marijuana industry, start by attending key conferences and trade shows in your region. These events are great for networking; make the most of them by connecting with company reps. Engage in conversations and ask detailed questions to understand their company culture and what qualities they value in potential hires. Jot down important insights and send a follow-up email to express your gratitude for the knowledge shared. If you come across a company that feels like the right fit, don't hesitate to express your interest in working with them and mention that you're actively seeking opportunities in the industry.

Broaden your job search by visiting online job boards specializing in the cannabis industry for a comprehensive view of the diverse opportunities available. Don't limit yourself to just cannabis-specific platforms, though. Also, check general job search websites, which often list positions in this growing field. By casting a wider net, you'll increase your chances of finding a role that suits your skills and interests.

2. Review your current strengths and qualifications.

What kind of skills do you already have? What's your educational background? Do you want to continue using your existing expertise, or do you want to do something completely different? Decide up front what kind of job you'd like to have in the cannabis industry.

Often, the best way to transition into the legal marijuana sector is to look for jobs that will utilize your current skill set. For instance, budtender jobs would be worth considering if you have a strong customer service background. Or, if your background is in marketing, you can probably find the same kind of work but in a more exciting industry.

Remember: While the marijuana industry is still young, few people will have much, if any, experience in a cannabis-related role when applying for jobs. The most important thing is to show how your current abilities match up with the position you'd like to have. Cannabis companies are hiring skilled professionals from all kinds of non-cannabis industries.

3. Expand your cannabis-related knowledge.

The more you know about the current laws, regulations, and challenges of the marijuana industry in your state, the more appealing you will be to potential employers in the cannabis job market. After all, marijuana companies need to stay super-vigilant about complying with the law if they want their businesses to succeed and grow. And, of course, the more you know about cannabis, the better you'll be able to communicate with colleagues and customers.

Begin by deepening your knowledge of marijuana—its uses, industry standards, and the legal framework surrounding it in your region. Cannabis education, such as diploma or degree programs specializing in cannabis studies, can provide a comprehensive understanding and possibly credentials in this field. Many institutions now offer courses focused on cannabis cultivation, dispensary operations, legal compliance, and the marijuana business, which can equip you with vital insights and qualifications. These courses cover industry knowledge and delve into legal aspects pertinent to your state. Completing such programs may yield a diploma or degree. It can also lead to industry-recognized certification, enhancing your credibility and employment prospects in this rapidly expanding sector.

4. Get a marijuana worker license (if necessary).

Each state with legalized marijuana has its own laws and regulations. If you want to work in this industry, you need to find out what may be required of you. Potential employers will also appreciate it if you have the proper license, permit, or badge to work with cannabis before you apply for jobs with them. We recommend you research the current marijuana employment requirements for the state or region you want to work in.

5. Present yourself as a professional.

Most cannabis companies are conscious of maintaining a good public image. They don't want to invite negative stereotypes about their businesses. That means you need to always look and act like a professional. Potential employers and recruiters will likely write you off as unqualified for their opportunities if you're too casually dressed or talk a lot about getting high.

When writing your resume and cover letter, avoid using slang terms. Always use proper grammar and proofread everything at least twice before submitting it. Focus on describing how your skills will help the company, not on how much experience you have getting stoned.

Also, make sure you know how to ace a job interview. In addition to looking professional, you must demonstrate genuine enthusiasm for the position and knowledge about the company you're seeking to join. Showing up with a curious mindset is also important. Always be prepared to ask a few good questions at the end of the interview. And don't forget to follow up soon after with a sincere thank-you email to everyone who interviewed you.

Seize This Amazing New Opportunity

Cannabis jobs will keep growing in number. Do you have the skills and education you need for the career you want in the marijuana industry? Remember: You don't necessarily need to work directly with cannabis to prosper from good employment in this sector. Why not get training in an area you really enjoy and then apply your new skills to a marijuana job? Find convenient career-driven training in your area right now by entering your zip code in the school finder below!