With the cannabis industry continually gaining momentum and several states currently creating their legal marijuana markets and refining their regulations, there is no better time to join this rapidly growing industry than here on the ground floor.
Legal marijuana is the fastest-growing industry in the United States, according to a report obtained by The Huffington Post, and savvy employees from a number of sectors are looking to take advantage. There are many routes through which to become a part of the cannabis industry and jobs from every sector will need to be filled as the industry continues to grow.
Current Job Trends in the Cannabis Industry
Jobs in the cannabis industry are multiplying across the board, as startup and established businesses alike are scrambling to keep up with consumer demand while scaling their companies growth.
The cannabis market already employs hundreds of thousands of people. According to a newly published market research report from Marijuana Business Daily, the nation’s cannabis industry has so far generated 165,000 to 230,000 full- and part-time jobs, up from 100,000 to 150,000 jobs last year.
That number is projected to continue to grow as more states legalize cannabis. Market analysis from New Frontier Data estimates that the legal cannabis market in the United States will generate nearly 283,422 jobs by 2020.
This is more than the expected jobs in manufacturing, utilities, and government industries, as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs within the manufacturing, utilities, and government industries are expected to decline in the coming years, according to the BLS.
“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job-creation engine for the U.S. economy,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, in a statement. “The cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline… it remains a positive economic force in the U.S.”
Jobs in the cannabis industry spread beyond the typical growers, trimmers, and budtenders that most people think of and extend into positions in marketing, finance, and technology. Like in all industries, cannabis jobs vary widely in scope and pay.
What Type of Job Can I Get in the Cannabis Industry?
The cannabis industry has jobs in two different categories: those who “touch” or work directly with the cannabis plant and those jobs that instead involve ancillary industry services or products.
Entry level jobs in the cannabis industry often pay above minimum wage, between $12-15 an hour, and are an appealing alternative for people working in the service and retail industries and provide employees valuable experience in the cannabis industry.
Higher level positions earn on average between $50,000 – 75,000 a year or more. These jobs require more knowledge and experience working with cannabis and therefore pay better than entry level jobs. On the higher end of this group are edible makers and technicians at cannabis testing labs and various jobs in the industry that don’t work directly with cannabis products, like lawyers, programmers, and marketing talent.
Trimmers: Responsible for removing leaves from cannabis flowers to create the visually appealing and smooth smoking buds consumers want, trimmers were once a great mobile workforce that would travel with the harvest, following the work. Now many are employed full-time by a single farm, and the fastest and most skilled trimmers earn the highest salaries.
Budtenders: The equivalent of a sales associate in the retail sector, budtenders work with customers one-on-one to help them with their purchase. More than a checkout point, budtenders apply their knowledge of cannabis products to ensure customers get the best products for their needs.
Delivery Drivers: Like budtenders, delivery drivers are a retail point for cannabis customers, bringing products like medical marijuana to patients who may be homebound or simply unable to travel to their dispensary.
Master Growers: Growers in the industry require a very extensive knowledge of the cannabis plant to create the top quality marijuana desired by consumers. Because growers are the first step in the cannabis pipeline, talented cultivators will continue to be highly sought after as demand for cannabis increases.
Cannabis Oil Extractors: Workers in this field create the cannabis oils used to create tinctures, edibles, and vapes. Cannabis oil can also be processed to concentrate the level of cannabinoids to increase their potency. In the modern cannabis industry, cannabis oil extractors are indispensable.
Edible Chefs: Do you love to cook? Then making cannabis-infused edibles may be the career path for you. Marijuana can be added to baked goods, beverages, gummies and other candies, and more. Highly talented chefs have even started adding cannabis to high-end gourmet dinners for a cannabis-infused culinary experience.
Cannabis Lab Testing: Lab technicians at cannabis testing labs use a number of processes to measure levels of cannabinoids and terpenes in marijuana, allowing companies to create accurate dosing for their products. These labs can also test for contaminants, like residual solvents, chemicals, mold, and more. As the cannabis industry becomes more regulated, many states have begun requiring lab testing to be done on all cannabis products to ensure their safety, creating a huge demand for these services.
Getting a Job in the Cannabis Industry
Job seekers in the cannabis industry can start their job search using traditional channels. Job sites like Monster and Indeed post cannabis jobs alongside jobs in other industries and are a wonderful jumping off point for your job search. Potential employees can also visit the websites of companies in the industry, looking for their career page for job postings. There are also cannabis industry specific job boards and job fairs aimed at bringing employers and prospects in the marijuana space together, streamlining the process and eliminating non-cannabis leads.
Finally, cannabis industry recruiters and talent agencies can assist you with your job search, matching qualified candidates with industry leading companies across the U.S. One Business Insider article revealed that cannabis businesses and talent recruiters are actively poaching workers in similar jobs from other industries who are often lured by higher salaries.
There is no better time than now to break into the cannabis industry. Already the fastest growing sector in business, it is set to explode in coming years. Discover more about the booming cannabis industry on our news feed, or visit the Medical Marijuana, Inc. careers page to get started in the cannabis industry today. You can also visit our industry overview page to learn more.