An Overview of The Marijuana Industry
Times have definitely changed when it comes to the marijuana industry. As more and more states are legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, more privately-owned businesses are entering the industry. With more companies entering, the employment rate in the marijuana industry is increasing naturally as well. In fact, did you know that jobs in the legal cannabis industry pay more than the average US salary in other industries?
Nobody could have predicted this surge.
Today, with the cannabis industry being the fastest-growing industry in America, it adds thousands of new jobs across the nation every year. So, in this article, we will help you discover the different job opportunities that are available in the industry and how you can make money doing what you love.
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Jobs Careers in the Cannabis Industry
10 years ago, if you were making some cannabis brownies or rolling a joint, you would have to do it behind closed doors and be constantly aware of the authorities. However, that is not the case anymore. Thanks to the change in marijuana laws, there are plenty of job opportunities available, and here are some of the most popular and well-paying ones!
1. Assistant Grower
As the name itself suggests, an assistant grower helps out their master grower in their everyday operations. They carry out several tasks, such as pulling and spraying weeds, watering the plants either by hand or through irrigation lines, carrying plants, collecting soil samples, and moving fertilizer bags. Also, according to Glassdoor, an assistant grower earns about $35,700 annually on average.
However, keep in mind that you need to have some experience working in greenhouses as a prerequisite for this job. If you keep working hard, you can soon become a Master Grower as well!
2. Brand Ambassador
If you already didn't know, a brand ambassador is someone who spreads awareness about a specific brand through events, social media, etc. Being a brand ambassador for a cannabis company can get you around $28,000-$39,000 annually, according to Cannabiz Team's Industry Salary Guide.
All you need to do is keep people aware of the product and try your best to convince them to try it out. If you already have a social media following or popularity, this might just work out perfectly for you!
3. Cannabis Consultant
Cannabis consultants, also known as budtenders, are basically bartenders but for weed. They recommend different kinds of strains to customers depending on their needs. If you are passionate about cannabis and have adequate knowledge about it, you can earn anywhere between $35,000-$37,200 annually, plus tips.
4. Delivery Driver
You must have heard about Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Well, if you live in an area that has a lot of cannabis customers and the weed businesses are flourishing, you can start delivering weed at door stops for a handsome amount annually. We are talking about $40,000-50,000 plus tips in areas with high demand. So if you love riding and want some extra cash as well, this would be ideal for you!
5. Field Sample Technicians
Field sample technicians are those who go to a specific location — like a customer facility or a field — collect different samples, and bring them back to the laboratory for examination. According to the Sacramento Bee, you can earn about $40,000-$50,000 annually, but you need a relevant science degree and a license to travel around collecting samples.
6. Cannabis Extraction Technicians
As the name itself suggests, these weed extraction technicians extract THC from the weed plants. These technicians can bag anywhere between $41,000-$52,000 annually. Still, they need to have doctorates in laboratory technology, biology, chemistry, or other relevant fields. However, the experience required depends on the workplace as well, as some accept a bachelor's degree too.
7. Edibles Chef
Marijuana itself is not really a tasty thing to eat. However, edible chefs are those who add magic to it. They are the ones who make delicious edibles with the perfect concentration of marijuana in them. According to CNBC, you can earn anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 annually if you have the required bachelor's degree in chemistry, batch cooking experience, and/or culinary management experience.
8. Cannabis Sales Representative
Again, cannabis sales representatives work just like other sales representatives. They try to build a connection between the grower and the seller. They visit storefronts, getting in touch with company owners and store managers so they can get their products on their shelves.
Like any other sales representative, cannabis sales reps can enjoy a fixed salary, work entirely on commission, or have a combination of both. If you have what it takes to be a sales rep, you can bank about $50,000 to $69,000. However, depending on how good or bad you are at convincing others, you can earn as little as $20,000 or go all the way over to $100,000 annually!
The marijuana industry has a surging demand for chemists. As the fundamental laws of economics say, with higher demand comes a higher salary. So, if you at least have a bachelor's degree in this field, you can rake in about $51,600-$81,500, according to Fortune. All you would need to do is sample preparation, various laboratory work, heavy metal testing, and/or solvent testing.
10. Plant Breeder
Weed plant breeders breed female and male plants to develop new types of marijuana strains, different kinds of aromatics, highs, and potencies. Although plant breeding on an industry level requires technical expertise and some extra industry know-how, it can be one of the most rewarding marijuana industry positions out there. As this requires a bit of knowledge, you can earn anywhere between $56,400-$86,400 annually.
11. Integrated Pest Manager
Integrated pest management, also known as IPM, is a critical part of the cannabis industry. After all, these tiny insects can destroy the plants completely and render them useless. It can actually cause a lot of loss for cannabis businesses. These pest managers need to safely mitigate the crop loss of hundreds and thousands of cannabis plants. At the same time, they need to do it while understanding and adhering to local and federal requirements, worker protection standards, and several other compliance regulations. You can expect about $57,000-$75,500 per year with this job.
12. Staff Accountant
This one is more of a generic job that you will find in the cannabis industry as well. Like all other businesses, cannabis businesses require accountants to balance the sheets.
Due to the pandemic and the surge in consumption of weed, the demand for accountants has dramatically increased, and you can earn about $59,000-$65,000 annually. The best part about this job is that it can be done remotely! So, why not make some extra money by staying at home and working as an accountant for some weed business?
13. Territory Sales Manager
Territory sales managers get in touch with potential business clients, train other workers, and report sales-related data and activities. They also regularly have to travel to dispensaries and retail stores, promoting events and deciding about what products are actually loved by consumers and those that are not working out.
These cannabis sales managers need to have a lot of knowledge about the marijuana industry and all the competing cannabis businesses. Sales managers normally require a business background with adequate experience in business-to-business and business-to-consumer dealings and management skills. If you have what it takes to be a territory sales manager, you can earn about $65,000-$75,000 annually!
14. Extraction Lab Managers
Cannabis businesses that operate on a large scale employ a good number of employees to work in the labs. If that is the case, the company would require an extraction lab manager as well.
These highly paid marijuana industry workers manage the day-to-day operations that go on in the laboratory. Normally, businesses require at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, chemistry or other related fields, along with relevant experience as a laboratory director.
So, if you are familiar with cannabis extraction and the relevant compliance laws, you can earn anywhere between $65,000-$80,000 annually.
15. Compliance Manager
As the name itself suggests, a compliance manager basically just makes sure that all the rules, regulations, and laws are being complied with. Compliance managers keep all the employees updated about all the legal and regulatory matters that can affect operations. They also ensure everything is being done to comply with and implement new rules or make necessary changes.
So, suppose you have in-depth knowledge of cannabis laws and regulations and, ideally, have some compliance-related experience. In that case, you can rake in about $71,000-$110,500 annually with this job!
16. Cannabis Dispensary Manager
Cannabis shops require retail managers similar to any other brick-and-mortar business. Dispensary managers hire, train, and even fire employees, interact with customers, manage inventory, implement and establish business policies, and ensure that everything that is going on inside the dispensary is proper and legal.
With some previous retail management experience and knowledge of marijuana, you can earn about $75,000-$85,000 annually working as a cannabis dispensary manager.
Agronomists are basically expert growers. They are soil experts who have the knowledge about how to grow, cultivate and genetically alter cannabis plants for new types of strains. Also, they are widely known as "crop doctors." They are responsible for improving durability and crop yield.
Agronomists need to have a robust knowledge of earth science, chemistry, biology, and other relevant fields. If you think you qualify as an agronomist, you can bag about $75,000-$98,500 annually!
18. Chief Scientific Officer
This is an executive role in the business. The chief scientific officer looks over all the research, science, and technology operations at the weed company. Being a CSO requires a lot of qualifications, usually a master's or a PhD in the relevant field. Also, due to an extremely high salary of about $150,000-$225,000, you need to have extensive industry experience as well.
19. Master Grower
Master growers are essential to the production of marijuana and are in charge of cultivating marijuana plants. Typically, a plant's ability to thrive, potency, and all else that is related to growing and cloning weed plants depend on the master grower.
As they are vital to a weed company, they are paid accordingly. If you have a background in horticulture and have adequate experience managing a greenhouse, you can earn about $128,000-$189,000 if you get lucky and get employed by a large-scale business.
20. Chief Financial Officer
Lastly, a CFO is a highly skilled person who drives the business's financial planning, implements investment strategies, manages vendor relationships, evaluates cash flow, and manages all other controllers and financial analysts below them.
As they are directly in charge of all the spending of the weed business, they are paid extremely well. We are talking about $260,000-$330,000 annually!
Which Job Is Right For You?
As you can see, there is a job for almost everyone in the cannabis industry. Your choice of career path all depends on your interests, experience, and expertise. So, get yourself employed working in a sector that you love a lot!