A new report from New Frontier Data projects that by 2020 the legal cannabis market will create more than a quarter of a million jobs.
Despite the peculiar political climate in which we now live, there’s never been a better time to consider a career in cannabis.
Cannabusiness is booming and there are jobs-a-plenty all up and through the industry – and on the periphery too.
Folks of all ages and stages have been entering the industry as the demands for medicinal products increase.
It matters not if you’re a cannabis expert or a newcomer to the biz. Legal marijuana is technically in its early stage, and there’s a tremendous need for tenacious, talented team players to help establish the foundation of this multi-billion dollar sector.
Some job opportunities include:
Farming: Pot farming is all about cultivating the perfect plant to put out on the market. It’s time consuming, takes a LOT of attention to detail as well as adequate space and equipment.
Seed harvester: Similar to farming but far more specialized, harvesting and selling seeds & clones to growers is very lucrative.
Administration: A solid administrative staff is key in the development and operation of a thriving enterprise. HR managers, administrative assistants and marketing coordinators are examples of office jobs available within the cannabis industry.
Software/Internet: As legal marijuana industry expands, so do the virtual avenues to access it. Dispensaries and other canna-companies are always in need of software to enable the best user experiences for their customers.
Budtending: It’s the front line of customer care within any dispensary. Budtending requires a balance of cannabis knowledge, patience, and compassion. It often requires working with high volumes of customers of varying needs, so above-average customer service skills are paramount!
Trimmer: Trimmers harvest and process the cannabis plant by whittling down larger leaves and twigs, thereby creating a product more convenient for consumption. Trimming can be done seasonally at a farm, or within a dispensary.
Writer: The growth of legal cannabis demands the need to cover it. From the scientific to the cultural, cannabis journalism is a growing demand within the industry.
Security: As many cannabusinesses function on an all-cash basis (and with an occasionally quirky clientele), security staff ensures a level of safety for both staff and customers. Available in full or part-time shifts, security positions are one ideal way to enter the industry for those with limited experience.
Delivery Driver/Courier: The rise in demand for marijuana delivery makes this a a popular entry level position. Canna-couriering it requires you have some reliable means of transportation and the courage to travel about with massive amounts of cash and product.
Concentrate Processing: Products such as oil, tinctures, wax, and shatter are made possible by concentrate processors. This particular career track requires a degree of scientific know-how and access to safe processing equipment. Schools such as Oaksterdam University offer coursework to prepare those interested in pursuing a career in this expanding field.
Edible Producer: For those who desire to create tasty cannabis-infused treats, cannabis edible production may be the path for you. It’s a thriving area of interest for many canna-connoisseurs. Competition is steep, but with the right concept, an edible enterprise can prove to be very lucrative.
Canna Chef: Another creative and exciting new field that requires a lot of hard work, a keen palate and a serious ability to marry cannabis and cuisine.
Retail Management/Ownership: Don’t let the copious amount of red-tape deter you. If marijuana retail management or ownership is your passion, it’s well worth the risk. This is an industry that is experiencing waves of growth which means the time to strike is now. It’s no walk in the park, so do your research, make the right connections and let your ganjapreneurial spirit make your business plan a reality.
Real Estate: Marijuana ‘n’ real estate – who woulda thunk it? but according to Monster, “grow operations have certain physical space requirements and pinning down a facility can be difficult. You may not immediately think of real estate agents when you think about the legalization of marijuana, but accommodating space is of paramount importance to the industry.”
Sales Representative: It’s the key to any successful enterprise. Canna-companies of all kinds are in need of ambitious salespeople to get their products in consumer’s hands. It’s a profitable position that connects you directly with the health of the canna-company while offering great potential for career advancement.
Packaging: This is a less forward facing position than say, budtending. As the title suggests, packaging deals in preparing and organizing inventory. It’s another ideal entry-level role that relies less on customer service and more attention to detail.
Educator: The explosion of the legal cannabis field outpaces our limited knowledge of the plant and surrounding industry. Various schools and publications are eager to hire those with a solid foundation and expertise. Is your area of expertise extraction, marijuana advocacy or cannabis science? Whatever your proficiency, there’s an overwhelming need for legitimate knowledge in all areas of cannabis use and application to keep things moving onward and upward.
For those of you wondering just how to secure a gig within the legal canna-biz, the first questions you may want to ask yourself are: What is it I want to do? Where will my talents be most appreciated?
Some states require that you get certified, or “badged,” as in Colorado, while others do not. It also never hurts to inform yourself on all areas of cannabis, from the legal to the scientific.
Programs offered by The Hood Incubator, Oaksterdam University and the Cannabis Training Institute offer courses that inform on a wide variety of cannabis related topics. Some come at a cost, but it’s absolutely worth it.
With recreational marijuana entering the mix, the rapid growth of cannabusinesses means competition is getting stiff. Not only does a little Marijuana 101 brighten up your resume, you can gain the knowledge and networks vital to success within the industry.
Also, professionalism is paramount. Medical marijuana is big business and a certain level of acumen and competency is integral to the success of any enterprise.
In addition to applying directly to the canna-company of your desires, there are a growing numbers of cannabis-specific job talent agencies to aid your in your search, like:
One final note on the matter addresses concerns borne of the current political environment. “The cannabis job market is growing, but many who are interested in the industry have been fearful of prosecution by the DEA. But that is changing,” Dale Sky Jones, Executive Chancellor of Oaksterdam, told Forbes Magazine.
“A U.S. appeals court recently decided unanimously that the federal government may not prosecute people who grow and distribute medical marijuana if they comply with state laws. While this ruling currently affects states within the 9th Circuit, the decision will influence other circuits across the country. This is huge, as it is very likely that more people will now feel safer about entering the cannabis industry.”