There’s a time and place for everything, and judging by cannabis business statistics, now is the perfect time to look for weed jobs in the Western countries.
Here are some of the statistics you can easily find online:
- The global legal marijuana market size is expected to reach $66.3 billion by the end of 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.
- “Sales of legal cannabis in the U.S. amounted to nearly $10 billion in 2018 alone.” – Fit Small Business.
- “The state’s three licensing authorities have issued over 10,000 commercial cannabis licenses to cannabis businesses throughout the state of California.” – California Cannabis Portal
- “Fully legalized cannabis could eventually top U.S. cigarette sales.” – The Motley Fool
These stats show the remarkable growth of the cannabis industry. We can’t really say this was unexpected.
How legalization opened up weed jobs
Legalization of cannabis in the United States that started back in 1996 and legalization in Canada on the federal level had a huge impact in opening up the weed jobs market in North America.
All businesses in the weed industry, whether dealing with production, retail or anywhere in between, need support from different institutions, people and technology in order to function.
Not only did legalization made it possible for people to freely enjoy what they love, it has also increased tax revenue and created tens of thousands of jobs.
Even those who are opposed to legal weed can’t underestimate the impact it has had on the economy.
A recent New Frontier report on cannabis taxes states that “full federal legalization of cannabis has the potential to generate a total of $105.6 billion in federal tax revenue and 1 million new jobs by 2025”.
We know this is the ideal scenario, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.
In this article we’re going to focus on the weed jobs available today.
If you’re looking to start fresh, switch industries, or you’re looking for your first gig, cannabis industry may just be the right fit.
You might think that you don’t have the qualifications, but you’re wrong. Marijuana industry is not only about the botanics and growing weed. That’s why it’s called an industry.
The scope of positions available is huge. Growers, trimmers, lab technicians, packers, budtenders, delivery people, chefs – all of these people work directly with cannabis.
On the other hand, the industry also offers some supporting roles in areas such as legal and medical support, marketing, HVAC, etc.
Most popular cannabis jobs
We’ve picked out five of the most popular weed jobs on the market today, so you can get a sense of the particulars of these positions. All of these actually involve handling cannabis.
Qualifications for this position depend on the actual position in the laboratory: technician or manager. So, you’ll either need a high school diploma or a BS degree in engineering, chemistry or similar for higher ranked positions.
Cannabis laboratory technicians and managers make sure that the process runs smoothly in the lab. The position includes anything from data management, cleaning, extraction, to quality control. Lab workers make sure that the products are of high quality.
Here are some of the open positions listed on Indeed.
Budtenders, or “marijuana sommeliers”, are the friendly faces you see when you go to a dispensary. Their main duty is to serve customers and explain the differences between various strains, oils or edibles. They’ll be your best shopping buddies, always providing service with a happy smile.
If you consider yourself a people person and have a high school diploma, this position is ideal for you.
It’s always a plus if you have some industry experience, but it is not required. It’s best to have a will to learn and patience.
This is not the best paying job, but don’t forget – budtenders earn tips. It all comes down to you.
There are currently 300 positions waiting to be filled, and you can find them here.
“Marijuana manicurists” are responsible for trimming, pruning and looking after ganja plants to ensure the highest yield. They’re also able to recognize pest damage or diseases and act accordingly.
One more thing that trimmers take care of is organization and cleanliness of the work environment.
This position requires a high school diploma and some love for the plants. In most cases, you don’t need to have previous experience because you’ll gain it over time.
One obvious requirement for this position is a clean DMV record and a valid driver’s license.
You will use your management and organizational skills to safely transport products to dispensaries or customers.
Since this position requires some lifting, you’ll get an everyday workout as a bonus.
Find a new workplace here.
Have you graduated from a culinary school or training program? Would you like to spice up your culinary skills?
If so, this position may be for you. There’s a wide range of marijuana infused edibles and you would be responsible for monitoring the production or even putting your ingenuity to work and creating new delicacies.
Some companies are looking for a more specialized chef, like a pastry chef.
Explore the opportunities here.
Jobs supporting cannabis industry
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the cannabis industry wouldn’t be able to function without people working indirectly in the industry. Those positions are equally important and don’t involve direct work with cannabis.
Here’s a list of the most common ones:
- IT Manager
- Sales Persons
- HVAC Experts
- Marketing Manager
Average salary in the weed industry
Just like in every other industry, your salary will depend on your qualifications, level of expertise, and your position.
But there’s one more factor that will affect the number of figures on your paycheck – location. A recent survey showed that cannabis workers earn the most money in Maryland, US.
Here are just some of the industry averages compiled by Marijuana Business Magazine:
|Position||Average Annual Salary|
Marijuana worker certification
One important thing to keep in mind while you look for your new job is the certification you might need. Different states/regions require different certificates, permits or licenses.
For example, if you live in Alberta, CA, you need to take the SellSafe Cannabis Staff Training first.
SellSafe is a mandatory training for both full time and part time workers in retail. It is intended for owners and managers, supervisors, cashiers, retailers, security personnel, security supervisors, etc. You can take it online and find more details on the official website.
Once you pass the SellSafe training, you can apply to be a Qualified Cannabis Worker. You won’t be able to work in Alberta’s Cannabis Market if you don’t get certified.
On the other hand, people working in retail stores in BC must be security verified. The verification is valid for two years and must be renewed. You can find more details and worker information on the British Columbia Cannabis Licensing website.
As for the U.S., most states just require you to be a resident of that state, to be over 18 or 21, and to have a clean background. Having gone through some cannabis training or courses is usually considered a plus.
Oregon, for example, does require potential employees in the cannabis industry to apply for a permit.
These are exciting times for cannabis enthusiasts, because for the first time you can actually make a living out of something that you consider leisure and enjoy immensely.
As Mark Twain so insightfully said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”