Jobs in the Cannabis Industry

When most people hear about jobs in the cannabis industry, their minds automatically drift to budtenders or similar roles associated with dispensaries since these careers work directly with the public. However, nearly every profession from finance to law and marketing is needed to support the growing cannabis market. The legal cannabis industry in the U.S. alone was worth approximately $1.6 billion in 2019 with a global market predicted to reach $73.6 billion in just seven years. This means there will be an increasing demand for careers in cannabis, especially as more states and countries legalize. It’s estimated that the sector could employ 1.63 million people in the U.S. once pot is legalized at the federal level. If you don’t have experience or a college degree, there are still many ways you can get your foot in the door aside from starting a marijuana business of your own. Scientists and professionals with higher education or specialized training will stand out in the cannabis job market.


Finding your dream job in the cannabis industry

Whether you want to help others via the medicinal properties of cannabis, are interested in botany and cultivation, want to advocate for marijuana reform, or just love smoking dank bud and want to share your expertise, there’s a job out there waiting for you! When choosing a career, it’s essential to find a balance between what you’re good at, what you know how to do, and what you’re passionate about in order to be fulfilled. As mentioned previously, working in cannabis doesn’t mean you have to be a budtender, virtually every type of role has a home in this sector, many of which are extremely high paying. As the sector evolves and begins to mature, new jobs will continue to be added to the long list of positions that are already needed. Currently, degrees in botany, chemistry or pharmacology are highly sought after. Here are just some of the in demand marijuana industry jobs that could be the right fit for you:

Cultivation and processing

  • Botanist or grow master – There’s no marijuana business without healthy, quality plants. Grow masters and botanists are able to produce high-yield crops, manage pests, and control the plant life cycle for indoor and outdoor grow operations in addition to cloning and coming up with new strains.
  • Cultivation supervisor – Taking advice from the grow master, cultivation supervisors oversee the technicians, staff, and grow facility to maintain a consistent supply of product. Scheduling, managing contract employees, and tracking data are all key job duties.
  • Trimmer, harvester, packer – Typically entry level, these roles work directly with pot to ensure the product abides by all packaging laws and is ready for the consumer.
  • Master extractor – Dry herb goes through a process of extraction in order to make concentrates and hash used to produce vape cartridges, tinctures, and edibles. This specialized role is dangerous and takes years of training as an assistant.

Marijuana testing and regulations

  • Cannabis scientist or lab director – By law, all legal pot needs to undergo testing by an accredited lab. Chemists test for potency, mold, chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and other deadly contaminants, which must match what’s on the product label.
  • Quality control inspector – Often employed by government agencies, QC inspectors typically hold a PhD and check to make sure all cultivation laws are followed including necessary testing and packaging regulations. Sometimes private businesses employ their own inspectors.
  • Compliance manager – With marijuana laws constantly changing, it’s important for businesses to stay on top of all state and federal regulations or face losing their license. This role advises management when new laws go into effect and helps to build policies and standard operating procedures for the company to remain in compliance.


  • Entrepreneur – As you probably know, there are all sorts of cannabis products and accessories available. Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to work directly with pot. Some examples are businesses selling bongs and other smoking accessories, hemp clothing, infused lotions, edibles, blazed yoga classes, pot tourism, or opening a CBD cafe.
  • Dispensary owner, franchisee or COO – If you have a background in business, becoming an owner or C-suite executive of a dispensary may be right up your alley.
  • Marketing or social media manager – Marijuana businesses need exposure too! Social media is an extremely powerful tool and there are already loads of cannabis influencers with huge followings who are ready to give visibility to up-and-coming brands.
  • Public relations specialist – Larger companies will need to invest in PR to help define and maintain their public image and reputation just like brands in any other sector.
  • Product designer – Everything from that high tech two-in-one vaporizer that you love to your smell-proof container, and at home decarbonization machine were all created by a product designer.

Other cannabis industry jobs to consider:

  • Edibles chef
  • Marijuana consultant (business lawyers and attorneys)
  • Delivery driver
  • Security guard
  • Store manager
  • Tester and reviewer
  • Copywriter or SEO specialist
  • Photographer
  • Graphic designer
  • IT manager or webmaster
  • HR manager
  • Researcher
  • Tour operator
  • Inventory controller
  • Wellness/medical consultant
  • Accountant or financial advisor
  • Pharmacologist
  • Geneticist

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About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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