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Aside From Budtenders, What Other Jobs Are Needed in the Cannabis Industry?

August 24, 2020 03:57 pm ET
Aside From Budtenders, What Other Jobs Are Needed in the Cannabis Industry?

When one states that they work in the cannabis industry, people automatically think “budtender”, maybe even “grower”. The reality is that the cannabis industry is in need of the same occupations as any other industry would. Even as you hit that search engine to find a job in the cannabis industry, most of what you’ll find is cannabis specific occupations, which are cultivation, dispensary and sales related. 

While the cannabis industry specific occupations may be appealing to you, the industry needs similar positions filled as any other industry would such as security, accountants, healthcare professionals, nursery workers, lawyers, scientists and the list could go on. According to Glassdoor, working within the cannabis industry can pay 11% more than the American median salary. No wonder there’s a rise in individuals looking to work in the industry. Rest assured, the demand for employees in the industry has also risen by as much as 76% between 2017 and 2018 alone…and it appears to be accelerating with no signs of slowing down.

Many tend to assume that positions such as those of budtenders are where the demand is for employees, when in actual fact 53% of the jobs needing to be filled are simply profession or technical positions such as managers in marketing and products as well as auditors. 

Daniel Zhao is an economist and a data scientist with the company Glassdoor. He explains that “As the cannabis industry becomes more legitimate, more and more professional roles will be in demand to help businesses comply with tax laws and regulations and scale into larger markets”. Mr Zhao’s research goes on to conclude that “While there are a variety of skills and backgrounds needed, the majority of job openings today are for professional and technical roles, due to three key trends: (1) legitimization, (2) professionalization and (3) modernization”. 

What Jobs Are Needed in the Cannabis Industry?

Before we continue down the path of discussing why the cannabis industry needs occupations that aren’t directly related to cannabis, let’s have a look at some examples of occupations that are needed. 

Cannabis Industry Specific Occupations: Nursery and Grow Employees, Extractors and Manufacturers, Dispensary Managers, Budtenders, Cash Handlers, Packaging, Quality-Control Inspectors
Complimentary Occupations: Scientists, Bioengineers, Botanists, Healthcare Professionals, Researchers
Needed Occupations Like Any Other Industry: IT Developers, Marketing, Human Resources, Production, Lawyers and Legal Consultants, Accountants, Business Consultants, Web Developers, Digital Media, Electricians, Plumbers, Paralegals, Writers, Graphic Design, Sales Representatives, HVAC/ Plumbing Technicians, Electricians, Administrative Executives and Assistants, Couriers, Security

As you can see, the list of occupations needed in the cannabis industry leans heavily on occupations which can be found in any other type of industry. 

Why Does the Cannabis Industry Require the Same Jobs as Other Industries?

  • It’s Becoming Legitimate

Specific regulations, standards and requirements need to be complied with if the cannabis industry is to become legitimate. This includes requirements on product safety, accounting and ensuring that the state law is being abided. By adhering to governance (state and federal law), the cannabis industry becomes lawful and acts under the authority of the regulations, requirements, and standards to be met. 

  • It’s Getting Professional

As the industry continues to see more and more small to medium sized businesses popping up, the need for more professional and technical workers increases too. Businesses are looking to employ workers with a higher education or enough experience to oversee parts of the businesses involved in making it more professional, such as marketing. 

  • It’s Tailored for the Tech Age 

The technological era continues to boom alongside the cannabis industry which means that more technical employees will be required. The cannabis industry already has many online platforms for retailers, reviewers and deliveries. Businesses will need to hire more professional workers to continue satisfying consumers on these platforms as well as for keeping up with competitors.

According to Mr Zhao’s research, many big cannabis companies are looking to hire and have an average of 43 open positions of the ten employers looking to hire (at the time of his research).  

If you find yourself longing to switch from your current industry to another, be sure to consider the cannabis community. The odds of getting a job in the industry are ever increasing as more and more jobs become available. Especially since the necessity for different occupations arise in attempts to become legitimate, professional and tech-savvy. 

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