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by Bethan Rose
Thanks to the spread of cannabis legalization, the United States has seen the creation and growth of a virtually entirely new industry over the past few years. Legalizing cannabis doesn’t just make it easier for consumers to get their herb—it also creates a need for suppliers. Of course, this is a great thing for the economy. States that have legalized have already felt the impact, putting their cannabis dollars to work to support things like infrastructure or underfunded police departments. And the growing industry is a good thing for those seeking employment, as well, creating jobs and even business ownership opportunities.
A huge variety of different career paths exist within the cannabis industry—it’s not all budtenders and dispensary owners. No matter what you enjoy doing with your life, whether it be gardening, marketing, retail, science, health care, or many other fields, chances are there’s a role in the cannabis industry for you. But before you pursue any career, it’s natural to want to know about the earning potential. Here’s a look at some of the jobs in the cannabis industry with the potential for high salaries.
Annual Earning Potential: $60,000+
Do note that a cannabis sales rep is quite different from the clerk at the dispensary who helps you pick out your products. This is the person who works as a coordinator between growers and stores to forge business relationships. A cannabis sales representative must have a strong working knowledge of both the production and the sales side of the industry, have great communication skills, and dependable experience with B2B (business to business) sales will be helpful to you if this is the path you want to take.
Annual Earning Potential: $75,000 for managers, $125,000 for CEOs.
Owning or managing your own business is a profitable enterprise, no matter what that business may be. If you have expertise in business management, this might be the way you want to go. However, managing and owning a dispensary does come with added complications that other business owners don’t have—keeping abreast of the complex and constantly evolving laws regarding cannabis sales in your state and country. In the US, cannabis businesses struggle with access to banking options, insurance, and disaster relief due to the complicated legalities between the US federal government and the states.
Annual Earning Potential: $100,000
All this cannabis has to come from somewhere! To ensure that the herb is quality, a skilled grow master is needed to oversee all production. As a grow master, you would be responsible for managing large commercial cultivation facilities that include: the warehouse and its crew, caring for the plants, overseeing the harvest, and expenses. This job requires juggling the difficulties of running both a business and farming. Master growers not only must have a solid understanding of growing and breeding cannabis plants but also be up to date on all of the laws surrounding cultivation and regulation. But if you’ve got a green thumb and are business savvy, you might find your calling as a master grower.
Annual Earning Potential: $50,000 – $100,000
If you’ve ever tried to make your own edibles at home, you know how difficult the process can be. And coming up with a cannabis-infused culinary creation that actually tastes good is even more challenging! But if you happen to have talents in the culinary arts, working as a cannabis chef can be extremely lucrative if you’re able to meet the demand. Many cannabis consumers prefer medicating with edibles to smoking. A chef that makes edibles should be thoroughly educated in the culinary arts, willing to be innovative in an uncharted area of the career, and be knowledgeable in cannabis science as dosing must be meticulously calculated to meet legal requirements.
Annual Earning Potential: $75,000 – $125,000
Many states allow the use of medical cannabis, but don’t permit smokeable flower. In order to comply with these regulations, an extraction technician must convert cannabis into oils and concentrates by way of extraction. Extraction sciences require the proper equipment and sometimes solvents to isolate cannabis compounds like THC and CBD from organic plant matter. These extract products are rapidly gaining popularity because the potency is significantly stronger, dosing is much more straightforward, and many prefer the natural terpene flavors over the pungent skunky smell of cannabis flower.
Despite popular belief, the cannabis industry isn’t all budtenders and dispensary workers. The cannabis industry is a whole different and separate commerce in and of itself. It’s currently in dire need of skilled workers of all sorts including healthcare, business, law, finances, quality control, marketing, amongst many others. If you have any of these qualifications and have a strong desire to help people find alternative healing, we encourage you to pursue one of these high paying jobs in the cannabis industry.
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