Getting a Job in the Cannabis Industry: What You Need to Know


Cannabis Workers

The cannabis industry is rapidly growing all over the world and many people are wondering about cannabis-related job positions, qualifications, and how they can break into the industry. With the projected boom, there is an increasing demand for talent and passionate cannabis employees. The legal cannabis market has actually become one of the fastest-growing in the world economy. Alongside jobs in the regulated sector, are many other positions that you may not have heard of before. Let’s have a look at the job positions, the most lucrative positions, and learn how you can break into the industry. 

Job Sectors Within the Cannabis Industry: 

Working directly with cannabis:
Working indirectly with cannabis:
Packaging & FulfillmentAccounting
CultivationHuman Resources
Processing / ExtractionProduction Management
Dispensary PersonelLaw / Politics
Operation ManagementSoftware Developer / IT Management
Quality Control / InspectionGraphic Designers (packaging, product, editorial, graphics)
Edibles ChefSales / Marketing
TransportWriter / Editor
PhotographyBusiness Consulting
Science / ResearchHealthcare

Most Lucrative Positions:

Of these job positions available in the cannabis industry, the following positions are the most lucrative and can earn about 6 figures per year:

  1. Cannabis Consultant: These individuals use their knowledge in the cannabis industry in combination with their qualifications as lawyers, accountants, etc. They assist businesses in obtaining locations, licenses and they advise on legal matters to avoid getting shut down. 
  2. Dispensary Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer: These individuals have job responsibilities which include managing cultivation facility operations, managing the company’s accounting department, supervising financial reporting, overseeing harvesting, processing, and distribution, analyzing operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs and developing and monitoring budgets
  3. Extraction Technician: These individuals are skilled at laboratory work and extract THC, CBD and other cannabinoids from the plant. They are also skilled at creating high quality and high potency cannabis concentrates. They also face a risk of injury on the job due to the chemicals they work with, this is compensated in their high pay. 
  4. Master Grower/Cultivator: Their responsibilities include managing warehouses, grow lights, cloning, transplanting, feeding, trimming, training supervisors, managing warehouse crew, managing the schedule, preventing and eliminating molds, fungi, and pests, keeping records and managing harvests. Master growers may even receive a bonus for successful crops. 
  5. Edibles Chef: This job entails more than being able to cook and bake well. The people in these positions need to have extensive knowledge on how to infuse cannabis into food while adhering to the legal quantity allowed and keeping the food and treats enjoyable. They also need to know how to minimize the cannabis flavor to avoid overwhelming cannabis taste for consumers. 

Examples of Experience Needed:

  • Botany: cannabis plant chemistry, physiology of cannabis, medical cannabis, cannabis growing, cannabis horticulture. 
  • Cultivation: food and environment, agricultural business and economics, seed technology training, sustainable farming.
  • Politics: public policies, political science, ethics, and law.
  • Science: botany, neuroscience, land management, environmental ethics, medicinal plants.
  • Business: marketing, accounting, management, business law, business strategy, entrepreneurship.
  • Healthcare: human health, pain management, psychiatric knowledge, medicine.

How to Break Into the Cannabis Industry:

  • Research: learn as much as you can about existing companies, what they do and what they’re looking for. 
  • Education: you need to have a solid knowledge base on cannabis and its legality. Luckily for you, the internet makes all the knowledge you need easily accessible. You can also attend conferences or take online courses at cannabis colleges.
  • Establish Your Goal or Mission: set out what you are looking to achieve and do within the cannabis industry. It is also important for you to understand that while you are researching and educating yourself, the company’s mission and your mission needs to remain a top priority. When you are being interviewed, you must speak of the company’s mission and how your personal goal/mission supports theirs. 
  • Work is Family: when you are being interviewed, the interviewer will also try to establish whether you will be a good fit for their family as people are the most important part of the organization. You can try to increase your likability without faking it but you will actually have to spend time with the people in the company, so faking your likability in the interview will only cause more harm. Therefore, it is important to find a company that is a good fit for you, a company where you belong in the family.
  • Ask Questions: During your interviews, research, and education, it is important for you to ask questions. Asking quality questions displays that you have a genuine interest, creativity, and an inquisitive mindset. 
  • Get Licensed or Certified: If it’s necessary and if possible. You will know if you need one during your research stage. 
  • Professional Presentation: Yes, jobs want cannabis enthusiasts but that does not mean they want stoner stereotypes. You must have a professional and good public image otherwise we can’t break the stigma! 
  • Tailor your resume/ CV and Write a Great Cover Letter: Establish yourself well and make your resume specific to the company and job you are applying for. This will show the company that you can be taken as a serious candidate. 
  • Make Friends in the Industry: Networking will be beneficial for you in gaining experience and possibly attaining a job through one of your connections. Your friends can help you equip yourself to be the ideal candidate for a job too, especially since they’re already in the industry. 
  • NEVER GIVE UP!

Top 10 Qualities Employers Are Looking For: 

  • Deep Knowledge and Passion
  • Versatility
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Respect for compliance
  • Certifications
  • People Skills
  • Confidence
  • Networking Skills

If you have a passion for cannabis and a burning desire to work in the industry, then attaining what you need are only small barriers to overcome. You do not necessarily need to have a degree to break into the industry unless you are in a highly specialized position that requires it such as positions in healthcare or law. You also need to have extensive knowledge about cannabis and the respective field you wish to break into within the industry. Do your research, educate yourself, make connections and go get it! 


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2 comments
Chane Leigh

Chane, aka The Bud Fairy, is a South African cannabis advocate and enthusiast with a firey personality and a thirst for travel. She loves to educate people and to question the norms.

2 Comments

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  1. Great post and right on time. Im seriously right in the beginning stages of figuring out how to get a foot in the door. I’m transitioning from basically sales as a Mortgage Broker for about 8 years then a stay at home Dad basically for the last 4 years- 3 kids total but the 2 little ones are now 8 and 9 so – and Its just about time to start my next career since they’re past the “little and costly for daycare-stage” and couldn’t be happier at this point, then to land a dream Job of working in the industry that I only could have dreamed about when I first started smoking about 24 years ago now…. ANYWAY….. I just wanted to thank you for this post. It was Informative, well written, organized and good key points! Thanks for giving me the last nudge I needed to start the process!!

    Thanks again,

    Jdubsstash ….. James

    1. I am so happy to hear that my article helped you so much! If you need anymore answers or assistance, remember that we’re here to help… So don’t hesitate! WISHING YOU THE BEST OF LUCK ON YOUR JOURNEY!