Careers in Cannabis

Overview of careers in the cannabis industry, including cannabis industry statistics, and a few tips for finding a job.

The cannabis industry has quickly evolved from an illicit business of sales on the black market, to a legitimate, multi-billion dollar industry, that is having a significant impact on our economy. Leading industry specific organizations, like Marijuana Business Daily, have calculated sales of cannabis reaching $46 billion in 2019, with predictions that cannabis sales could reach $130 billion by 2024. Defined as an essential business during the U.S. lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, it goes to show just how important the jobs in the cannabis industry really are.

Access to cannabis is gradually increasing as more states enact their own legal cannabis programs. Demand from consumers is steadily growing as people continue to turn to cannabis as a natural medicinal alternative to pharmaceutical and over the counter medications. Both of these factors are causing an increase in cannabis sales, and the creation of cannabis businesses, leading to more jobs being available in the cannabis industry. This flood of new jobs means there is a lot of opportunity for those interested in landing a job working in cannabis.

You may wonder what jobs are available in the cannabis industry, how to find them, or maybe you’re wanting to know how your skills might qualify you for a job working at a grow facility or dispensary. Let’s begin with what jobs are available in the cannabis industry, beginning with cultivation. 

The process of cultivating cannabis has a lengthy roster of farming positions involved. It takes years of practice to become a master grower, and farming is hard work. The workload picks up even more during harvest season in October, lovingly referred to as Croptober. Harvesting the plants, weighing them, hanging them to dry, and curing them is quite the process, taking lots of hands to get the job done. Because of its unique flowers, and the fact that cannabis cultivation  has been illegal for so many years before now, there are very few machines designed to properly harvest and prepare it for sale. Because of this, cannabis is typically cared for, harvested, and trimmed by hand. This makes general farm help a necessity during the growing season, and  trimmers specifically are in high demand during Croptober.  

In addition to all the work needing to be done on the farm, or in the grow facility, the jobs available in the cannabis industry are just like any other businesses. Businesses need managers, accountants, sales and marketing staff, graphic designers, transporters, security, and IT specialists, lab technicians, the whole works, but how do you find a job in the cannabis industry? You do it just like you would any other job. You can speak with cannabis businesses directly, by checking their website for open positions, or by contacting them through social media. Most businesses will list their available jobs on popular job search websites like Indeed. 

Once you’ve found the job you’re interested in, the application processes is the same as any other job, but what if you don’t have any experience in cannabis? Are there any entry level positions in the cannabis industry? Yes! In fact, there are several, and having any sort of job experience can be translated to having skills needed by cannabis companies. If you’re familiar with any sort of farming or gardening, you may be able to transfer those skills to cultivation. Have you worked in security, or maybe you’ve worked in a retail store, or have experience in management or marketing? All of these give you some experience to at least get your foot in the door of the cannabis industry, so use the skills you have to get the job of your dreams in the world of cannabis. 

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