Cannabis jobs increased 690 percent between 2017 and 2018, with employment projected to grow another 220 percent in 2019.
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Cannabis is the fastest growing sector in the United States, but which cannabis jobs are in highest demand?
Today, there couldn’t be more options for high-level managers, scientists, weed nerds and all of the above to work in the legal marijuana industry. These are the most sought-after jobs.
Related: The Bright Future of Cannabis Retail
Dispensary Manager and Budtender
The first cannabis jobs that come to mind, and for good reason, are dispensary manager and budtender. These are the two most in-demand jobs in legal weed.
The cannabis industry is growing 34 percent annually and is projected to reach a value of $146 billion by 2025. As a result, the industry has an intense demand for people who are knowledgeable about cannabis. Dispensary staff are in such high demand that only a little over half receive formal training and businesses are struggling to staff up.
For prospective employees armed with some business experience and knowledge of cannabis’ medical and medicinal benefits have a good chance of landing cannabis jobs like dispensary manager or budtender.
One of the biggest advantages to legalize cannabis is the ability to regulate its quality. This means lab testing for pesticides, contaminants, THC levels and more.
In most states, legal weed must be tested by a third party lab before it’s sold in a dispensary. As a result, legalization has created the demand for a lab testing industry so as not to create bottlenecks and product shortages. This means that there is significant demand for lab technicians. These jobs involve working with chemicals solvents and high-tech equipment.
It also requires knowing a lot about how cannabis works: How much water is considered a contaminant? What levels of THC and CBD, and which terpenes, should a sample have?
There are many ways to work in the cannabis industry without “touching the plant.” Like businesses in any other sector, cannabis companies need to market their products and build a client base. This means hiring a brand ambassador.
Though the role of a brand ambassador will differ depending on the organization, their role is to promote a company by connecting with potential customers either at trade shows, in stores or on social media. Despite massive growth, the cannabis industry still cannot consider normal business considerations like any other.
More specifically, weed businesses cannot advertise on most TV programs, in public places, or directly on many social media. This means that brand ambassadors are one of the most in-demand cannabis jobs right now.
Director of Extraction
In the booming cannabis industry, vaping cannabis is the fastest growing method of consumption. In fact, the cannabis concentrates are predicted to be worth $3 billion in 2018. As a result, cannabis businesses are expanding into extraction, the process by which you remove plant matter to obtain cannabis compounds in a concentrated oil form.
It makes sense that “Director of Extraction” is one of the most in-demand cannabis jobs right now. In simple terms, a Director of Extraction manages the production of cannabis extracts. This means designing and overseeing a laboratory, hiring, and quality control.
One of the cannabis jobs consistently in high demand is marijuana trimming. It’s their job to prune cannabis plants without harming them.
There are many opportunities available for people looking to work in cannabis trimming. However, trimming requires skill and focus. More specifically, trimmers have to understand cannabis plant anatomy and the difference between different strains.
Trimmers also have to have the ability to focus for a long period of time. Though you are typically paid by weight–how much cannabis you trim in a day–doing it well and thoroughly requires concentration.
Like food and drugs, cannabis is subject to numerous health and safety regulations. Behind every legal cannabis product is a network of compliance experts, supply chain tracking software and lots of paperwork.
For all these reasons, one of the cannabis jobs in highest demand is compliance manger, according to a Vangst report. It’s their job to create compliance protocols for dispensary staff, keep track of inventory and stay up to date with ever-evolving cannabis regulations and taxes. In California, Massachusetts and many other legal state, cannabis laws can vary county to county and city to city. This doesn’t even account for regulatory changes that take place on the state level.
For businesses in such a new and highly regulated industry as cannabis, it’s a real change just to follow the law and have the paperwork trail to prove it. This is the compliance manager’s job.
Cannabis retail increasingly resembles retail for any other product. Many people, and especially those who use medical cannabis, want the convenience and anonymity of cannabis delivery. Consequently, cannabis delivery drivers are in increasing demand. Qualifying for a delivery driver position involves more than having a car and a drivers license.
Like any dispensary employee, delivery drivers are required to understand a dispensary’s menu and how medical cannabis can benefit people with specific conditions.
The Most Popular Cannabis Jobs in a Blossoming Industry
Between 2017 and 2018, cannabis jobs increased 690 percent. Cannabis industry employment is projected to grow another 220 percent in 2019.
Though there is massive demand for plant-touching roles like budtenders, trimmers, and delivery drivers, the cannabis industry needs marketing experts and high-level management. How do you get involved in the cannabis industry? All you have to do is apply.