18 min read
Why You Should Get A Job In The Cannabis Industry
There is no doubt that cannabis is one of the fastest-growing and budding industries in this world, and it has a lot of potential for growth and a large untapped reserve that is still waiting to be explored. This leads people to think about the kinds of job opportunities that would arise in the cannabis industry and how they can penetrate the industry and benefit from it.
This article covers the basics of working in the cannabis industry and the ‘cannabis jobs’ available for them to get hired. No matter in which state you are in, there is a strong cannabis market, and you can conveniently find a job that suits your requirements and helps you blend in, thanks to your prior skills and experiences at your workplace.
The Cannabis Industry is on Fire. Why?
A few years ago, no one knew that legalizing cannabis will have a massive impact on consumers or help save many people’s lives from discomfort or illness. Today, the industry has been rapidly growing, and more than 35 states readily jumped at the idea. According to global research and statistics, the cannabis industry is already touching figures of up to USD 20.5 billion in 2020 alone. This is a wonderfully encouraging figure that drives more people towards the industry.
What’s more amazing about the cannabis industry is that it has no bounds on how much it can go. There are projections by experts that place the industry value to go up to roughly USD 90.5 billion in 2026, which is only five years away.
As the applications for cannabis keep increasing, there will also be a rise in its sales and its stakeholders. Therefore, the cannabis industry will not be easily tamed, so there is also a significant rise in cannabis jobs.
There is a diverse range of fields and professions that you can try out. Let’s have a look at some of the most in-demand careers that you can explore.
Cannabis Cultivation Jobs
There are numerous methods and applications used in the cannabis cultivation process, and the industry requires a lot of staffing in this department. Working in the cannabis cultivation spectrum requires extensive knowledge of growth mediums for cannabis and the most suitable growing conditions with regards to light, water, humidity, etc.
Here are some of the jobs that you can explore and see if you would be a good fit for any of them.
A cultivation director, or director of cultivation, is responsible for overseeing the entire cannabis cultivation process and is also responsible for ensuring that the cannabis produced is of premium quality. Moreover, cultivation directors are also asked to monitor the whole process and ensure that each step in the production is compliant with state and federal laws. There are no steps that might land them into trouble. Moreover, they also manage to determine the SOPs, harvesting schedules, team management, and much more.
The primary job of a master grower is to manage the growing operations of the cannabis and marijuana plants. Their role includes management of the plantation, nutrition, pest control, and many other key facets in producing pure and high-quality marijuana. Their job is to make sure that the cultivated cannabis plants are safe, and they may also liaison with the authorities to manage compliance and smooth operations.
Joining the cannabis industry as a trimmer is a starting position that will help you make your way up the ladder. Although it is an entry-level cannabis job, this doesn’t make it unimportant. Trimmers are highly in demand and are tasked with removing buds from harvested cannabis plants, trimming the leaves when needed, and drying the buds.
Suppose you love gardening and tend to your garden at home. You may be interested in joining the cannabis industry as a gardener or grower, which reports directly to the master grower and performs the action plan laid out by them. Just like trimmers, this is also an introductory job, but it requires you to stay on your feet and perform various tasks throughout the day.
Lab and Extraction
Once the cannabis plants have been planted, cultivated, and harvested, the next step is to move them to the laboratory, where the corresponding tasks like extraction occur. Of course, this step depends on the success and smooth operations of the first one. Let’s have a look at cultivation jobs as well.
A lab director is in charge of the extraction process, and they come into action after the cultivation and harvesting processes are complete. As a lab director, you will be expected to perform a chemical analysis of the plants. Moreover, you will have an entire team of lab technicians and quality assurance and quality control personnel.
The position of a quality manager in the cannabis industry has a lot of responsibility attached to it. They are responsible for product testing and the inspection and quality control of the production facility. They will also be required to review and approve cannabis testing and processing methods. Moreover, quality managers address and resolve any complaints regarding the quality of the cannabis produced in the facility.
To be hired as a concentrates processor, you would need to have a degree or experience in chemistry and an ability to develop concentrates from the cannabis extracts, such as oils, lotions, etc. Since cannabis concentrates are getting widely popular among people looking to use them for medical and recreational purposes, there is a high demand for concentrates processors, so you can brush up your chemistry knowledge and try getting the job.
The cannabis industry involves the packaging and preparation of marijuana and CBD products. Numerous products are developed and sold worldwide, such as tinctures, gummies, balms, and much more. Let’s look at how you can get your foot into the cannabis jobs that lie in the manufacturing department.
VP of Manufacturing
The VP of Manufacturing is a prestigious position that puts you at the center of a cannabis production facility. You will be in charge of any project and ensure that production processes adhere to a strict timeline. Moreover, you will also be responsible for overseeing the development of the ordered products and ensuring safety and health laws are followed to the letter.
Being a VP of Manufacturing in the cannabis industry, you can expect to get paid very well. The salary structure would be much better than most industries, mainly because the cannabis industry is vastly profitable.
The facility manager position is suitable for people who have a background in project management or business, and it involves supervising the product development and inventory management departments. As with most managerial positions, following the timeline is crucial since it is essential to ensure timely delivery of orders to the customers.
As the name suggests, packagers are tasked with packing up all cannabis and CBD products into packets, bags, containers, or other packaging options. Usually, packagers are paid by the hour, so if you are looking to enter the cannabis industry while maintaining your current job, you can start by becoming a packager and seeing if this is the right industry for you or not.
If you have been in the culinary industry or know your culinary skills are something to write home about, you can become an edibles chef. This position requires you to bake food items with the marijuana extracts that go through the entire process of cultivation, harvesting, and testing. Cannabis can be incorporated into various food items, such as candies, gummies, baked goods, and even tea. You will need to know how much cannabis you need for each food item.
Retail + Delivery
Out of the 50 states in the United States, 33 have legalized cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. You can try out your hand in the retail and delivery department of the cannabis industry. Here are some of the key positions you can apply for.
VP of Retail
If you have a distinguished career in sales or retail and are looking to take the next step in your professional career, you can try out for VP of retail. As the VP of retail, you will be tasked with developing short and long-term organization strategies, including budgets, sales plans, compliance, expansion, and other key departments.
Strategic marketing planning is a particular challenge. An analysis of all available information will help reduce the likelihood of error: the number of customers, the average bill, product preferences, the popularity of products, the success of previous company promotions, the performance of each employee, and many others. Where do you get this amount of information? Most modern dispensaries are equipped with POS systems. There you can find dashboards and tables with all data.
This position is more suited to individuals with sufficient credible experience in managing departments and supervising a team of professionals. When it comes to becoming a general manager in the cannabis industry, your role becomes even more diverse, and you are required to evaluate the business thoroughly. After doing so, you will also have to develop strategies that bring positive results.
Marijuana Sales Representative
When it comes to marijuana sales, your job role will be similar to salespeople who go to different customers and clients to take orders and generate new leads for the business. If you have sufficient experience in this regard or come from a sales background, you can do quite well in marijuana sales. You will be required to visit different dispensaries and stores that keep marijuana on their shelves and convince them to buy it.
Budtenders, or cannabis consultants, are an integral part of the cannabis retail department. Their job is to talk with different customers, gather their requirements, and suggest the right type or strain of cannabis that can fulfill their needs.
What makes a simple salesperson different from a professional budtender?
Besides, of course, excellent knowledge of the entire range of cannabis dispensaries, the budtender must be able to build long-term relationships with clients. How is this possible? First of all, you need to be able to ask the right questions. The main difficulty here lies, of course, in the number of clients. It’s just impossible to remember everyone. However, modern POS systems can come to the rescue here. There is a profile for each visitor. There is a history of interactions, doctor’s recommendations, and a special comment field. Using these tools correctly, you can achieve great success and amaze clients with your attention to detail. Isn’t it a fantastic feeling to be an expert in your field in the eyes of your clients?
Cannabis Delivery Driver
As a cannabis delivery driver, your primary job will be to deliver orders to customers, mainly in stores that sell marijuana, cannabis, or CBD products. It is pretty similar to delivering parcels for Amazon or food orders for Uber Eats. Still, the difference is that you will be delivering something much more essential and beneficial for people who need it.
How to improve the performance of the cannabis delivery driver? Everyone has heard of how Uber has changed the taxi industry. Route optimization, competent communication with the client, order distribution system – all this is possible with the delivery of cannabis. Use cannabis driver app and set new delivery speed records.
The job description is pretty self-explanatory as itself and similar to any other industry. You will be required to attend to people who come in and address their queries and concerns while also directing them to the correct department or place they need to go. Receptionists are also responsible for gathering customer information and also check their identification.
If you don’t think your prior experience and skills would allow you to enter the cannabis industry and get a job, you can also start in security. It is also a rewarding profession that pays well. It requires you to maintain a secure and peaceful environment for the customers to be comfortable while buying cannabis inside the store.
Moreover, security personnel also have to protect the products inside the stores so that nobody can get away by stealing them. Cannabis products are pretty valuable, and they are more vulnerable to be stolen, mainly because of the common misconception that they cause a person to ‘get high’.
Another vital profession in the cannabis industry is the inventory manager. The job is to manage and monitor the inventory levels of the cannabis products present in the store so that there isn’t a shortfall of any high-demand product and your customers don’t get irked by not getting what they came for. The inventory manager communicates with the production and retail department regularly, and they notify the production department if they need to speed up the production of a particular product.
The least favorite part of this profession is the endless night shifts to take inventory of goods. Managers have to spend hours counting the goods in the warehouse, and they have a huge responsibility. The only alternative so far is to use an RFID scanner for inventory management. The fastest scans 900 products per second. So no more night shifts.
Order Fulfillment Specialist
The job of an order fulfillment specialist in the cannabis industry is essential to the business’s success because the concerned individual has to ensure that every order placed by customers is prepared accurately and the quality of the products is also maintained. Sometimes you receive an order via online menus such as Potify, Weedmaps, or Leafly. Usually, they are already integrated with all modern POS systems.
By maintaining the order accuracy, the cannabis-producing company can ensure that they get repeat business. Suppose you would like to apply for the position of order fulfillment specialist. In that case, you need to have experience working in the supply chain or with a reputed delivery company where you have been in charge of managing the accuracy of orders.
No industry uses software and technology to optimize business operations in today’s world, and the cannabis industry is no different. Numerous job opportunities arise for software development and eCommerce specialists in this industry. If you are looking to receive a more lucrative salary package, there are various ways you can enter this industry.
IT Professional In-House
The job of an in-house IT professional in the cannabis industry revolves around managing the company’s entire technology infrastructure so that all of the departments can run their operations smoothly. Numerous operations inside the cannabis industry require IT, such as lab and extraction, manufacturing, marketing, retail, inventory management, billing, payroll, and much more. The IT professional is also responsible for conducting timely maintenance and up-gradation so that there is no downtime.
Software developers are usually tasked with developing an eCommerce platform for cannabis producers to incorporate eCommerce into their business and reach out to a broader base of customers online. This allows customers to easily purchase cannabis from the comfort of their homes and relieves them from the stigma or judgment associated with buying marijuana. Not only does this make cannabis readily available to a large number of people, but it also leads to more sales.
Marketing/Finance and Accounting
No business can thrive without effective marketing. The cannabis industry also needs marketing campaigns to reach a larger target audience, especially those who are still skeptical about the legality and potency of cannabis products. Therefore, marketing jobs keep sprouting up in the cannabis industry from time to time and finance and accounting positions. Let’s look at the marketing, finance, and accounting jobs that you can apply for in the cannabis industry.
Like any business, the role of a brand ambassador in the cannabis industry is to make cannabis products more popular among the target audience. However, they are also responsible for generating a positive response for the initiative among people still in a dilemma about using marijuana for medical purposes. Brand ambassadors also have to attend various events and conventions, and if you think you are good with public relations and speaking, you can be a good fit for the position.
As a marketing manager, you will need to curate effective marketing content that reaches out to people and hits the target, thus enabling them to try out marijuana for its various potent benefits. You will be tasked with managing an entire marketing department and will also have to decide the approach you want to take in terms of marketing campaigns. The right message is critical to market cannabis effectively.
Finding and analyzing information has always been an essential part of the marketing profession. Since all retailers started using POS systems, this has become much easier. In the administrative panel of any modern POS, you can find dashboards and tables regarding statistics for all customers and even separately for each order. In a word – a storehouse of vital information.
As you already know, the business of cannabis and marijuana is quite profitable, which makes it all the more important to manage your finances properly and make sure that each dollar is accounted for. For this purpose, companies hire finance officers and accountants. If you have sufficient experience handling accounts, you can apply for a position in the accounting department and get a rewarding package.
Human Resources Manager
One of the critical resources in any business is the person responsible for hiring and maintaining a positive work culture around the company. The HR Manager is responsible for recruiting competent professionals for various positions, most of which we have discussed above. If you have worked in any industry in the Human Resources department, you can try your hand at a cannabis production company.
As we mentioned above, there is a lot of uncertainty and false information regarding cannabis spread everywhere, mainly because cannabis is associated with drug abuse and intoxication. Therefore, nearly all companies in the cannabis industry hire education officers to raise awareness about the safety and benefits of cannabis among their target audience.
It is a good place for you to start with a job in the cannabis industry, and it would be great if you have PR and public speaking skills to reach out to customers much more effectively.
If you have a legal background or have worked extensively in law firms or legal departments in major corporations, you would be delighted to know that you can actively pursue a career in the cannabis industry. There are various positions in the legal department that you can apply for, which also provide you with promising growth opportunities.
Much of what cannabis companies do involves the need for compliance. As you know already, cannabis is still illegal in a few of the states in the US, which means that companies have to be extra careful and maintain compliance with each state’s specific laws so that they don’t land in trouble. Therefore, the compliance manager’s role is all the more important, and they act as a mediator between the production and testing departments and the local authorities that regulate the production and retail of marijuana, cannabis, and other related products.
Suppose you have worked as a compliance manager in any other industry. In that case, you can try out as a compliance manager in the cannabis industry since the processes and requirements are essentially the same. However, there are some things that you may have to be trained for, and you can quickly brush upon them.
There are many complex processes involved when it comes to cannabis production, testing, retail, and marketing. It is the operations manager’s job to ensure that all the functions are working in smooth harmony. There is no delay or halt in operations. The post of operations manager is a lucrative and high-paying position with a lot of growth potential. The cannabis industry is only going upwards from here, so you can have a promising long-term career.
If you have a law degree and extensive experience in law firms or legal departments, you can apply to be a specialized lawyer at any company in the cannabis industry. Your job would be to provide guidance and counsel to the company executives, which would enable them to make critical decisions regarding the business. Moreover, the lawyer would also help them navigate the various processes in the cannabis business.
This is the end of our guide on the various jobs in the cannabis industry, and you can see that there are a myriad of positions that you can apply for. Therefore, you should take your time to meticulously evaluate each position and department and conduct thorough research to decide which one would be suitable for you.
Ideally, you should shortlist a couple of positions you think would be a good fit and research them in detail. You can apply for all of those positions separately and prepare yourself for the interview process should you receive a call for an interview.
The interview shouldn’t be much different from the ones you must have given for jobs in other industries. The best way to ace it would be to find out everything you can about the company, including its values, morals, methodology, and other information you can find. You never know. Think about it, what if it is the start of a promising professional journey for you.