Highest Demand Career Option in Fast Growing Cannabis Industry

cannabis industry

The cannabis industry seems to be taking the world by storm. In the last five years, we’ve seen 2 countries completely legalize the adult-use of recreational cannabis, as well as nine states plus the District of Columbia do the same. There are now 31 operating medical marijuana markets across the United States. Further, 2 out of 3 Americans now support cannabis prohibition coming to an end. With this, we’ve seen an explosive $13 billion industry sprout up with budding opportunities for anyone interested. Today we will dive deeper to look at the cannabis industry career paths and those jobs that are in the highest demand across this fast-growing sector.

Read Also: State by State Overview of Exclusive Medical Marijuana Programs

Entry Level  Positions

First, starting where many folks looking to work within the cannabis industry should start, with entry-level jobs. We can quickly see the many cannabis career options available for folks with little to no experience in the cannabis sector. These positions range by niche within the cannabis industry and include positions such as bud tenders, grow staff, and packaging assistants.

Bud tenders will often be at the front lines of the cannabis industry assisting consumers to make their cannabis purchases behind a register. These positions require the staff to be friendly, outgoing, and somewhat sales oriented. The position is ideal for people attracted to a retail type environment for their work. A grow assistant is a bit more straightforward with the job description usually requiring workers to water plants, transplant, and do other vital tasks to keep the cannabis grow operating properly. This is a position great for individuals hoping to get physical exercise while at work. Finally, packaging assistants move the final cannabis products into their consumer-friendly packaging. Since most cannabis markets require packaging to be child-proof, these positions are usually readily available everywhere in the cannabis sector but require very little skill and become monotonous quickly. All and all though, any one of these three jobs is a great place to get started if you are new to the cannabis industry and wish to get your foot in the door.

Sales Expert

The cannabis industry, like nearly every other sector in the world, requires a huge amount of sales representatives to operate properly. In particular, grow businesses and processing facilities need to get their products and brands to the storefronts for consumers to access. To make this happen, these companies often rely on their sales team members to make connections with dispensaries to purchase their goods. If you have an outgoing personality and a knack for sales, there are tons of other aspects of the cannabis industry in which you could start your career in sales. Everything from security companies, to packaging companies, or service related companies require sales-people. It’s important to find a market niche that works best for you and then capitalizes on it.

Retail Manager

The foundation of the cannabis industry is built upon dispensaries and the relationship with consumers. Dispensaries are the epicenter of where cannabis consumers meet and interact with cannabis products. Furthermore, there are thousands of dispensaries sprinkled across legal cannabis markets. This creates a huge amount of demand for dispensary managers and executive staff members. These positions are truly retail management in their nature. They will require workers to be able to handle the hiring of staff members to be bud tenders in the storefronts, manage the supply chains for dispensary products, and other retail obligations.


An exciting aspect of the cannabis industry is the fine art of growing the plant. With hundreds of grow facilities across legal marijuana markets, there is no shortage of cannabis growers needed in the industry. High-end growers can command impressive salaries which may be the highest of any job within the cannabis sector. The ganja growers within the cannabis industry are one of the most important aspects of this niche market. They can help increase the quality of the cannabis companies are producing and therefore have a huge impact on the company’s bottom line. As the cannabis industry continues to become more competitive, a key value proposition that should remain constant is the ability of companies to cultivate high-quality cannabis. All and all, those workers with the ability to cultivate quality cannabis product will easily be able to secure good career positions in cannabis grow facilities.

Extractor and Processor Expert

The cannabis industry has a third important component which is the extraction facilities and processors which make hash, edibles, and other cannabis-infused products. With the increased demand for edibles and hash across the cannabis industry, there is also a huge increase in demand for processing services. Hash extraction artists can make as much as growers in the right environment and processing facility. Extractors should be able to handle themselves in an industrial environment. Many of the machines used in the extraction process are extremely powerful types of industrial machines which can be dangerous. Furthermore, an extraction facility is fairly comparable to an industrial kitchen with a few extra pieces of heavy machinery added in to extract cannabis oil from the plant. These can be good positions for people looking to work behind the scenes and away from the retail operations dealing with consumers on a daily basis. All and all, extractors and processing experts can make as much money as a grower with many salaries topping out above six digits.

Compliance Expert

With federal prohibition still in effect across the United States, individual states with marijuana programs instituted often have extremely strict compliance regulations in place. This is done to deter the federal government from entering the state’s cannabis market and shutting companies down. The state of Colorado, for example, requires a seed to sale tracking system which uses electronic tracking tags on each individual plant. Plants are required to be tracked from the moment they’re planted and all the way until they are sold to a customer in a dispensary. Also, the state of Colorado in 2017 changed the cannabis compliance laws a grand total of 112 times, which equates to more than twice per week! With this huge amount of variation coming into the cannabis market, it can be a challenge for businesses to keep up with. Thus, the need for compliance experts steadily increases as more regulations are passed and more states create new operational cannabis markets. Even after the federal government legalizes cannabis, we expect regulations and cannabis compliance to only become more burdensome for businesses. All and all these trends should continue to make the demand for compliance experts continue to grow as time goes on.

State Inspector and Regulators

On the other side of the spectrum from a compliance officer comes state inspectors and regulators. As noted previously, there are a ton of cannabis regulations on the books in any one of the many cannabis markets. With this trend only growing, regulators and state officials are needed more than ever to police the emerging cannabis industry. Many states have even developed completely new institutionalized state agencies to assist with the regulatory burden in place by state-sanctioned cannabis regulations. A state regulator is a great career path for people looking to get into the niche cannabis sector. People who are apt to be more particular to the details of a situation may be a perfect fit for the compliance side of the industry.

Accountant, Lawyers, and Other Business Professionals

All and all, there are hundreds of different types of jobs available within the emerging cannabis industry. The most common types of positions may actually be ones which are not unique to the cannabis sector. These include all of the accountants, lawyers, and other business professionals with assist in completing the day to day operations a cannabis company must complete. With this in mind, many professionals across the country are already well equipped with training to enter the niche cannabis sector without any large additional cannabis-specific training programs.

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