According to industry research firm New Frontier Data, the cannabis industry is expected to generate 250,000 new jobs by 2020.
In 2017 alone, ZipRecruiter said that the number of posts for job openings in the pot industry increased 445 percent, outpacing health care’s 70 percent and tech’s 254 percent.
This means that with the growing number of states that have legalized cannabis, people are not only made to experience the medical benefits of the drug, but they are also presented with new job opportunities. And America’s billion-dollar cannabis industry is poised to grow as big and as fast as the law will allow it.
Right now, the pot industry is in search of professionals and other workers, from customer services and sales, to technology, to accounting and compliance. Colorado, Washington, and California currently have the highest demand for pot industry workers. However, this could still change or shift as legalization efforts in other states move forward.
Of course, when compared to other much older industries, the marijuana industry still has far lesser job opportunities in total. But at least now, several positions that did not exist before legalization now do and are getting more people employed. These new jobs are giving enterprising workers the chance to get into an entirely new career.
To give you an example, here are the five fast-growing new job positions generated by the legal cannabis industry. The salary range for these jobs are based on data from the 2018 Vangst Salary Guide and, in most cases, are unusually broad because of the industry’s rapid expansion and its “newness.”
Average national salary range: $13.25 per hour to $16 per hour.
A Budtender is somewhere in between a pharmacist and a bartender. It is the one behind the dispensary counter, checking IDS and prescriptions, tracking all sales, and helping customers understand the products, as well as how to use these.
To qualify, candidates are not really required to have an extensive knowledge about pot.
2. Director of cultivation
Average national salary range: $88,000 to $250,500
All grow operations need a director of cultivation, and so does cannabis. It is the person who oversees planting, cloning, watering, feeding, and pest management where the pot crops are concerned. In larger operations, the cultivation director is responsible for a team of growers and he or she will be required to frequently interact with law enforcement authorities so as to ensure compliance.
Qualified candidates for this position need to have a background in agriculture or horticulture. Sometimes, advanced degrees in either one is also required. Candidates are also preferred to be familiar with cannabis. Many employers are also happy to just hire someone who has experience managing a large-scale greenhouse operation.
3. Dispensary manager
Average national salary range: $56,000 to $98,000
Like any other store manager, the dispensary manager is the one who manages the staff and tracks the store’s inventory. He or she is also responsible for keeping a clean professional atmosphere.
What makes the dispensary manager different from an ordinary store manager is the highly regulated nature of the products they sell, thus making the former’s job a lot more complicated. It is the dispensary manager’s job to make sure that all other employees are compliant with state laws. By this, it means that the manager has to make sure employees are only allowing adults aged 21 years or older inside or are checking whether customers have the proper medical credentials.
4. Director of extraction
Average national salary range: $72,000 to $191,000
The director of extraction oversees the production of the cannabis concentrates and oils needed to manufacture products like gummies, vaping oils, candies, and topicals. That means he or she also runs a laboratory, maintaining strict scientific protocols, and managing a staff.
Certain skills are required for this job, so we typically see a lot of chemists, Ph.Ds, and people who have experience working in pharmaceutical labs.
Average national salary range: $12.25 per hour to $14 per hour.
This is an entry-level, hands-on job. Trimmers are called in during harvest time to trim off buds from stems and trim leaves in preparation for sale. Most small growers will hire trimmers on a part-time or per-day basis. Yet there are also some large indoor grow businesses that hire trimmers year-round.