As medical and recreational marijuana becomes legal in more states, more and more people are wondering how to get a job in the marijuana industry. With this booming industry constantly evolving, now is the time to find out. Think about it:

  • Medical marijuana use is legal in 37 states and Washington DC. Recreational consumption is legal in the following 17 states.
  • There are 7,490 cannabis dispensaries nationwide, according to a 2021 study by Kisi Security Access. (That’s more than 7,000 taco bells in the country.)
  • According to the latest annual report from Leafly, a leading cannabis website, the legal cannabis industry has created 33,700 new jobs in the United States in the past 12 months, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.
  • The report found that cannabis companies across the country had 243,700 full-time positions in January 2020, compared to 122,800 in 2017.

Many marijuana company jobs pay much more than restaurants or retail positions. More importantly, some don’t require years of experience or training. Many employers in the cannabis industry are young companies. You are open to hardworking employees and can grow as they do.

Below are the needs of cannabis jobs.

Alexander Karol, chief chemical engineer at Knox Medical, tests the cannabis oil extracted from CO2 to ensure that the product meets the high purity standards. Photo courtesy Knox Medical

7 jobs in the legal cannabis industry

1. Main grower / main grower

Chief Planter Responsible for plants, crops and cultivation teams. You need to set up a growing program for the cannabis business and follow the plant throughout its life cycle in order to make the best possible product. The main grower is responsible for many factors that affect plant health and value, such as nutrient application, humidity, ventilation, temperature, light, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.

Salary Range: $ 58,000 to $ 153,000.


  • Usually requires a degree in horticulture or equivalent education
  • Years of growth experience
  • Understand plant nutrients, soil, planting techniques, pest control and harvesting methods
  • Comprehensive knowledge of varieties: alfalfa, indica and hybrids
  • Advanced knowledge of cannabis plants, genetics and cloning
  • Management experience
  • Some states may require a professional license
  • Some companies may require Master Grower certification

2. Gourmet chef

Grocery Chef Produces cannabis foods and beverages for medical and recreational use for cannabis businesses. In addition to all of the local and state certifications required to do cannabis work, they usually receive cooking training.

This profession isn’t as easy as sprinkling a few buds on a chocolate cake. Food chefs need to create products that contain a consistent amount of cannabis in each serving to achieve the promised effect. In addition, the product must taste good, look good, meet legal requirements and be securely packaged.

Salary Range: $ 50,000 to over $ 100,000


  • Thorough understanding of cannabis strains and concentrates
  • Excellent cooking skills
  • Professional cooking and kitchen experience

3. Bidder / pharmacist

The Knox Medical Dispensary is located near the village of Ivanhoe in Orlando, Florida. Photo courtesy Knox Medical

Sometimes referred to as a pharmacy agent, it is an intermediary between the customer and retail medical marijuana sellers. You need to understand the wide range of cannabis plants, medicinal uses, products, dosages, and methods of consumption.

This entry-level job is in great demand as it can help workers in the cannabis industry step through the door and learn the skills of other cannabis jobs

Salary Range: $ 25,000 to $ 85,000


  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Thorough understanding of cannabis strains and products
  • No criminal record
  • Ability to build trust and relationship with customers

4. Bid trimmer

Cannabis plants are like many other plants. They grow best when properly trimmed and trimmed.

The trimmer holds the cannabis buds on the plant and cuts and weighs them when they are ready to be sold. The trimmer often takes a long time to trim the flower buds for maximum attraction. If trimmers can learn other aspects of the business (such as budgeting, developing, or filling out paperwork), there can be downtime.

Bud Trimmer It’s also an entry-level job and a great way to learn about different types of cannabis plants and how to grow them.

Salary Range: $ 23,000 to $ 46,000


  • Accuracy and consistency of trimming
  • Learn more about cannabis plants and strains
  • Can weigh and measure accurately

5. Unzip the engineer

Cannabis-derived concentrates are another growing market in the legal cannabis industry.

Extraction Manager removes valuable compounds from plants and makes a number of types of concentrates, including distilled oil for consumption or terpene paste for cannabis connoisseurs. They prepare the factory for extraction and operate highly complex systems. They also strictly record all plants, chemicals and equipment used in the laboratory.

Salary Range: $ 29,000 to $ 80,000


  • Most positions in cannabis companies require two or more years of laboratory extraction experience, preferably in the cannabis, drugs, or nutrition sectors.
  • You have a bachelor’s degree in organic or inorganic chemistry or related fields.

6. Compliance manager of the cannabis company

Compliance is essential to ensure that cannabis companies comply with all laws and agreements.

Typical duties include overseeing state and local regulations, developing and maintaining records, policies, and procedures to ensure employees do not engage in illegal or unprofessional conduct.

Compliance Manager It also regularly reviews the inventory, finances, and facility operations of cannabis companies.

Salary Range: $ 23,500 to $ 128,000

Work requirements:

  • At least 1-3 years of compliance experience in a highly regulated industry.
  • Specialized cannabis growing / manufacturing experience is highly preferred.
  • Requires experience in seeding to sell software programs (BioTrack, METRC, MJ Freeway, etc.).
  • Experience the leader to review and complete the corrective action plan.

7. Business-to-business salespeople

You may have sales experience that can be used in a cannabis store. Sales reps urge new prospects and existing customers to highlight breeders’ products over entertainment and medical pharmacies and to distinguish these products from others. You will identify prospects, build relationships, set sales goals, monitor competition, create sales materials, and conduct live demonstrations.

Salary Range: $ 35,000 to $ 60,000 plus commission


  • At least six months to one year of sales experience in the cannabis industry is desirable, not required
  • At least one to two years of business-to-business sales experience
  • In-depth knowledge of cannabis and cannabis-related products
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Bachelor’s degree desirable, not mandatory

There are several online resources that provide the cannabis education required for the certification that some of these jobs may require.

A paid training program for completing entry-level jobs in the legal cannabis industry may or may not affect your employability. Make sure you do your homework first and then spend money to go to class. You can learn something for free at work.

Katherine Snow Smith is the senior writer on The Penny Hoarder. Former employee Lisa McGreevy contributed to this report.

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