Marijuana Industry Entrepreneurs Enjoy Hottest Career Opportunities

By John Levy

The marijuana market is among the fastest growing of all time. It is also becoming more socially acceptable, and as such, many young people are opting for a career in the cannabis industry. According to Forbes, the pot sector will create more employment than manufacturing by 2020. There are many job opportunities in the cannabis industry and thousands are taking advantage of them.

Job listings are available abundantly online. People are flocking to cannabis job fairs in droves. Companies employ many attendees at a time, but more people are just trying to get into the space. Most have little to no experience working with marijuana, but they believe wholeheartedly in the product and because these jobs are typically unique, there is place for anyone willing to learn.

The cannabis industry is not only attractive to the youth. Older folk are also involving themselves, particularly those too old for the traditional workforce, yet with bachelor’s degrees. Store managers are not especially unique, but marijuana industry entrepreneurs can choose from other job positions found nowhere else.

These are currently the top five job opportunities in the cannabis industry:

  1. Store Manager
  2. Grow Master
  3. Bud Trimmer
  4. Extraction Technician
  5. Owner

1. Store Manager

Managers play a crucial role in any retail environment, including recreational outlets and medical dispensaries. Store managers earn a very good salary in the cannabis industry. At the very least, they can make upwards of $75,000 per year, and they can expect a bonus based on gross sales.

Commission can be particularly lucrative when you consider how some Californian dispensaries turn over up to $10 million annually, which adds up to a very healthy bonus. As with traditional jobs, these employees also get health insurance and vacation pay. There is also room for job growth, as many managers become supervisors overseeing several stores.

2. Grow Master

You need a unique skillset to become a cannabis grow master. This person has the responsibility of cultivating the different marijuana strains. Much like a master chef, it is a seller’s market for grow masters. There is a very high demand for people with growing skills, and because of this, they can command their own salaries. Some earn a basic wage of $100,000 per year and a profit percentage.

Currently, the best cultivators originate from states with the longest legalization period, such as California and Colorado. They are already used to earning exceptional wages and working by themselves, and they have had the time to perfect their skills and solidify their reputations. The future will likely have celebrity cultivators, much like the celebrity chefs we have today.

3. Bud Trimmer

Bud trimming is an entry-level position, but it will get you into the cannabis industry. These employees earn the lowest wages. In California, bud trimmers typically make approximately $13 per hour, but there is always work available for them. Some earn according to the pound, which adds up to between $100 and $200 for every pound of bud they trim.

In medical marijuana dispensaries, bud trimmers are valuable. They remove flowers from stems and it is paramount that they waste as little as possible, cut only what is necessary, and ensure buds are in pristine condition. They also separate and weigh leaves, stems, and buds. Although it is certainly a tedious job, bud trimming is one of the easiest ways to work your way into the cannabis industry.

4. Extraction Technician

When people think of marijuana, they picture the flowers. However, cannabis extracts are becoming increasingly popular, accounting for as much as 40 percent of sales at some outlets. Considered “extract artists,” these employees typically have PhDs and unique skills. Salaries are as high as $125,000 in profitable dispensaries.

Some states only allow patients to use medical marijuana extracts. According to the New York State Department of Health, patients in New York may not smoke pot. They may only use it as an extract. Although expensive machines have the actual job of extracting, technicians have the expertise and knowledge to make them work, as well as the experience to provide consistent quality to patients.

5. Owner

Owning a marijuana business is not as fun a job as it sounds. It comes with one headache after another. People think owners make millions, but this is untrue in most cases. There are banking and legal worries, as well as a constantly shifting regulatory environment. Marijuana business owners cannot claim the same deductions other businesses can, making expenses extremely high.

For many cannabis business owners, it takes years for revenues to pay off initial capital investments. They fork out millions of dollars and only see profits years later. Even so, the marijuana industry is in its earliest phase, and with forecasters predicting decades of explosive growth, owning a cannabis business can be both lucrative and far more pleasant than the daily grind of traditional jobs.

Final Thoughts

If you are considering a career in the cannabis industry, then there are plenty of job opportunities already available. If you take the time to hone specialized skills, then you can command the best salary in a market desperately looking for you. Consider taking a cultivation or extraction course if you are serious about joining the ranks of marijuana industry entrepreneurs.


John Levy blogs for Pot Valet, a leading company to provide cannabis delivery service in Los Angeles.

 

Medical Marijuana Workers Fight For Labor Rights At Ontario Agriculture Tribunal

CANADA: The struggle to win union rights for medical cannabis workers in Canada has entered a new chapter, with the commencement of hearings at Ontario’s Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (AFRAA Tribunal) for workers at MedReleaf in Markham, Ontario. The Markham-based MedReleaf operates an industrial facility with approximately 50 employees who grow, trim, harvest, and package medical grade marijuana.

The MedReleaf workers have been trying to join UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union) for nearly two years, and are now fighting for their right to unionize and bargain collectively at the tribunal. The MedReleaf struggle first began in May 2015, when workers at the facility contacted UFCW Canada in order to join the union. With a majority of MedReleaf workers having signed union cards, UFCW Canada applied for certification at both the provincial and federal labour boards.

Not long after the applications were filed, the federal labour board ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the matter, despite the fact that medical cannabis production is tightly regulated by Health Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Within days of the federal ruling, MedReleaf started terminating the leaders of the union organizing campaign at its facility. UFCW Canada in turn filed charges of unfair labour practices against the company at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Before the hearings into the charges began, the provincial labour board deemed the workers to be agriculture workers in December 2015, despite the factory-like dynamic of many medical marijuana facilities.

Since agriculture workers in Ontario are excluded from the provincial Labour Relations Act, the Board’s ruling effectively stripped cannabis workers of the right to unionize and bargain collectively. Soon after the provincial ruling, MedReleaf terminated even more union supporters. To date, 11 union supporters have been terminated by MedReleaf, including all of the leaders who started the organizing campaign.

Having been rejected by both the federal and provincial labour boards, the only avenue left for MedReleaf workers is the AFRAA Tribunal. The tribunal is available to any agricultural worker whose right to freedom of association has been violated. However, this is only the second time in history that the concerns of workers seeking to bargain collectively have been heard by the tribunal.

Now, nearly two years after the union drive at MedReleaf, the tribunal has commenced twelve days of hearings. The first three days of hearings commenced February 7, and the tribunal will reconvene March 1.

Should the tribunal rule in favour of the union, UFCW Canada hopes that the workers will be reinstated with full back-pay, and that the company will be legally obligated to negotiate a collective agreement with the union. It is a long and monumental struggle that will have implications for workers across Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector.

“This is about achieving justice for all cannabis workers,” says Philip Manorath, one of the leading inside organizers at MedReleaf and the first worker to be terminated following the organizing campaign. “There is no reason why cannabis workers should be denied the right to form a union and bargain collectively, when every other worker in Ontario has the right to do so.”

MJBA’s Cannabis Job Fair Brings Together Top Employers and Job Seekers

WASHINGTON: The legal cannabis industry in Washington is poised to scale in 2015, as more licensed retail stores come online and relatively low price points drive consumer demand.  According to the latest MJ Research report, Washington’s cannabis industry has surpassed $100M in sales in its first 33 weeks of legal sales, and that is in turn creating jobs.In response, many canna-businesses are getting into hiring mode.

The legalization of marijuana has created thousands of new jobs — 10,000 in Colorado last year.  This year that trend will only continue, as more stores open and more product becomes available.

This weekend in Seattle, the MJBA Job Fair will become ground zero for those interested in a career in legal cannabis — bringing together Washington State’s top cannabis industry employers and HR professionals and industry thought leaders with local job seekers.

MJBA Job Fair March 3, 2015 at Red Lion Hotel Bellevue WA

MJBA Job Fair March 3, 2015 at Red Lion Hotel Bellevue WA

The full day event includes a 2015 Jobs Outlook, and featured employer presentations from Producers, Retailers, Processors and service providers. Author and motivational speaker Tiffany McVeety will speak on “Being Your Own Boss” and CTI’s Greta Carter will talk about the importance of training and certification.

Job candidates will have the opportunity to take the stage and deliver their 60-second elevator pitch.Last fall’s MJBA Job Fair garnered tremendous publicity, and attracted approximately 500 people, according to organizers. More than 30+ employers turned out as sponsors seeking to fill more than 140 jobs. This year’s event, is being sponsored by RMMC Consulting, Eden Labs, Cannabis Training Institute, Viridian Sciences, 420MEDIA, and Weedhire.com, and looks to be even larger.

Here are some highlights of the media coverage of Job Fair Seattle last fall:

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2014/09/29/washingtons-top-pot-companies-recruit-at-seattle-job-fair/

http://www.bellevuereporter.com/business/277490131.html

http://viridiansciences.com/first-pot-job-fair/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuBKheGPvcE