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.


The Legal Cannabis Market Contributes to Job Creation

NEW YORK: New data shows that the growing legal cannabis industry is strongly contributing to job creation. A recent report by New Frontier Data, which provides comprehensive analysis and reporting for the cannabis industry, projects that by 2020, the legal cannabis market will create more than a quarter million jobs for American workers.

The legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016, and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17%. The medical cannabis market is projected to grow at 13% CAGR through 2025, growing from $4.7 billion in 2016 to an estimated $13.3 billion in 2020.

“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data. “While we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline. We expect the cannabis industry’s growth to be slowed down to some degree in the next 3 to 5 years, however with a projected total market sales to exceed $24 billion by 2025, and the possibility of almost 300,000 jobs by 2020, it remains a positive economic force in the U.S.”

Medical Marijuana Training for Dispensaries Coming To Ohio This Summer

OHIO: HempStaff, a medical marijuana recruiting and training agency, is hosting three Medical Marijuana Dispensary Agent Training Classes in Ohio this summer as the state gets ready for the implementation of the state’s Medical Marijuana Program.

The first class will be held June 3rd in Cleveland at the Hilton Garden Inn, located at 4900 Emerald Court Southwest, Cleveland.

The second is slated for June 17th at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza located at 35 West 5th Street in Cincinnati.

The third opportunity will be July 1st in Columbus at the Embassy Suites by Hilton – Columbus Airport located at 2886 Airport Drive in Columbus.

Each training will have 2 class times to select from, 8:00am to 12:00pm or 1:30pm to 5:30pm. The cost is $249 with advance online registration or $300 cash at the door, if seats are available.

According to the latest research, more than 1.2 million people already use medical marijuana for a wide variety of medical problems, and the industry continues to grow. In 2016, the industry for both medical and legal marijuana grew to $7.1 billion, a sharp 25 percent from 2015. Currently, 28 states and D.C have legal medical marijuana laws with Ohio joining the ranks in 2016. Trained dispensary staff will be needed to keep up with the pace of the new medical marijuana dispensaries that will open, as Ohio Medical Marijuana Dispensaries are expected to open sometime in 2018.

HempStaff has trained and certified more than 1,950 dispensary agents nationwide and continues to hold classes across the United States with an extensive travel schedule for 2017. HempStaff is also a recruiting agency, so when business owners contract HempStaff to find entry level dispensary or cultivation site workers, students who successfully pass the course are contacted first about these opportunities.

HempStaff’s course offers participants training on cannabis and cannabis products along with all the information to keep up-to-date with Ohio’s medical marijuana laws. The course is completed with a certification exam, which the student must get 75% to obtain their HempStaff Certification.  If you don’t pass the test, not to worry, all students can attend future classes at no charge with advance notice.  HempStaff also offers a resume review to help best prepare them for seeking employment.

“I have attended a few training classes and they keep getting better and better! The classes are very informative with a well organized presentation. The staff is very friendly as well and everyone is so helpful. I have received my certification already from this class but i find it very helpful to go back each year to learn new and up to date information. I would highly recommend taking this class to anyone looking to get a well rounded education in the dispensary agent training!” said one recent student about their experience with the course. HempStaff provides a number of testimonials on their website and Facebook from satisfied students who gained knowledge and appreciated the resume assistance in order to find work in the industry.

For potential business owners, Ohio plans to have their final set of regulations for cultivation centers in March and for Dispensaries in September, with the application period for each shortly after.  If you are looking to be a business owner, let HempStaff save you time and energy when you are completing your application. Our team can help you find every single member of your team and ensure your dispensary agents, which are the face of the industry, are well trained.

Highest Reward Rolls Out 2016 Cannabis HR Benchmark Survey

COLORADO:  Highest Reward, a Denver-based canna-tech startup providing affordable online solutions that automate the human resource process, is surveying cannabis establishing HR benchmarks for the Cannabis industry.   For the second year running, the company is asking participants in the legal marijuana industry to detail how the fastest growing industry in the country is managing HR.

Ashley Afable, Highest Reward Cofounder, VP Biz Development, tells MJ News Network the survey will provide valuable data and insights to employers on topics including:

  • Attracting and retaining Cannabis talent
  • Compensation planning and making pay decisions
  • People strategy, processes, and structure
  • HR technology
  • HR staff size and budgeting

benchmarket survey“All of the data will be aggregated, and anyone who participates gets the report for free,” Afable said.  The survey is available online until July 15th, and takes 20 minutes or less to complete.   Take the survey now

Oregon Cannabis Jobs Report

OREGON: The goal of the Oregon Cannabis Jobs Report is simple: To establish a foundation for future research on how many jobs are being created within the cannabis industry to date.

As new Cannabis economies come online across the United States and around the world, it is imperative that we track the growth of this industry as it creates jobs and economic opportunities for individuals, communities, and businesses alike.

As we march into the 2016 election, everyone is talking about jobs. We believe it is important that the cannabis industry start to inform the general public and those running for elected office on exactly how many jobs are being created within the Oregon retail cannabis sector today. This data is the first of its kind in the nation. Our researchers took painstaking care to ensure that our methodology will not only withstand scientific rigor, but will also establish a legitimate baseline for further research into other sectors of the cannabis market.

Download the Oregon Jobs Report here

Oregon Recruiting 11 Recreational Marijuana Inspectors

OREGON:  The day when recreational marijuana will be available for purchase in Oregon is fast approaching. At the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, jobs are being created to get ready for implementing recreational marijuana policies.

Some context: On Oct. 1, medical marijuana dispensaries in most areas will begin selling some kinds of marijuana products to consumers. On Jan. 4, the state will begin accepting permit applications for marijuana businesses. Oregonians voted to legalize recreational marijuana through Measure 91, which passed in 2014.

Measure 91 brought Oregon an entirely new industry with its own new kinds of jobs. It’s impossible to say how many private sector jobs have been created from the marijuana market so far in Oregon. In the public sector, several dozen jobs have been created.

The OLCC is hiring 11 marijuana compliance specialists around the state to monitor and enforce regulations as well as train individuals on the licensing process. The positions pay $3,610 to $5,277 a month, and applications are due Sept. 1. Eight of the positions are permanent and three are temporary.

New MJ Research Report: Washington Canna-businesses Plan To Grow Organizations By 200% In 2015

Last month the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) hosted the first ever cannabis job fair in Spokane, WA.  As part of our MJ Research’s effort to provide business intelligence to participants in the legal cannabis industry, we surveyed more than 110 hiring managers, employees and job candidates online and at the event.

From analysis of this survey, conducted by Analytically Correct and the MJBA, we learned that the Washington State companies who responded to the survey plan to grow their companies by 200% in 2015.  The majority of these positions will be operations positions such as growers, trimmers and bud tenders.  Over 50% of these positions will pay under $30,000 per year.

Washington State companies who responded to the survey plan to grow their companies by 200% in 2015.

Analytically Correct CEO Joe Armes presents the MJ Research Jobs Report to industry participants at the Marijuana Business Association


Cannabis Job Fair Met With Enthusiasm And Hope In Oakland

CALIFORNIA:  You could spot the line from blocks away: a huge aggregation of professionally dressed folks  ran down the length of one city block, around a corner, and down another. Though the age of the people in the line was fairly young–folks mainly in their 20s and early 30s–this line was not for tickets to an upcoming concert.

These people were waiting to get into the Cannabis Career and Job Fair.

The second of its kind held in the last 12 months, the enthusiasm around the event, type and variety of companies that attended–along with the sheer number of applicants who showed up–is a clear testament to how fast this industry is growing.

The first event of this kind in the Bay Area was held almost a year ago at a small rock club in the SoMa section of San Francisco. There were about five companies represented, and attendance was a mild but steady stream of curious job seekers.

WeedHire Releases 2014 Q4 Cannabis Jobs Report

NEW JERSEY: The marijuana job market saw unprecedented growth in 2014 with the evolution of recreational businesses in Colorado as well as the continued advancement of investment into business infrastructures for the medically legal states as well as the marketing of ancillary products and services. Consistent with other industries as they evolve, legal marijuana is seeing job growth in areas tied to retail sales, distribution, and back office functions to run their businesses not unlike other emerging industries.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city of Denver’s unemployment rate alone was 4.2% through November 2014, down from 6.5% a year ago. Data Q3 to Q4 2014

1) Dispensary Jobs – 90% Growth

2) Medical Jobs – 70% Growth

3) Administrative Jobs – 65% Growth

4) Sales Jobs – 56% Growth

* * *

Top 6 Jobs Functions Most in Demand

1) Administrative

2) Sales

3) Dispensaries

4) Medical

5) Marketing

6) Manufacturing/Grow



These statistics demonstrate the industry is still very early in development. The lack of banking support as well as the delays in issuance of licenses and approvals at the state level is likely to also play a role in how fast these organizations can grow. It is important to note however that industry analysts believe that approximately 10,000 jobs in marijuana already exist in Colorado. Thousands more will be coming in the follow-on states of Washington, Oregon, & Alaska.

Cannabis-related companies are also investing in states such as Illinois and Nevada where legalization efforts will advance thereby creating even more job opportunities.

Cannabis Technology Jobs

Technology is also playing a role in the jobs market for legal cannabis. Vertical software manufacturers are increasing their workforce in the areas of programming for such products as inventory management, testing, and mobile apps development. These organizations are also looking for experienced sales staff to assist in the education and market-share gains for their respective products.

Social media is also playing a significant role in the jobs sector as legal marijuana is considered as much a social movement as a business and healthcare issue.

More Demand than Supply of Jobs

Although the sector is predicted to grow exponentially moving forward; currently the jobs market is seeing a size-able demand for jobs vs. a lower supply. Cannabis Staffing Agencies are seeing an average of 200 job applicants for every 1 job on file.

As expected, the overall trend indicates that there are a larger number of people with no experience or specific skill- set who want jobs in the marijuana industry. Many of these individuals do not have industry experience and are willing to take lower-level jobs in order to break into the sector.

Legal Cannabis Helps Mainstream Jobs Market

The legal marijuana jobs market is also responsible for job increases in complimentary industries as well. One example is the number of dispensaries and grow houses being set up. Contractors for lighting, HVAC, extermination, electrical, as well specialized legal and accounting are all needed to set up these organizations.

Applicants are not what you think

Many cannabis employers are also surprised at the amount of applicants that are in fact non-stoners. Approximately 80 % of applicants state at time of application that they do not use cannabis. Many job-seekers actually see this industry for its future growth potential. Some predict it might be the largest industry in certain states as the industry matures.

Industry analysts also believe the cannabis industry is an excellent opportunity for young people without a college education to escape the clutches of minimum wage.*

Hiring Fundamentals in the Legal Cannabis Industry

Hiring Smart is what WeedHire is all about and the overall consensus among many employers within the sector is no different than any other industry. Although most established companies in the legal cannabis project continued growth, employers are being cautious about when and whom they hire. A higher level of expertise is more sought-after with a specialization in certain areas such as grow of the marijuana plant; these individuals are often called “Master Growers”.

What about Hemp

There are many wildcards to the legal marijuana job sector but one that is not often discussed is the emergence of industrial hemp. Hemp, if manufactured properly can compete with Cotton, Lumber and other associated industries. This could mean the emergence of a significant amount of jobs in production, warehousing and distribution as well as sales and administration. Actual towns that have struggled in recent years which were centered on manufacturing could be resurrected with the emergence of industrial hemp.

Conclusion & Outlook

While some analysts predict as many as 200,000 cannabis jobs to be created in 2015, WeedHire sees a steady increase in job opportunities. The pace of growth in opportunities for employment is dependent on factors such as upcoming elections and individual state commitment to the voter elected medical or reactional programs. Regardless, the legal cannabis sector will push forward and WeedHire is committed to being the gateway for interested job seekers and employer’s to connect and build this industry together.

In November 2014, Oregon and Alaska followed Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana. While the newly elected rights of these residents to grow marijuana at home begin early on, the commercial market and regulatory system will not begin for one to two years. This will impact the speed of growth of jobs in manufacturing. We do anticipate however that ancillary jobs growth will begin to take shape in 2015. The city of Washington DC ‘s measure is still unclear as to how advancements will move forward.

In 2015, specifically in Colorado, we would expect to see increased jobs growth in edibles, product testing, and home-grow products and services. Washington, a state a bit slower to evolve due to continued challenges tied to the supply of the market and tax rates.

Each quarter, WeedHire will share ongoing data and trends in both jobs and career growth to provide insight to employers and employee candidates and help move the industry forward toward full legalization.

*Brookings Institute Research


‘Bud’-ding Pot Industry Lights Up A Whole New Economy

NEW JERSEY: The budding pot industry is creating a tech boomlet.

Entrepreneurs David Bernstein and Vlad ‎Stelmak are two of the growing number of businesspeople to get a whiff of the possible profits as more than 20 states have now passed pot-friendly laws.

Their brainstorm? A website and app —— devoted to helping people find jobs in the expanding marijuana industry.

The Fair Lawn, NJ, duo launched the site in May after seeing news footage of people waiting for hours to get into a marijuana job fair in Colorado.

“We were sitting together and we saw this story come up and we were just like, wow,” said Bernstein, who likes to call the dot-com boom surrounding the pot industry the “pot-com boom.”

The pair are hoping their site, which lists more than 250 jobs — including a photographer for WeedMaps and a lawyer for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Certification Center — will save their struggling business AnythingIT, a penny stock company that lost $1.3 million last year.

They aim to charge employers to post jobs, as well as to access users’ résumés and to conduct background checks on potential job candidates.