Careers in the cannabis industry have skyrocketed since recent legalization efforts for recreational and medical use. In fact, the cannabis industry’s growth easily outpaces tech. During 2017 alone, there was a 445% increase in job listings for cannabis, as opposed to tech (254%) and healthcare (70%). This skyrocketing career market has an expected 220% growth in 2019, providing plenty of room for job-seekers.

With over thirty states that have medical legalization and nine with recreational legalization, there has never been more opportunity nationally for cannabis jobs. With this in mind, a career in the cannabis industry might be the perfect fit for you.

In addition to many companies offering employee benefits, there are also constant opportunities for job advancement. Although salary ranges are dependent on experience and qualifications, entry-level jobs still typically pay above average.

Here’s our list of the most in-demand careers in the cannabis industry and their respective salaries.

Grow your future with careers in the cannabis industry today

1. Director of Extraction

A director of extraction is in charge of processing and refining active components like THC and CBD. These active components are then used to make oils, concentrates, and various forms of edibles. Directors of extraction typically oversee laboratory and facility designs, sanitation, compliance standards, and hiring. Their primary role is to guarantee that all cannabis extracts are produced with consistency and safety, as well as meeting company goals of efficiency, yields, and cost. Candidates typically have educational backgrounds in pharmaceutical formulation and plant genetics.

Average Expected Salary: $80K to $190K


2. Director of Cultivation

A knowledgeable director of cultivation is key to any cannabis business. Directors of cultivation should have mastery in skills like planting, cloning, crop nutrition, and pest management, as well as oversee staffing. Many candidates of this career path rely on their strong background in botany and horticulture for high yields of cultivation. Job hires should have experience in plant health and potency when growing cannabis, in addition to maintaining standard operating procedures.

Average Expected Salary: $47K to $250K


3. Cannabis Compliance Manager

A cannabis compliance manager ensures that cannabis products comply with state laws and regulations, as well as health and safety standards. Cannabis compliance managers play a crucial role since all commercial cannabis production needs to comply with state laws and regulations. Managers compile and analyze seed to sale tracking data and conduct internal compliance audits. In addition, they should be ready to develop new policies and training when necessary.

Average Expected Salary: $45K to $150K


4. Edibles Chef

For marijuana companies that produce edible cannabis products, skilled chefs are a must! Edible chefs will develop unique recipes and oversee the production of edibles. Due to the potent nature of edibles, chefs must be able to create goods with precise doses of THC and CBD. The creativity never ends as chefs can whip up creations that range from candy, chocolates, beverages, and baked goods. Consider a career in cannabis culinary arts for a job with endless possibilities.

Average Expected Salary: $40K to $90K


5. Dispensary Store Manager

A dispensary store manager is in charge of all retail operations for cannabis companies. They typically oversee all daily operations of a dispensary and its inventory. They are also in charge of the hiring and training dispensary staff and be fully compliant with state regulations. Dispensary store managers must be diligent and effective leaders in order to successfully run a retail marijuana store.

Average Expected Salary: $40K to $100K


6. Budtender

Often considered a counterpart to a bartender or sommelier, a budtender listens to each customer’s needs to provide excellent customer service. A budtender’s responsibility is to recommend the best strains based on preference or medical necessities. Not only does a budtender need to address and fulfill customer needs, but they should also be knowledgeable about consumption methods and consumer safety. Budtenders typically need to be familiar with point-of-sale systems to ensure all sales are properly tracked.

Average Expected Salary: $12 to $16 Hourly


7. Trimmer

One of the most common entry-level opportunities, a trimmer carefully prepares all harvested products. Trimmers cut and remove the flowers from the marijuana plant, then further manicure each bud. In addition, they may be in charge of weighing and recording inventory data. To be a trimmer, it is important to be responsible and maintain hygiene at all times. This entry-level job is one of the most popular occupations for those interested in the cannabis business.

Average Expected Salary: $11 to $14 Hourly

*Salary information is from 2019 from Indeed and Glassdoor


Expand your horizons with the fastest-growing job market in the country.

With an unlimited growth opportunity, this in-demand industry is always hungry to place qualified workers in careers in the cannabis industry. For additional questions and job opportunities, check out our resources on top cannabis interview questions and reasons why cannabis companies need purposeful leaders.

Y Scouts is a purpose-based, performance-proven leadership search and development firm focused on transforming how people and organizations connect to work that matters. Make sure to contact Y Scouts today for a head start in your cannabis career.

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