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How to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry: The Ultimate Guide


Leafly reported there are over 428,059 full-time jobs in cannabis. Are you wondering how to get a job in the cannabis industry?

Cannabis is an appealing industry for obvious reasons. We get to talk about, smell, touch, and work directly with weed! Plus, there’s a healthy opportunity for career growth and success in cannabis.

But working in cannabis comes with unique challenges. It’s a growing industry that is still federally illegal and each legal state has its own set of regulatory requirements for businesses. That said, job seekers are in the right place if they want to pursue a career in this new, exciting, and growing space.

This post on how to get a job in the cannabis industry walks through available cannabis careers, transferring work experience, where to begin your job search, and cannabis job skill sets you need.


What kind of jobs are there in cannabis?

There are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the cannabis industry. Everything from entry-level to executive and ownership roles are achievable if you’re committed and driven to succeed in this fast-paced environment.

If you like interacting with retail customers, you might like working at a cannabis dispensary. If you’re more interested in growing cannabis plants, a cultivation job would be the best fit. There are also ancillary job opportunities available that do not deal directly with the plant.

Below are the most popular cannabis roles (with brief job descriptions) by business, plus average salaries.


Typical cannabis cultivation jobs include:

  • Trimmer ($30k – $43k per year) – the most popular entry-level position in cannabis, trimmers prepare marijuana plants for sale.
  • Cultivation Technician ($18 per hour) – help manage and oversee technology related to a cannabis grow or cultivation site.
  • Packager ($16 per hour) – package cannabis products for cannabis companies.
  • Cultivation Manager ($82k per year) – manage and oversee a growers’ site.

Typical dispensary jobs include:

Typical cannabis manufacturing jobs include:

  • Processing Associate ($16 – $18 per hour) – entry-level, process cannabis for a manufacturer, do a lot of labeling.
  • Operations Manager ($67k per year) – oversee the operational efficiency at a manufacturing company.
  • Extraction Technician ($40k per year) – extract cannabis from raw flower to create concentrates.

Other cannabis jobs include:

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Work experience that will help you stand out in cannabis

Because the marijuana industry is still new, you may not have experience in the legal industry or any experience at all. That’s totally fine!

There’s plenty of job experience that transfers nicely to cannabis. Some examples are:

  • Retail: Dispensaries are the retailers of cannabis. While there are more regulations and legal requirements, the fundamental rules of retail still apply to dispensaries.
  • Restaurants: The fast paced restaurant environment can actually help you at a cannabis job, especially at a dispensary. Plus, the personable service you’ve learned to offer will help you work with shoppers and collect more tips.
  • Greenhouse/horticulture: Knowledge of growing plants and pest control will help you grow cannabis.
  • Management roles: In every industry, managing people is a learned skill. If you have management experience, it will transfer to cannabis.
  • Accounting: An accounting job in any industry will provide necessary experience to tackle a cannabis accounting role.


Where to find cannabis jobs

It’s easier than ever to find job openings and job postings for cannabis careers. You can try googling a role you’d like, or check out these websites:

  • Vangst: The leading cannabis hiring platform.
  • Flowerhire: Connecting the world’s most exciting growth industry with the planet’s best talent.
  • Indeed: The #1 job site in the world.
  • Glassdoor: A community for workplace conversations, driven by a simple mission: helping people everywhere find jobs and companies they love.
  • Linkedin: This social media site is connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. You can network and find a job in the medical marijuana or adult-use cannabis industry.
  • THC University: Exclusive, curated job board for THCU students

It’s also worth checking out your local cannabis business for a chance to hand over your resume in person. This is an effective strategy to accelerate your employment opportunities.


Requirements for cannabis jobs

The requirements to work in a dispensary or other cannabis business will vary by state, but there are some common concepts that almost everyone in the industry follows.

  1. You must be at least 18 or 21 depending on where you’re working and state laws. See how old you have to be to be a budtender in different states.
  2. You will need a badge. If you’re unsure if your state requires you to have a badge to work, consult this tool from Vangst.
  3. Familiarize yourself with cannabis terminology. Cannabis is home to thousands of unique terms and phrases. If you don’t understand what people are referring to, you will have a tough time entering in the cannabis industry.
  4. Get certified in your desired role. Cannabis certifications help current or aspiring cannabis employees stand out and rise up in the industry.
  5. You may need a background check, depending on your state and cannabis business.


Bonus tip: How to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry

For the best chance at the perfect cannabis role, you need to understand the basics of the plant. It’s proven that cannabis training helps candidates stand out.

THC University is an affordable course option that lets you learn at your own pace online. We offer everything from Budtender Training to Marijuana 101 to New Jersey Regulations Training.

Plus, every course graduate will receive a resume consultation and have access to an exclusive, curated job board. Over 20,000 graduates have benefited from a THCU cannabis education.

Sign up for a course with THC University today.