Cannabis Careers Explained
5 min

Cannabis Careers Explained

5 min

The cannabis industry might seem like an illegal world shrouded in mystery. But it’s increasingly becoming like any other industry. The good news is that practically anyone can now enter it, and you won’t be persecuted for doing so! Find out about the 7 most common jobs in the weed industry.

The cannabis industry has come a long way from clandestine breeders operating out of garages and basements. These days, it's a worldwide industry that's generating billions of dollars, and more and more people are needed to keep it growing. Operating much like any other industry, the world of cannabis offers a variety of job positions requiring individuals of different experience levels and skill sets. Sound interesting?

If you're intrigued by the idea of seeking employment in the weed industry, then this article will shed light on what you need to know.

Is it worth working in the cannabis industry?

Is It Worth Working In The Cannabis Industry?

In short, if you're into cannabis and would like to earn money from it, then yes, there are plenty of options that suit a multitude of skill sets—and jobs range from entry level through to highly professional.

Many people joke about it and others think it is a mere dream, but the canna-business isn’t the shady world it used to be. In fact, it's a multi-billion-dollar, global industry. Despite having a long way still to go, more and more opportunities are opening up. In some respects it poses more risk than most careers, so applicants will need to weigh up the pros and cons carefully, but actually, most roles are totally legal and accepted. Here are a few pros and cons to consider:


  • Rapidly growing industry
  • High demand for various skills
  • Potential for high salaries
  • Opportunity to be part of an evolving sector


  • Regulatory uncertainty
  • Stigma associated with cannabis
  • Limited access to traditional banking and financial services
  • Constantly evolving legal landscape

Despite the challenges, for many, the allure of the cannabis industry is found in its potential for growth and innovation—or just a love for the herb. As attitudes and regulations surrounding cannabis continue to change and evolve, so too do the opportunities for those looking to build a career in this fast-growing field.

What’s the highest-paying job in cannabis?

What’s The Highest-paying Job In Cannabis?

Generally, dispensary owners and operators make the most money in the cannabis industry. Dispensary owners make an average salary of between $250,000 and $500,000 a year from running their business. The second most high-paying jobs are extraction technician specialists and cannabis consultants, making around $100,000 annually.

Medical cannabis producers—those who actually grow the cannabis—can also make a huge amount of money depending on where they're located and who their clients are. However, this realm is somewhat shrouded, and the outlook varies hugely depending on where you are and who your connections are.

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7 jobs in the cannabis industry

7 Jobs In The Cannabis Industry

Below, we outline the 7 most common jobs in the cannabis industry. This list is not exhaustive, but if you’re looking for a way to break in, these roles indicate good places to begin!

1. E-commerce

Jobs in sales and marketing for companies or seed banks within the cannabis space (look no further than this article) are a good foot in the door, given that this industry is still fairly small and intimate. Word of mouth matters here. With the rise of e-commerce platforms offering cannabis and cannabis-related products, there's an increasing demand for individuals skilled in digital marketing, sales, and customer service to navigate the complex regulations surrounding online cannabis sales.

2. Budtender

This is a role that gets a lot of press—we've all seen the pictures. Still, there’s a lot more to being a budtender than people realise. Budtenders are responsible for providing customers with information about different cannabis products, guiding them through their options, and ensuring a positive customer experience. And a good budtender really knows the industry and the products they're selling. Think of them as sommeliers for weed. Strong communication skills and a passion for cannabis are essential for success in this role.

3. Marijuana edibles chef

3. Marijuana Edibles Chef

Edible use is on the rise, and being a marijuana edibles chef is a very 2024 job. With the increasing popularity of cannabis-infused edibles, there's a growing demand for skilled chefs and culinary professionals who can create delicious and innovative cannabis-infused recipes. From baked goods to gourmet meals, marijuana edibles chefs have the opportunity to showcase their creativity while exploring the intersection of food and cannabis.

But it's a competitive and fairly saturated field, so you'll need to carve yourself a niche and then market yourself relentlessly. Becoming a cannabis chef is at least half personality and marketing—so prepare yourself if this is your goal.

4. Dispensary manager

A dispensary manager position is a step up from being a budtender, and is perfect for people with previous managerial experience from another sector. Don’t forget, it's still a business that needs to make money. Dispensary managers play a crucial role in overseeing the day-to-day operations of a cannabis dispensary, including inventory management, staff supervision, and customer service—much like managers of any other shop or business. Strong leadership skills and a solid understanding of cannabis regulations are essential for success in this role.

To be applicable for this role, you'll need relevant experience, and you'll need to demonstrate a strong understanding of the industry you're hoping to break into.

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5. Cannabis grower

5. Cannabis Grower

Arguably, the dream job for most stoners is to become a master grower and run a huge, multi-million-dollar grow house. Cannabis growers are responsible for cultivating high-quality cannabis plants for medical and recreational use. From selecting the right strains to managing cultivation techniques, growers play a crucial role in ensuring the quality and consistency of cannabis products.

Unless you're loaded with capital already, you'll need to enter the cannabis industry and work your way up to this position over time. Often, those from science and agriculture backgrounds stand a good chance of navigating their way over to roles such as this.

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6. Security

Cannabis is, and always will be, a lucrative business. Moreover, it's one associated with crime, and that attracts nefarious interest. Assets and property will always need security, so again, this is a good way to get your foot into the door in this industry. Security professionals play a crucial role in safeguarding cannabis dispensaries, cultivation facilities, and other cannabis-related businesses from theft, vandalism, and other security threats. With the increasing value of cannabis products and the cash-heavy nature of the industry, there's a growing demand for experienced security professionals who can ensure the safety and security of cannabis businesses and their employees.

Depending on where you operate, this could be a particularly exciting security role, as many grows operate in legal grey areas and must contend with gangs (think Barcelona)—sometimes lacking support from the state that other types of businesses might expect.

7. Lab technician

Analysing THC content, terpenes, and creating extractions; there’s a ton of science involved with cannabis. Lab technicians play a crucial role in ensuring the safety, potency, and quality of cannabis products through rigorous testing and analysis. From testing cannabis samples for potency and purity to conducting research and development on new extraction techniques, lab technicians are at the forefront of innovation in the cannabis industry. Strong analytical skills and a background in chemistry or biology are essential for success in this role.

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How to break into the cannabis industry

Getting started in the cannabis industry may seem daunting, but with the right approach, it's achievable. Here are some general tips:

  • Educate yourself: Learn as much as you can about the industry, including laws, regulations, and trends. Consider enrolling in cannabis-focused courses or attending industry conferences and events to expand your knowledge.
  • Network: Attend industry events, join online forums, and connect with professionals already working in cannabis. Building relationships with industry insiders can help you uncover job opportunities and gain valuable insights into the industry.
  • Gain experience: Look for entry-level positions or internships to gain hands-on experience in the cannabis industry. Whether it's working as a budtender, cultivation assistant, or lab technician, gaining practical experience will help you build valuable skills and make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. Moreover, it's a small industry, and you will end up networking with relevant people and companies.
  • Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments in the cannabis industry. Subscribe to industry publications, follow key influencers on social media, and join industry associations to stay informed about emerging trends and opportunities.
  • Be persistent: The cannabis industry can be competitive, so don't get discouraged if you face setbacks. Keep applying for jobs, networking with industry professionals, and expanding your skills and knowledge to increase your chances of success.

Is cannabis your next career move?

Is Cannabis Your Next Career Move?

In conclusion, the cannabis industry offers a wide range of job opportunities beyond the stereotypes. Whether you're interested in sales, cultivation, science, or management, there's likely a role that suits your skills and interests. With the industry's rapid growth and evolving legal landscape, now could be the perfect time to consider cannabis as your next career move. Good luck!

Max Sargent
Max Sargent
Max has been writing for over a decade, and has come into cannabis and psychedelic journalism in the last few years. Writing for companies such as Zamnesia, Royal Queen Seeds, Cannaconnection, Gorilla Seeds, MushMagic and more, he has experience in a broad spectrum of the industry.
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