The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has sent ripple effects through the local economy. Colorado now—about a year since legalizing adult-use cannabis—has 18,000 state-certified pot industry workers eligible for jobs ranging from cultivation to trimmers and edible creators to retail budtenders.
What kinds of jobs are available in the cannabis industry?
First of all, not all new positions are specific to the cannabis industry. For example, new cannabis businesses need people to serve as web designers, proofreaders, marketing specialists, accountants, receptionists, carpenters, electricians and security guards. (I removed delivery driver as theses ones must have in depth cannabis knowledge. Most drivers are the mobile budtenders as well. Replaced with accountants)
Other positions are evolving because of the new industry. Here are 10 that require in-depth knowledge about medicinal marijuana.
- Pot Farmer. Growing marijuana can be time consuming and expensive. It also requires a depth of knowledge in cannabis cultivation techniques.
- Seed Harvester. A seed harvester grows, clones and harvests marijuana plants to sell the seeds to farmers. This type of job requires a thorough understanding of breeding, genetics, and the cannabis plant life cycle.
- Budtender. The budtender works the counter in a dispensary and helps patients in choosing and purchasing cannabis. This position requires knowledge in the varieties of cannabis strains, concentrates and edibles.
- Delivery Driver. Many medical marijuana patients are unable to get to dispensary locations and delivery is becoming a common option for them. Delivery drivers or couriers are often mobile budtenders as well and must have in-depth cannabis knowledge.
- Trimmer. A trimmer takes buds from the plants and chops off the larger leaves to present a nice looking finished product.
- Marijuana Reviewer. The marijuana critic must have both a strong background in writing and knowledge of marijuana—strains, benefits, terminology, history, etc. Critics provide value to patients researching the many varieties of cannabis available.
- Concentrates Processor. The main types of cannabis concentrates are oil, budder and shatter and are recognized for their powerful effects and value to medical cannabis patients. Anyone wanting to get into concentrates will want to have a strong chemistry background as well as experience working with chemicals and laboratory equipment.
- Edible Creator. The choices of adult-use and medicated edibles go far beyond brownies. High Times holds Cannabis Cup competitions to raise the bar for makers of infused products and the edibles category judges reward competitors based on taste, innovation and packaging. Regulations around cannabis edibles can be significant; in some states, every ingredient and THC level must be listed appropriately.
- Dispensary Owner. Want to be a business owner? A medicinal dispensary may hold some appeal. Of course, in addition to entrepreneurial smarts, a well-rounded understanding of regulations and medicinal cannabis is required.
- Regulator. As more states legalize medicinal marijuana, the need for local regulators will increase. Regulatory positions could be with government or law enforcement and require a thorough understanding of federal and state laws.
Are you looking to enter the cannabis industry?
One of your first steps is to attend a reputable institution, one that can help you learn the full spectrum of information about marijuana. At Oaksterdam University, more than 40 active instructors, employers, business leaders, and industry legends have created an ever-evolving curriculum to help students succeed. Courses cover marijuana topics in business, culinary arts, history, horticulture, law, science of cannabis, life science, social science, and applied science. Over 18,000 students have learned how to grow medicinal quality cannabis and have gained important skills for success in the cannabis industry.