If cannabis is your life, your love and everything you live for, why not consider a cannabis career?
Imagine it – spending your working days surrounded by top-shelf bud and getting paid for the privilege. Not to mention, making your mark on the national and international cannabis culture.
Too good to be true? Not necessarily – you just need to know where to look and how to get your foot in the door.
Breaking Into the Industry
Truth is, landing an entry-level job in the cannabis industry isn’t as difficult as you might expect. Just for the record, we’re assuming you’re considering a career in a North American state where cannabis has been legalised. Elsewhere, it’s an entirely different story…you can pretty much forget it.
Where there’s a booming cannabis industry, there’s a constant call for talented and enthusiastic newcomers. If you’re serious about making your mark, breaking into the industry means committing yourself to the following:
1. Search intensively and continuously
The job of your dreams isn’t going to fall into your lap out of thin air. Not only this, but the best jobs that come up disappear almost instantly. If you want to land a decent job, you need to keep your eyes peeled on a continuous basis. There are plenty of online recruitment sites, staffing agencies and job boards it’s worth signing up with and monitoring.
2. Improve your knowledge
Always remember that there’s no such thing as knowing too much about cannabis. From local laws to genetics to the science of cannabis cultivation and so on, the more you know, the better. Try to assume that however advanced your knowledge may be, there’s probably another candidate out for the same job who knows way more than you do.
3. Network like crazy
You’ll find it far easier to carve out a successful career in the cannabis industry with a strong and established network of contacts. Whether it’s your local budtender, attendees at a cannabis festival or businesses standing a regional trade show, there are plenty of ways to meet new and potentially influential people. Don’t cross the line into becoming a nuisance, but take every opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm.
4. Be willing to start at the bottom
An entry-level cannabis career is better than no cannabis career at all. Particularly given how it’s all invaluable experience that will help you climb the ladder. You might have your sights set on something more senior, but don’t discount more generic roles in the meantime. Again, it’s all a case of getting that all-important foot in the door.
5. Take a course
If you’re serious about demonstrating your drive, enthusiasm and commitment, you could always take a course and boost your CV with some kind of award. A growing number of online and offline colleges alike have begun adding cannabis-related courses to their portfolios.
Positions and Pay-Rates
Perks, privileges and rates of pay vary enormously from one cannabis career to the next. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering the sheer enjoyment that accompanies a career you’re passionate about.
In any case, climb the ladder to a more senior position and you could be looking at a pretty hefty take-home salary. Detailed below, you’ll find a few examples of the more common cannabis-related careers in the USA and their respective average salaries:
Cannabis Trimmers – Around $15 Per Hour
This entry-level position is also typically the lowest-paid, despite being somewhat intensive and demanding. On the plus side, no experience is necessary and it’s a great way of securing a position with a major cannabis producer. It’s not the most glamourous job, but could easily pave the way for something bigger and better.
Cannabis Delivery Driver – Around $15 Per Hour
These folks earn about the same basic rate of pay, though with the addition of tips. Again, no specific knowledge or experience is necessary, just a clean driving licence. It’s another entry-level position that isn’t hugely prestigious, but is nonetheless a good entry-point for newcomers.
Budtender – Around $35,000 Per Year
It’s a pretty big leap up the ladder for those who make it to budtender status, for the simple reason that they’re required to have a much more in-depth knowledge of the product. Budtenders are less your usual shop assistants, more the all-knowing experts responsible for answering questions and helping people choose the right products. Entry-level salaries of around $30,000 are the norm, though can easily exceed $40,000 with experience.
Digital Developers and Marketers – $35,000+ Per Year
This is another position that demands relatively little specialist cannabis knowledge. If your expertise lies in digital development and web marketing, you could secure a position with just about any major cannabis company. From website development to search engine optimisation to copywriting to blog posting and so on, cannabis companies need the same digital support as any other business.
Cannabis Cook – Around $50,000 Per Year
In this instance, we’re talking the pretty high-level individuals responsible for coming up with commercial cannabis edibles. Far from a role for the average home cook, you’ll probably need an extensive background in a culinary environment – maybe even a recognised culinary school qualification.
Dispensary Manager – $50,000+ Per Year
Work your way to the top of the leadership ladder and you’ll be looking at a minimum of $50,000 as a dispensary manager. To become a dispensary manager, you’ll need to combine world-class cannabis knowledge with advanced business acumen and leadership experience. In most instances, dispensary manager vacancies are filled by talented budtenders within the same organisations.
Dispensary Owner – $1 Million or More
Last but not least, successful dispensary owners can earn quite ludicrous sums of money. Particularly when it comes to the larger and more successful dispensaries operating in the US, annual income levels can be extraordinary. Nevertheless, you’ll first need the extensive capital and licensing needed to set up and get started in the first place. Not to mention, a workable business plan that provides your dispensary with at least some kind of edge over the competition.