The Cannabis Job Market

Share this Image On Your Site

In 2021, legal cannabis supported 321,000 full-time equivalent jobs across the US

A Growing Industry

  • In 2020, cannabis employment exceeded that of many mainstream industries
    • Web developers
    • Nurse practitioners
    • Electrical engineers
    • EMTs and paramedics
  • By 2025, the legal marijuana industry will employ up to 600,000 full-time workers across the US
    • 2017: 139,304
    • 2019: 211,000
    • 2020: 243,700
  • Despite the pandemic, legal cannabis is thriving
    • In 2020, legal cannabis added 77,300 full time jobs
      • 32% year-over-year job growth
      • $18.3 billion sales – up 71% from 2019
    • “Over the past few years, cannabis has been a major job creator across the country, and I’m hopeful that we will continue to see acceptance of the industry as a viable career path for purpose-driven professionals.” – David Belsky, CEO and Founder of FlowerHire
  • Legal Cannabis Will Continue To Grow
    • 1 in 3 Americans now live in states with legalized cannabis
      • Support for legalization continues to grow
    • As states expand access, jobs will continue to increase
      • In 2020, states with newly legalized markets created 26,000 jobs
        • Montana, South Dakota, New Jersey, Arizona, Mississippi
          • Montana is a go for recreational use in 2022

The rapidly expanding cannabis market means entry-level employees have a greater chance for quick advancement

Jobs In Legal Cannabis

  • Master Extractor: $80-250K
    • Oversees production of safe and effective oils and concentrates
    • Maintain strict safety standards, potency, and regulatory compliance
  • Master Grower: $50-120K
    • Experts in botany or horticulture who manage larger grow operations
    • Many receive large bonuses or profit shares in addition to salary
  • Quality Control: $50-100K
    • Experts in biology, agronomy, chemistry, or entomology
    • Ensures compliance with health, safety, and potency standards
  • Edibles Chef: $40-90K
    • Skilled chefs and bakers who help create products with precise dosage
    • Cannabis extracts may be used in baked goods, candies, beverages, candles, and more
  • Dispensary Manager: $40-75K
    • Oversees retail operations for dispensaries
    • Often recruited from high-end retailers or pharmacology
  • Extraction Technician: $27-43K
    • Operates extraction equipment and maintains laboratory environment
    • Typically candidates should have some type of scientific background
  • Budtender: $21-40K
    • Helps dispensary customers choose the best strains and products for their needs
    • Requires good sales and customer service skills and specialized knowledge
  • Receptionist or Cashier: $20-37K
    • Greets customers, answer calls, and processes final sales
    • Responsible for verifying prescriptions, identification, and eligibility for purchase
  • Marijuana Courier: $19-35K
    • Disparies offering delivery have expanded during the pandemic
    • Delivery drivers may also receive sales commissions or tips
  • Trimmer, Harvester, or Cultivator: $17-41K
    • Helps growers to trim, harvest, process, and care for cannabis crops
    • Often recruited from lower-paid cooks or dishwashers in restaurant industry
  • Support Services
    • The cannabis industry is highly-regulated and requires specialized knowledge for nearly every aspect of operations
    • Many professionals could apply their expertise to a new industry
      • IT, marketing, human resources, lawyers and paralegals, accountants, web and software developers, electricians and hvac technicians, security guards, technology, logistics, and more

Retail and restaurant workers who shift to working in the cannabis industry often find a more supportive and welcoming workplace

How To Get Started

  • Research potential job opportunities 
    • Leafwire, CareersInCannabis, FlowerHire, Vangst, HempTemps, CannaRecruiter, 420 Careers, Ganjapreneur, LeafBuyer, MSMary Staffing, Illinois Equity Staffing
  • Expand your cannabis-related knowledge 
    • Read about the history, social impact, and medical benefits of marijuana
    • Stay up-to-date with regulations and legalization efforts
      • NORML
      • Canna Law Blog
  • Get a marijuana worker license (if required by your state)
  • Present yourself as a professional, not an enthusiast

The cannabis job market is growing – will you join the movement?