Want a Career in Cannabis? The Time is Now!
Posted September 17, 2021 By Zack Ruskin
The cannabis job market is booming –especially here in the nation’s largest cannabis market, California. Here’s a look at the types of career options that are available in the world of legalized weed.
THE WEED WORLD IS HIRING
If you’ve ever thought about pursuing a career in legalized cannabis, now is the time. While it wasn’t all that long ago that the pool of jobs associated with the industry was limited to those willing to face tremendous risks, today the professional possibilities within cannabis are extremely broad, offering a diverse pool of safe and reliable opportunities.
Before highlighting the numerous exciting career options that currently exist in the cannabis industry, let’s look at the numbers with regard to just how robust and promising the job market related to legal weed looks today. As of January 2021, the U.S. cannabis industry was reportedly supporting 321,000 full-time jobs. That means there are currently more workers in the legal cannabis space than electrical engineers and over twice as many cannabis professionals as there are dentists across the entire country.
Simply put: not only is the range of jobs available more varied than it’s ever been before, but the volume of cannabis jobs currently seeking qualified candidates has skyrocketed as well. With no signs of slowing down as the ball rolls toward federal legalization, your chance to take part in what’s shaping up to be America’s next great industry is as easy as finding where your unique skill set can best be utilized.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN CANNABIS CULTIVATION
Perhaps the best way to survey the scope of career opportunities available is to trace the journey of cannabis from the soil in which it’s grown to its ultimate destination in the hands of happy consumers. At the beginning of this process are the cultivators who aid cannabis in its transformation from seeds to flowering buds. Naturally, farmers and growers are an integral aspect of this operation but rarely are they working in isolation.
Instead, consider the various auxiliary needs of one growing an in-demand crop on a tight schedule. That means cannabis jobs at the cultivation stage also include experts in fencing and protective structures, those specializing in security services, experts in nutrients, human resource professionals, compliance experts and much more.
DISTRIBUTION, TESTING, AND LOGISTICS CAREERS
Moving along from the cultivation portion of the cannabis “seed to sale” cycle, the next stop for product once it’s been grown is a hybrid of testing and distribution. On the testing side, those with a focus on botany and lab experience will find no shortage of opportunities when it comes to businesses which specialize in testing cannabis products to ensure safety and state compliance.
The same can be said for the transportation element: a crucial, if often overlooked, piece of the puzzle. Sales, logistics, and inventory management are also all vital to any cannabis distribution operation.
As for distribution —which sometimes exists as a separate entity but can also be wrapped into a brand or cultivator’s in-house operations —that’s where a whole new array of needs comes into play.
In addition to the workforce needed to actually package, quality-check, and oversee the logistics of everything coming in and out, distributors are also sometimes responsible for the branding and marketing tied to a given product.
Far from simply picking up cannabis at a farm and delivering it to corresponding dispensaries, the transportation network necessitated by the regulations that guide the legal industry involve bringing product to the aforementioned labs for testing, then to distribution facilities, and ultimately ensuring it arrives at the stores and delivery services where it will finally be sold to customers.
JOBS IN CANNABIS BRANDING, MARKETING, AND GENERAL BUSINESS ROLES
Cannabis is now a budding industry – pun intended – which means sales, marketing, branding, finance, accounting, sourcing, supply chain, compliance, legal, operations, IT, data science, business development, and more are all integral parts of the everyday workings of cannabis companies. From interns to C-suite, positions in cannabis are the same positions you would find in many other mainstream businesses. To get a better sense of whats out there, find your favorite cannabis brand on Linkedin and explore their employee titles.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN DISPENSARIES
Finally, we arrive at the most public-facing aspect of the cannabis industry: retail.Here the needs range from friendly, knowledgeable budtenders, managers, trainers and security personnel to auxiliaryneeds like real-estate agents well-versed in the rules and needs for properties in which cannabis will be sold. In addition, this facet of the process also yields high demand for delivery drivers as well as those with the technological prowess to ensure point-of-sales systems and ecommerce sales are functioning as needed while also remaining fully compliant in accordance with state laws.
AGENCIES AND OTHER BUSINESSES SUPPORTING THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY
Just as there is no shortage of variety when it comes to positions within the industry, there is also no shortage of positions with companies that aren’t in the cannabis industry directly, but instead support companies who are. Packaging vendors, creative agencies, law firms, accounting firms, event production, photography, content creators, influencers, business consultants, screen printers, advertising agencies, IT companies – the list goes on and on. If you’re interested in working in cannabis, don’t ignore the opportunities with companies that are outside of the industry but stillwork closely with plant-touching companies.
As an addendum to all of the above, there is also immense opportunity at the moment for those who specialize in software and engineering to make a difference in the industry. The same goes for anyone interested in activism, be it in the form of grassroots organizing to advocate on behalf of expansion and equality for the industry, or those qualified to engage with high-level politicians on matters of policy and reform.
Essentially, whatever your professional focus may already be, there’s likely a way to translate that interest into the needs of the cannabis industry.
WORKING AT GLASS HOUSE FARMS
Glass House Farms, and it’s parent company Glass House Brands, both employ a robust selection of the professions listed above as part of their unique roles as cultivators, retail operators, and brands with expansive sales, marketing and distribution needs. Thus, if you’re ready to take the plunge and find your next profession within the world of cannabis, why not start by contacting GHF through their career page.
Happy job hunting and remember: the potency of careers within legalized cannabis has never been higher!
Zack is a freelance cannabis and culture reporter. He served as San Francisco Weekly’s “Pacific Highs” columnist for six years, covering local equity programs, Bay Area cannabis news, and interviewing everyone from Willie Nelson to Rep. Barbara Lee. His other bylines include the San Francisco Chronicle, Leafly, California Leaf Magazine, The Nib, Vanity Fair, KQED, and Variety. Follow him on Twitter: @zackruskin.