The top 15 jobs in the legal cannabis industry

The cannabis industry is growing at an exponential pace and companies are looking to fill positions across the board. Some of the top jobs don't require any past cannabis knowledge or experience!

The cannabis industry job market is soaring with positions ranging from master grower to graphic design. Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic, global sales of cannabis surged over 40% to nearly $22 billion in 2020. As of January 2021, the Leafly Jobs Report found that the legal cannabis industry supported 321,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs. 

Not only are these jobs readily available, but they also offer competitive wages and oftentimes similar benefits to careers in other industries. When you think of weed jobs, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a cannabis grower, but there’s plenty of opportunity for those in sales, marketing, accounting, testing, and plenty of other professions. Continue reading to learn more about the cannabis industry job market and the top 15 careers hiring like crazy in 2021. 

1. Sales & Marketing 

Sales & marketing jobs are undoubtedly some of the highest paying in the broader cannabis industry. Once you reach upper-management level, you may even be able to make upwards of $200,000 a year. There’s already plenty of competition across all marketing and sales channels, but this will only increase with impending legalization. 

Some of the most popular jobs in this particular cannabis profession include marketing manager, field marketing rep, social media manager, sales manager, and plenty more. Knowledge of the industry will help, but you don’t necessarily need previous experience to get hired. A cannabis sales or marketing position will typically have the same requirements as openings in other industries. 

Average Salary Range: $45,000-$300,000 a year 

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2. Web Development & Design

Every modern day cannabis company needs a website and/or app to succeed in this hyper-connected world. Your digital presence should accurately reflect your overall brand. That’s where Web developers and designers come in. This particular role requires very little cannabis knowledge or experience for you to be successful. You may not even need a degree to get hired as long as you have some relevant experience and know how to code. 

Average Salary Range: $55,000-$120,000 a year

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3. Human Resources 

A good HR professional acts as the glue that holds your company and its employees together. With a wide variety of rules and regulations, cannabis industry HR workers are always in demand. Within this role, you’ll typically handle hiring, interviewing, recruiting, employee compliance, and lots more. You may also be considered the go-between of management and the employees of the company. 

Average Salary Range: $30,000-$70,000 a year

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4. Lab Technicians & Testers

Legal cannabis growers and dispensaries rely on 3rd party testing labs to ensure their products are compliant. More specifically, testing is how state and local governments ensure their consumers receive safe products. Lab technicians commonly test cannabis flower or concentrates for the presence of mold, heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants. 

As you may assume, with the proper training and certification, lab technicians can make a more than decent living working in the legal weed industry. 

Average Salary Range: $35,000-$70,000 a year 

5. Security 

Cannabis is an extremely valuable product and security personnel are in high demand. New jobs open up everyday commercial grow op to dispensary security guards. It may not be the highest-paying position in the industry, but it’s a great option for those looking for consistent hourly work. This is another position where you don’t need direct cannabis industry experience on your belt to get hired. 

Anyone with experience in law enforcement, security, facilities management, military, and corrections is well suited for careers in cannabis security. 

Average Salary Range: $15hr-$30hr 

6. Delivery Driver 

Nowadays, you can get just about any food or product delivered directly to your doorstep. Cannabis is no different (As long as you live in a jurisdiction where weed delivery is legal). As long as you have a clean driving record and decent communication skills, it shouldn’t be too hard to land a delivery position. You can find employment with large delivery logistics companies like Eaze, or you can opt to work independently as a driver at one single dispensary. 

Average Salary Range: $15-$20 an hour

7. Accounting & Finance

Intricate tax laws and regulations mean cannabis companies rely on smart accountants to manage the books quarter to quarter. This is another career where you can make loads of green without touching any actual flower. You may need to have some prior knowledge of the cannabis tax rules in your jurisdiction to be successful. With that being said the responsibilities tend to be similar to accountants in other industries. 

Average Salary Range: $40,000-$80,000 per year 

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8. Cannabis Extraction Agent

The growth of the legal cannabis industry more product variations in the form of edibles, oil, vapes, dabs, and more. All of this is made possible through the work of cannabis extraction agents. This isn’t an entry level position and candidates will need some prior experience to get one of these high paying and competitive positions. 

Average Salary Range: $45,000 to $100,000 a year 

9. Cultivation Site Worker and/or Trimmer

Working in cultivation or as a trimmer are great entry-level jobs that provide some exposure to all that the cannabis industry has to offer. Pay typically isn’t great and the day-to-day work is repetitive. With that said, landing a position doesn’t require any specific industry knowledge or experience. As long as you’re on a good team and willing to learn, veterans and master growers can help show you the ropes and advance your cultivation career. 

Average Salary Range: $12-$20 an hour 

10. Data Scientist 

Smart data scientists find themselves in demand within every industry and especially cannabis. In this role, you will need to be able to analyze, process, and model data in order to pull actionable insights. In other words, you will work with data to help companies scale grow ops, streamline delivery processes, evaluate crop yields, and a whole lot more. You won’t need prior cannabis related experience, but you’ll probably need a degree in a discipline like computer science for consideration. 

Average Salary Range: $60,000-$125,000 per year

11. Brand Ambassador

A brand ambassador’s job is to spread the word about a company’s products. They typically promote the brand through various channels like social media, events, demos, digital marketing, and more. In this role you are typically paid by the hour and must be available to attend various events like trade shows and dispensary events. 

Average Salary Range: $30,000-$40,000 a year (avg $17hr)

12. Dispensary Manager

Another popular and potentially lucrative career in the cannabis industry is to become a dispensary manager. You’ll often need some prior dispensary/budtending experience to land a manager position. With that being said, any prior retail management experience in any industry can help you in your position as a dispensary manager. As the manager, you are responsible for all aspects of running a profitable dispensary. This includes hiring, managing employees, acting as the face of the dispensary, dealing with suppliers enacting company policies, and plenty more. As the manager, a lot rides on your shoulders. Whether the dispensary thrives or loses money, will ultimately reflect on your management skills and tenure. 

Average Salary Range (H3): $50,000-$75,000 a year 

13. Cannabis Reviewers

Want to get paid to try weed and then review it? It may sound too good to be true, but cannabis tester is a real job title in the industry. It won’t pay a ton, but work hours are flexible and there are plenty of perks to go around. You’ll need a passion for weed as well as some sort of blog, vlog, or social following to post your reviews on. 

Average Salary Range: $13-$22 hr

14. Budtender

Budtending is an integral part of any dispensary business. You are the one who interacts face-to-face with customers, educates, and makes recommendations based on individual needs. Sometimes known as dispensary tech or dispensary agent, a successful budtender needs to exhibit strong communication and overall customer service skills. 

You’ll likely need to demonstrate your cannabis knowledge when applying for budtending jobs, but past customer service experience should be enough to get you in the door for an interview.

Average Salary Range: $30,000-$45,000 a year

15. Law 

There’s plenty of work for lawyers in the cannabis industry and that won’t change anytime soon. Extremely confusing laws and regulations that vary from state to state result in legal headaches for just about every plant-touching cannabis business out there. You can choose to work for a practice that focuses on law or offer your services to companies directly as a legal consultant. This p3. Budtender

Average Salary Range: $40,000-$100,000+ a year 

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Looking for a new job to kickstart your career change or move up in the ranks? The cannabis industry is a great place to look. State legalization and impending federal decriminalization mean the entire sector is poised for growth. When you think of weed jobs you probably picture a grower or budtender, but the actual career options are far more varied. 

Herb Career is here to help you find the best available jobs in the cannabis industry. You can search for openings and filter by company, remote work, and plenty more.