It’s no secret that marijuana is a growth industry. With booming growth in Colorado and new states legalizing with every election cycle, the demand for marijuana skyrockets with each passing year, as do legal opportunities to make a living with bud. There are a number of common sense jobs that come with any industry. Someone has to grow it, sell it, and write blog #content about it, just like anything else. There are also a variety of jobs in the cannabis industry that you’ve likely never considered. Here are some of the careers in cannabis that you may not know about.
With legalization comes the need for compliance and competition. Not only will the marijuana companies of the future be competing for customers in an ever more saturated market, but they will also be forced to make sure their grass is green enough for the FDA. This means that for many marijuana sellers, a chemistry background will be more important for their employees than business acumen. Not only are these green-thumbed chemists testing bud for potency, they are also looking into levels of microbial bodies, heavy metals, and pesticides in their product.
Just as tours of breweries and distilleries have seen increased interest in recent years as millennials with a taste for authenticity gain spending power, states that have legalized marijuana have also seen an influx of weed tourism. Companies like Colorado Cannabis Tours offer customizable THC experiences for bud-curious customers. The most popular tour includes a guided look at a state-of-the-art grow facility, a glass-blowing demonstration, and, of course, samples. These businesses have been a hit, and as they grow, they are branching out, offering specialized tours and even classes in yoga and cooking to attract all varieties of marijuana customer.
One of the most important jobs in marijuana growing facilities is the bud trimmer. A trimmer cultivates plants by pruning them with a small pair of scissors. This entry level job commands a smallish starting wage ($12-$15), but is seen as a great way to move up the ranks. Freelancers in some areas can command upwards of $300 a day, and this is a job is a great way for an inexperienced budsman to get the botany chops they need to move up the career ladder. If a traditional college environment is for you, this job can set you on a lucrative path that doesn’t necessarily require a four-year degree.
The field of extraction and concentrate is a huge growth industry in the cannabis community, as the demand for concentrated marijuana increases. This means there is a constant need for people willing to work to get the most out of their plants. A search on most of your career websites will yield dozens of results for jobs with titles like “extraction technician” and “processing technician.” Though these jobs often encourage applicants with a botany or chemistry background, trimmers and other entry-level employees can move up to this solidly middle-class occupation.
Of course you knew that each growing facility needs growers, but the particular skill set of the master grower is incredibly interesting. A master grower likely has five years or more of experience in botany and at least a four-year degree. The day-to-day of a master grower sounds complicated (as the L.A. Times spelled out), involving meeting with nutrient scientists and calculating which strains are worth the time investment for their yield. There are some aspects reminiscent of a brew master and other facets that aren’t dissimilar to farming. With hard work comes the spoils: This job commands a six-figure salary and industry-wide respect.