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Wednesday March 29, 2017

By Michael Walters

420 Culture

Whether our current president accepts it or not, cannabis jobs are gaining in interest. So much so that the cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the United States. And while some opponents of legal marijuana are turning a blind eye to the seemingly endless opportunities the cannabis industry is presenting to people, an overwhelming amount of stalwart supporters are vying to get their foot in the door of this burgeoning industry.

So what kind of cannabis jobs make up the industry you ask? The answer is surprisingly simple. To be honest, cannabis industry jobs are really not much different than other positions you’d expect to see at non-marijuana corporations. The media has over-stimulated the general public with the image that only budtenders and growers make up the booming industry. That information is simply not true, and rather offensive to anyone who is proud of the work they do for the cannabis industry. To set the record straight on cannabis jobs, we’ve broken it down to give you a better picture. You may be surprised to find a lot of “normal” positions listed!

Looking for a job in the marijuana industry? Browse PotGuide's cannabis job board here.

Types of Cannabis Jobs


Budtenders are the front lines of any cannabis company. While selling marijuana to patrons is an exciting concept, these positions are most related to retail positions you would find in department or convenience stores. They help you make a purchase and facilitate the sale, making your dispensary experience (hopefully) a breeze.

Budtenders are a very common position and dispensaries often have anywhere from five to twenty of them manning the sales floor. Without budtenders there would be no cannabis sales, so be sure to always be kind and show some love with a tip!


Another essential aspect of a cannabis business, growers are the laborers who literally cultivate and grow the marijuana plant. There are many tiers and different types of growers, with a master grower typically being the ranking employee. Because there are many aspects of growing marijuana, often times the term grower can be a bit confusing.

In a typical grow set-up, employees on the grow team are usually responsible for one or two specific aspects of caring for the plant, while the master grower handles all of the decision making and high-level strategy.

Commercial marijuana grows can be massive, taking up hundreds of thousands of square feet. With that being said, there needs to be a multitude of employees manning the ship. Even though every grower may have different duties, all of the work is needed to produce high-quality cannabis.


Trimmers are responsible for manicuring cannabis plants after they have been harvested. This includes taking off all excess fan leaves and sweet leaves from the nugs, giving them their standard final appearance.

Some companies are turning to machine trimmers for their flower, however, there is much debate within the cannabis community on whether machine-trimmed bud is as good as hand-trimmed flower. One thing is for certain, if you have ever admired a freshly manicured bud, you have a trimmer to thank for it!

Extract Artist

Behind every slab of concentrate is an extract artist. These employees are responsible for processing fresh frozen or dried marijuana and turning it into the concentrated forms we have come to know and love.

Working in an extraction lab calls for extreme safety standards and attention to detail. Not to mention an advanced knowledge of biochemistry. When it comes to concentrates, the slightest variables can alter the make-up of the final product. Consumer interest in concentrates has been on the rise as of late, making extraction artists one of the most popular and sought after cannabis jobs.


Because of all the hype and glamor of other cannabis jobs, packagers and labelers may get a bit lost in the sauce so to speak. But don't be fooled, the people that package and label products are some of the most important workers in the entire industry. Without them, products could not be sold in a safe and compliant manner.

Every manufacturing company needs a dedicated team of individuals who can package and label products before they are shipped out to be sold, and the cannabis industry is no different. Cannabis companies provide many jobs to packagers and labelers, which has turned out to be an excellent fit for a lot of people. So next time you purchase a marijuana product from a dispensary, be sure to admire the fine job a packager and labeler did to put that product in your hands.

Sales, Marketing & Advertising

Anyone trying to sell a product needs a sales team right? This mindset is especially true in the cannabis industry. Each and every day, new companies are popping up with their eyes on taking a share of the lucrative legal cannabis market. Because of this "green rush" there is more competition than ever to push inventory and create a strong brand that people can depend upon. That's where an effective sales team comes in. Without a sales department, it'd be nearly impossible for cannabis companies to keep up with the high demand and intensity of the industry.

Similar to sales, cannabis marketing is in high demand these days. The competition between brands and products is at an all-time high, meaning an effective marketing and advertising strategy is one of the only ways for cannabis businesses to set themselves apart from each other.

Effective marketing and advertising campaigns are proving their value in the industry on a daily basis, and companies are starting to catch on to the trend. This surge in creating quality brands has spawned many unique and appealing designs, store layouts, artwork and various other trendy aspects of the cannabis industry. Not to mention the increased visibility for many products.

It is because of marketing and advertising that more and more cannabis companies are gaining national exposure and why (amongst other things) the industry as a whole has been a hot topic for debate. Marketing and advertising positions in the cannabis industry are truly exciting. If you're interested in cannabis and marketing, then we definitely suggest exploring positions within the cannabis industry.


Because the cannabis industry is highly scrutinized from a regulatory standpoint, there is no room for compliance discrepancies. Every single gram of marijuana product must be accounted for, in addition to hundreds of other meticulous details that must be monitored on a daily basis. Because of this, compliance positions are an extremely important aspect of any cannabis company.

Individuals who work in compliance are responsible for keeping the company within the legal bounds of operation at all times. They must be well-versed in all state laws and regulations in order to guide and ensure safe and compliant operations.


Creating quality content is a staple of building a credible brand. In the age of computers, engaging website content is essential in developing strong searchability and visibility for a product or brand. That's where writers come in. Cannabis companies have been employing writers for quite some time, tasking them with creating written content for a variety of different purposes. From landing pages and blog posts to training manuals and press releases, writers provide cannabis companies with clear, concise content tailored to fit the needs of the cannabis industry.

Writers are also responsible for writing license applications for cannabis companies to expand their operations. These projects can be thousands of pages in length and take months to plan and implement, meaning that only highly-skilled writers are qualified for the jobs. The need for quality writers is always present however, so if you are an aspiring content creator you'll definitely want to look at openings in the cannabis industry!

Cannabis writers work diligently to complete license applications Cannabis writers work diligently to complete license applications. photo credit

Information Technology

Another group of potentially overlooked job positions are in the IT department. These positions are crucial to the infrastructure of cannabis businesses, as all of the dispensing and tracking of marijuana products must be done electronically so that it can be tracked accordingly by state regulatory agencies. Developers and coders have created a nice in the industry that will only continue to keep growing.

Similar to companies with great marketing, companies with appealing technology are consistently seeing more visibility than those without it. Picture this, would you rather walk into a dispensary that is in a small white room or one that looks like an apple store? The answer for most people would be the latter. This has led many companies to focus on branding their stores as high-tech and innovative, making IT jobs in the cannabis industry both abundant and lucrative.


Yet another group of important jobs in the cannabis industry are those within the accounting division. Banking regulations in the cannabis industry are very strict due to marijuana's federally illegal status, which is why accounting positions are so invaluable to a cannabis business. These professionals keep the books for cannabis companies and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Many businesses are cash only too, creating even more challenges for quality bookkeeping and wealth management.

There's No Time Like the Present

Now that you know about all of these awesome cannabis jobs, what are you waiting for? Cannabis companies are looking for motivated individuals to become a part of their workforce. The best part about it all? The cannabis industry is still extremely young, so there's no excuse not to get your foot in the door early.

The sooner you become a part of the marijuana industry, the sooner you can leave your mark and lasting impression. Anyone who loves cannabis and is motivated to succeed should have high hopes for this industry. There is a burgeoning world of opportunity being created by marijuana, the question is, will YOU be a part of it?

What cannabis job would you want to do most and why?


Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

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