How to Break Into the Cannabis Biz (And the Salaries to Expect)
Ifcannabis is your life, your love and everything you live for, why not considera cannabiscareer?
Imagineit – spending your working days surrounded by top-shelf budand getting paid for the privilege. Not to mention, making your mark on the nationaland international cannabis culture.
Toogood to be true? Not necessarily – youjust need to know where to look and how to get your foot in the door.
Breaking Into the Industry
Truthis, landing an entry-level job in the cannabis industry isn’t as difficult asyou might expect. Just for the record, we’re assuming you’re considering acareer in a North American state where cannabis has been legalised. Elsewhere,it’s an entirely different story…you can pretty much forget it.
Wherethere’s a booming cannabis industry, there’s a constant call for talented andenthusiastic newcomers. If you’re serious about making your mark, breaking intothe industry means committing yourself to the following:
1.Search intensively and continuously
The jobof your dreams isn’t going to fall into your lap out of thin air. Not onlythis, but the best jobs that come up disappear almost instantly. If you want toland a decent job, you need to keep your eyes peeled on a continuousbasis. There are plenty of onlinerecruitment sites, staffing agencies and job boards it’s worth signing up withand monitoring.
2.Improve your knowledge
Alwaysremember that there’s no such thing as knowing too much about cannabis. From local laws to genetics to the scienceof cannabis cultivation and so on, the more you know, the better. Try to assumethat however advanced your knowledge may be, there’s probably another candidateout for the same job who knows way more than you do.
3.Network like crazy
You’llfind it far easier to carve out a successful career in the cannabis industry witha strong and established network of contacts. Whether it’s your localbudtender, attendees at a cannabis festival or businesses standing a regionaltrade show, there are plenty of ways to meet new and potentially influential people.Don’t cross the line into becoming a nuisance, but take every opportunity todemonstrate your enthusiasm.
4. Bewilling to start at the bottom
Anentry-level cannabis career is better than no cannabis career at all. Particularly given how it’s all invaluableexperience that will help you climb the ladder. You might have your sights seton something more senior, but don’t discount more generic roles in themeantime. Again, it’s all a case of getting that all-important foot in thedoor.
5. Takea course
Ifyou’re serious about demonstrating your drive, enthusiasm and commitment, youcould always take a course and boost your CV with some kind of award. A growingnumber of online and offline colleges alike have begun adding cannabis-relatedcourses to their portfolios.
Positions and Pay-Rates
Perks,privileges and rates of pay vary enormously from one cannabis career to thenext. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering the sheer enjoyment that accompaniesa career you’re passionate about.
In anycase, climb the ladder to a more senior position and you could be looking at a prettyhefty take-home salary. Detailed below, you’ll find a few examples of the morecommon cannabis-related careers in the USA and their respective averagesalaries:
Cannabis Trimmers – Around $15 Per Hour
Thisentry-level position is also typically the lowest-paid, despite being somewhatintensive and demanding. On the plus side, no experience is necessary and it’sa great way of securing a position with a major cannabis producer. It’s not themost glamourous job, but could easily pave the way for something bigger andbetter.
Cannabis Delivery Driver – Around $15 Per Hour
Thesefolks earn about the same basic rate of pay, though with the addition of tips.Again, no specific knowledge or experience is necessary, just a clean drivinglicence. It’s another entry-level position that isn’t hugely prestigious, butis nonetheless a good entry-point for newcomers.
Budtender – Around $35,000 Per Year
It’s apretty big leap up the ladder for those who make it to budtender status, forthe simple reason that they’re required to have a much more in-depth knowledgeof the product. Budtenders are less your usual shop assistants, more theall-knowing experts responsible for answering questions and helping peoplechoose the right products. Entry-level salaries of around $30,000 are the norm,though can easily exceed $40,000 with experience.
Digital Developers and Marketers – $35,000+ Per Year
This isanother position that demands relatively little specialist cannabis knowledge. Ifyour expertise lies in digital development and web marketing, you could securea position with just about any major cannabis company. From website developmentto search engine optimisation to copywriting to blog posting and so on,cannabis companies need the same digital support as any other business.
Cannabis Cook – Around $50,000 Per Year
In thisinstance, we’re talking the pretty high-level individuals responsible forcoming up with commercial cannabis edibles. Far from a role for the averagehome cook, you’ll probably need an extensive background in a culinaryenvironment – maybe even a recognised culinary school qualification.
Dispensary Manager – $50,000+ Per Year
Workyour way to the top of the leadership ladder and you’ll be looking at a minimumof $50,000 as a dispensary manager. To become a dispensary manager, you’ll needto combine world-class cannabis knowledge with advanced business acumen andleadership experience. In most instances, dispensary manager vacancies arefilled by talented budtenders within the same organisations.
Dispensary Owner – $1 Million or More
Lastbut not least, successful dispensary owners can earn quite ludicrous sums ofmoney. Particularly when it comes to the larger and more successfuldispensaries operating in the US, annual income levels can beextraordinary. Nevertheless, you’llfirst need the extensive capital and licensing needed to set up and get startedin the first place. Not to mention, a workable business plan that provides yourdispensary with at least some kind ofedge over the competition.