And you don’t even have to live in a legal state.
Cannabis jobs are opening up all over the country and they are so much more than budtending and cultivating. There’s a whole sector of cannabis jobs known as “ancillary services,” where employees work in and around the cannabis space, but typically don’t have to touch the plant. Therefore, these jobs are available across the U.S., not just in legal states. Plus, many of these cannabis jobs allow you to work from home.
Cannabis is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. In fact, over 150,000 people have cannabis jobs in America alone. According to an estimate from New Frontier Data, if the U.S. federally legalized cannabis, it would create 1.1 million cannabis jobs by 2025 and would yield $131.8 billion in federal tax revenue.
Tons more people are searching for cannabis jobs on sites like Indeed.com and LinkedIn than ever before. Plus, there are sites and staffing agencies completely dedicated to the cannabis industry like Vangst, CannaJobs, 420 Careers, and Ganjapreneur.
You don’t even have to smoke weed for most of these careers, but it’s definitely a plus. There’s nothing more satisfying than explaining how many years you’ve been getting high in a job interview and have it seen as an asset. Did we mention no drug testing?
The key is figuring out how your current skill set can be used to fill one of the many cannabis jobs out there. Here’s a list of the top 10 best, unexpected cannabis jobs to get you thinking about what might be the best fit for you.
1. Social Media Specialist
Love Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram? Well, so do pot smokers. Every brand of cannabis products, from prerolls and edibles to bongs, is expected to have an attractive social media presence in today’s world. So why not combine your two favorite things into a lucrative career? The first step is building your own following on these platforms and using all the trending hashtags (right, #cannafam?). From there, you can get the attention of major brands looking to expand their social media teams and create cannabis jobs.
2. Graphic Designer
There are a variety of design cannabis jobs out there, from website and app front-end development to product branding and packaging to UX (user experience) design, and more. Design cannabis jobs are crucial for changing weed’s image from hippie, stoner culture to luxury party supplies and alternative wellness. If you’ve been to a dispensary lately, you probably noticed there are way less pot leaves, tie-dye, and naked ladies than ever before. Instead, there’s more artistic and high-end designs that appeal to a wider consumer base, including women and baby boomers. That’s all thanks to the hard work of talented cannabis designers and it’s making a difference in changing the stigma and stereotypes around pot.
Beyond budtending and retail sales positions, the cannabis industry is looking to hire experienced sales representatives, managers, and account executives. These cannabis jobs are data-driven and often require a college degree in business. But, if you’re looking for well-paid cannabis jobs, this could be for you.
4. Lab Technician, Researcher, and Chemist
Cannabis jobs in the sciences are also growing with the need for third-party lab testing and research into the plant’s medical potential. There are research assistant jobs open to students and folks with an undergraduate degree. But, higher up positions, like analytical chemist, may require a Ph.D. in chemistry or a related field. These cannabis jobs involve testing weed, extracts, and edibles for things like pesticides, molds, and other chemicals. They also involve testing products for their full cannabinoid profile, including THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, plus terpenes.
5. Personal Assistant
As cannabis companies grow, so does the need for personnel to keep these companies running, like assistants. Personal assistants need to be well-organized, able to multi-task, and available almost 24/7. But, these cannabis jobs are a great way to break into the industry and earn the respect of higher-ups. If you’re friendly, hardworking, and have a knack for planning, it’s definitely one of the cannabis jobs to consider.
6. Cannabis Writer and Editor
You can have my job! Well, not my exact position, but cannabis writing and editing opportunities are popping up all over the internet. Cannabis jobs, like writers and editors, are needed at publications like Herb, but they’re also needed across the industry. Many brands need content writers for their blogs and others need copywriters for their branding, websites, and social media campaigns. In fact, there are even marketing and PR firms dedicated to cannabis that need writers.
There are a variety of cannabis jobs in management popping up around the country. Some of these positions, like team leader and production manager, are super well-paid, like over $100,000 a year well-paid. While these cannabis jobs are often high stress, you’ll be overseeing a team of professional potheads, which is pretty cool. For highly organized and motivated people with great communication skills, this could be your chance to make bank in the cannabis industry.
Cannabis tourism is growing slowly but surely and so are the cannabis jobs that go with it. There are companies in Colorado and California organizing cannabis tours that bring tourists to grow houses, tasting rooms, and even pick them up from the airport and drive them straight to a dispensary. Cannabis tourism can also mean opening or working in a 420-friendly bed and breakfast, or being a tour guide in downtown Oakland. As cannabis tourism expands, so will these opportunities, and they’ll be a fun way to meet stoners from around the world.
9. Photographers and Video Editors
These artsy cannabis jobs might seem like unicorns, but they still exist. Strain and product photography is needed by cannabis companies as well as cannabis publications. Photographers are also needed at the growing number of cannabis events and weed weddings. Like graphic designers, photographers are helping to shape weed into a sophisticated and respected industry.
10. Legal and Regulatory
Attorneys and others with legal expertise are needed in the cannabis industry. These cannabis jobs have helped shape the industry as we know it and continue to do so. Cannabis companies need attorneys to help them stay within regulations. Plus, government agencies, like California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, need people with extensive cannabis and legal knowledge to help write those regulations. With more and more states passing cannabis laws, these opportunities are only going to keep growing.
And all these cannabis jobs are just the beginning. There are so many more ways to be involved in the cannabis industry, including the obvious choices like growing, budtending, and making infused products.
If you’re interested in working “hands-on” with weed, check out Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California for a formal cannabis education. If you’re still in school and looking to enter the cannabis industry, look out for internship opportunities to explore the world of cannabis jobs for yourself.
Whichever path you choose, I can tell you from experience, there’s nothing more rewarding than working in an industry you love.