15 Jobs to Kickstart Your Career in the Marijuana IndustryThe legal cannabis industry is growing rapidly (no pun intended), and looks set to continue that way for years to come. With 23 States legalizing marijuana in some form, and 4 states legalizing small amounts for recreational use, new opportunities have been opened up. Businesses are being built, jobs are being created, and turnover increasing. This in turn has led to hundreds of millions of dollars being collected in tax. The politicians may not want to come out and say it too vocally, but those tax revenues are doing everyone a favor!
One of the more noticeable effects of this budding new industry though, is in job creation. People and businesses are discovering that they need to develop new systems and methods to grow, market, and distribute cannabis legally. This in turn requires that there are staff and personnel in place. One industry consultant expected up to 200,000 new positions to be created in 2015 alone. There has never been a better time then, to look for a career in the legal marijuana industry.
Budtenders have often been compared with bartenders. This is partially true, in the sense that a good budtender can help make or break a business by their manner, approach, and sales technique, but it is not the whole story. A good budtender will have extensive knowledge about the products they are offering. They will need to know how customers’ allergies may be affected, or which strains are most suitable for which conditions. Essentially, the budtender is the person that helps customers make the best selection, and as such is the 'face' of the business. Pay rates can vary, but every business understands the value of a skilled budtender.
2. Dispensary Operators
The budtender may be considered the 'expert', but that doesn't necessarily make them the right person to run the entire operation. A dispensary operator will be the person who manages supply, employees, the shop, pricing, and will also need to ensure that the business stays legal with every change of local law and regulation.
The shops and dispensaries will also need administrators to perform the daily tasks, whether it is stock checking, wage admin, answering the telephone, or any other number of functions. An administrator within the marijuana industry will then start to pick up knowledge which they can then use to further their career.
4. Security Guards
Marijuana medical patients collect their prescribed medication from dispensaries. As there may be significant amounts of cash and marijuana based products on the premises, security guards will be needed to protect them. This is most needed in urban areas, where guards will also need to check ID's, and keep an eye on people coming in and out of the building. They may also need to monitor any deliveries or collections. As the industry grows bigger, security guards will also be employed in other areas, such as production, refining, and distribution.
5. Retail Shop Owner
Owning a marijuana store is an ideal choice for many would-be entrepreneurs. A new and expanding industry offering new frontiers is hard to come by these days, and the legalized marijuana industry is at the forefront. At the moment, it is not the easiest thing in the world to achieve though, especially in places such as Washington, where the licenses needed to open one were only available to a small select group through a lottery system. As time goes on though, this opportunity will become more widely available, and many people are coming up with business plans and identifying locations now. Opening any new venture involves a certain amount of risk, but those entrepreneurs who thrive on risk/reward ratios will jump at the chance.
Every sector and industry has them, and the legalized marijuana industry is no exception to this. A good consultant in the marijuana industry will have the knowledge of a budtender, the spirit of an entrepreneur, and wide ranging industry contacts. They might help farmers, shop owners, or people looking to set up a new business. In these early years, this is a great opportunity for people seeking to capitalize on the boom, and establish themselves a good long term reputation as the industry expands.
7. IT and Internet
As the industry grows, the opportunities to advertize online via websites become obvious. Online stores might specialize in books or DVD's, information, supply of growing materials, or any other number of items. Additionally, it won't be too long before forums and groups start forming their own social networks. Anyone with industry specific specialist knowledge and the IT skills to match, will find a new career awaits them. Who will be the first person to come up with an app that allows patients to order a home delivery through their smartphone?
These businesses, their products, assets, crops, and personnel will all need to be insured. Opportunities to sell insurance will arise for people who know the industry and how it works. Specialist insurance agencies will certainly arise from this, and jobs will be created.
9. Delivery Drivers / Couriers
Some medical cannabis patients may be unable to go to the dispensary themselves, in order to collect their orders. The industry has a need to employ an increasing number of delivery drivers and couriers in order to drop off packages to patients. This might not be the highest paid job in the world, but people looking to secure contracts should do so whilst the industry is young.
Somebody has to grow the stuff, or there would be nothing to sell! This isn't as easy as it might seem though, and college graduates in horticulture or botany are required to improve upon the techniques already developed. They will need to maximize yields, reduce pests, and ensure efficient harvests. Becoming a farmer is more difficult, but as time goes on, legislation will change, enabling independent farmers to flourish.
11. Solar Panel and Renewable Energy Installers
Growing marijuana is a complicated process, which involves carefully balanced mixtures of heat and light. The power required for this all costs money, and so farmers will look at ways to reduce their overall power costs. Step up solar panels, and other renewable forms of energy. The boom in the legalized cannabis industry will lead to an increased need for solar panel installers, along with other renewable energy providers. It costs less in the long run, and is better for the environment. A win win situation, especially when jobs are created as well!
It might not be a glamorous job in the world, but someone has to do it! Marijuana doesn't just turn up in presentable form after all, it has to be first made to look attractive before it can be considered the finished product. This involves trimming off the larger leaves to reduce the excess weight in order to make the product look better, and provide customers with value for their money. This is quite a low paid job, but a good introduction to the industry, and offers a chance to start a career from the bottom up.
13. Glass Blower / Merchant
Pipes and bongs have been around for years, but as prohibition starts to fall away, there will be an increased demand for these types of products. Glass blowing itself is an art and skill which takes time and dedication to learn, but it is also highly valued. Creative types will find their products in much demand of the coming years. Selling glass merchandise will also become a lucrative business, whether it is in a physical store, selling from business to business, or having an online portal.
14. Edibles Producer
There are an astonishing variety of edibles on the market today. Cookies, candy, coffee, you name it, there is a product infused with marijuana available. This is a very competitive area within the legal cannabis field, but it can also be rewarded quite handsomely. Whether setting up a one-person business, or joining a larger organization, producers will need to come up with products that appeal to customers and sell, as well as keeping a careful note of local regulations so that they can be complied with.
This has to be everyone's dream job! Of course, it doesn't involve sitting down and smoking all day... far from it in fact. A great deal of product and industry knowledge would be needed, as well as medical knowledge so that recommendations could be passed on. In some ways, good budtenders could become reviewers, which would be a natural career progression. Writing in online forums, websites, or magazines, reviewers and critics will have a position similar to that in many other industries, where the respected ones can command a great deal of respect simply because of how they influence public opinion as to which products are the best.
Of course, these are only 15 of the more obvious career choices related to the marijuana industry. It is an industry which will continue to develop and grow, and so as the years go on, there will be more career choices, and more job opportunities.