Entry-Level Jobs for Getting a Foot in the Cannabis Industry

Going to college is not for everyone. That’s okay. A college degree is not the measure of success. Unfortunately, our culture disproportionately rewards those who get college degrees in the workplace. The key to developing a solid career that pays well, without having earned a degree, is to find an industry with built-in growth potential and a plethora of entry-level positions. The cannabis industry fits the bill.

Medical cannabis is now legal in thirty-eight states. Among them, eighteen states allow recreational cannabis consumption. It is quite possible Washington will eventually decriminalize marijuana altogether at some point. If current trends continue, cannabis will be as common and socially acceptable as alcohol by the end of the decade.

Entrepreneurial types have recognized these trends and invested in them. From growing operations to processing, testing, and retail sales, the industry is experiencing incredible growth nationwide. That makes for plenty of entry-level opportunities through which a person can develop a rewarding career in the field.

  • 1. Cultivator Apprentice

For the purposes of this post, a number of well-known job boards were researched to see what they had available in the cannabis market. A fantastic entry-level job for people interested in the agricultural aspect of cannabis is the cultivator apprentice position. It works similar to any other apprenticeship arrangement.

The apprentice signs on with an established cultivator with the goal of eventually starting their own cultivation operation or working for a corporate employer. Cultivator apprentices learn how to cultivate cannabis plants through hands-on experience and real-world training.

  • 2. Cannabis Trimmer

Harvested cannabis can be sold directly to consumers as plant material or sent to processors for refining. The cannabis trimmer position involves preparing plant material for retail sale. Buds are trimmed from plants and packaged. This position requires attention to detail and the ability to adapt to different strains of cannabis. In addition to trimming plants, trimmers often handle plants in preparation for drying.

  • 3. Cannabis Delivery Driver

People who do not like to be stuck in an office all day might consider taking a position as a cannabis delivery driver. Delivery isn’t available nationwide, as some states still don’t allow it. In addition, states like Utah have medical-only cannabis programs. According to Brigham City’s Beehive Farmacy, delivery outside of Utah’s major metropolitan areas could mean a lot of rural driving.

  • 4. Medical Pharmacy Technician

The medical pharmacy technician is the cannabis employee who works directly with customers at the retail level. This particular position has many names, depending on jurisdiction requirements and company policies. Either way, pharmacy technicians are the retail faces of the companies they work for.

They are the front-line employees who answer most customer questions. They help customers understand what they are buying and how it might affect them. Though the position does not require an official degree, pharmacy technicians should have a working knowledge of cannabis strains and delivery methods.

  • 5. Recreational Dispensary Budtender

The recreational dispensary’s version of the medical pharmacy technician is the budtender. With a name similar to ‘bartender’, you can probably guess what this position entails. However, there is more to it than bagging products and running a cash register. So much so that there is now a concerted effort to develop the budtender position to make it comparable to the wine industry’s sommelier.

If you had to pick an industry to get into on the ground floor, cannabis would be a good one. What is still a relatively new industry offers a lot of promise for well-paying and rewarding careers. Apply for an entry-level position and work your way up from there.