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Starting Your Cannabis Career

The legal cannabis industry is booming, & interest in becoming a cannabis pro is never higher. This article has everything you need to know to become one.

Jason SanderJason Sander · Sep. 13, 2021 · 6 min read
Starting Your Cannabis Career

Interested in starting your cannabis career? This article covers everything you need to know to get started in our emerging industry.

The recession-proof cannabis industry is currently seeing exponential growth, exceeding even the highest of expectations and predicted numbers each and every year. Current figures say the industry will be worth around $85 billion by 2025, but that number could easily reach $100 billion by then - or more.

67% of Americans believe in legal cannabis, and this figure is increasing every day. Legal cannabis is expected to rake in around $4.3 billion by 2025, according to Forbes. Legal cannabis sales can potentially reach an astronomical $22 billion next year.

The market itself will be worth over $70 billion by 2027. You get the point. There’s a reason why legal cannabis has been called “the green rush.” However, there are good reasons why many would-be cannabis entrepreneurs get frustrated, discouraged, and eventually give up.

With this in mind, there are still well over 240,000 jobs in legal cannabis and counting. While most people think about being a budtender (think of a bartender that sells cannabis, if you’re unfamiliar) and working in growing, there are many, many other jobs out there. Here are just a few examples of such jobs.

"there are still well over 240,000 jobs in legal cannabis and counting."


There are emerging jobs galore for tech professionals in legal cannabis. Building quality websites alone will keep you gainfully employed and booked for months. On top of this, there is a huge need for tech experts when it comes to things like security and surveillance. Cannabis presents unique challenges, and along with it comes the need for innovators who can think of unique solutions.


A few years ago as a cannabis journalist for the Marijuana Times I did an interesting interview with a security expert for Colorado dispensaries. I can’t find the article at the moment, as it’s been buried in their publication’s archives.

But what I took away from the interview is that the need for security in cannabis goes far beyond working as a rent-a-cop. There are some incredible solutions to the problem of working in all-cash businesses like cannabis, such as developing theft protection methods that I had never even thought of. Again, unique industry problems require unique solutions, and security for cannabis businesses is a huge one.


When people think of working in legal cannabis, cultivation is often the first thing they think about right behind being a budtender. As you can see from this article, growing cannabis is far from the only area of need for jobs in our industry.


However, it will remain one of the most important, especially when there are too many people who claim to be growing experts but actually aren’t. We won’t get into that here. On top of being an expert grower and breeder, there’s also a need for trimmers, flower packers, and hash makers. One of the hottest new products on the market today is hash rosin, which many consumers believe to be the best concentrate out there right now.


Working in a cannabis dispensary is one of the most important jobs you can have in the industry. On top of budtenders and security officers, there are branding experts and all-important customer experience managers. Customer experience is a huge, hot-button topic in many industries, not just cannabis.

How a customer experiences their buying process is crucial to the success of any business. If they aren’t happy with their shopping experience, they probably won’t be returning, and other would-be customers are likely going to hear about it.

Delivery Drivers

Of course, being a driver is just one piece of the cannabis delivery pie. There are also logistics, the tech involved like POS and eCommerce software, and the all-encompassing necessity for legal professionals. Speaking of lawyers, attorneys, paralegals, and the like.


Another high-demand job in legal cannabis is for finance experts. This is another unique challenge that cannabis faces because of the federal illegality of the plant. Entrepreneurs can’t get loans for their businesses like they would in other industries. As such, handling large amounts of cash is pretty dangerous, but someone has to do it. On top of this, the demand for being in the know about alternatives like crypto and NFT is huge.


The demand for cannabis lawyers is sky-high. Licensing is a drawn-out process that can take months, sometimes even years. Lawyers must know how to help their clients stand out from the crowd and help them get their licenses approved, which requires thousands of dollars of initial investment. A hot-button topic at the moment is social equity applicants and the legal process they must go through before opening their retail locations.


As the industry grows and evolves, the need for freelance writers, designers, and other creative professionals will only increase. If you play your cards right, you can carve out a little niche for yourself as a cannabis writer or designer.


The demand for cannabis marketers is also at an all-time high. This includes social media marketers, branding experts, direct response copywriters, and brick-and-mortar retail specialists. The sky's the limit for opportunities when it comes to marketers.


There will always be a need for canna-preneurs. There are entire websites devoted as such. Again, there are hurdles you will face as a cannabis entrepreneur that other industry professionals do not. Compliance is tricky and ever-evolving, and there is no end in sight.

Your Cannabis Career - You Gotta Love It

Keep in mind that this is just a primer, cannabis jobs 101. There are many areas we haven’t even touched upon here, such as the need for 420-friendly cannabis businesses like Air B n Bs and consumption lounges.

Most of the aforementioned jobs can be done in just about any industry. It is easy to complain, but you have to really want to work in the cannabis industry. There will be unique challenges you face that you otherwise won’t in just about any other field. This isn't even covering the challenges we faced in 2020 due to the pandemic.

With this in mind, it’s helpful for many would-be cannabis industry professionals to honestly examine their “why”. If your reason is not something along the lines of “because I am passionate about this amazing plant, its healing properties, and I want to fight for the right for more people to have access to it,” — then maybe this industry isn’t for you. And that’s okay, legal cannabis is most certainly not for everyone.

The reason for this is that there are hurdles and challenges specific to cannabis that other industries simply do not have to deal with, largely due to the federal illegality of cannabis.

For this reason, you have gotta love it. You must have a passion for cannabis, believe in its undeniable healing power, and believe in the fact that the capabilities for this incredible plant are limitless.

Please, don’t get into the industry if you’re just chasing a buck. Please oh please. There are plenty of other industries that you can guarantee you’ll be more certain of getting an ROI while dealing with fewer hurdles and headaches.

"Please, don’t get into the industry if you’re just chasing a buck. Please oh please. There are plenty of other industries that you can guarantee you’ll be more certain of getting an ROI while dealing with fewer hurdles and headaches."

Still interested in working in legal cannabis? Welcome! We highly recommend the value-packed book, Cannabis Jobs, by Andrew Ward, a seasoned veteran industry journalist, writer, and branding expert. You can order it on Amazon or wherever fine books are sold.

HashDash - Connecting the Cannabis Community

We hope you found value in our content about starting your cannabis career. Did you learn something, or have anything to add? Let us know - @hashdash on all platforms, except for Instagram, where we are @hashdashdotcom.

Check back to our blog often, because we post fresh content every week!

HashDash is building a vast knowledge database of helpful guides, content, blog articles, and other ways to enhance the cannabis consumption experience. This article is #100 on the blog, which is a milestone that we’ve reached that we’re excited about.

Don’t forget to sign up for HashDash to discover your cannabis matches.

Thanks for reading! Please consume responsibly. And always treat our incredible plant with the love and respect that it deserves.

Jason Sander
Jason SanderJason is a versatile writer and marketer with over ten combined years of experience working with clients in various industries. He couples this expertise with six years of writing for the cannabis sector as well as a passion for the business side, and the science behind the plant medicine.




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