As reports continue to filter in about the 300,000 cannabis-related jobs expected by 2020, one wonders which of them will pay a living wage and which will put us into the six-figure category? Let’s see what the experts have to say about the highest paying pot jobs and how to get one of them.
Reviewing several financial sites, which closely watch the budding weed industry, as well as online job-finders like Monster and WeedHire, the conclusion is that the most lucrative jobs involve either owning or managing a dispensary.
Owning, of course, takes investment capital whereas being a store manager can pay up to $75,000 per year, with decent benefits.
Why so much more than other retail stores?
The next time you visit your local dispensary where the rules of operation are extremely and necessarily strict, take note of the responsibilities.
Too many dispensaries are getting leaned on these days by the feds as well as local authorities for the smallest infraction.
And that’s not to mention that, as far as we know, all dispensaries are still operating in cash, which carries its own challenge and, sometimes, even danger.
Next on the list of well-paid jobs are growers, since the entire industry depends on the quality of the plant. If a grower can get that part right, in addition to having a reputation (confirmed by lab testing) for cultivating pesticide-free weed, the sky is the limit.
This job requires botany and horticulture skills to cultivate the various strains, but most growers learn on the job or from previous experience.
Consultant positions seem to be in high demand as more states pass legalization laws that involve convoluted licensing requirements to grow weed and/or open dispensaries, operate commercial edibles kitchens, grow sites, etc.
All of this can be overwhelming or frustrating in the face of the red tape.
A cannabis consultant can help navigate the confusion and clear the hurdles, which because of our patchwork legal system, is different in every state.
And this probably goes without saying, but cannabis accountants and lawyers can also rake in a ton of money.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, check out the cannabis science and research want ads, which are flooding the market as we speak.
“This industry will not flourish and move forward unless it’s based on a medical platform,” CEO of Eden Labs AC Braddock said at a conference recently.
Another sector of the industry experiencing higher than usual demand are the makers of concentrates. These jobs pay well and are filled by cannabis extraction technicians usually, but not always, with college degrees.
Extraction techs usually start off making entry-level salaries and can move up to $60,000 to $90,000, or even six figures, once established with a good reputation.
It’s important to note that cannabis extraction plays an important role in medical marijuana and making edibles, which brings us to our next cannabis job.
As edibles surge in popularity, making them is a fun and inviting job for those with the right touch. Many see the edibles industry as the future of medical cannabis treatment for those who can’t or don’t smoke, dab, vape or otherwise inhale.
Some edibles makers use cannabutter, the “basis for marijuana cookery,” says Elise McDonough, author of the High Times Cannabis Cookbook, to make their goodies.
But now many cooks are opting to use concentrates, which allow for more exact measurements and can be more easily disguised into the flavor of the food.
So, once again, we see concentrates creation as a sought-after skill.
Bud trimmers can make between $12 and $15, which is not a lot but can be a foot in the door to other jobs in cultivation or concentrate creation. Attention to detail is necessary in both jobs for those who are not afraid of the learning curve.
These are all jobs that didn’t exist too long ago, and there are more to come as state after state legalize recreational and medical weed, so keep your eyes and mind open for a job near you.
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