How To Start Working in The Cannabis Industry

How To Start Working in The Cannabis Industry

It’s no wonder that the professional cannabis market has been growing has been growing by steady leaps and bounds, adding 32,700 new jobs in 2019, 77,300 in 2020, and 107,059 in 2021. For reference, America’s entire financial sector grew by 145,000 jobs last year in 2021, Leafy reported. 

But things that are too good to be true usually have a catch, a caveat. And even though in this case, the caveats are not deal breakers, you can’t expect to just get hired based on your encyclopaedic knowledge of Rick and Morty – unless you are applying for a cannabis culture journalist, in which case it would be a start. 

And herein lies the point – a passion for cannabis is a prerequisite for working in the cannabis industry, but it doesn’t cut it. Just like in any other field, you need relevant skills and experience and getting your foot in the door is the hardest, but in this case, there’s just a little more leeway, since the industry itself is so infantile and inexperienced. 

Translating Your Experience Into Equivalent Positions

Here are a few positions in the cannabis industry that are in high demand and have analogue in the “regular” professional world. 


Even if you don’t have experience as a bartender per se, but as a sommelier, a barista, some type of server or even a customer service and/or sales representative, this could be the right fit. 

You should already have the people skills down, perhaps with a dash of sales in there – all that’s left is to add in-depth knowledge of cannabis strains and effects the mix, which can be done through research – online and/or personal – and maybe some professional training, which we’ll get to in a second. 

Regulatory Advisor

Navigating the cannabis regulatory landscape is like making your way through your house, but in a dream – you think you know it by heart, but every time you turn around, something has changed. 

This is why a regulatory advisor who can make sense of the constantly changing regulations and guide companies through them like a shaman on a psychedelic trip is indispensable. If you have experience as a regulatory advisor or a lawyer, this might be a tailor-made position for you. 


Trimming cannabis may sound simple, but it requires dexterity, attention to detail and diligence. It’s a great entry-level position, through which you can gain invaluable, cannabis-specific experience and know-how and use it to climb the ladder in this industry. 


If you geek out on science and/or technology, cannabis extraction could be the dream niche for you. The market for quality cannabis concentrates is booming, with extraction technologies, equipment and methods developing by leaps and bounds.

This is a great chance to put your technical skills to use and become a part of and even help build a truly disruptive niche, in which the fruit of your labour would be very real and tangible, which is always particularly rewarding for people with such interests. 

General Tips 

Here are some more general tips that will help you increase your chances of landing any of the aforementioned or other cannabis-related jobs. 

Research Local Regulations 

Because cannabis regulations differ so much from state to state, before you do anything else, make sure to delve into your state’s specific regulations, as there might be unforeseen requirements, such as special licences. 

Tailor Your Application 

A cannabis company’s identity doesn’t begin and end with cannabis. You should research the company in-depth and tailor your application to its unique values and necessities on the one hand and to your unique skills and experience on the other. 

Get Qualifications 

There are already some cannabis-specific courses and qualifications that can help you bolster your application. Nevertheless, university courses related to scientific subjects such as chemistry and biology could be a good starting point to work in the field at a high level. 

Bottom Line

The cannabis industry offers are exciting on various levels: new jobs, a slightly more level playing field, and a better chance at escaping the dreaded vicious circle of the need for experience to get a job and the need for a job to get experience. 

In other words, it stacks the odds in your favour. But how you play your cards is entirely in your hands.

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