How to Start Your Cannabis Career

The medical marijuana industry is exploding right now and you can turn your enthusiasm for cannabis into a budding career, pun intended. There’s a lot more to becoming a medical marijuana professional than getting stoned all the time. You have to remember that working in the medical marijuana field is a serious job, so treat it as such. You can’t just get high and show up at a dispensary to ask for a job. You need to figure out the legalities of medical cannabis in your area, learn about cannabis science, and then decide where you fit in the medical marijuana industry.

Jobs in the Medical Marijuana Industry

Before we get started on how to get a job in the medical marijuana field, let’s look at the types of cannabis jobs that you can have.

Budtender – Just like a bartender who mixes and serves alcohol, a budtender handles medical marijuana and cannabis products like edibles, makes recommendations for customers, and educates customers on effects and legalities. Working in a medical marijuana dispensary can be one of the easiest cannabis jobs to get, but it’s not necessarily the easiest job out there.

Cannabis Farmer – Growing cannabis is maybe the most important job of the entire industry, as it supplies everything else from medical marijuana edibles to hemp clothing. To be an effective marijuana grower, you need to have agriculture skills but also specific knowledge about the needs of the cannabis plant. Hydroponics systems can also be very complicated, so you need to understand them to grow the best cannabis.

Bud Trimmer and Processor – While growing is one aspect of marijuana, harvesting and preparation of the buds is another. Bud trimmers and processors turn raw vegetable matter into medical marijuana, whether that’s buds, loose green, concentrates, or waxes. Medical marijuana processors require a very specific set of skills as well as a high level of professionalism and knowledge of both chemistry and cannabis.

Edibles Creator – Turning raw cannabis buds into yummy edible products is a science and an art. This medical marijuana job is part cannabis expert and part chef. There are way more edibles than just cookies or brownies, so you need more than baking skills. You need to understand the chemistry of infusing candy, baked goods, and other foods with marijuana’s active ingredients.

Marijuana Reviewer – This cannabis job combines writer with marijuana expert. Just like a movie critic, you experience various strains of marijuana or edibles and write reviews about them. It sounds frivolous, but this is a very important job so medical marijuana patients know what products will offer them relief.

Administrative Staff – Medical marijuana dispensaries, product companies, review sites, and everybody involved in the cannabis industry needs support staff. Just like any other company, they need human resources professionals, accountants, customer service representatives, and other administrative staff.

Sales and Marketing – New industries need people to spread the word about new products maybe more than established industries, so cannabis marketing experts are in high demand. Medical marijuana products require education for customers, too, so marketers are especially important.

Cannabis Tourism Experts – As more and more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, they experience a boom in tourism. Companies need experts on marijuana to help draw in tourists but also to educate those tourists on how to enjoy cannabis legally and safely.

Do your research.

Since the medical marijuana industry is in a crazy upswing right now, there are a ton of companies out there that produce, market, sell, and promote medical cannabis and edibles. They offer tons of different jobs from bud trimmers to medical marijuana product marketers. Because the industry is so recently legal, though, there are also lots of companies out there making offers that are simply too good to be true. If you’re looking to break into the medical marijuana industry, you need to do your research on the company before you decide to put in an application.

Before you start, you need to be familiar with the marijuana laws in your state so you can go about things the right way. This is especially important for farmers, but also for budtenders and other cannabis professionals. While marijuana is legal medically and recreationally in many states, there can be very strict local laws about cannabis professions, including required certifications for budtenders, marijuana growers, and medical marijuana dispensary owners. Luckily, cannabis schools have sprung up to educate people on the science of marijuana and give out certifications. To get a good cannabis certification, you’ll need a legit medical marijuana school.

Get schooled.
Since medical marijuana is a growing business, there are a lot of “cannabis universities” out there promising certification for distributors or budtenders, but you need to do your research about these training organizations too. At a professional cannabis training school, you’ll learn about the science of cannabis from a pharmacological standpoint, the laws regarding medical marijuana sales, the growing cycle of the cannabis plant, as well as the various ways of delivering medical marijuana from smoking to edibles. Again, always do your research and make sure the certification you’ll get at the end of the program will work in your area.

Interview like a pro.
When you come in for an interview at a medical marijuana facility, you need to be on your “A” game. You want to have been to the dispensary before so you have an idea of their offerings, and then you need to show up with that knowledge. If you don’t have a cannabis certification yet, you can get a job as a cashier or security person to start off, but definitely, highlight your qualifications if you have already gotten that important piece of paper. When going for a job as a grower or processor, you need to highlight your experience in organic farming, for example, and then show them that you can bring those skills to their cannabis company.

When you think of careers in the medical marijuana industry, jobs like budtender or cannabis farmer may be the first that come to mind. However, the growth of edibles and other types of cannabis products are creating many more types of jobs. There are opportunities for growth in so many different ways that support the medical marijuana industry, even packaging. Companies like are offering affordable, durable packaging that’s perfect for teas, coffees, as well as edibles and even buds.

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