2016 was a landmark year for many reasons – for the cannabis world, the year marks a dramatic shift toward comprehensive legalization, with more states than ever adopting legislation for medical and recreational cannabis. The top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017 represent jobs in the legal market with high salaries and equally high responsibilities, as well as entry level jobs that offer equally compelling benefits to the employee.
#10 Bud Trimmer
Marijuana trimming jobs are some of the most legendary in cannabusiness history. The illicit market has long driven wandering souls to seek refuge in the pot fields of Humboldt County to manicure the pristine buds harvested by cultivators. We take for granted how each resin-coated nug appears in its final form before smoking – it certainly doesn’t just fall off the plant that way!
Trimmers use sharp shears to remove excess plant matter, such as sugar leaves from the trichome filled flowers. Trichomes are resin glands that secrete cannabinoids like THC and CBD, as well as aromatic terpenes. Bud trimmers are responsible for retaining only the essential plant matter on each flower in order to optimize its taste, harshness and cannabinoid concentration.
Bud trimmers have historically been compensated according to weight, making this one of the top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017 and a great opportunity to steadily increase your wages. While the average hourly wage for bud trimmers in the legal industry is between $12-15, experienced trimmers have been known to make double that amount.
#9 Strain Reviewer
Writers assemble! This highly desired position sits high on the list of the top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017. The cannabis industry has brought in a hefty shipment of content to be covered by creatives, especially with the advent of marijuana critic jobs. These individuals review flower strains and products, such as concentrates to give consumers an idea of what a product offers and whether it’s worth choosing. Much like a fine wine or a medium roast coffee, cannabis strains are multifaceted and are worthy of exploring in terms of taste, effects, medical benefits and more.
Until recently, strain reviewers were few and far between. Now, it seems that every cannabis publication and many general news magazines are covering cannabis with strain reviews. With the Denver Post leading the way with Jake Browne and The Cannabist. This has opened many doors for cannabis to be taken seriously in both a medical and recreational venue. Reviews have helped to educate a broader audience in things such as terpenes. More than just the aromatic compounds emitted during flowering, terpenes have medical implications and are essential for natural pest control.
#8 Cannabis Extraction Technician
While flower is a hard standard for cannabis consumers that continues to be popular, it has been overshadowed recently by the popularity of concentrates and edibles. Unlike the cannabutter of yesteryear, cannabis extracts are chemically culled substances optimized for purity and cannabinoid content. Cannabis extraction technician jobs are carried out by individuals with significant experience and are a welcome addition to the top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017.
Technicians administer solvents, heat and pressure to plant matter, which allows the cannabinoids and other compounds in the flower to be separated from unsavory plant matter, waxes and contaminants. These extracts are then processed into a variety of different textures, resulting finally in diverse forms of wax, oil and “shatter” just to name a few. These concentrates can then be used in vaporizers or to smoke out of dab rigs.
Extraction technicians often come from chemistry backgrounds and are familiar working in a laboratory setting and with cannabis. Due to the demand for concentrates, the high accountability and potential for danger, salaries for this position can reach the six figures.
#7 Cannabis Delivery Driver
Portland, Oregon recently passed legislation allowing recreational products to be delivered directly to the homes of customers. Although cannabis dispensaries themselves are not allowed to delivery products, third party businesses can facilitate the process so ordering weed will be as easy as pizza.
Medical marijuana delivery jobs are legal in several states and helps provide the necessary transport of medical cannabis products to patients who do not have access to dispensaries, or have limited mobility. Delivery driving is a great way to get initiated into the legal business with an entry level job that provides potential for advancement into other sectors of the industry.
One of the most famous stations on this list are marijuana budtender jobs. Budtenders are positioned on the front lines of cannabis distribution. These friendly and informed individuals help customers decipher the sea of product options and find something to work for their specific tolerance and desires. Budtenders must have a strong communication ability and be able to think on their feet. Budtending may be a dream job for some, but it’s not as easy as it may sound. Budtenders are constantly on their feet and must be able to assist management in any way they deem necessary.
Budtending is one of the most competitive jobs out there in western cities like Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Many recent college graduates and experienced black market workers alike are clamoring for positions behind dispensary counters. And why wouldn’t they? While wages are run of the mill for retail work, employees usually receive a healthy discount on products and the opportunity to be surrounded by weed on a daily basis. The canna-benefits alone are enough to secure budtending as one of the top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017.
#5 Edibles Chef
If you love cooking and cannabis, seek no further options than working edibles chef jobs. Chefs help to create delicious masterpieces that can be packaged and sold in dispensaries. Edibles chefs may have a great job, but it’s a difficult one at that. Chefs must possess the culinary background and knowledge of cannabis to accurately infuse food and drinks with consistent concentrations of cannabinoids.
Although there are plenty of grass roots edibles kitchens out there, edibles chef jobs are not for the inexperienced. Chefs help to support a team of subordinates and are expected to have experience working in a professional kitchen. Working as an assistant baker or cook is a good way to gain credibility and become a competitive applicant for higher paying chef jobs.
#4 Master Grower
All that beautiful bud has to come from somewhere! This makes the master grower one of the ultimate top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017. Thanks to master growers leading cannabis cultivation operations, consumers around the country have greater access to cannabis flower. Master growers represent the cream of the crop when it comes to marijuana growing jobs. These individuals often have been growing cannabis for decades, or have advanced degrees in horticulture or an associated field.
Master growers lead assistant growers through the process of germinating, transporting, cloning, feeding and watering, pruning, flushing and of course harvesting. depending on whether the grow operation is being carried out with soil or hydroponics, grow masters must create substantial plans for optimizing the crop for success. The goal for most cultivators is to achieve the highest cannabinoid content, while retaining the integrity of each strain.
Not only do master growers have to create plans for expected occurrences, they also must be able to think on their feet and survey the crop closely in order to protect it from pests, disease and free radicals. Master growers represent certainly some of the highest paid individuals in the legal green market, with salaries that surge well into the six figures with hearty bonuses to boot.
#3 Dispensary Owner
The longer that cannabis is legal in pockets across the country, the more individuals interested in opening up their very own cannabis dispensary. But getting pot shops on their feet is much easier said than done. In order to establish a location, there are many state regulations requiring significant licensing and operational fees. All the confusing literature surrounding running a cannabusiness is enough to deter some hopefuls completely. This is why many potential owners enlist the assistance of cannabis consultants. Consultants specialize in cannabis law, accounting, etc. and help to decode the laws to the owners benefit, or offer direct services to organize revenue.
In order to be a successful dispensary owner, you must have the drive for success and a deep love for cannabis in order to make it over all the legislative hurdles. Hopefully, the coming years will see countrywide legalization, which may help to distill the convoluted regulations down to a consistent standard. In addition to operating a retail location, dispensary owners form partnerships with farms and processing centers, opening up accounts to purchase wholesale merchandise to sell to customers at recreational or medical shops.
#2 Cannabis Lobbyist
Now more than ever, the legal cannabis industry is close to breaking in every state across the country. The current green rush makes lobby positions a critical rung on the top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017 ladder. In order to remove cannabis from the outdated Controlled Substances act, cannabis lobbyists are needed in volunteer and paid positions. Lobbyists help to inform policy makers and constituents alike on the constitutional implications of cannabis legalization and decriminalization.
Lobbyists often focus on the medical elements of THC and CBD, as well as how cannabis prohibition has historically incited the incarceration of disproportionately high numbers of young black men. There are fewer than thirty paid pot lobbyists around today, but the numbers are sure to grow as more individuals seek to convince legislators of cannabis’ manifold benefits.
#1 Cannabusiness Web Developer
The cannabis industry isn’t the only one experiencing major growth – the technology world is undergoing significant expansion with the proliferation of more websites and mobile applications. Depending on the job description, web developers code applications and work with design and marketing teams to create a polished finished product.
Apps have been a major source of interest when it comes to cannabis. Since the legal industry is still new, customers desire easy to use platforms to make the consumer experience more streamlined. Enter apps like Weedmaps which have been downloaded over 1 million times and it’s clear that apps will be a necessary opportunity for synergy between industries. Web developers don’t necessarily require excessive academic credentials, but are expected to have experience.
Top 10 Marijuana Jobs of 2017: The Future
Gauging the top 10 marijuana jobs of 2017 can be carried out a number of different ways. Rather than going simply by salary, we chose to highlight a diverse array of exciting positions in the industry that offer legitimate opportunities for substantial careers. As the business is given more time to really take hold, it will be up to constituents and policy makers to keep pushing for cannabis reform and keep corporate overthrow at bay. The legal cannabusiness has some of the most potential of any industry out there. Why not explore these positions and more for yourself?