legal marijuana grower salary

Like any retail operation, a medical dispensary or recreational outlet needs a manager. These employees can do very well, especially in profitable stores. At minimum, they can earn $75,000 a year and many get a bonus on top of that based on the store’s sales. When you consider that some stores in California have sales of $3 million to $6 million a year, while some San Francsico Bay area stores do $7 million to $10 million a year, that bonus can be pretty good. Many get vacation pay and health insurance just like a traditional job. Managers can also climb the green ladder and end up overseeing several locations.

There are websites with cannabis job listings like Cannajobs and 420careers. Medical marijuana delivery company GreenRush held a job fair in California in April; 2,700 people attended and 200 jobs were filled. Another event is planned for November 10.

Cannabis company Terra Tech Corp. recently held a job fair in Las Vegas. They ran a quarter page ad and expected about 200 people to show up. They got 2,000 instead. “Most people just want to get into the space,” said CEO Derek Peterson. “They believe in the product.” Peterson said a lot of people came without any experience and since the jobs are unique, they tried to pair existing skills with new job requirements.

Grow Master.

The marijuana industry is growing quickly and just as quickly gaining wider societal acceptance. As such, more people are looking at the cannabis industry as a career choice. Some of the jobs are little out of the ordinary, but that’s probably what draws many workers interested in cannabis jobs. Whether they worked with marijuana in the black market or just want an alternative to the standard cubicle job, thousands are trying to get in.

Extraction Technician.

The grow master is the person responsible for cultivating various strains of marijuana plants. Peterson likens it to being a master chef. Grow masters are in high demand and it’s a seller’s market. At minimum they can command a salary of $100,000 a year and a percentage of the profit. Peterson said that for the time being all the good cultivators come from California. They’ve had more time to develop their skills and reputation. They are used to working on their own and making great wages. “It’s a pretty specific skill set and over time I expect the recreational marijuana will shape up with celebrity cultivators like celebrity chefs,” said Peterson. He also thinks that as more states legalize marijuana, California won’t be the only place to find a master grower.

The Owner.

Store Managers.

This is the entry level job working with the plant. It tends to be the lowest paid job in the industry — a bud trimmer in California may make $12-$13 an hour. In Vegas where service jobs are in high demand, $13 an hour is the general wage. Some get paid by the pound and that can run to $100-$200 a pound. In a medical dispensary, a trimmer takes the plant and with little scissors cuts the flower from the stem. It’s critical to only get what is needed and not waste any of the plant. Everything is separated and weighed. A tedious job for sure, but it beats working at McDonald’s, and it’s an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the business and work your way up.

Most people only think of marijuana in the plant form, however marijuana extracts are a growing side of the business, amounting to 40% of sales at some stores. These “extract artists” have a unique set of skills. Peterson said many of the people he hires for this job have PhD’s. They can earn between $75,000 and $125,000 a year. Some states don’t like the idea of people smoking pot for medical purposes and like the state of New York have only legalized medical marijuana in the extract form. While there are expensive machines that do the actual extraction, it requires a person with the knowledge and experience to make sure the product being delivered to a patient or customer is exactly what it is. Consistency and quality are the name of the game.

He also noted that a lot of people in the 40-50 age group have been aged out of the traditional workforce. “Almost everyone had a bachelor’s degree that we saw,” he said. While some positions like store managers overlap more traditional jobs, others like bud trimmers are truly unique to the space. Here are the top five jobs in the marijuana industry.

Bud Trimmers.

In this Oct. 1, 2015, file photo, employees of Amazon Organics, a pot dispensary in Eugene, Ore., . [+] help customers purchase recreational marijuana. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang, file)

While owning a marijuana business sounds like the ultimate counterculture move, it brings a mountain of headaches. Many owners say they don’t make the millions that many people think they do. There are legal and banking headaches, and the regulatory landscape is constantly shifting. The owners don’t get to claim the same business deductions that other business owners get, so the expenses are sky high. Many owners front millions of dollars for years before they ever get to see any profits. Still, if you think this industry is in its early stages with years of growth ahead, being an owner can still be a sweet alternative to the grind of a normal job.

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Master Grower.

Master Grower.

If you’re looking for a cannabis job in Denver, make sure you’re at the top of your game. Although Denver has a lot of cannabis cultivation and extraction facilities, you’ll find that you’re competing with the best of the best for the available jobs.

Don’t hold your breath, though. Consensus among Hawaiian lawmakers is that the state needs to gain expertise with the medical program before adding an adult-use program.

Over 200 cannabis retailers are currently authorized to operate in Los Angeles, with even more located in the greater Los Angeles area. More than half of those retailers opened their businesses in the past two years.

Cannabis Jobs at Surterra.

The most Colorado cannabis job openings are in Denver. A limited number of job openings can also be found in Aurora, Boulder, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Trinidad, and Fort Collins. Let’s take a closer look.

On January 1, 2020, legal cannabis industry supported 243,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs. By January 1, 2021, a total of 321,000 people were working full time in the cannabis industry—an increase of 77,300 jobs. That’s twice the job growth of the previous year. Cannabis Analysts predict that the weed industry will generate another 340,000 full-time cannabis jobs by 2022.

Dispensary managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations at medical marijuana dispensaries, or even at recreational cannabis stores. Dispensary managers are often hired from within after starting as a budtender or cannabis trimmer.

That said, there’s never been a better time to start a legitimate career in the thriving legal cannabis industry! Read on as we spill the tea on the hottest geographical areas for cannabis jobs in 2021.

Ohio plans to license 73 additional medical dispensaries in 2021, more than doubling Ohio’s medical cannabis marketplace. The expansion will support the more than 150,000 patients added since the program’s first year of operation in 2017.

Colorado’s developed and robust medical and recreational cannabis sector is primed for expansion with new job opportunities. In Colorado, a master extractor can earn up to $70,000 a year.

District of Columbia Marijuana Jobs.

Michigan’s recreational cannabis industry should continue to grow throughout 2021. Job openings will be available primarily in the greater Detroit area, but also along the I-96 and I-94 corridors in cities like Marshall, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Lansing.

Although growth is slow, Washington is your state if you want to work in a stable, fully mainstreamed, cannabis industry. You’ll find the most Washington state job openings in Seattle and Spokane.

When looking at cannabis job salaries being a marijuana grower is the most sought after position by cannabis career applicants.

Generally, East Coast companies have been known to poach talent from the West Coast by offering higher pay and more benefits. In particular, the Northeast and mid-Atlantic have been offering higher pay and benefits than West Coast companies.

Cannabis Jobs in Pueblo.

California generated $3.77 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2020 and supported 57,970 cannabis jobs. Nearly 24,000 new cannabis jobs were created last year. As California customers continue to migrate from the black market to the legal market, legal job opportunities have significantly increased.

Vermont’s five medical cannabis dispensaries support fewer than 300 full time cannabis industry workers. Those numbers are expected to increase dramatically as Vermont’s adult-use program is implemented.

The California areas with the most cannabis industry jobs are Los Angeles, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco. Let’s take a closer look.

For a state with only a medical program, the Florida cannabis industry is growing surprisingly quickly. The number of registered patients increased more than 50% in 2020. Now, Florida dispensaries sell more cannabis products than any other state except Colorado and California. This could double if Florida decides to legalize recreational cannabis.

Iowa’s small medical cannabis market is nothing to write home about. With only two dispensaries in the state, the few available jobs are usually already filled. On one day in August 2021, fewer than 10 job listings were available in the entire state.