If you’ve browsed the videos on WeedTube, or been to a dispensary that had a particularly insightful budtender, then maybe you’ve thought about getting a job in the ever-expanding cannabis industry. As of the beginning of 2022, the legal cannabis market now employs over 428,000 full-time workers, and that number is expected to reach 1.7 million when the market is fully mature. So whether you’re interested in commercial growing, dispensary retail, or marketing and influencing, this is our guide for how to apply to cannabis companies!
No matter what your past work experience entailed, you can update your resume to include your skills that would be relevant to working in cannabis, and show your passion for the plant. For example, if you used to work in food service, then telling a dispensary owner that you’re used to delivering quality customer service in a fast-paced environment will greatly help your chances of being hired.
In addition to mentioning your relevant experience, you can also beef up your resume by completing an online certification course that proves your medical marijuana knowledge.
Oaksterdam University is self-recognized as the world's first cannabis college. Located in Oakland, CA, the educational facility was founded in November 2007. Oaksterdam University offers online classes in Horticulture, the Business of Cannabis, Extraction & Manufacturing, and Budtending. Classes start at $486 depending on the course you choose, with payment options available. Not sure what you want to study? Talk to an Oaksterdam University Advisor or take the Career Quiz, which are free for jobseekers!
If you haven’t already, checkout WeedTube’s Arend Richard sesh with Oaksterdam University Chancellor Dale Sky Jones.
Ballin’ on a budget? The cannabis advocacy group Americans for Safe Access offers a quick Cannabis Care Certification for just $49. This easy-to-follow course was designed for patients, caregivers, and cannabis professionals to better understand the endocannabinoid system and cannabis therapeutics. This quick certification will help employers recognize you as a top candidate, since cannabis businesses appreciate talent with medical knowledge of the plant.
Check out the work our friends are doing at 40 Tons, a social equity brand dedicated to giving a voice to the thousands behind bars for cannabis crimes. Sign up here for their 2022 career fairs across the country that will connect you with employers in your area. Even if there’s no events near you, check out their cannabis job board and upload your resume for free!
Still need helping brushing up the ol’ resume? Check out Our Cannabis on WeedTube, a non-profit providing employment readiness and workforce development programming to cannabis job seekers, FOR FREE! You can take their resume building class here to ensure you're ready to find jobs near you.
Interested in the cultivation and harvesting of cannabis flower? Consider getting a job in cannabis horticulture. But word to the wise: cannabis cultivation isn’t much different from farming other crops, so expect any cultivation job to be hands-on and labor intensive. For most of these gigs, you’ll need to be able to be on your feet and able to lift 50 lbs. If cannabis isn’t legal in your state yet, start a new job at a plant nursery or a local farm to gain experience.
To find a full-time job in cannabis horticulture, consider using a free recruiter service like Vangst.com which is a job board dedicated to the industry. Outdoor grows in states with recreational like Oregon, Colorado, and California often need seasonal employees for harvesting crops throughout September and October. So if you’re still deciding on whether the cannabis industry is right for you, consider a seasonal job which can be easily found with indeed.com, using the keywords “seasonal cannabis” and changing the location to a legal state.
If you have experience working in retail or other customer service settings combined with a passion for cannabis, then working in a dispensary would be a great way to utilize your skills! As mentioned in the Resume section of this article, getting an online certification or doing plenty of research on Cannabis 101 will equip you with the knowledge you need to ace an interview at a dispensary.
To find dispensary jobs, the best place to start is the dispensary you frequent the most, since they already know you a bit. Ask to speak to the manager and just briefly describe your customer service experience and knowledge about cannabis, and to keep you in mind for any future openings.
In addition to Indeed.com, LinkedIn is a great place to find jobs and connect with people in the industry. Don’t be shy, add someone on LinkedIn and just send a quick message along the lines of “Hi! My previous work experience has been ______ but I’m really passionate about breaking into the cannabis industry. Are there any openings at your company or is there someone I could have an informational interview with? Thanks!”
An informational interview is just a conversation in which a person seeks insights on a career path, an industry, a company and/or general career advice from someone with experience and knowledge in the areas of interest. There’s no pressure because you’re not waiting on an acceptance or rejection, you’re just gaining insight on how to snag that next job!
If you prefer remote work or want to be more on the creative side of things, consider working in the vast world of cannabis marketing. But just like other highly-regulated industries like banking and pharmaceuticals, cannabis marketing has a long list of Don’ts. For example, the reason you’re on WeedTube right now is because cannabis content is heavily censored online. So before trying to land a job as a cannabis marketing guru, make sure you know the common mistakes to avoid cannabis censorship on social media.
If you want a traditional 9-5 type job with a salary and commission, check out the aforementioned Vangst and Indeed by just searching “cannabis sales manager” and change the location to “remote”. LinkedIn is an awesome way to build your personal brand and interact with other people who are already doing this type of work.
If you want a job with a more flexible schedule, try searching “cannabis freelance” or "cannabis writer" with the location set to remote and you can find smaller creative gigs. Stack enough gigs, and you can make a sizable living being your own boss!
If you want to be a cannabis influencer, building your personal brand is going to be the first step. Like any other skill, content creation is time consuming and takes practice, but you will learn and improve! As previously mentioned, cannabis content is heavily censored, so if you become a cannabis influencer, there is a risk that sites like Instagram and YouTube could delete it (but not WeedTube!). To avoid losing your source of income, consider insuring your digital assets with companies like Notch.
Mac is back and hanging out of the back of a car to explain the trials and tribulations of the modern weed influencer, Watch Here
Alicia Gokua has seshed with Snoop Dogg, launched a rap career, and is one of the fastest rising influencers in cannabis right now! Click here to watch to get some expert advise from someone in the weed industry.
ReeferBadness gets free weed every month and we're so thankful to have her telling us all of the secrets on how to do it - Watch Here
Arend Richard started as TheGayStoner, one of the most watched cannabis influencers on YouTube in 2017, and when YouTube randomly deleted his channel after awarding him for reaching 100,000 subscribers, he started WeedTube with a bunch of fellow stoners. Te learn tips on her to be a more productive stoner click here
In addition to the common cannabis jobs available that we mentioned in this article, there are countless other positions helping keep the industry running like finance, operations, software development, sanitation, legalization, regulation and compliance, along with others!
If so, how did you get your first job in the industry and would you recommend others join the field? Drop your advice, opinions, and cannabis career suggestions in the comments below! We'd love to hear from you!
By Julia Ruiz
Julia Ruiz has worked in the cannabis space for 5 years, including political advocacy with the National Cannabis Industry Association, dispensary management, cannabis start-ups, marketing, and public relations. Julia is an outspoken advocate for safe patient access and policy reform, having been prosecuted for medical cannabis use in a since-legalized state.