The legal cannabis industry has seen impressive growth in 2021 as it provided 321,000 full-time equivalent jobs across the U.S. In fact, cannabis employment exceeded that of many mainstream industries in 2020, including nurse practitioners and web developers. By 2025, the legal marijuana industry is expected to employ up to 600,000 full-time workers across the U.S.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, legal cannabis is thriving and will most-likely continue to grow. In 2020, legal cannabis had a 32% year-over-year job growth and gained $18.3 billion in sales. 1 in 3 Americans currently live in states with legalized cannabis, and legalization continues to grow. States with newly legalized markets actually created 26,000 jobs in 2020. The rapidly expanding cannabis market furthermore means that entry-level employees have a higher chance for quick advancement.
There are several jobs in legal cannabis that pay well. For example, a master extractor, or someone who oversees the production of safe and effective oil and concentrates, can make anywhere between $80,000 and $250,000. A master grower who is an expert in botany or horticulture and is able to manage larger grow operations can make between $50,000 and $120,000 while an expert in quality control can make between $50,000 and $100,000. Even someone working as a trimmer, harvester, or cultivator can make up to $41,000. Nonetheless, the cannabis industry is highly-regulated and requires specialized knowledge for nearly every aspect of operations.
Anyone can enter the legal cannabis industry. First you need to research potential job opportunities in the market while expanding your cannabis-related knowledge. It is important to stay up-to-date with regulations and legalization efforts. Some states might require you to also get a marijuana worker license. Nonetheless, make sure you present yourself as a professional, not an enthusiast.
The cannabis job market is on the rise and won’t be stopping any time soon.