The cannabis industry is expanding and creating a growing workforce. With positions in the field like Master Grower, this is meant both literally and figuratively.
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics refuses to acknowledge the cannabis industry in the national economic database due to federal prohibition, there are independent sources (such as Leafly) that publish trends in the industry. These publications clearly show that the cannabis industry is a key job creator.
In 2020, the cannabis industry overcame a global pandemic, record breaking unemployment rates, and an economic recession with a 32% year-over-year growth rate. This is an incredible figure considering that 2020 was the worst year in the US for economic growth since WWII. The production of legal cannabis is now an estimated $18.3 billion industry and the fastest growing job sector in the United States.
According to the 2021 Leafly Jobs Report, there are 321,000 full-time jobs supported by legal cannabis– all of which are above minimum wage jobs. To put that in perspective, although only 34 states have legalized cannabis in some form or another, there are twice as many legal cannabis workers as dentists in the entire United States. There are more than one and a half times as many legal cannabis workers as EMTs and paramedics.
Expanding job positions include:
- Professional Trimmer
- Trimming is often done by hand and can be done either wet or dry. However, some growers prefer to use trim machines. Professional trimmers can easily be trained to become proficient in using such machines.
- Professional Harvester
- A professional harvester needs to be versatile. This job will encompass cutting down foliage, hanging, disassembling, planting, transplanting, pruning, feeding, and more.
- Bud Tender
- This position requires a vast knowledge of strains, edibles, and extracts. Bud Tenders must be familiar with indicas, sativas, hybrids, and have the ability to offer customers recommendations based on their individual needs. This is a great position for sales-minded cannabis connoisseurs. Additionally, Bud Tenders will need to be comfortable with dispensary protocol and POS software, such as MJ Freeway and BioTrac.
- Master Grower
- This position is for experienced growers that are familiar with numerous grow mediums, nutrient lines, strains, and growing techniques. Master Growers can help make any cultivation facility achieve their best harvest.
- Assistant Grower
- Assistant growers are responsible for helping Master Growers produce beautiful harvests. This job typically consists of maintaining, watering, transplanting, pruning, cloning, and any other needs that the Master Grower identifies for the crop.
- General Labor
- General Labor crews typically assist with grow set-up, take down, material construction and maintenance, as well as cleaning.
- There are countless types of items in the cannabis industry. Packagers are responsible for packaging anything from vape cartridges, infused edibles, bud and more.
- Kitchen Aide
- Kitchen Aides offer professional cannabis chefs kitchen assistance. Their duties may range from bottling, labeling, pouring, stirring, chocolate dipping, and baking. Essentially, Kitchen Aides are responsible for any tasks given to them by cannabis chefs.
- Payroll Services
- Payroll positions are needed in any business setting. Being that the cannabis industry is responsible for employing so many workers, cannabis companies are no different.
The various positions listed above illustrate the diversity that the cannabis industry offers. As more states legalize cannabis on all levels, the workforce will undoubtedly continue to grow and the need for these jobs will continue to expand.