Highest Earning Cannabis Careers

With more and more states legalizing the use of cannabis, the industry is turning into a booming investment market. Companies that distribute cannabis or use byproducts in their items are popping up everywhere. This means that there are a lot of jobs opening up in this area. If you’ve been thinking about a career change, now might be a decent time to take a look at shifting your work into this burgeoning industry.

While salaries will obviously vary depending on where you are and what you’re doing, many jobs related to cannabis are in high demand. If you have the right skillset, you may even see a fairly hefty pay increase by switching!

1. Manufacturing Director of Operations

Barring the obvious answer of “CEO/CFO”, one of the highest paid jobs you can secure in the cannabis industry is that of a director of operations. This is, as the title implies, not a beginner-friendly position. You should have about a decade of prior experience as a manufacturing director under your belt before you go for this job; preferably, you should have more than a decade of experience.

Workers in this position are tasked with negotiating prices on materials, managing the labor of employees, and overseeing the quality of the product. The key skills required of a manufacturing director of operations are highly varied. If you’re shooting for this senior rank, you’ll need the ability to stay calm in high stress situations, inventory management know-how, and fantastic leadership skills.

Manufacturing directors of operations can expect to earn an annual salary of $130,000 to $177,000.

2. Master Growers

Similar to the manufacturing director of operations, the master grower (or head grower, depending on how you like to call the shots) is another high-paid senior position.

Depending on the size of their farm, master growers earn between $128,000 and $189,000 per year.

This massive paycheck comes with a hefty workload, though! A master grower is expected to maintain the farm. Among their many duties are record keeping, ensuring consistent planting practices, scheduling proper harvesting periods, safety protocols, and servicing all the equipment.

If a fast-paced and sometimes high-stress environment appeals to you, then you already have one foot in the door for this position. However, you’ll also need to have stellar leadership skills and a deep understanding of the horticultural aspect of cannabis.

3. Chief Scientific Officers

The job of a chief scientific officer is as specialized as its pay. This is not a position for just anyone; you must have a Ph.D. Moreover, your education needs to be backed by experience.

The duties of a CSO revolve around testing strains, verifying potency, classifying crops, and training staff to do the same. The work performed in this position is vital to the safety of consumers, making this a high-stress and high-stakes job. In this position, workers balance quality control with scientific methods.

On top of this, a chief scientific officer should be constantly researching. As the field of cannabis-related research expands, new information is discovered. These findings may range from something as small as tweaking the maximum safe dosage to discovering an entirely new strain. The job of a CSO is to know all of it!

All of this responsibility pays off, however. Chief scientific officers earn between $150,000 and $200,000 per year. If working for a particularly large and influential company, a CSO might make even more than this.

4. Dispensary Manager

While the past few entries have been highly specialized, this position is more reasonable. The dispensary manager has roughly the same duties as any other retail manager. They hire (and fire) employees, maintain staff morale, and keep track of the many aspects of the brick-and-mortar business. The primary difference between a dispensary manager and a standard retail manager is the legal requirements they’re expected to know and maintain within the store.

If you’re working as a dispensary manager, you can look forward to $75,000-$85,000 per year.

In terms of requirements, a dispensary manager should have experience as a retail leader. Potential applicants will want to demonstrate a decent understanding of the cannabis market; they should continue to maintain this throughout their tenure in the position. The ability to cater to customers with a consistently high level of care and attentiveness is a must!

5. Cannabis Sales Rep

Finally, it may be worth looking into becoming a sales representative. While this certainly isn’t the most glamorous job in the industry, a good sales rep can earn far above their standard on-the-books salary.

While the average sales rep earns between $50,000 and $69,000 annually, a good one can earn a six-figure salary!

This position is far more accessible than many others on the usual lists of highest-paying jobs. You don’t necessarily need to have a Ph.D. or decades of experience. Depending on how the company operates, you may not even need that much leadership experience. As a sales rep, your biggest assets are your determination and your charisma.

As with any industry, it will likely take a while to get yourself established. You’ll need some time to learn the ropes and understand the inner workings of the cannabis scene. However, once you’ve done this, you may just be ready to start a lucrative future in the field.