As of April, medical marijuana has been legal for use in Pennsylvania. A new industry brings a wealth of new jobs for the state’s economy. In fact, the industry is developing at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to put a number on exactly how big it is.
As one of the first states to legalize both medical and recreational use of cannabis, Colorado’s economy has profited immensely. Colorado now has one of the fasting growing economies in the U.S. In the first two months after legalization the state made $3.4 million in tax revenue.
Similarly, things are looking up for Pennsylvania and new and unique employment opportunities may now be available to you. An estimated five to ten new marijuana jobs materialize on cannabis job boards like 420careers.com and CannaRecruiter.com each and every day. Need a new job? Consider one of these 15 positions in the medical marijuana industry. Some you may already be familiar with, but many may not have even crossed your mind.
1. Pot Farmer
Naturally, medical marijuana can’t be purchased without first being grown. Becoming a marijuana farmer can be quite a lucrative job. In California the average farmer earns $100,000 annually. The amount you earn will depend on the size of the farm and the market.
The average farmer earns $23,000/year per growing light. Therefore, ten growing lights would put you at an annual salary of roughly $230,000 per year! Not to mention if hydroponic or aeroponic growing methods were utilized those numbers could double or triple.
2. Cannabis Trimmer
Contrary to what you may believe, marijuana doesn’t just fall of the stem into tight, dried buds all by itself. There is an art to making the finished product look ready for use. The process can be an incredibly tedious one. Trimmers are expected to trim off as much of the plant as possible while still maintaining the flower and other useful parts of the plant.
Pay is often dependent upon the amount trimmed so the fastest trimmers are greatly rewarded. Trimmers in certain areas of California report earning as much as $25 million per year as a group.
3. Concentrates Processor
There will be a high demand for concentrates processors in Pennsylvania, especially considering the fact that state legislation does not allow smokable forms of marijuana to be sold. This field requires considerable skill and could potentially even be dangerous (there’s a possibility you could lose a couple layers of skin).
Extracts from cannabis include the creation of Rick Simpson oil, hash oils, and shatter. These products are noted for their high concentration levels and are extremely valuable to medical marijuana patients. Salary for this position ranges from $20,000 to $40,000 with sparse part-time opportunities.
4. Analytical Chemist
There’s a lot more science to weed than meets the eye. Chemists and chromatographers are needed in labs to test marijuana crops for potency, pesticides, heavy metals, and microbial bodies.
It’s important that medical marijuana be tested to ensure patients are receiving a safe and effective product. Chemists can expect to earn $100,000 0r more to ensure the quality of the final product remains consistent.
5. Medical Delivery
Many medical marijuana patients are unable to travel to dispensary locations prompting a need for delivery services. Pay can be as high as $52,000 per year and that doesn’t include tips! If whirring through traffic and delivering marijuana like it was a pizza sounds attractive then there may be a job opening for you.
6. Dispensary Owner
Owning a medical marijuana dispensary may sound like a dream job for many aspiring entrepreneurs. Of course, running one is no easy task. As an owner you’re in charge of buying products, knowing the market value, and knowing which strains are in demand by your patients, along with the normal small business tasks.
Owners on average earn $100,000/year, but could potentially rake in much more. Being able to open a store can prove to be a difficult hurdle to overcome. There are a limited number of licenses available and applying for one in Pennsylvania is an expensive process. An individual looking to open a dispensary can expect to pay $1 million just to be in a competitive position to submit an application. Nonetheless, if you have the drive and the entrepreneurial spirit, then it’s certainly worth a shot.
7. Administrative Staff
While probably one of the least exciting job openings, administrative positions are essential in any business. Administrative tasks range from checking patients in at the door to ensuring shipments and accounts are in order.
The medical marijuana industry could offer exciting opportunities for accounting, secretarial, and marketing professionals looking to break into a growing field. The pay may not yet be equal to administrative positions in other industries, but that could improve quickly.
8. Business Consultant
Much like administrative staff, every industry has a need for consultants. Expert knowledge will be needed for shop, farm, and lab owners to get up off the ground, survive, and thrive. If you’re a business professional who would like to keep your comfy salary, there will certainly be a need for your knowledge should you wish to perform consulting work on the side.
Like business administration, exact salary information is hard to find being that the medical marijuana industry is still a brand new industry. As time progresses salaries for consultants will undoubtedly equal or even surpass those of consultants in other industries.
Being a budtender is a lot like being a bartender except you’re serving weed instead of alcohol. Budtenders assist individuals by offering advice on the wide array of cannabis strains, concentrates, and edibles.
The job requires extensive knowledge about marijuana, along with the ability to identify any allergies or issues the customer may experience with a certain product. Salaries for this position average around $31,000/year.
When medical dispensaries were first popping up, security was of the utmost concern for many shop owners. Things have since calmed down, but many medical dispensaries opt for security to check IDs and ensure money/product transfers take place without a hitch.
Salaries differ from state to state based on regulations, but in most cases you’re looking at around the salary of $150,000 for 3rd party security professionals.
11. Government Regulator
The role of regulators will differ by state and municipality. There is obviously a greater need for government regulators in Washington D.C. than there is in Colorado. Nonetheless, there is a need for inspectors and regulatory staff.
The state of Pennsylvania is looking for someone to oversee their medical marijuana program. The position’s salary ranges from $76,000 to $100,000.
12. Web/Software Development
There are a plethora of web/software development opportunities within the marijuana industry. New businesses need websites, apps, etc. Not to mention, there is room within the industry for innovative new apps.
A few trail blazing companies have already started developing apps for the industry. Leafly is a review service much like Yelp allowing users to write reviews for different strains of marijuana. Weedmap is an app developed to help you find all of the medical dispensaries near you.
13. Marijuana Content Writer
The rise of the marijuana industry has led to the creation of various online cannabis news sites, like The High Times and Marijuana.com. The going rate for this type of content writer weighs in at $40,000 per year. If you know the industry and you can write well this is definitely a job worth pursuing.
Caregivers within the context of the medical marijuana industry are individuals who grow, possess, and provide medical cannabis for registered patients. It can be a rewarding career path, especially if you have an interest in helping patients.
Caregivers can expect to earn an average of $60,000-$75,000 per year. If you think you may have an interest in becoming a caregiver, you can learn more about how to obtain a license at marijuana-caregiver.org.
This entry-level cannabis position is always in demand. Full-time positions are hard to find, but there are plenty of marijuana-related projects that need signatures gathered to gain ballot access for pro-pot initiatives. There are opportunities to become an activist on the state, local, and federal level.
Due to the part-time nature of the position, this is the lowest paying position on the list. You can expect to make around $12,000 a year as a marijuana activist.
New laws and regulations placed on an industry in its infancy will also give rise to all kinds of legal hurdles organizations must jump through. There will be a need for Pennsylvania lawyers who can bring their legal know-how to the marijuana industry.
As legislation is adjusted with time, businesses will be seeking legal counsel to ensure regulatory compliance. You can contact Legally Rooted to learn more about starting your own marijuana business.
Kieren saysSeptember 17, 2016 at 9:42 pm
Very impressed. After typical 40 year career in business, more than half as CEO of own Company, thought I wanted to relax. Now I’m restless. Want to do something but to help people, not just try to out-earn Bill Gates.
Have a number of skills, especially passion and fighting spirit.